Beginner Golf Swing Instruction – A Simple 5 Step Checklist to a Better Downswing!

Beginner golf swing instruction programs try to teach their students the fundamentals of play using various techniques.

One such technique employed by many beginner golf swing instruction programs is an easy to follow checklist.

A checklist is great, helping to cue the golfer through the phases of the swing pattern.

Below is a simple five step checklist for the downswing. This checklist may help student golfers better apply their beginner golf swing instruction to their game!

In the book, “How to Master the Irons, an Illustrated Guide to Better Golf”, authors Gene Littler and Don Collett provide some beginner golf swing instruction – walking the student golfer through a simple checklist designed to improve their downswing phase of the swing pattern.

They write;

“…some checkpoints to remember about the downswing:

1. Starting the downswing correctly with the left hip and left side will put you in a position to hit from the inside out as you enter the hitting area.

2. The hips lead the downswing with a slight lateral, then a turning movement, followed by the shoulders (about a quarter of a turn behind the hips), arms, and hands, in that order. If the shoulders turn ahead of the hips, your swing will be from the outside in.

3. After the weight has shifted to the left side, a driving action is initiated by the right side, particularly the right knee and hip. This develops early clubhead speed and will give you more power and distance. This also releases all tension from the right leg and hip, resulting in about 90 per cent of the weight being upon the right side at the finish of the swing.

4. Complete the backswing before you start the downswing. Take a full shoulder turn and start into the downswing as smoothly as possible.

5. Keep driving through the ball to a complete high finish. Don’t hit at the ball and quit“.

Beginner golf swing instruction programs use checklists to help their student golfers effectively apply their curriculum to the course!

Incorporate Littler and Collett’s advice into your next practice session.

Check back soon for more beginner golf swing instruction articles and posts to help quickly improve your golf swing and game!

The Proper Golf Swing – The Downswing – Don’t Rush It!

A proper golf swing is created from a smooth, seamless and synchronized integration of all the different phases of the swing pattern.

To the frustration of many golfers however, the proper golf swing is often lost during the downswing phase.

The downswing phase is a tricky stage of the swing. It is the point where most golfers swing patterns fall apart. Reason being – most golfers rush it!

A proper golf swing requires that the golfer slowly begin the downswing phase.

In the book, “The Master Key to Success at Golf” author Leslie King discusses the golfer’s critical transition to the downswing and its overall importance in executing a proper golf swing.

King writes;

“The backswing has prepared us for the next phase the action of bringing the club head back to the ball with the full uninhibited release of controlled power.

I do not propose, at this stage, to deal further with the crucial transition which takes place at the top of the swing. You have learned…that the feeling of a slight pause helps in affecting the change of direction, but you must beware in making this pause not to turn the back-swing and the downswing into two entirely separate actions. I am no believer in prefabricated golf swings. The ideal is a smooth blend of the fundamentals, free from stops and re-starts.

In fact the experienced and accomplished player is sensing the start of the downswing as they reach the top of the back-swing, much as a bowman, smoothly and unhurriedly drawing back, senses the release.

…For the present let us consider solely the downswing, and let me stress at once that it starts slowly and smoothly. That is the way you let in the clutch of your car after slipping it into gear. An agitated jerky foot on the clutch pedal and the engine is stalled. It is even easier to stall the golf swing and turn it into a heave. For your own sake make it slow and smooth at the start.

Give yourself time and room in which to hit the ball. Only in this way will maximum acceleration be reached at the right time that is, at and through the ball.

You commence the downswing by DRIVING DOWNWARDS with the hands and left arm simultaneously with the return of the left heel still with left knee flexed to the ground. At the top of the swing the extreme operative points are the hands and the left foot. By synchronizing the movement of these two extreme points you are set to move into a lateral shift of the lower part of the body. Most important this, but I will come to it in due course.

I have used the term “driving downwards”. But in the same way as the engine of your car takes up the drive slowly as you move away, so the left arm and hands come unhurriedly into the first movement of returning the club head to the ball. Make it smooth all the time.

Don’t rush it.

