Golf Swing Basics

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Golf can be a very frustrating sport if you don’t have a consistent swing to hit the ball straight.  Nobody wants to spend five hours on the golf course, because you are looking for your ball half the time.  So getting your golf swing basics down to where you can be in control of your ball is extremely important, not only to your score, but to your sanity.  Once you have a consistent swing to stay on the fairways your score will drop drastically, no matter how far you can hit it.  My hope is that you will pick up at least one tip while going through my website, whether you are just starting out, or if you have been playing golf for a while but are looking to drop a few strokes off your score.  So lets get down to the golf swing basics.

Golf Swing Basics: Grip

Your grip is important, but it will not make or break your golf swing.  There are 3 basic types of grips that golfers use; the overlapping grip, the ten finger grip, and the interlocking grip.  The most important factor in which grip you choose to use is how comfortable the grip is for you.  The more comfortable you are when swinging the golf club, the better your swing is going to be.  Head over to our page on Golf Grip Tips to find out about the 3 types of grips.

Golf Swing Basics: Stance

Your stance is a very important step in creating a perfect swing and is definitely a golf swing basic that must be mastered.  Depending on what club you are using, you will want to line the ball up differently.  With short irons you want to be squared up with the ball between your feet.  If you are using a long iron you want to have the ball slightly off center towards your front foot.  And with drivers you want the ball just inside your front foot.  Bend forward slightly, remember that your arms should hang down, you shouldn’t be holding them out.  Your weight should be balanced between both feet from side to side and from front to back.  Your feet should be shoulder width apart.  Now bend at your knees slightly, and move toward the ball until your club is placed behind the ball.

Golf Swing Basics: Backswing

Next we will discuss the golf swing basics in your backswing.  This is a very important step in the swing, this is where you will build up your power and also put your club in the best position to control it during your swing.  One of the biggest problems people have with their backswing, is that it makes them unbalanced.  When you are going through your backswing you need to do so in a smooth motion, while always keeping your body balanced.  Your weight will shift to your back foot during the swing, but keep the pressure on the inside part of your back foot so you do not feel like you are going to fall over.  As you progress through your backswing you will feel the pressure build up on the back leg.  Your weight should still be distributed evenly between the backs and fronts of your feet.  When you club reaches the height of your hips, it should be in a straight line with your feet.  After passing this point at your hip, you are now going to start rotating your body while still raising the club, at the peak of your backswing your front shoulder should now be behind the ball.  Your head should be down and your eyes should never leave the ball.

Golf Swing Basics: Downswing

Your downswing is where all the effort of your grip, stance and backswing come together to hopefully hit the ball accurately with the power you are capable of.  A very important note to keep in mind is that a ball hit correctly will travel more accurately and farther than a ball hit with pure power and force.  So don’t worry about trying to swing as hard as you can, because your power will come from hitting the ball in the right spot.  If you have been following along with our golf swing basics here, then during your backswing your heel of your front foot has probably come off the ground slightly has you have transferred your weight to your back foot.  The first step in the downswing is to place this heel back on the ground and shift your knees and hips forward, leaving your upper body where it was.  As this lower body shift finishes you are now going to start the club swing.  Your right shoulder should have dipped slightly during the lower body shift.  You are now ready to rotate your body towards the ball, the faster you rotate, the more power you will create.  Remember that your power comes from this rotation, not by trying to swing with your arms as fast as you can.  Continue to practice a smooth swing trying to hit the ball squarely with consistency.  As you get more comfortable start rotating your body faster until you reach the point where you are not longer comfortable.  Finding your max speed without losing your smooth downswing will create your most powerful and accurate hits.

Golf Swing Basics: Follow-through

The follow-through of your swing isn’t of huge importance, because the ball has already been hit.  But generally if your follow-through is not balanced or smooth it usually indicates that your swing was not balanced or smooth.  You want your weight to end up on your front foot with your back foot lifted with just your toes on the ground.  When your swing is complete, you should be standing with complete balance.  Your right shoulder continues through, tight to your chin, and your shoulders rotate until your right shoulder is out in front.  The club should be wrapped around your body.

 

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Bart Bryant First Champions Tour Victory

It was not easy, but on Sunday the 18th Bart Bryant came away with a 1 stroke win for his first ever win on the Champions Tour. In his second round he shot a tournament record tying 62, a 10 under par. He finished his tournament with a 72 in the last round. Bryant closed out the tournament at 16 under par and beat out both Russ Cochran and Corey Pavin by one stroke. Duffy Waldor and Gene Sauers finished just 2 strokes back from Bryant. Bryant became the 1000th champion since the Champions Tour starter in 1980. The first tournament of the Tour was at Atlantic City Country Club and was won by Don January, he was at this tournament to congratulate Bryant on his victory.

This was Bryants first win in 7 years and 9 months, since his win at the Tour Championship back in 2005. Barts older brother Brad has also won a Champions Tour event and they became the third pair of brothers to each win on the Tour. Bryant went into the last round with a 4 stroke lead, but because of the near perfect weather and course conditions the number of birdies being shot forced him not to play the last round conservatively. Bryant’s first two rounds were close to flawless, hitting 20 of 28 fairways and being the only player not to have a bogey. Sunday was a different story for Bryant, starting the front nine with only 4 of 7 fairways hit and bogeying on the fourth hole. Bryant managed to hold off the competition getting birdies on 8 and 9 and then going on to par the next 8 holes.

