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How To Swing A Golf Club
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Trying to learn how to swing a golf club can be very frustrating because it looks so easy yet seems so difficult to master. Even when you have played golf for years and think you know how to swing a golf club you may find that you have slipped into bad habits.

Take Tiger Woods. At the time of writing this article Tiger has not won a tournament for about 18 months and is about to play the 2011 US Masters feeling confident that his recent swing changes are finally beginning to pay off. Time will tell but the point is Tiger knows how to swing a golf club and yet even he has found it necessary to make some changes.

In this article I hope to set you on the right path and save you hours of frustration by giving you a few pointers to look at before you even hit the ball.

Any half decent golf coach (and I highly recommend you go see one) will tell you that it is most important to get your set up correctly. The set up consists of the following:

  • Grip. The cause of many a bad shot can be attributed to a bad grip. A good coach will always check your grip first and a good player will always keep re checking his/her grip. If you are going to hit balls at the driving range it is good practice to place each ball using your hand and not your club head. The reasoning behind this is that you will be taking your hands off the club and before you can play your next shot you will need to re set your grip.
  • Alignment. The most common way of ensuring that you are aligned correctly is to draw two imaginary parallel lines. The first of these lines is a line joining your toes and extending straight to the left of the target (for a right-handed golfer and right of the target for a left-handed golfer), while the second is a line running from behind and through the ball towards your intended target. These lines stay parallel and never cross over. Do not make the mistake of pointing your toes at your target - the ball should be aimed at your target.
  • Stance. This incorporates a number of things but mainly concerns weight distribution. A lot of people don't understand that the golf swing starts in the feet and legs. If you do not use your legs you will never learn how to swing a golf club correctly. Think of the goal keeper facing a penalty, a tennis player about to receive a service, the baseball pitcher or batter - all of them have their weight distributed on the balls of their feet in such a way that they can simply explode into action.
  • Posture. This is a big one and it is amazing how many people get it wrong. Go to any golf club on any given day and have a look at the myriad (and sometimes comical) postures on display. But look at the pros and note that almost every one is fairly upright with hands hanging comfortably down below the shoulders - not stretching for the ball.

I refer to the above 4 points as my GASP check list and without these in place I just know any student I take on needs to work on fundamentals first if he/she is to learn how to swing a golf club correctly. After all you wouldn't build a house on shaky foundations would you?

So next time you are out working on your golf swing make sure you have the GASP check list in place. It is a good idea to ask a friend to take a picture or video of your GASP because you may feel comfortable and in control but still have some basic faults.

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