With this combined initial movement the hands and left arm (still extended but not rigid) driving down and the whole of the left foot returning firmly to the ground you now have the whole of the left foot and the inside of the sole of the right foot on the ground with both knees flexed. This is keeping you DOWN to the ball and this is how we want it. Only the heel of the right foot has begun to rise.

Do not fall into the common error of stiffening the left knee as the heel returns to the ground and of rising up with the body. This only locks the movement“.

A proper golf swing necessitates that the golfer slowly and smoothly begin the downswing phase of the swing pattern.

Use King’s professional advice to improve your swing pattern and play!

Check back soon for more articles and posts to help you achieve a proper golf swing!

Beginner Golf Swing Instruction – Lining Up the Shot!

An important lesson in any beginner golf swing instruction program is learning to correctly line up the shot.

Lining up the shot can pay huge dividends to the golfer!

Beginner golf swing instruction programs know – during the pressures of play – student golfers will accidently skip over many pre-swing processes which include but are not limited to lining up the shot!

To combat this oversight beginner golf swing instruction programs teach their student golfers to follow a simple procedure – that is – taking the time to position the body and club properly to the ball. This is critical to overall swing performance.

In the book, “How to Master the Irons, an Illustrated Guide to Better Golf”, authors Gene Littler and Don Collett provide some beginner golf swing instruction – walking the golfer through a simple procedure designed to quickly line up the shot.

They write;

“Golf fans are often amazed at the ability of a professional to hit the ball straight and far down the fairway. The accurate drives and pinpoint placements on approach shots are seemingly magical feats which the average golfer believes to be beyond his capabilities.

This, of course, isn’t true. A golfer, if they have some working knowledge of the swing, can learn to hit the ball fairly straight, provided they have aligned themselves properly to the ball. Actually, lining up a shot is a simple little procedure, and it pays great dividends to those who work to perfect it.

Lining up a shot is not a difficult thing to learn. To do it correctly, you must “aim yourself” first, that is, position your body in proper relationship to the ball and then “aim the ball” by aligning the clubface so that it faces directly toward the hole. Here is how it is done.

The Procedure

The pattern of movements involved in lining up a shot begins as soon as you pull a club out of the bag and grip it. A good player works themselves into a rhythm for lining up each shot, whether they are going to hit with a driver, a five-iron, or a wedge. They set up a habit pattern of approaching and addressing the ball, and all of their conscious efforts are directed toward lining up the shot correctly. From there on, they depend chiefly upon their reflex actions and the subconscious feel of the swing to bring forth a straight ball.

To begin, grip the club and position yourself slightly behind and to the left of the ball. From this position, you can size up the hole and get a good perspective view of it while thinking of how you want to hit the particular shot before you. Keep your arms in close to your body. The arms actually hug the chest and the hands are about six inches away from the body and directly in front.

After determining where you are going to aim, as well as the type of shot you want to hit, move your feet in a bit closer to the ball. At the same time, bend forward at the waist so that the clubface will come in contact with the ground directly behind the ball. Then, after ensuring that the clubface is square, or at a right angle to the line of flight, rotate your head toward the target to make sure you have positioned yourself properly up to this point. The left foot is then moved just a few inches directly toward the target, and the right foot moves back and slightly to the right to give you a square stance.

For fairway woods and long iron shots, I employ the closed stance, in which my right foot is moved back about an inch or so. This permits a fuller body and shoulder turn than the square stance”.

Beginner golf swing instruction programs know how important lining up the shot is to a successful golf swing and golf game.

Incorporate Littler and Collett’s advice into your next practice session.

Check back soon for more beginner golf swing instruction articles and posts to help quickly improve your golf swing and game!

Golf Swing Mechanics – The Press and Its Role in a Winning Swing Pattern!

Executing a seamlessly smooth, well coordinated and highly potent swing is the essence and overall goal of golf swing mechanics.

Winning golf swing mechanics require the golfer to correctly execute both the forward and reverse press. Together they maintain balance, generate power and synchronize all the various moving components – blending them all into one fluid, well timed expression of the club.

