This article originally appeared on AndresManuelOlivaresMiranda.org on Sept. 20, 2017.
Golf is an amazing sport. Just think about it: Playing golf is a chance to spend four or five hours outside on some of the most beautiful and well-manicured landscapes in the world. Often, you’re playing with friends, having a few drinks and a lot of laughs. It’s just a lot of fun. The only thing that can put a big damper on your golf outing is not playing well. Improving your golf swing (and, in turn, your score) will make a big difference in how much you enjoy your next round. Here are some great tips to help you make big improvements to your swing:
Use Proper Form
The most important way to improve your golf swing is to use proper form, and the best way to use proper form is to practice it. Proper form starts with the grip. For a right-handed golfer, start with your left hand at the top of the club, place right hand just below your left, and interconnect your right pinky finger with your left index finger to secure the grip.
Next comes the stance. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart just far enough from the ball so that the club head lines up with the center of the ball when you bend over it from the waist. Don’t bend with back, as that can cause misalignment of your swing. Always bend from the waist with your hips.
Begin your swing by bringing the club back while keeping your left arm straight and bending your right elbow until it reaches a 90-degree angle. Once you reach the top of your swing, then bring the club down along the same path while twisting your hips towards your target to add power. Always keep your eyes down and on the ball’s location, even through impact. Raising your head during the swing can cause you to raise the club head and end up hitting on the top side of the ball. After hitting the ball, follow all the way through until your club rests on your left shoulder.
Use the Right Clubs
It doesn’t matter how well you swing a club if it isn’t the right length. There are various “rules of thumb” you can use when choosing golf club length. Many involve measuring from your fingertips or wrist to the ground and following a chart. The best advice, however, is to be fitted by a professional. Many stores that sell golf equipment have professionals on-hand who can help you get the right sized clubs. When you have proper form and the right-sized club, your chances of striking the ball well increase significantly.
Last but not least, try to relax when swinging your golf clubs. There is always pressure to hit the ball well, whether playing with others or just hitting range balls.
Being too “tight” actually causes golfers to make more mistakes. Always take a deep breath and swing through the ball calmly. Being too anxious, or trying to hit the ball too hard, will wreak havoc on your swing mechanics. Just take it easy and swing like you know you can. The results will speak for themselves.