Last Updated on February 22, 2021 by Joas Root
Preparing for the next season was not as successful as you expected? Not to worry, golf certainly needs a lot of time and effort, much more than a beginner would know.
But even with the highest effort, it’s the little things that get you to launch the ball the wrong way.
This is why we have prepared 15 tips essential for any golf beginner and amateur to have in mind before knowing how to improve their game and lower their handicap.
Mastering or utilizing any of these tips will give you an edge while collecting them into one bundle we’ll call ‘your game’ will significantly increase your swing skills! Click here for more details.
15 best golf swing tips for 2021
- Put yourself in shape.
- Stretch your body, prepare your mind.
- Master the light club first AND two of the heavy ones (at the same time).
- Early width in the swing.
- Decrease the spin rate.
- More weight on the trail foot.
- Stop the ‘Early extension.’
- Work on the bad posture.
- Raising the left heel.
- Hip work.
- Uphill lie.
- A balanced finish.
- A widened stance.
- More loft, actually.
- Launch Monitor for the win.
- #1. Put yourself in shape
Okay, golf is not as vigorous a sport as boxing or football, we know, but any point into your body will provide you with the base for a stronger swing.
Since Tiger Woods, you might notice all the great golfers are in, if not the perfect shape, then very well near it.
Starting with some basic gym exercise will not only make you feel better and healthier but also more prone to put the distance off the tee.
When it comes to specific exercises, you don’t want those that’ll tighten your muscles too much.
You don’t need gain, and you need shape and explosiveness. Things like seated rotations, Standing Ys, Lateral Pillar Bridge, Medicine ball throws, or Dumbbell Bench Press are just some examples of exercises that will firm out your posture and give you more security when swinging.
- #2. Stretch your body, prepare your mind
Research shows that a simple act of thinking and planning an action in your head does, in fact, improve the action when you realize it. This has been proven on many occasions.
Why this is related to stretching, we’ll get to in a bit. The workout is great, but it pumps you up the most moments after you have finished it. As the time goes by, and we are talking hours, lest to say days, your strength diminishes.
With the regular workout, your overall strength improves, yes, but that’s not enough.
When stretching regularly, you maintain flexibility and stable blood flow into your muscles. This flexibility will do you a favor as much as your power, if not even more.
And as we hinted, we are not talking only before the game, but even daily. Stretching before the match is a must, but daily stretching of just 10-15 minutes can retain some of your workout effects as well as giving you time to think.
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Nordmark, David (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 60 Pages - 11/17/2012 (Publication Date)
In all honesty, stretching is not much fun, but putting this small effort daily for the sake of the game will give you more commitment, and the time you stretch can help you contemplate on your swings which, as we wrote back up, can improve your swing tactics.
- #3. Master the light club first AND two of the heavy ones (at the same time)
While it is mainly a game of mind and spirit, you will utilize a few muscles in your game of golf.
The thing is that there are two types of fibers in your muscles – the strength fibers check here, which are rather slow, and the rapid fibers, which we need to practice since they give explosiveness to your swing.
For this, you will need the lightest club you can find and swing as many swings as you can as fast in a five-minute streak.
Remember not to break your stance and keep your swings ‘real’, as you would swing in front of a tee. This will improve the speed of your arms.
But, you won’t always be swinging with a lighter club, so you need to prepare your arms for heavier irons as well.
To achieve the speed with heavier clubs, use the next five minutes in a streak of fast swings while holding two of the heavier clubs simultaneously (they don’t need to be the heaviest).
While building too much strength can slow down your swings, not enough strength will do so as well, so we need to balance it out.
Practicing alternately with heavy clubs and a light club will achieve the right balance. Check here the types of clubs.
- #4. Early width in the swing
The reason for creating enough width as early as the beginning of the swing is the same reason we don’t hit the ball with our hands, but the club.
Using the club makes the wider arch with which comes greater power on contact with the ball. Beginners usually don’t give enough body in their swings, and that weakens their hits.
Create enough space for your swing, and don’t rely too much on your hand cocks – they should be minimal. Please focus on the body while swinging and turn it along with the swing.
Your hands in this case should extend away, not close to your body. Give it a wide takeaway.
Try this: Imagine that your shirt buttons rotate backward and the hands extend from your body when starting your swing.
If that doesn’t make sense after a few tries, find another way to encourage yourself to hit the ball with your body and stop leading the hit with your hands and wrists.