Unfortunately, many golfers struggle to correctly incorporate these two actions into their golf swing mechanics.

In his book, “Golf Can Be an Easy Game”, author Joe Novak describes in greater detail the roles of the forward and reverse press and their rightful place in winning golf swing mechanics.

Novak writes;

“The swinging of a golf club is a double-handed, ambidextrous motion which completely involves the player from toes to fingers. It is this all encompassing involvement of the player in a properly executed golf swing that gives a golfer that completeness of ease, grace and rhythm.

Being the two-legged creatures we are, it is understandable that to swing the club up and to the right we should balance ourselves on the right foot, and to swing the club down and to the left, we should rebalance ourselves on the left foot. However, at the very outset of the golf swing a quandary is presented.

In assuming the initial position from which to start the swing, the natural position for the hands on the club places the right hand in the lower position on the club handle. This invariably causes the player to relax the right knee slightly and by so doing the player finds their balanced on the left foot. As long as they remain balanced on the left foot, it is unnatural to move the club from the ball.

However, through the simple process of the forward press, a slightly added forward movement of the right knee, the player can make a complete change of knee positions and balance on their right foot. Thus they can use their entire right side from hip to shoulder to lead their body into the diagonal stretch action, whereby the club can easily and naturally be raised to the top of the swing.

This handling of the knees—the forward press and the reverse press leave the player so balanced, when the top of the swing is reached, that it is possible to reverse the knee positions and thus rebalance the player on their left toe. The entire left side from hip to shoulder can then be used to lead the body into the diagonal stretch action to the left, so that the club can be brought down into and through the ball with a full, free, powerful movement.

There is no shortcut to this one-two action of the forward press and the reverse press and it will set the body up so that it can follow in perfect timing with the movement of the up and down swing.

In addition to balancing the player so that they are ready body-wise to go into the swing, the one-two of the forward press and reverse press accomplishes one other thing. It moves the hands in a slight forward movement and carries the hands back. It thus places them in a perfect position so that the hands can set or cock the club into position, in harmony with the upswing action of the body.

There is no shortcut to this one-two action of the forward press and the reverse press. Not only will the body be set up so it can swing the club up on the inside, but the hands will be put in a position where their action of cocking the club into position can be synchronized.

Incidentally, it is this four movement rhythm which made Bobby Jones a golfing master“.

Winning golf swing mechanics require that the golfer correctly perform both the forward and reverse press.

Use Novak’s expert advice to properly incorporate the forward and reverse press into your swing pattern!

Check back soon for more tips and posts to help improve your golf swing mechanics!

Improve Golf Swing – Building A Better Swing At Your Address!

To truly improve golf swing performance all golfers need to perform a close examination of their address.

The address reveals much about a golfer’s handicap and quality of movement – signaling to the world the level of golf they are capable of playing!

Golfer’s looking to improve golf swing performance need to fully understand that a correct address shapes the perfect swing pattern from beginning to end.

Shaping the perfect swing pattern is essential to improve golf swing performance. It is through this shaping that the golfer learns to feel their swing.

In his book, “On Learning Golf”, author Percy Boomer offers some expert advice to help golfers improve golf swing performance. He explains, in great detail, the address to the reader – helping them put feeling into their form.

Boomer writes;

“The experienced eye can make a very accurate guess at the handicap of a player after seeing them make a few practice swings, and as soon as their address is completed we can be sure of their quality.

Now at first glance it might seem that it would be simple enough for anyone to learn to stand correctly before the ball—to cultivate an impressive address. Yet there is this difference which enables the cognizant to recognize even the subtle variation between the good and the very good golfer before the ball has been struck.

It is an interesting point and one of some practical importance, because it is directly related to the true aim and purpose of the preparatory movements. We can recognize a golfer’s quality in these movements because they express both what they intend to do and how they intend to do it. The difference between the good and the ordinary golfer is that the good one feels their shot through their address.

