Many people assume that they will improve their swings and become better golfers on the course, but that’s not exactly true. The course is actually where you see the result of your practice and improvements, not where they occur. Instead, if you want to improve your swing, you’re going to have to go to the driving range. The practice you get here, not the time spent on the course, is what will transform your golf game. The range is the perfect time to make a few little adjustments to your stance, the power behind your swing, and more. These small adjustments can translate into a much better game if you practice them.
Let’s take a look at five adjustments that can give you the swing you’ve been aiming for.
Just like your car, you need to be sure everything is lined up properly. If your shoulders, hips, feet, and club face aren’t all aligned right, your shots aren’t going to go where you want or have the power needed to send the ball the distance necessary. You can use an alignment stick to check your stance, but if you don’t have one, anything with a straight edge will work. In the ideal stance, if someone is looking at you from the side, they won’t be able to see your back foot, leg, or shoulder.
When you swing your club, you want your arms, hands, club, and your body to all move together. It should look like you’re one solid piece as you swing the club backwards and forwards. If you’re not connected like this, you won’t have as much control over your swing. This means your ball may veer off or may not have the speed it needs to make it to the green.
One common issue that many people need to adjust is using their wrists and hands more than their shoulders. Ideally, you won’t move your wrists much until the club is parallel to the ground. When it reaches that point, hinge your wrists and use your shoulders, back, and upper arms to finish bringing the club up and back down.
When you’re swinging at the ball, you’re not simply swinging your club straight backwards and forwards. Instead, you’re actually bringing it up and almost behind your body. To fully accomplish this, you don’t want your body to block your club from swinging down towards its target. Your upper body should make a full turn as you swing back. Don’t just rely on your arms to get you the power you need—put your back into it!
Your wrists, arms, shoulders, and back all play a part in the windup, but on the downswing is where your hips come into play. As you swing the club down, let your hips rotate. For many people, this means their right hip will move towards the ball, while the left will move back. This isn’t the case for everyone—some players focus more on one hip than the other. You want to determine what works best for you.
The downswing is similar to shooting a basketball or hitting a tennis ball—you’ve done everything you can to set it up perfectly, but once the downswing starts, you have to hope it all goes as planned because you don’t have much control over it. If you find that something’s not going according to plan, you may need to make a few more adjustments to your swing.
Finally, if you find that your shots aren’t very accurate, you may need to work on extending your right arm at the end of your swing. Keeping your arm straight as it reaches the ball and makes contact with it can help you keep everything lined up. This is also where some golfers shift their weight to their back leg by bumping their hip out. This prevents your upper body from getting ahead of the ball, allowing you to put more power into your shots.
If you’re not happy with your golf swing, the first thing to do is to carefully evaluate what’s wrong. You may need to have someone watch you swing or even take video of your swing from different angles so you can carefully see what you’re doing and how your body is aligned. If you identify trouble issues, you may want to focus on correcting them one at a time instead of trying to change everything about your swing at once. This gives your body time to incorporate the changes into your muscle memory and lets you carefully learn and perfect the adjustment. Once you’ve incorporated the changes into your swing, though, you’re sure to see an improvement.