If you are interested in golf, you may have often asked yourself what exactly makes the difference between recreational and professional tour golfers. Is it the expensive equipment, personal coaches, and a lot of practice or something else? Golf instructors and the practice are part of the big picture, but what makes the difference in the skill level is the golf swing.
The golf swing is the foundation, the essence that drives the game of golf. The more you improve your swing, the better golfer you become. This article will present you with 20 secrets to a good golf swing that can help you progress faster in your golf play.
Various golfers perform the golf swing differently and with different speeds. Nevertheless, why would they do that since the motion of a golf swing is generally always the same? The reasons behind the differences are complex and unwitting, but the fact is that even the slightest deviations in the swing movement lead to worse execution of the shot.
The Mystery Of Golf Spin
The magical motion of the golf swing has been a subject of research for decades. Scientists and experts study the techniques of the movement and apply mathematical formulas to explain its mechanics. A golf swing may look quite simple to the uninitiated. However, a golf swing is a pretty complex move because it involves almost all parts and muscles of the human body.
Generally speaking, the golf swing is a moving effort by which golfers strike the golf ball to make it fly. Because the golf swing is a complex move, scientists define its technical specifics as golf stroke mechanics. The prevailing concept of good swing states it is a compound of precise timing and mechanics, from the grip and placement of the fingers to the posture and maneuver of the feet. (1)
The golf swing aims to accumulate the maximum kinetic energy possible and transmit it via the golf club head at the moment of impact with the ball. Transmitted energy initiates the output speed that launches the golf ball to fly. The better and the faster the golf swing is, the more considerable distance it achieves.
Elements Of The Golf Swing
The complexity of the golf swing comes from the synchronized work of muscles and body parts to design the perfect movement upon the ball hit. The better physical shape a player has, the better his muscles will work for his swing. Below is displayed a shortlist with muscles involved in the entire movement of the golf swing.
- Erector spinae muscles
- Latissimus dorsi muscle
List 2 Note: Source (1)
The golf swing itself is composed of several essential elements, which work interdependently for the sake of a perfect and fluent swing motion. Each element supports the others, and a weaker element affects the rest, just like the weak link in the chain. List 2 introduces the essential elements of the golf swing and some of its sub-elements.
List 2 Note: Source (1)
The Swing Process
The golf swing starts with getting a stable stance to ensure a proper balance for the entire swing movement. Then arms holding the club move back in a straight line until reaching hip level. The so-called backswing position creates a torque move with fulcrums the knee (left or right) and the wrist.
This torque move initiates the movement down with the hips and the lower body transferring to the so-called downswing. At the lower point before the impact, the right elbow drops down, and the wrist locks. The whole combination of hips, elbows, wrists, and shoulders’ movement occurs in strict coordination, under precise timing and concentration.
Golf instructors teach two basic golf swing techniques. The first one bases itself on the club’s response to gravity like a pendulum, and the swing motion, following the same principle. The second technique promotes the application of muscular strength to the club as if it is a lever.
Explaining this way sounds complicated, but the perfect movement of the golf swing is a lot of practice and some golf secrets. Swing techniques vary, but confidence is also necessary. The swing motion should run fluently with no deviations at any moment because any wince can lead to a mis-hit.
The Secrets Of A Good Golf Swing
The following secrets of a good golf swing are pieces of advice on improving the elements of your swing. Some of them may have been “secret” for you since some pro-golfers provide them. Below we present you with 20 secrets to a good golf swing provided by professional and recreational golfers.
- Low Center Of Gravity
- Over The Top Swing
- Thin And Fat Shots
- Casting The Club
- Hip Sway At The Top
- Shoulder Tilt At The Top
- Hip Turn At Impact
- Hip Sway At Impact
- Shoulder Tilt At The Impact
- Shoulder Bend In The Follow-Through
- Swing The Club Like a Mallet
- Elbow And Arms Moving Close To Your Body
- Hit The Little Ball Before The Big Ball
- Reverse K Setup
- Swinging With Feet Together
- Do Not Keep Your Head Down
We start with a bang, offering three universal secrets that help PGA professionals to improve their golf swing techniques. The first one is abbreviated GAP and represents a virtual bridge between Grip, Aim, and Posture, making them work as a whole. A widespread mistake made by average golfers is to hold the club with their palms regarding the grip. (2)
It would help if you held the club with your fingers because your grip would be looser between the palms and allow the club to move up and down. Good aiming requires keeping your shoulders, hips, and feet parallel to the target. Finally, yet importantly, you should stay in a position with a slight leaning at the waist with arms dangling free.