- #5. Decrease the spin rate
Many beginners have a problem with the spin rate, and mastering the spin rate is actually one way of improving yourself as a golfer.
Once you improve your spin, you will notice how much more distance the ball covers flying since it doesn’t lose its spinning momentum. A good spin is 1.8 to 2.3k revolutions per minute.
Keeping your average below 2.8k at the beginning is good enough – but you can always work your way down.
Several factors bring higher spins to the ball, and these you’ll need to get to know for yourself – talking with more experienced golfers, and trainers can help you identify them and work on them.
Launch monitors will help you figure your spin rate. However, the first thing you can practice is hitting the ball more up-ward and with a less downward strike.
Remember that drivers don’t hit the same as irons – and that means your center should be slightly below the ball’s equator.
- #6. More weight on the trail foot
How to achieve more upward strike? While taking care of your shoulders and how your hips move during the swing, leaning on the right food (if you are right-handed) will encourage you more towards the driver hit than the more iron-like downward swing.
Your goal is to build some pressure inside your thigh. Put yourself in a stance and distribute your weight evenly.
Then gently lean towards your right foot until about 60% of your weight is on it. This way, you will stay back and hit the ball with less spin.
- 7#. Stop the ‘Early extension’
Early extension is when a golfer thrusts-moves his hips toward the ball and not rotates it and turns it around during the downswing. This is quite normal with beginners for two reasons.
One – it’s counterintuitive, and remember that most of the good stuff in golf and with these good hits is counterintuitive. The second reason is the flexibility – early extension indicates low flexibility range.
To counter that, stretching does wonders, especially Overhead Deep Squat. Hold your golf club above your head with both hands, shoulder length apart.
Stand in an athletic position, do a squat but keep the back straight and the club above the head. Once
a) the club doesn’t pass the head,
b) heels are on the floor,
c) Knees don’t pass the toes (front), and
d) Thighs are parallel to the ground
– you’ve done it, and gained enough flexibility to start turning your hips instead of thrusting them.
- #8. Work on the bad posture
Did you know that when you practice doing something badly, you start doing less of it? This is why actors make faces and start talking rubbish when they make a mistake in their cue –
It helps them gain control over their bad performance so they can shut it down correctly. Take your time and practice out what you know you are doing right – only avoiding it may bring you more of it.
And you can bring this to another level, especially if you are a senior. Practicing the ‘arching cat’ can make you more comfortable before the shot and give you a hint of flexibility in the hips.
Curl the back up like a cat does so that you can relax the shoulders and level in the hips. Once you’ve felt that, you can work your way to a neutral posture; you can see this with many experienced senior players.
As they lose flexibility, they curl up more, because they know that the stance is not as important as the body working as a hole to deliver a hit. Learn from their wisdom.
- #9. Raising the left heel
This is why we think golf is beautiful – this little detail overseen by many can make a lot of difference!
While in the backswing, try raising your left heel along with it. This will bring more flexibility to your hips during the backswing so they can rotate more, but it also can help your shoulders because, for some reason, this simple act will help them turn more.
If this is done right, it can improve your swings almost if not instantly. The great players like Jones, Hogan, Watson, or Palmer all raise their left heels when backswinging.
Although we are of the more individual approach thinking that every player has their own path to a good swing, we don’t believe watching the masters do it will do us too much harm.
Remember that every player has their own approach to the game, which depends on the body and the mind, and watch how the best of the best take their swings off the tee or in any instance you are having problems with.
Watch many of them and you might find a common denominator, or it might give you an idea that might improve your swing.
- 10#. Hip work
More of the hip work. We won’t say it’s all in the hips, but there’s a lot about them that constitutes a good swing. Try to minimize then eliminate swaying or producing this side shift during the backswing.
Act as if you want someone to pull something out of your pockets. With this, you will be able to rotate your hips more.
The point is to utilize this potential energy of hips turning into your impact on the ball. The more flexible the hips are, the better the chance you will hit the ball farther if you’ve done all the rest right (remember the spin rate).
If you for any reason don’t or can’t have enough hip flexibility, you can still be creative about it. Take your time to find out which stance suits you and gives you more mobility in the hips.
For example, pull the trail foot a little behind or curve your spine a bit more upfront. It’s the old-school golfing stance, and while it might look a little silly, it can actually improve your golf swing.
- #11. Uphill lie
To practice and better the driver’s setup and that upward strike we mentioned, you can do the following.
