Golf Swing Tips: 12 Steps to a Consistent Golf Swing
Becoming an elite player in golf isn’t easy.
According to the USGA, the average golfer has a 14.2 handicap, which means they can barely break 90. So if you want to start breaking 80 or even 70, just know it won’t happen overnight.
But if you have the work ethic and patience, you can make it happen. After playing for 20+ years and becoming a +2 golfer, I want to share my best golf swing tips with you.
Keep reading to learn the best golf swing tips to 10X your long game.
12 Golf Swing Tips
1. Get a Good Grip
Before getting into the full swing tips, it’s vital to focus on your golf grip.
Think about it, your hands are the only part of your body that are connected to the club. If they are in the wrong position, it’s nearly impossible to swing the club consistently.
When it comes to the grip there are three positions for the hands; strong, weak, or neutral. Each position leads to different ball flights and impact positions.
A weak grip makes it easier to hit a cut shot while a strong grip makes it easier to hit a draw. While a neutral grip allows maximum shot shaping in either direction and easier to hit straight shots.
Most everyday golfers have a grip that is too weak.
This leads to a pesky slice that kills distance and accuracy, especially off the tee. While some professionals use a weak grip, it’s not nearly as common as a strong grip. Strengthen your left hand and watch your ball striking improve.
In an ideal world, I’d recommend creating a neutral grip.
This will help you shape shots, maximize distance, and make better contact. Plus, it’ll help you avoid big misses off the tee and find the fairway more often than not.
But please note, changing your grip does take time, especially if you’ve had a weak or strong grip for a long time. I promise though, it’s 100% worth the short term awkwardness to play more consistently for the rest of your life.
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2. Setup for Success
Once you get a good grip on the club, the rest of the swing gets easier. But there’s still a lot to think about before you take the golf club back and begin the backswing.
Like your grip, the setup plays a crucial role in setting you up for success. Focus on these three fundamentals to nail your setup.
Your stance needs to match the club you’re hitting. The longer the club, the wider the stance you need for enough balance and stability.
Another part of the stance that can help you is flaring your feet. Having your toes flared outward can make it easier to get a full shoulder and clear your hips on the downswing.
Related: Open Stance Golf Swing
Like your stance, the ball position will change based on what club you’re using.
It’s imperative to play the ball in the right part of your stance to ensure you bottom out at the right spot. Otherwise, the wrong ball position can lead to a ton of inconsistent shots.
95% of all your shots should be played from the middle of your stance to your front heel. A back ball position is only recommended for punch shots and certain types of short chip shots.
Here are three common ball position checkpoints:
- Driver – Play off your front foot.
- Mid-irons – Play in the middle-front of your stance.
- Wedges – Play in the middle of your stance.
The last part of a good setup is getting into a strong, athletic position. Your weight should be in the middle of your feet, knees slightly flexed, and a flat back. The goal is to maintain your posture throughout the swing for consistent contact.
3. Always Check Alignment
If your alignment is off, good luck hitting it consistently well. When it comes to aim, focus on your shoulder alignment more than your feet.
As Greg Norman said on his website, “One of the most common mistakes I see among my pro-am partners is over attention to the alignment of the feet. They take great pains to set their feet properly while neglecting the position of their hips and shoulders. The fact is, it’s easy to look and feel square to the ball while in reality being in a markedly closed or open position.”
As The Shark said, don’t be fooled by your feet.
Aim the clubface to your target, then your shoulders, then your feet (in that order). Your clubface and shoulder alignment are the biggest priorities to getting into a powerful setup position.
Also Read: How To Hit Long Irons Like a Pro
The first move on your backswing can make or break your swing.
As Golf.com said, “If you don’t start your swing in the correct manner, you have little chance at success throughout the rest of the swing. But despite the importance in the swing, it can be criminally overlooked.”