Whether or not they have learned deliberately to play by feel, the good player feels, through their carriage and balance as they addresses the ball, the coming movement that will bring their club face squarely against the ball. Briefly to analyze the feeling of carriage and balance—they feel they are set inwards and behind the back of the ball and their legs, hips and shoulders are all braced, inside and behind the ball.

Now this is a point where I must ask you to stop and consider and analyze carefully exactly the meaning I want to convey by the word braced because this is most important to a realization of the correct feel of the body.

My dictionary defines a brace as “anything that draws together and holds tightly,” and I think that is clear and that it expresses the feeling we have when we are braced. But you may try it and promptly come back with the question, “But how can I feel braced and yet not become stiff?” A very pertinent question, and I will try and give you the answer.

When we take lessons in deportment we are told to walk with our hips pulled in, in other words to brace our hips. Yet we know that this does not make our carriage stiff; it makes it not stiff but firm and decisive.

So also, when I tell you as you address the ball to keep your elbows close together, you will immediately feel a sensation of drawing in your elbows the one towards the other. As a consequence your arms will not feel like two separate and independent arms but like a linked united pair of arms; yet they will not feel stiff. The “holding together” of your shoulder blades holds the top of your structure together and links up with the power from your hips. You will find your biceps being pulled into your thorax, your shoulders and arms being drawn together, and, if then the stomach is drawn inward, one definite (inward) direction of brace is set up.

The second direction in which we brace our bodies at the approach is upwards, yes upwards, towards the sky! The natural tendency as we stand to our ball is to droop from our hips and curve our backs. But if we are good golfers we resist this tendency by an upward brace—slightly bent over but pulled up to our full height and neither drooped nor curved.

Set like this we will feel our left side as straight as a poker, though not as stiff as one, and our left foot pushing down into the ground. Of course as the weight is equally divided between the feet, this pushing down is a feeling in the right foot also. The result is a highly desirable one; as a reaction to our upward brace, we feel ourselves standing firm as we address the ball—a thing we are frequently told to do but rarely told how to do!

So with our hips, shoulders, and arms braced and the body stretched upwards and braced, we no longer feel a loose, flabby, drooping figure but an upright and yet compact one. But we have one more direction of brace to add—this comes from the hips and I can best describe it as a twist forward which completes the bracing up of the whole body at the address.

As we stand to the ball our feet must not be too wide apart; the right foot should be at right angles to the line of flight, the left one pointed slightly out; a line across the toes of both feet should (like the line between the shoulders) be parallel to the line of flight. From this position, we twist our hips round (horizontally) to the left, not as far as they will go but as far as they can go in comfort, i.e., without pulling our hips out of shape. How far this is depends on how supple we are. Probably the degree of movement will be only slight, but the effect of this forward leftward twist is to tauten up the whole body without stiffening it.

Because we are anchored, first by our feet to the ground and secondly by our square-set shoulders held up against the forward pull of the hips, the right knee does not resist so we find our left side straight and our right side bowed inwards. And these, left side straight and right side bowed in, are very definite feels which come from (and can be used to check) correct bracing.

These three directions of brace should now make us feel a complete unit, which we can think of as “the set.” I think they are what makes the good golfer feel compact. They give the feeling that we can carry the club head back away from the ball by the body twist inwards and behind the back of the ball. In other words, if you are properly braced there will be no sensation of wanting to lift the club head up. This is important; we should never feel that we lift the club head, but that we carry it back around with the body and along the ground.

This feeling that the club head keeps down is equally necessary in the follow through, after we have sent the ball on its way. We must feel that we have dispatched the ball out and along but not up“.

Improve golf swing performance by examining where it all begins – at the address!

Try incorporating Boomer’s advice into your golf swing practice routine.

Check back soon for more posts and tips to improve golf swing performance!

The Proper Golf Swing – 8 O’ Clock – The Best Time To Begin The Downswing!

The true definition of what constitutes a proper golf swing is open to debate.

It is universally accepted however, that to create a proper golf swing pattern, different movements of the body and club must rhythmically come together.

Fusing both the body and club together into one well coordinated and timed mechanism is critical to consistently executing a proper golf swing.

