What Beginners Should Know About the Golf Swing
Let’s face it – the game of golf revolves around the swing because how a golfer swings his or her club directly determines how the club face contacts the golf ball and how the face of the golf club impacts the ball determines everything.
How the club face contacts the ball determines the direction of the golf shot – whether the shot goes left (draw/hook for right-handed golfers) or right (fade/slice for right-handed golfers). The reason for this is that the club face imparts spin onto the golf ball and spin changes the flight path of the ball.
Beginners need to understand one thing and it is this:
Does that Mean the Golf Swing Doesn’t Matter?
Of course not! But beginning golfers need to realize that the golf swing is simply a means to an end. The swing is the mechanism by which the club face interacts with the golf ball in an effort to advance the ball forward in a given direction. It’s why a simple golf swing will most often outperform a complicated or uncomfortable swing and why beginners should strive to keep their swing as easy to repeat as possible!
The shape or style of the swing is really not important – especially for beginners – because any swing can get the job done when you think about it. Try to visualize for a moment the swings of two very successful PGA Tour professionals: Arnold Palmer and Jim Furyk. Let’s take Arnold’s swing first. Arnold Palmer has a very unorthodox swing. His backswing is rushed and he snaps the club forward seemingly with no rhythm or tempo. Yet he is one of the most successful golfers of all time. Why? He consistently and repeatedly brings the club face squarely in contact with the golf ball. Let’s visualize Jim Furyk’s swing for a moment. He has an unusual ‘hitch’ move at the top of his backswing almost as if he is forming a loop in the air with his club head. Guess what? Jim Furyk is also a very successful professional golfer. Why? He consistently and repeatedly brings the club face squarely in contact with the golf ball.
So Why Is It So Difficult For Beginners To Learn A Proper Golf Swing?
It’s because we operate in a three dimensional world. The biomechanics (fancy term for how our body parts move together) of the golf swing are such that they require a person’s many moving parts, including the arms, shoulders, legs, hips, and hands to interact in such a way that they are able to accomplish the one simple thing we all need a swing to do – get the club face squarely on the ball. But because we operate in 3-dimensions there is a lot of room for error as we execute our swing from beginning to end.
So there you have some of the basics of the golf swing. Some fundamentals that beginners need to focus on are developing a simple swing, not over-thinking their swing, and remembering that the objective of each swing is to bring the club face squarely in contact with the golf ball. Try to forget some of the stuff you may have already heard about what position each arm needs to be in at every step of the backswing and what you need to be doing with your hips during your downswing and focus instead on developing a comfortable golf swing that you can repeat successfully and that accomplishes the one key golf swing tip that this article has been focusing on and it is to make sure that the result of whatever swing you develop is a club face squarely contacting the golf ball. You can always improve your swing once you have mastered this one, basic, fundamental principle of the golf swing. And what if you never change your swing once you can accomplish all this? Well, you’ll be in some fine company. Say hello to Arnold and Jim while you’re there!