Golf is a game loved by many, played by even more. You might love golf because of you and your family have a great time playing it together. You might even be a beginner just starting to get a grasp, or you might be serious enough to make a career out of it.
It all comes down to one thing. The swing. If you can’t swing a golf club, you cannot play golf. It’s that simple.
So are you doing it wrong? Probably not if you are successful.
There is nothing textbook in golf, but we tend to copy the techniques of players who have been successful. But should that help?
Yes, that can help you to develop a basic swing mechanism. But it should always be what works for you.
We don’t want to over complicate things talking about the thousands of ways you can swing a golf club. But we would rather stick to the safe side and talk about techniques that have worked for most golfers.
If you get to the end of this article, you will be able to know
- Basics of a golf swing
- Types of swing in golf
- Golf swing tips
- Way to perfect your golf swing and how to do it
Let’s start with the first: Golf swing basics
6 Basics of Golf Swing
Golf swing doesn’t have a fundamental approach, but there are certain basics that you need to keep in mind. So long you get the desired results, you can apply whatever style and technique you want.
There are tons of instructors out there who teach golf swing and tons of legendary golfers whom you can follow. All have their own unique ways. But are they wrong? No. All are correct. You just need to get your basics right and then you can go along with a specific technique that works for you.
Here are the 6 basic fundamentals of golf swing.
1. Use the proper grip
On a typical PGA tour event, you will always get to see three grip preferences. Golfers either go with a strong, weak or a neutral grip. That’s all there is.
Let’s talk about the strong grip. The strong grip can be very useful if you are someone whose hips remain open to the target when hitting the ball. So, if you are right-handed like most golfers, then go for a strong left-hand grip.
A weak grip will be beneficial to you if your hips are not so open to the target. In that case, a weak-left hand grip should give you an edge.
The grip will depend primarily on the way you swing and rotate your body in the process.
2. Fix the slice
We are not here to teach you how to slice the golf ball. Rather, slicing is a major problem for many players. You hit the ball keeping a target in mind, and the ball goes the other way.
For fixing the slice, you need to aware of the causes behind the slice and your clubface position at impact.
A lot of the times you might hit with the heel. That’s the reason you may see excess left-to-right curvature on your shots. You might also be standing too close to the ball.
Fixing these little things will help you align yourself for that perfect, powerful golf swing.
3. Fix the hook
Often times you might make a quick hook or more commonly known as the duck hook. This happens when your clubface and path has a great difference. Fixing this will allow you to reach that 100% consistent golf swing.
4. Perfect the draw shot
The draw shot is a handy tool to master. It will help you to hit the ball in the hole that curves to the left.
The draw shot should enable you to hit the ball 3-5 yards curving in the air. The shot should focus on hitting the ball and returning the clubface to the same position at impact. The swing path should be a little further right to the face at impact.
Here’s a video demonstrating this golf basic for you.
5. Execute the fade shot properly
This weak shot can also be an essential technique to use in golf. The basics remain as same as the draw shot. But only the path of the club changes this time to the left of the clubface at impact. This shot can also produce distance as far as the draw shot, only if properly executed.
6. There is no alternative to practice
Without practice do you think Tiger Woods could have hit those historical shots? We tend to think about luck favoring the brave. But in sports, there is no luck. You practice and master those shots until it seems luck is in your favor.
To kinds of practice, you can do in the driving range. These are blocked and random practice.
What is Swing Plane?
A swing plane is quite a complicated concept to understand in golf. That’s why we are here to make it simple. In this section will analyze and elaborate two major swing plan types: The Single plane golf swing and the two plane golf swing.
History of the swing plane
“Five Lessons; The Modern Fundamentals of Golf”- This is the book written by legendary golfer Ben Hogan which you must read if you want to reach his level.
And this was the first time, the term ‘swing plane’ became popular through this book. In a basic sense, swing plane impacts two things- the trajectory and the direction of your ball landing.
Types of Swing Plane in Golf
Before we get down into details of both the planes, let’s give you a basic idea of what they are.