An ideal takeaway is when you look at the club when it’s parallel to the ground. You want the clubface just outside your hands and face running parallel to your back. This will set you up in a great position at the top of your backswing and make it easier to swallow on the downswing.
The biggest mistake most golfers do on the takeaway is taking it too far inside, with an open face. This leads to an over the top, move with an open face at impact… resulting in a slice.
Master the first part of your swing to set the rest up for success. A Lagshot training aid or the Planemate Swing Trainer are two great training aids to use at home to improve your takeaway.
5. Understand Your Tempo
If you’ve ever watched Freddy Couples swing, I would say he has the world’s best tempo of all time. While most of us mere mortals can strive to be like Freddy, the chances are slim. But that being said, you do want to understand your own tempo.
Tempo plays a huge role in accelerating on the downswing and creating power with each shot. Everyone has a different tempo but make sure that your tempo is smooth and accelerates at impact!
6. Learn to Shallow The Golf Club
One thing that all good players have in common is shallowing the golf club on the downswing (this is also known as creating lag). This means that you’re dropping your hands and coming from the inside. When done correctly, it leads to more distance, better accuracy, and ultimately, more consistent contact with each club.
But the only way to shallow the club is to do everything we’ve talked about above. Each tip plays a critical role to make this power move as you make impact with the golf ball.
7. Rotate Your Shoulders
To hit it long and make solid contact, you need plenty of rotation. The shoulders play a key role in being able to unwind and swing aggressively toward the target.
On the backswing, aim to get your left shoulder under your chin which is about 90 degrees of turn. If you can get more as the pros do, great… If not, keep working on your flexibility. Just remember, the hips will only rotate about 45 degrees.
8. Understand Weight Shift
One of the most fundamental parts to a consistent golf swing is a proper weight shift.
A top reason that a lot of amateur golfers struggle with the proper weight transfer is from a laterally “swaying” movement. If your body moves laterally toward your trail side on the backswing, it has to sway back to get back to neutral.
This makes it nearly impossible to get your weight to your lead foot, open your hips, and swing through. Unfortunately, this leads to hanging back and can change your posture as well.
Don’t sway – rotate around your body.
9. Mix Up Your Practice Routines
A good swing on the range is one thing but taking it to the course isn’t easy for some players.
To stop being a “range player,” mix up your practice routines. The driving range is where most of us practice but it doesn’t mimic real golf on the actual course.
Mix up your driving range golf shots so your game translates to the course by:
- Hitting from different lies.
- Hitting a lot of half and three-quarter shots.
- Learning to love your driver as it sets up 10-14 holes.
- Hitting a small bucket and going through your pre-shot routine only.
- Only using three clubs in some sessions (driver, favorite wedge, and putter).
10. Increase Your Swing Speed
Speed is everything in golf.
More club head speed means more distance off the tee and closer approach shots. Speed also creates more spin with wedges and short irons.
To develop more speed and make the game easier, make sure to learn how to increase swing speed.
11. Pre-Shot Routine
Let’s talk about what happens before you ever grip the club – your pre-shot routine. This is arguably one of the most important parts of playing consistent golf, yet so many golfers neglect a routine entirely.
So why is a pre-shot routine so important?
- To set up square to your target.
- Helps you analyze each shot and pick the right club.
- Create a routine to minimize nerves and play with confidence.
- Get comfortable on any hole and on any course to give yourself the best chance to hit the shot you need.
I could go on and on because a pre-shot routine is that important but I’m guessing you get it. A pre-shot routine is consistent among low handicappers and scratch golfers. The sooner you can create one, the better you’ll start playing!
A good pre-shot routine consists of:
- Identifying the shot at hand (assessing the lie, distance, wind, etc.)
- Picking your target and getting clear about the shot you want to hit.
- Taking 1-2 practice swings to help your body see and feel and the ideal swing needed.
Finally, you need to practice your pre-shot routine on the range. Go through it over and over again to create this habit and set yourself up for success.