In the book, “The Master Key to Success at Golf” author Leslie King uses the hands as an example to illustrate the important role correct coordination and timing play in executing a proper golf swing.

King writes;

“The club head is released into the delivery when the hands have descended to a point almost level with the ball, at which point the club head is still lagging, POINTING TO EIGHT O’CLOCK, maybe even higher but certainly not lower.

My experience is that pupils generally find this eight o’clock position of the club head one of the most difficult features of the swing to achieve. But how worthwhile it is to strive for. The hallmark of the outstanding player is one who lets the club head go into the same hitting area and maintains the club-line through the ball consistently with each shot. It makes for constant accuracy with the various clubs.

Let me put it this way. Take a fairish golfer with a good-looking shape to their swing but with an unsure delivery. Inferior timing and hand-control cause them to vary the position of the club head as it comes in for release into the hitting area.

There they are with three balls lined up to be struck from the same spot with, say, their seven iron to the green. With their inconsistent delivery the landing area for these three balls is liable to be extensive. They are likely to pitch one on the back of the green, one on the front, and the third probably short. This takes no account of any deviation from the line which may occur.

Work and train yourself to give the hands time and room to bring the club into the eight o’clock position from which you will be poised to make that carpet-beater action at and through the ball.

Now do you see why the shaped swing must be harnessed to a shaped delivery? Let me repeat that the way to train your hands to give you this eight o’clock position is to give them time. Wait for it before you let the power pour into the back of the ball”.

A proper golf swing is the result of successfully fusing together the body and club into a well coordinated and timed mechanism.

Use King’s expert advice to help get the most from your swing pattern!

Check back soon for more articles and posts to help you achieve a proper golf swing!

Golf Swing Mechanics – Elbow Your Way To A Winning Swing!

Many golfers intensely examine any and all of the golf swing mechanics relating to the hands, hips and feet.

Some golfers however, fail to properly consider the right elbow and its important contribution to sound golf swing mechanics.

Correct placement and function of the right elbow is crucial to maintaining balance, hand position and power. All these are the goal of solid golf swing mechanics.

In his book, “Golf Can Be an Easy Game”, author Joe Novak describes in greater detail the role of the right elbow and its place in winning golf swing mechanics.

Novak writes;

“…if the right elbow is locked tight against the right side on the backswing, a whirling, twisting body turn must result. Of course, from such a back-swing there is bound to be that all too early hit with the right hand, which will throw the club to the outside of the line of flight and only an outside-in hit can be executed.

A majority opinion in golf is that the right elbow should be tucked in close to the right side as the backswing is made. In many cases pupils have been asked to place a handkerchief on their right side and told to hold it there by pressing their right elbow against it. The players are then asked to prevent the handkerchief from falling out during the swing.

Such practice tightens and tenses the player body-wise, and forces them into an excessive body turn.

In all golf swings done correctly the left knee kicks straight forward and as this is done the right elbow kicks straight back, all of which provides a very balanced position. As the right elbow kicks back it naturally bends and the elbow goes free of the body—in fact, it is this bending of the elbow and the contraction of the right arm that actually raises the club to the top of the swing so naturally.

This act of letting the right elbow go free on the back-swing is of great value in ultimately developing the proper hitting position of the hands at the time of impact with the ball.

With the right elbow going free and away from the body on the backswing, it becomes possible for the right elbow to drop straight down as the downswing starts. This permits the right hand to remain on an inside position on the downswing, and from this inside position, the right hand creates a strong base against which the left hand and left arm can pull the club into the ball. This combination of the right hand being on the inside as the hands come into the hitting area helps to naturally produce a powerful one-two action of the hands as the ball is contacted. As a result, the natural hit from the inside ability that has been so strongly and properly urged throughout the years occurs quite readily. This is, of course, the hand action that all big hitters in golf acquire; in fact, it is the only way for the hands to work“.

Correct use of the elbow is essential to performing sound golf swing mechanics

Use Novak’s expert advice to properly position the right elbow and get the most out of your swing pattern!

Check back soon for more tips and posts to help improve your golf swing mechanics!

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