The single plane swing is very simple and mimics the process of drawing the golf club back and through the golf ball. Beginners often find it easy to learn and repeat because the process is natural.
The two plane is a more advanced option for golfers. Its mainly used to generate higher speed and longer distances. In single plane swing where the body goes back and through, in the case of two plane swing, the arms go back, and the clubs adjust. For beginners, it’s just too much complicated to try even.
Golf swing type 1. The single plane golf swing
Ben Hogan’s favorite single plane swing is associated with the body movement during the swing.
The body rotates back keeping the arms coordinating with your shoulders. And then the hip also moves away from the ball. Thus, when the opposite action is created, you get a perfect swing.
The hips act as the pivot bringing the arms back to the same plane as backswing.
Pros of the single plane golf swing
The major positive aspect that we found for the single swing plane is the coordinated movement of your hips, arms, and shoulders. So, IT’S HIGHLY REPEATABLE.
The single plane swing doesn’t have a complicated set of movements. The single unit focus of the body allows creating impressive draws.
The body rotation is more natural, so it’s easy to master for beginners.
Cons of the single plane golf swing
For advanced golfers, the single plane swing brings different disadvantages. If you have a strong swing, you can lose quite a bit of length using this swing type.
Golf is a versatile game. Although you can hit good looking shots with the repeatable in swing plane but in various conditions and match situations, you need more variations.
For example, sometimes you might need to fade the ball, but that is difficult with single plane swing.
Drill to feel the single swing plane
The single swing plane feels like you are doing something that feels like round.
It’s hard to let you know how it feels through words. This drill should do the trick.
Without any club in your hands, take your stance and let your arms drop as you do with a club. The key here is to imagine that your body is anchored to this position. More specifically you can imagine that a rod runs through your spine to the ground.
So, you can move your arms or the shoulders only. The hips and the arms should go back and forth the same path. Thus, you can produce consistent single plane swings.
Bryson Dechambeau and his 5 step formula for mastering the single plane golf swing
If you don’t know who Bryson Dechambeau is, you will be surprised to know how much he achieved mastering the single plane swing. He is the winner of the John Deere classic in 2017 and has two top 10 finishes in 2018.
Using science and concepts from the book “THE GOLFING MACHINE,” he developed his single plane swing basics. Although he initially struggled but later found that using golf clubs of all similar length, the single plane swing can be mastered. That he did successfully.
Here is the legendary Bryson Dechambeau’s 5 step formula.
- Step 1: Use your palm not your fingers
Your fingers must just rest on the shaft. The grip must be placed in the center of your palm, so you have a locked hold of the club. Thicker golf grips can also help in adopting this.
- Step 2: Start with the club first
This tip is basically from “The golfing machine” that Dechambeau learned. So, before you make the backswing, start moving your weight to your right foot. This is a trigger that can help you gain the rhythm
- Step 3: Imagine a circle around your body
When you visualize a circle around your body, you should be able to follow the loop repeatedly. This is because your arms, hands and the club should always remain inside this circle. Use this technique to make it work like Dechambeau.
- Step 4: Flat hand at the pinnacle of your backswing
For the single plane swing to work for you, it is essential you keep a flat hand at the top of the backswing. So, your wrists and the arms must not break.
- Step 5: Create a center point to rotate your body
Your body rotation must happen to keep a center point. This means your head must stay in the same position before and after the swing. So if you are shifting your body weight from one side to another, you will have a hard time to create the single plane swing.
Golf swing tips: Ben Hogan’s view on the single plane golf swing
One of the great tips from this masterclass golfer is visualizing a glass pane on the back shoulder acting as the swing plane. So, when you make a backswing, it should be parallel to the glass at the peak of the swing. So, whether you make a backswing or downswing, you must never break the imaginary glass that rests on your shoulder.
Golf swing tips: The height factor
The height is a major factor in determining your swing plane. If you try to mimic longer players, you are never going to develop the swing plane that’s perfect for you. Instead, develop the swing plane that works for you.