12. Know Your Golf Swing
The final golf swing tip is to know your swing. A lot of instructors refer to this as “swinging your swing” and think it’s some of the best advice I’ve ever received.
So many of us get caught in the swing trap, always looking for a better swing. In reality, the perfect swing doesn’t exist.
I’d say Tiger Woods got pretty close to achieving perfection in the early 2000s but even he “lost it” at times. The point is, your golf swing is constantly changing and evolving as you keep playing the game.
If you’re constantly trying to upgrade your swing, it’s easy to never feel comfortable over the golf ball. Thinking about mechanics isn’t how you play consistent golf!
Going low and playing consistently well comes from trusting your swing that you train on the course.
While it’s okay to work on technical swing changes on the range at times, don’t make it a habit. Remember, this sport is all about playing golf… not playing the golf swing.
Don’t get so caught up in technique that you lose your natural abilities. If an instructor wants to completely redo your swing, get a refund and never use them again. Work with your natural tendencies and improve little bits at a time so you can trust your swing on the course.
Top Questions About the Golf Swing
While these 10 golf swing tips should help you play better, I’m sure I could’ve added another 10-15 since this game is so complex. If you want even more keys to swing consistently make sure to read the top questions and answers below.
What are the three keys to the golf swing?
Everyone has their own version of the three keys but I’ll say the grip, takeaway, and transition are the most important moves. If your grip and setup are solid, it makes the rest of your swing easier.
The second move, your takeaway, is also very important. If you take it too far inside like most golfers, you’ll likely get too steep on your downswing. It’s important to master the first move to make the rest of your swing easier.
Finally, your transition is another critical checkpoint in the swing. How you shallow the golf club and accelerate through the ball at impact has a big effect on distance, ball flight, and strike.
What is the secret to a good golf swing?
The secret to a good golf swing is swinging your swing.
As evidenced by the best golfers in the world, there is no “one way” swing the golf club. Instead, use your natural ability and work hard in practice to create a repeatable swing.
Remember, no matter how good your swing gets, bad shots are inevitable. There is no getting around it – otherwise no one would play this crazy game. It’s the challenge that makes it so intoxicating.
When you know your swing, it makes it easier to manage your game on the golf course. Knowing your tendencies and misses allows you to pick better targets and not waste shots from bad course management.
Plus, when you swing your swing, you can swing with confidence! Having the right mindset before the shot is half the battle.
What are three good golf tips for beginners?
The 10 tips above focus on swing so I’ll offer three non-swing related tips.
First, master your mindset on the golf course. Jack Nicklaus famously said, “Golf is 90% mental, the other 10% is physical.” This is coming from the guy who has won more major championships than any other player in the world!
Yet, most golfers only work on their swing which is only 10% of the equation. To play your best golf, you need to master your emotions.
You can’t let one bad shot compound to another bad shot and possibly a bad string of holes. One shot is just that – one shot!
If you hit it well, celebrate a bit and move on. If you hit it bad, forget about it quickly and focus on the next shot.
Second, spend a lot more time practicing your short game. If you want to reach your potential, spend twice as much time on chipping, pitching, bunker shots, and putting. It’s not as exciting as the driving range but it’ll translate to lower scores fast.
Finally, don’t forget to have fun. Golf is a roller coaster with a lot of ups and downs so enjoy the ride!
What is the most important move in the golf swing?
It depends on the person giving the advice.
Some might say it’s the first move on the backswing as it sets up the rest of your swing. While others might say it’s the first move on your downswing.
Ultimately, there are a lot of moving parts in the golf swing. Master the fundamentals like stance, grip, posture, and takeaway to build a consistent golf swing.
Start implementing these golf swing tips to start playing better golf soon. Just remember, no matter how good you get, your swing is always a work in progress.
Stay patient and persistent to keep enjoying the game for a long time.
What’s the best golf tip you’ve ever received?
Let us know in the comments below.