Find an upslope (not too steep) wherever you go. Practice golf (it doesn’t need to be a driving range), set the ball on the slope, and practice a few swings on it, upwards as well as downwards.
You can change the angle of the slope if you like. What is the goal? To strike the ball off the tee correctly, the right heel needs to hold most of the weight, and if you’ve already tried it, you will notice that your spine is a bit curved towards the right.
This should actually happen as the left shoulder should be slightly above the right one in order to perform the upward strike correctly.
This can be even better felt and noticed once you are at the driving range on a slight upslope.
Try to set up the shoulders so they are parallel to the slope and what you should feel is that the spine slightly tilts away from the ball while the weight is distributed more on the trail foot, and the ball is forward and clear for a quality strike. The winning combination for a good driver swing.
- #12. A balanced finish
The way you finish your swing can tell you much about the way you’ve done it. That’s where the whole golf philosophy comes out – a golf swing is a unique vignette that holds its elements in unity.
This way, the tail of the swing is as important as its head. As the ending posture is the sum result of all your elemental moves and overall posture during the swing, you can tell if you’ve done things right if you can keep your balance for a while after you have struck the ball.
For example, it can tell you how square you’ve hit the ball with your clubface and therefore how much loft and spin you’ve given the ball.
The more balanced you can stay in your final stance means the clubface impact was better, more square.
Then it can tell you how you have approached your target. If you can hold the finishing stance, then you can be surer that your swing path was more proper, more balanced, and that you hit your ball straighter.
Finally, a proper finish means you had a good rhythm during your swing, with the majority of the force exerted onto the ball than along the lines after you have struck a ball.
Your emotions don’t carry inertia that will put you off balance, and you have stopped gaining too much momentum at the time it wasn’t necessary.
- #13. A widened stance
When swinging with a driver, the arch it creates is much wider than regular irons, or any club for that matter.
Even though it’s light, the driver holds momentum during the swing, and it can’t be stopped easily.
If it can’t be stopped easily, it usually means there was difficulty initializing the swing, or the swing hasn’t been at its full potential.
To counter this, your stance should follow the width of the much to contain it well enough.
In other words, we need to make a solid base for the driver’s swing. This is rather easy – hold your feet so that the inside of your feet are at your shoulders exterior length.
This will give you more stability in the posture to initialize the swing more firmly as well as containing it during the finish.
- #14. More loft actually
We know that people usually tell beginners to use less loft for more powerful shots, but we don’t represent this idea too much.
Even though we all want the most powerful shots and the longest distance possible with our swings, in our own experience, the lower the loft on a beginner’s driver, the larger the ego on the beginner’s back.
And with the big ego, believe us, there is little improvement.
And we live in different times now. Golf club technology has gone so far there are hundreds of ways you can tweak your club or have a feature in it that you don’t need those six degrees.
We represent the idea to practice driver swings with more loft while keeping the spin rate low.
The reason for this is the launch angle you apply to the ball. And since we’ve already gone through the idea that every man swings differently, what can happen is that you are doing everything right except giving too low of an angle when launching your ball.
And the reason you might do this is that you are not using enough loft – with the right loft your shot would be more or less the same, but you would be giving the ball the angle necessary to cross a few or a dozen extra yards.
Thankfully, most of modern drivers come with loft customization features, so we’d recommend you if you have one to experiment with more loft in the next few practices and games to see what comes out of it. Is it worse? Practice other steps then try again.
- #15. Launch Monitor for the win
Using the launch monitor can be very beneficial to your game since you can follow your spin rates, for the most part, then the launch angles we’ve discussed earlier, as well as the speed of the head of the club and its smash factor.
All this can tell you much about your equipment as well as your own swings and what you should work on the most.
We know portable launch monitors are expensive, and we are not here to tell you to buy one, and there probably won’t be any need.
But what you could do, and this sometimes doesn’t cost anything, is to go to a golf shop with the set you are currently owning and compare it with some newer equipment.
Or you can ask at your golf course and check if they have one for rent, and use one of those from time to time, and it usually won’t do you much good every game, but rather every other.
A sport, a philosophy, an art – we are still not sure where golf actually fits the best. Maybe even dance, with all that hip work.
And as with every great philosophy, or art, or dance, it takes time and little tricks of the trade to master it and call yourself a real golf player.
We hope these tips will help you improve your game. May the weather be on your side.