Most low-skilled golfers use their arms for the backswing, lifting the club to a possible top spot back. Such backswing technique induces volatile movements of the golf club to the ball, which consequently means uncontrolled shots. The secret here is in shoulders – your front shoulder should lead the swing back to the top position and then forth.
Keeping in mind that a golf swing is a complex process, we have to make sure that we follow the Takeaway technique to the very end for a good finish. When conducted properly, your backswing creates a coiling moment, which on its uncoiling path back rotates your torso towards the target. The perfect finish also requires that you distribute your weight to your left heel at the moment of the hit.
Low Center Of Gravity
A critical premise for a good golf swing is the stance. Seasoned golfers adopt their stance very carefully before conducting swing because they know how important it is for their range of movement. The secret of a good stance is to keep a low center of gravity to maintain a proper balance during the swing motion.
Many golfers stop their swing at the moment of the hit, thus losing speed. They perhaps do not know that gravity creates additional acceleration to the golf club during the downswing. Therefore, if you swing through the ball during the hit without stopping the movement, you will accelerate your shot more and achieve better distance.
The Over The Top Swing
‘Over the top swing’ occurs when the golfer bends his or her elbow and raises their arms at the beginning of the backswing. In this case, the player’s arms remain lower than their shoulders, and has to elevate them straight up to reach the peak of the backswing. The way to avoid that is to turn your shoulders first and not flex your elbow unless you reach waist height. (3)
Thin And Fat Shots
Some golfers intuitively straighten their knees at the end of the downswing during the hit. As a result, they cannot strike the golf ball in a stable fashion or hit behind it. The secret here is to allow your lower body to rest and support your upper body by keeping your knees bent slightly during the swing.
Casting The Club
Another mistake that negatively affects the golf swing is casting the club. It means that you lose your wrist cock during the backswing. To avoid casting the club, you need to maintain your wrists and forearms in a loose fashion and lock them at the top of your backswing.
Hip Sway At The Top
Less skilled players tend to sway their whole body off the ball while transferring the pressure to the back foot during the golf swing. The secret to the correct pressure shift is to perform it like you want to move your tailbone towards the target. A study on the golf swing found that pros’ hips move about 3.9 inches towards the target on the backswing versus just 2.55 inches of hips’ movement by high-handicappers. (4)
Shoulder Tilt At The Top
One of the most significant differences between tour golfers and amateurs is how they turn their shoulders during the golf swing. Average golfers typically turn their shoulders the same way they turn to look behind them. Professionals add a certain amount of tilt to their shoulders when they turn them at the top of their backswing.
Hip Turn At Impact
The secret of avoiding slice hits or cutting across the ball is in turning the hips toward the target at the moment of impact of the club’s head with the golf ball. Amateurs usually stop their hip turning during the downswing in an attempt to have control with only hands and arms. Pros, on the contrary, turn their hips toward the target during the impact almost two times more.
Hip Sway At Impact
Another essential secret for a better golf swing is the Hip Sway at Impact. Beginners move their hips far away behind the ball at the moment of impact. On the other hand, Tour players sway their hips further than their initial position, which optimizes the effect of the swing.
Shoulder Tilt At The Impact
While the shoulders should tilt down at the top swing, the tilt should be up at the moment of impact with the ball. The specific element here is that the back shoulder remains considerably lower than the front one at the impact. Golf Swing studies point out a significant difference of 11.5 degrees tilt in favor of the pros against the high-handicappers (4)
Shoulder Bend In The Follow-Through
The shoulder bend in the follow-trough refers to the backbend of the shoulders at the finish of the golf swing. Beginners tend to finish the follow-through more nestled, with sunken chests and upright or bent forward shoulders. Pros finish the swing follow-through with shoulders bent back and bulging breasts like superheroes for more speed in their shots.