Golf swing type 2 – The two plane swing
The two plane swing is unorthodox, complicated and takes years of practice to master, yet it delivers results that can outsmart the single plane swing.
If you have seen Bubba Watson, he has a two plane swing. You can know he has got results through this technique as he has won two masters championship. That’s quite an achievement.
Your coach will never teach you this if you are a beginner. But once you become a seasoned campaigner, you can slowly adapt to this swing.
The basic difference between the single plane and two plane swing is that the left arm goes away from the shoulder and does not remain on the plane.
It’s a high-risk technique that can give you higher accuracy and ball flight. So, to perfect your golf swing, this is the swing you should adopt.
How to find out your swing plane?
We got a quick way to find out your current swing plane. Get yourself in front of a mirror. Now take your normal stance and without any club, swing as you naturally do.
Now observe. So, if you notice a straight line from your left hand to your shoulder, then you have a single plane swing.
But if you see that your left arm goes higher than your shoulder, you have a two plane swing.
Jim Furyk: A master of the two plane swing
If you have been following the PGA tours for years now, you might have a very good idea about Jim Furyk. His awkward swing mechanics make coaches go mad. But yet it got him results because he was able to make it repeatable and smooth.
Let’s talk about how he does it. You can go on and watch more videos on him.
During the stance, Furyk lowers his hands and over the golf ball. That’s not most golfers would do. When he makes the upswing, his hips move to the right, and the club moves in the air. At the topmost point of his upswing, the club butt points towards his shoes.
At the downswing, the swing plane of Furyk changes. His hips move to the left, and his hands and arms go to the other plane, to make room to hit the ball. What’s interesting is his body is pushed forward than the club at impact.
Pros of two plane swing
- With consistency, you can gain results from this technique. We talked with the pros, and all of them have agreed on the fact that two plane swing offers greater distance and swing speed than single plane swing.
- If you have a powerful swing, then it’s much better to adopt two plane swing. Because you will be adding more power to your shots. It’s not for you if you have a weak swing.
Cons of two plane swing
- For beginners, learning the two plane swing can become a nightmare. It’s harder to adopt than the single plane swing.
- The body doesn’t have a central point to make it repeatable. Rather different section of the body works at different intervals.
Golf swing tips: how to learn the two plane swing faster
- There is no faster way to learn two plane swing. The only way to shorten the learning curve is to practice hours and hours. As you might have heard, it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. If not 10,000, try to give at least a 1000 hours total practice before you adopt it in matches.
- Go slow and focus on the swing basics of golf. Focus on your arms and how the position of your shaft changes during the swing. If you can visualize the overall process, the chances of recreating, in reality, are more. Because you can only do things in life that you can imagine, others are just rare possibilities.
- Train your muscles to learn the swing path of the two plane swing. It’s much like typing or riding a motorcycle. At first, it’s hard to grasp, you will lose control. But as you slowly mimic the moves, your body and the muscles will adapt. It’s called muscle memory.
How To Swing a Golf Club: Perfect Golf Swing with golf swing aids
This section is the heart of this article. It’s basically the “how to swing a golf club” part but with more advanced tips and training aids.
Although in golf there is nothing as a perfect golf swing. It’s just something might work for you, for others it might not. The training aids used in this tutorial will not make you perfect but can shorten the learning curve and make it easier for you.
2 things to consider for golf swing
- You might already have a swing mechanism that works for you. It may be technically incorrect, but that totally doesn’t mean you should change it altogether. Changing it can also give you negative results. We recommend you to change only the positions you feel are causing the problems. Otherwise, it’s safer to stick to what you have been doing.
- The major focus should be on maintaining the natural flow of your swing. So any changes you make must not hamper this natural flow. Remember this!
Here are the 8 steps for perfecting your golf swing
Step 1. Perfect your Setup with Alignment pro
The first step to perfect your golf swing is to have a good set up or stance. That’s where the ALIGNMENT PRO comes into play. So, if you think you are hitting the balls where you are targeting then this training aid act as a guide for you.
