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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Golf Returns to the West Coast

It’s been more than 4 decades since the PGA Championship was played on a public course, and now it’s set to be done back to back.

Breaking in late June, it was reported that ‘the city by the bay,’ San Francisco, California, will host the PGA Championship in the year 2020. The course host is Harding Park, a public course, which gives the state of California majors for three straight years with its US Open hosted in Pebble Beach in 2019 and Torrey Pines in 2021.

Not since 1998 has the PGA Championship been played on the west coast, the last host being just outside the Emerald City, Seattle, Washington at Sahalee, and not since 1974 at Tanglewood Golf Course has the championship been held on a public golf course.

Those aren’t the only things that are changing.

The tournament play will mimic the 2014 FIFA World Cup, with group play promising golfers a longer minimum stay in the tourney, rather than quick elimination of often favorites top ranked golfers. 64 golfers will be competing in the tournament, without the single-elimination style.

There was other good news for Harding Park. Five years after the 2020 Championship, the course will host the President’s Cup for 2025. This will be the first time since the year 2009, and for a course that has never hosted majors, exciting news. Twenty four of the world’s best golfer’s will meet for the President’s Cup in 2025, with twelve of the competitors from the United States, and the other twelve coming from around the world with the exception of Europe.

It’s an exciting announcement for the city of San Francisco, whose mayor made the announcement alongside the PGA Tour Commissioner at the San Francisco city hall.

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Golf Legend Passes

On Wednesday, June 2nd, Samuel Henry Ball, golf legend, passed away at Martin Hospital South in Stuart, Florida.

Ball was a PGA of America for 83 years and was inducted into it’s Golf Professional Hall of Fame in 2011. Before passing, he spent his time as a director of golf at Willoughby Golf Club in Stuart, Florida.

Samuel was born in Wales and came from a bloodline filled with golf professionals. His father taught him the game and it became a huge part of his life. Golf legend Bobby Jones is rumored to have encouraged him to come over to America and pursue a professional golf career. When he arrived, he began working at East Lake Country Club in Atlanta, Georgia, which happened to be Jones’ home club. This lead to a career enriched with teaching others all the way up to the end of his days.

In 1934, Ball had entered the Augusta National Invitation Tournament, which later on was renamed as the Masters. He finished in a tie for 38th, about 25 shots behind Horton Smith, the winner. For the rest of his career, he finished 19 Senior PGA Championships, once again meeting a tie in the 1962 tournament.

Aside from his prolific tournament career, he won the PGA Illinois championship three times, the Illinois Open, and the Illinois PGA Senior as well. He was a part of multiple pro clubs, located in Illinois, Florida, and Arizona. At some point, he retired to Florida with his family.

His daughter has shared kind words with the public about her father after his death. She speaks of his friendliness and quiet nature – how he loved “singing and dancing” but most of all “He was a very outstanding person with a good heart.”

The golf world will definitely miss Samuel Ball and will never be able to replace his love of playing and teaching the wonderful sport.

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Woods Misses Cut, But Feels Great

Great news for golf fans, Tiger Woods is saying that he is pain free, something he hasn’t been in two years, and is going to play in the Open Championship. Whether you like Tiger or not, having him in the Open adds a level of excitement that no other golfer brings. Even if he finishes dead last there’s always a lot of buzz when he is playing. In March, Woods had surgery on a pinched nerve in his back. Many people thought that this surgery would put Woods out for the rest of the season, but after feeling so good, Woods, does not feel like he is rushing back. Doctors have told him that the risk of re-injury is very low, but he has taken some precautions by making minor adjustments to his swing that might relieve some pressure on his back.

Woods made his first appearance since the surgery in last weekends Quicken Loans National, but missed the cut after the first 36. Although that doesn’t sound like good news, Woods was optimistic by what his body was capable of. Obviously missing the cut, which he did by 4 strokes, was not his plan, he was very happy with the speed he had and the distance he was getting on his shots, which he had not been able to do in quite a while. It was the small mistakes that led him to miss the cut, and these are all things that he can fix by getting back on the course. He wouldn’t be one of the best ever if he couldn’t fix the small things quickly, so look for him to come back strong at the Open.

Other golfers who saw what Woods was capable of said that they do not think he is far off from getting back to his game. It would be very exciting to have the old TIger Woods back to continue his run at history and scaring the rest of the field.

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