A Few Simple Golf Swing Drills

Every portion of your golf swing should be smooth. On the backswing and the downswing you should feel like a well-oiled machine.

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All sports aficianados have their favorite ways of doing things, and the game of golf is no exception. There are dozens of sometimes clever, sometimes ridiculous tricks for improving your golf swing. We will look at a few and hope you feel they are to be considered clever...not ridiculous!

First of all, some basics.


Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart (unless you are Mr. Universe, of course); slightly less for short irons, a bit wider for long irons and wedges. Aim the club directly at the target and imagine a line between your position and it. That's what we think of, as the "target line". Your body should be parallel to this target line, with the line of the shoulders perpendicular to the club face. Try to imagine you are standing on an ladder lying on the ground, with your feet on one side, the target line on the other. One rung connects you to the ball.

If you are driving the ball, you know you have the ball teed at the correct height if the top of the golf ball is just slightly above the club's head.

For a putt, since the common putter has a short, flat face, it should be in line with the rungs of the imaginary ladder.


The grip should be firm, but not tense. However, you want control here, not muscle. Your wrist position is essential to creating maximum impact at the proper angle. That usually does a lot more for distance than brute force. Probably the most common mistake is to allow the lead wrist to collapse at impact. To firm up the wrists, take a club and raise it just using the wrist, keeping your arm at your side. Point the toe parallel to the ground and hold for five seconds. (Tough, isn't it!?) Repeat until your forearm feels used, but not sore. Switch arms and repeat. Take some swings with one hand/arm only. It's not a natural thing and doesn't improve your swing by itself; it's too different from a two-handed swing. But it helps develop control.

Read more here about how to get a good grip.


Take your normal address. (Address: the stance and position with respect to the ball before the swing.) Hold a club across your shoulders, then turn as if you were making a backswing. Get someone to watch you and verify that the club points four feet or more beyond the ball.


Remember that a swing is at bottom a kind of rotational movement. Key to that movement is to stay in the same plane on the downswing as you were in the backswing. Think of that plane as a  round table top, tipped on edge and placed on the ball. The bottom half of the rim of that table is the arc your club should go through on the entire swing.

Practice a backswing to downswing movement, but stop at the point of impact to verify that the clubface is along the rung of that ladder. If the clubface is open, you've rotated your right forearm too much. (For right-handed golfers.)

Place a half dozen tees in the ground a few inches apart along the rung of the ladder. Swing at one, then move forward to the next. With practice, you should be able to consistently clip the middle of a tee while staying in the swing plane.


That leads us to the last important elements: rhythm and balance. You can see it in person or on television - the great golfers all have beautiful rhythm. Tha is one key to a consistently good swing. But you cannot have good rhythm without good balance and vice-versa.

The proper position and stance are static, balance is dynamic.

Start with the static — you can't do otherwise. But you will need to retain good balance and rhythm through the entire swing.

Never rush your swing. With the spine tilted away from the target at address, your weight should be evenly distributed between your right and left feet. Then take a smooth pull back and an easy swing down.

As you practice a few swings have a friend gently push your shoulder blades, lower back, one shoulder in one direction then alternate. In every case, you should be solid and not about to fall over at any time. (We assume you've saved the drinking for AFTER the game!)

Every portion of the swing should be smooth and on the backswing and the downswing you should feel like a well-oiled machine.

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The Complete Golfer by Harry Vardon - Golf a hundred years ago.

Golf Training Aids | Getting Started in Golf

Golf Swing Drills - Copyright 2015 by Donovan Baldwin
Page Updated 11:41 AM Saturday 9/12/2015