Maybe you just got into golf. Perhaps you’ve been golfing for a while but are yet to master the complex swing that the game requires. In either case, you’re reading the right article.
Below, we’re going to help you fix your golf swing, providing you with 10 golf swing tips for high handicappers. Ready? Let’s get into it!
1. Focus Intensely on the Ball
You likely know that you’re supposed to keep your eye on the ball. However, this shouldn’t just be done in a general sense. It’s vital that you maintain a consistent vision of your ball throughout the entirety of your swing.
Keep your eyes wide and focused on the back of the ball, in particular. This is where your club is going to meet the ball, and you want to have a clear vision of it when it does.
Maintaining an intense line of sight is not just good for the purpose of striking the ball but for balancing your swing as well. If your head is down and focused intently, it should prevent any major disturbances from occurring during your swing. You won’t pull your weight too far back, you won’t let your hands leave the proper plane, and you won’t over-extend your backswing.
This one tip alone can make a world of difference and is perhaps the most vital golf swing advice we have to offer you. Striking a golf ball solidly on a consistent basis is extremely difficult. This will help improve consistency in that area and should lower your scores as a result.
2. Experiment With Your Grip
You’ve likely been taught to grip your golf clubs in a particular way. Odds are, you’re using the standard grip, also called the overlapping grip. But just because you were originally taught this grip doesn’t mean it’s the best for you.
There are all sorts of other golf grips that you can use instead, and they might be better suited to your swing and play style.
One of these is the interlocking grip. This is where you interlock the pinky finger on your bottom hand with the index finger on your top hand. You might find that it gives you more control throughout the swing.
There’s also the 10-finger grip. This is essentially a baseball-style grip wherein your wrap all of your fingers around the club with the two fists completely separate from one another. This grip can provide more power and is often a good choice for those with small hands.
You could even consider using a cross-handed grip. This is where you reverse the location of your hands so that they’re in different positions vertically.
Try everything and see what you’re comfortable with. Each golfer has a unique swing. The key is to play around with yours until it’s something that allows for optimal ball striking.
3. Watch the Length of Your Backswing
One of the most important golf swing tips for high handicappers is to watch the length of the backswing. It’s extremely common for new golfers to pull their club back past the point that it’s parallel to the ground. Unless you’ve been golfing for years, this is a bad practice that will almost certainly harm both power and accuracy.
You should be mindful of the length of your backswing and make sure that it goes no further than parallel. In fact, in these early stages, it’s generally the best practice to stop the club short from going parallel. This will allow for more control, even if some power is sacrificed.
Then, once your ball striking improves, and your scores become lower, you can experiment with a longer backswing. Power certainly matters. However, accuracy will keep you in the match in and of itself and should be prioritized by all high-handicap golfers.
4. Keep Your Front Arm Straight
Another essential part of golf swing strategy is keeping your front arm straight. It’s often a tendency among new golfers to bend this arm at the elbow during the backswing. The problem with this is that it throws the club off of the proper swing plane.
Keeping the front arm straight helps maintain the trajectory of the club and thus allows for greater accuracy and precision during both the backswing and downswing. The more you loosen up at the elbow, the more likely it is that you’re going to bring your club back on an uneven plane. This disrupts accuracy.
At first, you should aim to keep your arm as straight as possible. This might sacrifice something in the way of power, but it will allow for optimal accuracy. Once you’ve gotten fairly consistent with the accuracy of your shots, you can loosen that front arm up a bit, allowing for a bit more pull through your downswing.
5. Aim With the Tips of Your Toes
One of the most challenging aspects of golf is routinely hitting the ball to where you need it to go. This isn’t a sport where you can miss 10 yards to the left or 10 yards to the right. You have to hit the ball within close proximity of the spot at which you’re aiming.
But how do you ensure that you do this? Our biggest tip is to aim with the tips of your toes. Draw an imaginary line from the tip of your right shoe to the tip of your left shoe and keep it going into the fairway.
Is it hitting the fairway, or is it eventually crossing over into the rough? If it’s crossing over into the rough, you need to adjust it.
Yes, you might naturally push or pull your shots based on your swing mechanics. However, by and large, the direction that your feet are pointed should mark the spot at which you’re trying to hit the ball.
