Swinging a golf club is a technical maneuver. Even PGA Tour greats like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Justin Thomas have a swing coach who analyzes their swing and finds ways to make improvements.
If you’re looking to shave strokes off your game, you should start by understanding the golf swing sequence. Understanding the fundamentals of a golf swing can help golfers of all levels.
This article will break down the basic golf swing sequence as well as provide a few tips and checkpoints to ensure that you’re optimizing your swing at each point in the sequence.
The Golf Swing Sequence — A Step-by-Step Guide
If you’re looking to get better at golf, it’s important to understand the proper sequence for your swing. Let’s take a closer look at the components of a golf swing.
1. Address the Ball
Before you start swinging your club, you need to make sure that you address the ball correctly. Otherwise, your ball-striking may be off even though your swing is technically sound. Your address position is where and how you stand over the ball just before you start your swing. A good swing starts from the ground up.
Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. The ball position should be in the middle of your stance if you are using a 7 iron. As you play longer clubs, the ball should move up in your stance. For instance, if you are playing with a driver, the ball should be just off your front foot. As you play lower clubs, like your wedges, the ball should be further back in your stance.
In terms of posture, you’ll want to have a straight back. Your knees should be flexed slightly, and you should bend at the waist. Your weight should be on the balls of your feet.
2. Start Your Takeaway
Now that you’ve addressed the ball, you’re ready for your takeaway. The takeaway is essentially the beginning of your backswing. To get started, you’ll want your hands just forward of the clubhead. Then, your upper body should all move in one piece. This includes your:
By moving in unison, you’ll reduce the likelihood of picking up the club face or hinging your wrists too early, both of which can prove detrimental to your swing.
3. Continue Into Your Backswing
A good takeaway will lead to a strong backswing. The biggest component of the backswing sequence is the weight shift.
If you are a right-handed player, the weight in your lower body should shift to your right foot. Your left elbow will remain locked as your upper body rotates to bring the club higher. Your right elbow will remain pinned to your ribcage. A wrist hinge will allow you to get more extension from the club.
The swing is the same if you are left-handed, though opposite. As a lefty, the weight in your lower body should shift to your left foot. Your right elbow will remain locked as your upper body rotates to bring the club higher. Your left elbow will remain pinned to your ribcage.
4. Begin Your Transition
The transition is the momentary pause between your backswing sequence and your downswing sequence. It occurs at the top of the backswing. Many high-handicappers overlook the transition, which causes a rushed downswing. The pause may only be for a split second, but it is critical in allowing your lower body to fire on your downswing.
5. Start Your Downswing
After making the transition, it’s time to start your downswing. You’ll want to drive your lower body to your impact position, which will generate clubhead speed and power. Naturally, your hands will follow. Those with the best golf downswings return the club to the ball using the same swing plane as they used in their backswing.
6. Make Impact
Of any item on our list, the impact position is arguably the most important component of the golf swing sequence. Being able to find a consistent, repeatable impact position will make a tremendous difference in your game.
At the point of impact, the weight shift that started during the downswing should be complete. All of your weight should have transferred to your left side if you are a right-handed player and to your right side if you are a left-handed player. Your wrists should no longer be hinging and should instead be locked. Your eyes should focus on the point of impact, with your head down.
7. Finish Your Swing
The last component of the swing is the follow-through. At this point, you have already made contact with the ball. If you have a good swing, your follow-through should be effortless. You should be naturally balanced.
Additionally, your arms should be following through to your target line, which is an imaginary line between your ball and where you’re aiming your shot to land. Be sure to hold your finish to help ensure proper balance and tempo.
Why It’s Important to Understand the Proper Golf Swing Sequence
- Long irons
- Chipping/short irons
One study found that less than half of golfers consistently break 90 when playing. Unfortunately, the average golfer finds it tough to practice during the week with things like work, kids, and other obligations interfering. If anything, you’re lucky to make it out to the golf course a few times per year. You likely don’t have 13 hours a day to practice, like Tiger Woods did at his peak.
This is one reason why it’s so important for both beginners and experienced golfers to understand the proper golf swing sequence. Understanding how your swing should work allows you to target specific areas of your swing that could use improvement. That way, you can be focused during your practice sessions and work on the things that are hampering your game.
Of course, as mentioned previously, life can get hectic. Finding the time for golf training can be tough. Fortunately, there are now online training programs that you can do at your convenience. You don’t have to go to the range for a lesson. Instead, you can book coaches and participate in live-stream sessions from the comfort of your home or office. You can also send videos and receive golf tips that you can then implement into your game.
The golf swing is one of the more technical maneuvers in all of sports. Understanding the nuances of the different parts of the golf swing — and learning to put them together — can be challenging. By understanding the proper components of the golf swing sequence, you can gain a better idea of how your swing should work and the deficiencies in your swing that you need to adjust.
Of course, finding the time to practice or take a lesson at a local range can be difficult. That’s one reason why you’ll want to consider Skillest instead. With Skillest, golf instruction comes to your living room. You’ll select a coach that meets your needs and preferences. Then, you’ll set up virtual training sessions at your convenience. No matter what type of golf shot you’re struggling with, a Skillest coach can help you make improvements in an effort to hit more fairways, sink more putts, and shave strokes off your game. Get started today by finding a Skillest coach.