Swing The Club Like a Mallet
Many beginners swing the golf club like a baseball bat or try to control it via the strength of their arms. Seasoned golfers recommend swinging the club like a mallet or like a lever. Leveraging the gravity, but at the same time, also applying some muscular force.
Elbow And Arms Moving Close To Your Body
One of the fundamental secrets of a good golf swing is to move your elbows and arms close to your body. For practice, you can rest your elbows on your hips while holding the club with arms closer to your hams and swing your torso. Keeping elbows and arms closer to your body will improve your golf swing significantly.
Hit The Little Ball Before The Big Ball
This expression in golf circles is also known as hitting the ground before the ball. This effect is related to the angle approach of the golf club towards the ball. Amateurs usually attack the ball from too shallow an angle, while seasoned golfers have a more profound angle approach.
The Reverse K Setup
The purpose of the Reverse K Setup is to guarantee a fluent golf swing path and reduce slices. It can happen by adjusting your hips to counteract your shoulders during the swing. When you sway your hips towards the target, ensure to position your hips and shoulders on the same plane. (5)
Swinging With Feet Together
This golf secret is a great drill to learn how to achieve more distance. Besides distance, swinging with feet together helps to synchronize the swinging of your arms with the turning of your body. This drill is also the key to a balanced golf swing.
Do Not Keep Your Head Down
Among beginners, keeping your head down during the golf swing is considered one of the secrets of golf. However, the secret is just the opposite – do not keep your head down! Looking up at your target upon the impact would improve your body turn, arm extension, and weight transfer, producing a solid hit and greater distance.
Golf Secrets Summary
Every golfer looks for a secret that will boost his or her golf swing and give them some advantages on the golf course. The 20 secrets to a good golf swing that we present above can have such effects that they match your golf level. Some of the tips, especially these, given by professionals, would work if you are a bit higher skilled and grasp swing mechanics very well.
Additionally, there are some disputes within the golf circles about the efficiency of some swing techniques. It turns out that some swing-improving secrets may improve some elements of the swing but decrease other elements of the game, such as golf ball behavior. Correct Takeaway is one of the controversial golf swing techniques.
The Three “Secret” FAQ
What Is The Most Important Thing In a Golf Swing?
An essential thing in the golf swing is synchronizing your musculature to produce a fluent, natural motion from the beginning of the swing to its finish. The big muscles of your legs and torso should move the small ones just like in clock big wheels rotate smaller ones. The impact with the ball should not interrupt the fluent swing motion but rather become a follow-through element towards the finish.
How Do I Learn The Golf Swing?
Beginners start learning the golf swing with learning the proper swing stance. First, you need to set both of your feet with the weight distributed evenly on their middle. Then you have to set your hips back and bend your upper body a bit forward. Flex your knees slightly for good range and higher stability.
Is The Golf Swing So Difficult?
Maybe complex is a better description of a golf swing rather than difficult. However, some golf stroke mechanics are pretty challenging. The balance, for example, is pivotal for the golf swing, and it is challenging to maintain during the entire swing motion.
- 1. Wikipedia, “Golf Swing.” Wikimedia Foundation, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golf_swing Assessed May 1, 2021
- 2. Bible, Adam. “Pro Tips to Perfect Your Golf Swing.” Men’s Journal, www.mensjournal.com/sports/3-pga-pro-tips-perfect-your-golf-swing/ Assessed May 2, 2021
- 3. Southern, Mike. “Golf Swing Secrets.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, https://golftips.golfweek.usatoday.com/golf-swing-secrets-20283.html Assessed June 1, 2021
- 4. Clearwater, Nick. “Swing By Numbers: New Study Unlocks 6 Swing Secrets.” Golf Digest, www.golfdigest.com/story/swing-by-numbers-new-study-unlocks-6-swing-secrets Assessed June 1, 2021
- 5. Luke Kerr-Dineen et al. “Regular Golfers Reveal the Best Piece of Golf Advice They’ve Ever Received.” Golf, https://golf.com/instruction/best-golf-swing-advice-regular-golfers/ Assessed June 1, 2021