As you can see from the above image, the feet are not squared up. This is because squared feet can limit the rotation of your hips. Pros have found that having a 10-degree flare on trail foot and 25 degrees on lead foot produces better results. The Alignment pro helps you to set up this angle with the two hinges attached to it. Just keep your heels in front of it and you are good to go.
The best way to do it is to focus on your feet alignment.
Apart from the training aid, there are a number of things to consider for this step. Your hands must run straight down from your shoulders when you hold the club. Bent knees and forward tilted upper body is the key here.
Step 2. Tour striker smart ball for balanced away movement
When you start to move your hand back, it should move in a circular motion keeping the arms straight. The away movement basically ends when you have the shaft parallel to the ground.
The TOUR STRIKER SMART BALL is the best thing you can buy that can help you develop a good sequence. It can also help to stop over-rotating your clubface. The clubface must point slightly down towards the ground.
Many golfers have this problem of clubface rotation, and hence they get slices on shots.
To use the tour striker smart ball, place it between your forearms. Don’t squeeze the ball too much. Squeeze just enough to hold it. Treat it like you would for an egg.
Step 3. Shift the club Halfway back
The wrist position is crucial when you are half way back and just about to rotate your body. So, to really achieve the above-illustrated position, it’s important to hit the position consistently and properly.
You can use a GABE GOLF TRAINER. In this training aid, there are ball bearings placed in the shaft. So, as soon as you come to the halfway position, you will hear a sound of the bearings dropping into the handle. It’s a great way to know that you are doing it right.
You need to observe your knees too in this step. The lead knee must point towards the ball and the trail knee should remain flexible. The weight must flow, keeping the head still, towards the trail knee.
Step 4. Mastering the top of Backswing with the hanger training aid
When you have your hands at the last end of your swing which is backswing, you want your wrist position to be appropriate. So you might ask what’s the proper wrist position here.
The first thing we would like to tell you is that having mismatched wrist position will shift your clubface and the swing plane. You will mishit often. The appropriate position is to get the wrist of your lead hand to be flat and without any cup or angle to it.
We have a training aid for this step also. It’s called the Hanger golf training aid. The hanger creates a pressure against your lead forearm so you can maintain a flat wrist without the cupping.
Step 5. Go halfway down
This position is important and you need to make your body rotate and move toward the ball. If your arms move before your body moves, you will not be able to gain that power and momentum through the shot.
We have a training aid for this too. The TOTAL GOLF TRAINER will help you to clear out your hip before your arms come down. This means your body is rotating properly.
So, as you can see from the illustration that we have a sponge and the total golf trainer attached to the lead wrist. So, when you see that the training aid is hitting the sponge, you will know you are not doing it right.
Step 6. Develop a consistent impact with the flat plate
80% of the pressure should be on your lead heel rather than your trail heel on impact. So, your body rotation and shaft lean towards the target are crucial to creating the downward motion on the clubhead, so you get a pure strike.
Is there a training aid too for this step? YES. The FLAT PLATE is designed to improve ball striking and help you know whether your clubface is coming down properly.
It works very simply. Place the flat plate before the ball and have a swing. If you hit the flat before hitting the ball, you still need to improve. It might look easy not to hit the flat plate, but we have seen golfers find it hard not to hit the flat plate.
Step 7. Swift follow through to maintain golf plane
After you have made the impact you want your arms and body to maintain the same plane. We are talking about a single plane here.
So, you want your arms to be extended and remain as straight as possible through the impact.
The TOUR STRIKER SMART BALL can also help you here. So, if you have any break in your arms, this training aid will give feedback.
Step 8. A perfect finish converts to a perfect swing
Your finish should be smooth and repeatable. You can try out the ORANGE WHIP to get an overall feel of the positions during your swing. As a matter of fact it’s one of the best training aids available in golf, recommended by PGA and LPGA professionals.
Source and credit: MeAndMyGolf