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Tiger Continues to Struggle

After last weekends eight over, marking Woods’s second worst performance of his career, he continued to hit the golf ball poorly at the U.S. Open. He finished the tournament today at an abysmal thirteen over par. This is Tiger’s worst performance in a championship tournament in his career, and another lost opportunity to add to his impressive number of championship titles. Woods says that even though he finished poorly, there is always something to learn from a tournament and he will take away the good things and the bad things and learn from them. Woods has now gone five long years without winning a major golf championship, something that is definitely eating away at him even if he doesn’t seem to show it. His whole game was off this weekend at the U.S. Open, he needed 127 putts, just one better than his career worst, and played 21 holes over par, his second worst on the PGA. Woods will get another shot at a major championship next month at the open championship. Even though it is always fun to have new talent step up their games and win golf tournaments, it is always exciting to have Woods in the hunt, I am hoping to see him turn it around at his next tournament.

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Matt Kuchar Wins Memorial Tournament – Now Ranked Number 4

Matt Kuchar got his first multi-win season of his career by winning the Memorial Tournament last weekend. He finished off the tournament with a twenty foot birdie and got to see his three year old son Carson give a high 5 to Jack Nicklaus who was hosting. This win brought Kuchar up to number 4 in the world, the best he has ever been ranked.

Kuchar expressed that being able to walk off and have Jack Nicklaus congratulate him is something he will never forget.

With the U.S. Open coming up, this win definitely boosted Kuchar’s confidence, so look for him to put up some great scores. Kevin Chappell was coming up quick on Kuchar’s tail, but was unable to pass him and came up two strokes short.

Kuchar said that by playing great golf, he will continue to play more great golf. He is definitely getting more comfortable finishing off tournaments and playing in the final groups, which many golfers can’t handle.

Speaking of final groups, there was one name we have become accustomed to seeing there that was absent last Sunday, Woods. Tiger had a historically bad tournament, finishing twenty strokes back from Kuchar. He had 2 triple bogeys, which has not happened in the same tournament for him since 1997, and he ended the tournament at 8 over, his second highest tournament score ever.

Tiger did not seem too worried about it, saying that is happens to everyone. He is going home to practice and I am sure he will be ready for the U.S. Open.

Even though Woods was not in the final group, Chappell did not make it easy for him to win, as he birded 3 holes out the last 4. That is the great thing about golf, there are always players who step up and have great tournaments. Even when the best don’t play well, you are always going to get to see some great golf.

Another player who stepped up and had a shot at the title in the last round was Kyle Stanley. He came within 1 stroke of Kuchar after knocking down 4 birdies in 5 holes in the front nine, but that was as close as he would come to taking the lead. Unfortunately Stanley dropped out of a tie for second on the 17th, a second place finish that would have put him in the top 50 in the world. This placement would have allowed him to skip 36 holes of qualifying golf at the U.S. Open.

Kuchar brought home over 1.1 million dollars for this victory, not a bad way to spend a weekend. Woods, who won this tournament in 2012, took home the minimum, just over 12 thousand dollars, literally pennies for Woods. Some other notable finishes in the tournament are, Adam Scott at 3 under finishing tied in 13th, Rory McIlroy at 6 over finishing tied in 57th, Justin Rose at 4 under tied in 8th, Brandt Snedeker got cut after the first 2 rounds, and Luke Donald finished tied in 21st at 1 under par.

McIlroy, Snedeker and Woods will all be determined to put up better numbers during the U.S. Open

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Webb Brings Home Eighth Australian Masters

On February 3rd, Karrie Webb somehow managed to win her 8th Australian Masters.  Webb was 2 strokes back going into the final 5 holes and dropped 3 birdies to win by 2.  Webb, now 38 years old, is no stranger to pressure in this tournament.  On the 14th she took her first lead with a birdie and then tapped in another birdie on 15 after barely missing an eagle.  She finished at 13 under for a total of 203 in the 3 round tournament.  Webb tied Sam Snead with a PGA record of winning the same tournament 8 times, Snead’s tournament of dominance was the Greater Greensboro Open.

Chella Choi from South Korea tied for second place with Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn and Australian Oh Su-hyun.  Jessica Korda from America won the Open last year and placed fifth this year, just three shots behind Webb.

Webb went all of 2012 without a win and had this to say after her victory,  “I’m very happy, it never gets old to get a win here.  What a way to start the year.”  Webb also had 4 second place finishes in this same tournament, giving her an incredible 12 top 2 finishes.

Unfortunately for Webb, her last 3 Australian Masters wins were followed by winless years.  Hopefully for her this will not be the same situation.  “I don’t want to raise my expectations too high,” Webb said. “I think it tends to backfire on me a little bit and I put a bit too much pressure on myself, but the one thing that feels really good to me is how comfortable I feel on the golf course.”

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Montgomerie Picked for Hall

Earlier this month Colin Montgomerie was selected as another golfer to join the World Golf Hall of fame, and he didn’t make it by much.  Montgomerie, along with Ken Schofield, were both announced to finish out the group that would join in 2013.  The rest of this class includes Fred Couples, Ken Venturi, and Willie Park Jr.

Montgomerie managed to top the European Tour money list a staggering 8 times in his career.  He only got 51% on the international ballot, which means he needed nobody on that ballot to receive the minimum of 65% to get voted in.  Montgomerie had the most votes out of the other golfers on the ballot and because he had over 50% he was allowed into the Hall.

The ceremony will be held on May 6th in Florida.

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