6. Establish a Firm Base
You must control your body throughout the entirety of your golf swing. If you lose control of your body at any point, you’re bound to let something slip out of place. This can result in any number of ball-striking issues, all of which will result in problems with accuracy.
This is why it’s imperative that, when setting up for your shots, you establish a firm base. First, make sure that your legs are about shoulder-length apart. Then, bend slightly at the knees so as to not fall back on your heels.
Though you could point your toes straight forward, many golfers find it comfortable to point them slightly outward, away from their bodies. This allows for an easier hip turn through the backswing and follow-through.
Regardless, you need to make sure that you feel well-balanced throughout the swing. If you don’t feel balanced, inconsistent ball striking will arise.
7. Hit the Ball Down Into the Ground
A common mistake among high-handicapped golfers is a tendency to try to lift the ball into the air with the club. You could see the logic here. After all, you need to get the ball into the air in a hurry.
What you might not realize, though, is that, due to the angle of the club face, the ball is going to get into the air quickly regardless of how it’s struck. And this is why you should opt for the easiest-impact method there is: hitting the ball down into the ground. That’s right; you should see soil come up after every iron shot.
Now, this isn’t to say that you should literally mash the top of the ball straight down into the ground. However, the trajectory of your club coming into the ball should give you that sensation. The club should then make contact with the bottom back of the ball right as it’s driving into the ground.
You’ll know when you did this right, as the ball will jump off the club face smoothly. You’ll have no question as to whether it was well-struck.
This isn’t a technique that you’ll master overnight. However, it’s definitely something to be focusing on at the range. Once you get it down, your game will improve substantially.
8. Shift Your Weight
One of the most difficult things to get the hang of when perfecting a golf swing is properly shifting your weight. It’s not as simple as swinging the club back and swinging it through again. You have to shift your body weight at the proper times so as to produce as much power as possible.
When bringing your club back, your front foot should be coming off the ground ever-so-slightly. You should even experience some bend in your front knee, as well as some turn in your back leg. All the while, your torso should be twisting so that your back eventually faces the target.
Now that you’ve reached the top of your backswing, your club should come down. As it’s about to meet the ball, your hips should shoot forward quickly, turning right as contact is made.
You should then follow through strongly so that the club wraps around your back. To promote proper weight shift, you should then hold your follow-through for at least a few seconds.
Again, this is something you’ll need to practice. However, getting it down right can improve your game seismically, as it can add dozens of yards to both your approach and tee shots.
9. Keep Wrist Action to a Minimum
Another of our beginner golf swing tips is to keep wrist action to a minimum. See, many beginner golfers tend to get their wrists heavily involved in the swings. In fact, some novice golfers will bend their wrists almost entirely, using their arms and shoulders very little.
This is a problem for myriad reasons. For one, bending your wrists to this extent is almost sure to send your club out of control. As such, it’s guaranteed to create accuracy issues.
In addition, wristy swings generally down produce a lot of power. After all, these swings utilize the weakest parts of the arms as opposed to the strongest.
Now, this isn’t to say that the wrists shouldn’t be utilized at all. However, in these early days, you should focus on keeping your wrists relatively straight through the swing. Doing so will help to keep your club on the correct plane and thus will provide consistency in ball striking.
10. Adjust the Location of the Ball in Your Setup
When you set up over the ball, your feet should be around shoulder-length apart. Once you’ve got your feet at this width, you need to figure out where to place the ball within your setup. This depends on your swing style, your comfort levels, and what type of shot you’re looking to hit.
Generally speaking, driving the ball should entail having the ball toward the front of your setup. In fact, in this scenario, some golfers like to have the ball aligned with their front foot.
Iron shots should typically be aligned in the middle of one’s setup. That said, some golfers like to place the ball closer to the front of the setup on their iron shots.
If you’re chipping, it’s generally best to put the ball toward the back of your setup. This helps keep the ball low and also optimizes contact.
As a rule of thumb, the further the ball is toward the front of your setup, the higher will it will go. The opposite applies as well; the further back it is, the lower it will go.
Looking for More Golf Swing Tips?
These tips are a good start, but they’re not going to turn you into a scratch golfer in and of themselves. You’re going to have to practice consistently and continuously look into upping your game.
Looking for more golf swing tips outside of these? High Golf Handicap has you covered. Check out some of our other articles right now!