Correctly hitting a golf ball takes coaching and practice. Seeing a local PGA professional will help ensure that you're performing the proper sequence of motions. Once you have them down, it's all about practice. Practice will develop muscle memory so your swing can be repeated. This article is written for right-handed golfers. If you're left-handed, switch "right" and "left" in these instructions.
Professional golfers have a way of making the game of golf look effortless. From the stance to the swing to the flight of the ball, everything just seems to work in rhythm. But for anyone who's grabbed a club for the first time and hit the course, reality is much different. Golf is a difficult game to pick up, much less master. There are certain basics that need to be practiced before you can be proficient on the course.
A golfer strides confidently down the fairway to his ball, and he strikes it again authoritatively, but this time it lands just short of the green. He gets to his ball but all that confidence is replaced by abject fear. It's as if he had never played the game before. He has no idea how hard to hit the ball, and there is little hope that he'll hit it close to the flag. In golfers' terms, he has a bad case of the “yips.” If this describes you and your game, there's hope for you if you follow some simple pointers.
Casting, or straightening the wrists at the top of your golf swing, is a bad habit many golfers struggle with, causing them to mis-hit shots and lose power. They want to stop but do not even understand the movements that cause them to cast. If you are one of them, there are several drills that can teach you what a “cast” feels like, as well as how to stop it.
One of the keys to hitting the ball long and straight is having the proper release of your club at the point of impact. Amateurs commonly release the club too early, allowing the wrist to break and the impact of the ball to happen on the upswing, with very little of the body rotation force behind the club. Releasing at the proper time allows the wrists to stay cocked and loaded and body weight to play a major role in creating ball impact. There are drills you can do that help develop the feel of proper release.
The putter is the most used golf club—and often the source of the most frustration, with long putts finishing far from the hole, and short putts not falling. From reading a putt's break to determining the speed of the green to factoring in the wind, putting can be a difficult task. By finding the right putter, then working on distance control and composure over short putts, you can turn the putter from a worry into a weapon.
One of the best ways to ensure low scores during a round is leaving short putts for birdies. A key for ensuring close approach shots is the ability to land and spin the ball. Hitting a ball with backspin can help control shots and allows golfers to challenge hard-to-reach pin placements. With a few adjustments and practice, it’s possible to begin hitting shots with backspin.
During a round of golf, there are times when you'll want to hit the ball high and to the left or right, rather than straight. You may need to get over an obstacle or want more forward roll after the ball lands. Hitting the ball to the left, if you are a right-handed golfer, requires a hook, pull or draw, depending on how much curve you want on your ball. A draw curves your ball slightly from right to left, giving you a compromise between a more straight pull and a pronounced-curve hook. Elevating this shot will help you get safely over water, sand, hills or other hazards.
Putting backspin on a golf ball is a useful tool for lower handicap golfers. The technique allows you to better gauge the projected distance of approach shots. Putting backspin on a golf ball requires proper equipment and significant practice to achieve consistency.
Using backspin on a golf shot will make the ball stop almost immediately upon landing or even draw it backward instead of it rolling past the hole and possibly off the green. In order for your backspin shot to work, you must hit the ball from a dry spot in the fairway. The green also must be dry and in good condition, or the ball may not spin correctly when it lands.
The game of golf can provide many years of pleasure as you spend a beautiful day on the links. To improve your technique, take the time to practice on the driving range. Sometimes just a small adjustment can have a strong effect. Practicing the swing from address to release will create the “muscle memory” you need for consistency. Then get out there on the course and have a good time.
Although his swing was often ridiculed, no one could attack pins like Lee Trevino. The unusual techniques he used when hitting shots were developed on the hard fairways and windy conditions in Texas, where he learned to play. Trevino turned pro in 1960 and won 29 tournaments during his PGA Tour career, including six majors – two U.S. Opens, two British Opens and two PGA Championships. Many pros looking for an edge study the approach of the "Merry Mex," and his tips are usually simple enough that a weekend player can learn them quickly.
Imagine your golf ball landing about twenty feet behind the pin--and then as if by magic, it draws back near the cup. The ability to make a golf ball back up is especially helpful when the pin is close to the front of the green or right behind a sand trap. You probably don't make the golf ball back up as often as the professionals do on television, but practicing these easy steps will add backspin to your golfing arsenal.
Recreational golfers may try to lift the ball, rather than let the club elevate the ball. As a result, the golfer's dominate hand (right hand for righthanded players), scoops at the ball and the wrists flip at impact. When his hands flip through the golf swing, the player loses power and distance as well as consistency; the resulting shot can be fat or thin (hit behind or on top of the ball).