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How to swing a golf club

Why is a golf swing hard?

Actually, I don’t think it is. I’m not saying that I am a great golfer just because I know how to swing, but I know what a good swing is supposed to feel like and I’m working to perfect it.

Same as with any other sports. I can play tennis and I’m very comfortable with executing most shots and I can get the ball to go where I want it to go. I still can’t play on a tour. But I can play competitively and that is the point with golf too. I don’t want to play professionally, but it’s infinitely more fun to putt for a birdie than a tripple bogey.

I bought 7 lessons with a golf pro, which taught me absolutely nothing. I then spent many hours watching the most popular golf instructors on YouTube, and all I heard was angles, body shifts, video analysis. I almost gave up. Then I came across this instructor who just made sense. Simple drills and analogies that finally made it clear to me what I’m supposed to do. I don’t want this to sound like a promotion for his website, but I have to say that I’ve learned a lot from his videos. I practice his drills daily and my game improved dramatically.

I have to strip myself of all the nonsense that I’ve taught myself so far and go back to the fundamentals. The biggest eye-opener and something that completely changed my way of thinking was an explanation about the swing itself.

The purpose of a golf swing is NOT to hit the ball. A golf swing is an action that propels the ball in the direction of a specific target.

Maybe some people will say, that’s not new, everyone knows that; but I watched about 100 members of my club on a Saturday morning, and everybody was trying to hit the ball. There was not a single person who had a natural golf swing.

Just like we do with a tennis or badminton racquet, we use the instrument to deliver the ball into a specific location. When I play tennis, I don’t just go swinging at the ball! That’s silly. I watch the ball, I run and get into a position, and I swing the rackquet in such a way as to deliver the most powerful ball flight into a very specific place on the court. The place where my oponent isn’t.

When I get lessons from the golf coach, he asks me to hit the ball. I never thought about the target. I was just happy if the club hit the ball and it went straight.

They say that over 95% of amateur golfers struggle with the ‘over the top’ swing. It is because we were always told and taught to hit the ball. I was one of them. I couldn’t get rid of it, no matter how many times the coach explained the angles, and the body shifts and the hips turn, and dozens of these little things that I was supposed to remember, but never did.

When my target is the ball, then my ‘over-the-top’ swing is perfect. I lift the club and I take a swing at the ball. My brain knows what to do. And the ‘over the top’ action is the best way to hit the ball.

But that is the whole point of this little rant. I am not supposed to hit the ball! I am supposed to swing the golf club to deliver the ball in the desired spot. Once I tell my brain this, I can NEVER go over the top. Impossible. Just like I would never just swing at the tennis ball, and smash it to the ground, I can’t smash the golf ball to the ground, when I know that I’m supposed to use the golf club to deliver it 200m away from me.

It is like a light switch. Suddenly the posture becomes perfect. The back swing becomes perfect, the chicken wing completely disappears, the follow thru is great and ‘over the top’ is gone. I can do this. Well, not yet, but I understand how it works and hopefully, in time, I can unlearn the idiotic lessons I received from my coach. I can’t wait to go back to the golf course or the range to practice a REAL golf swing and develop it further.

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