Basics of the Golf Swing

By George N Root III

Article Image
A good golf swing is a combination of the precise execution of each of the basic components of a swing. To perfect a swing, you must break it down into each of its core components, learn how to master each and then apply to the proper execution of the swing. Identify the core components of a golf swing and understand how they work together.

The Stance

The golf stance is critical to the proper execution of a swing. Your feet should be in a straight line pointing toward your target and shoulder-width apart. Your shoulders should be in line with your feet. Your back should be straight, and your knees should be flexed to allow the club to be placed comfortably behind the ball. Your arms should be outstretched completely and your head should be down with your eyes looking at the ball.

The Grip

The most common grip in golf is referred to as an interlocking grip. The pinkie finger on your bottom hand interlocks with the pointer finger on your top hand. Your thumbs are in a straight line on the grip pointing down the shaft of the club. Your hands are closed so that the bottom hand covers the thumb of the top hand. The grip is tight enough to maintain control of the club, but not so tight that your knuckles begin to turn white.

The Ball

Where the ball is placed in your stance is just as critical as the stance itself. The proper distance of the ball from your feet is established by your outstretched arms and the club. The clubhead should rest comfortably behind the ball with your knees flexed. If you are hitting a wood or a long iron then the ball should be lined up even with the heel of your front foot. If you are hitting a middle iron or putting the ball is lined up in the middle of your stance. If you are hitting a wedge or a short iron then the ball is lined up with the heel of your back foot.


Choose a target to hit the ball toward and align your body. Your shoulders should be pointing at the target, and the rest of your body should line up in straight line toward the target as well. The best way to tell if you are lined up properly is to rest your chin on your left shoulder. If you are looking at your target then you are lined up properly. Left-handed golfers would use their right shoulder.

About the Author

George N Root III is a writer that is located in Lockport, NY. Publishing credits include a weekly column in the Lockport Union Sun and Journal along with published articles at, the SUNY at Buffalo Spectrum, Niagara Falls Gazette, Tonawanda News, Watertown Daily News and the Buffalo News. He has a degree in English from SUNY at Buffalo.