How to Hit a Golf Ball
Hitting the golf ball consistently is the bane of many golfers. You send a drive a couple of hundred yards down the fairway only to “duff” the next shot. Your potential par quickly shifted to a potential bogey or worse unless you can recover. The following are the basic fundamentals needed to hit the golf ball consistently.
The Golf Grip
There are three basic golf grip styles that the majority of players use:
• The Baseball or Ten Finger Grip
• The Varden Overlap
• The Interlock Grip
We have posted a more in-depth article that goes into more detail of how to grip a golf club here.
Whichever style you feel comfortable with, you’ll need to verify the following fundamentals when gripping the club:
• Use your fingers to grip the club not the palms of the hand.
• As you address the ball, take a look at how your hands are positioned on the club. For right-handed golfers, you should be able to see the knuckles of your index and middle fingers. If you can see more or less, then turn your hands slightly on the club.
• The thumb and index finger of the left hand should form a “V” that points to your right shoulder.
• The right hand “V” should point towards your chin.
Grip the club lightly. On a scale of 1 to 10, your grip strength should be near the middle. It’s the relaxed, fluid motion that sends shots long and straight.
Your stance should resemble that of a shortstop in baseball. Your feet should be planted shoulder width apart with the knees slightly bent. You should bend forward from the hips while keeping your spine straight. Too many golfers address the ball with a hunched back and shoulders and run into all kinds of problems with their swing. This golf posture is not only going to reduce your power it will alter your club head upon impact.
This correct stance will allow you to easily torque your torso backward and forward with your spine acting as an axis. It will also allow you to hold the correct swing plane in order to hit the ball squarely.
In the “Simple Golf Swing” David Nevogt advises positioning the ball in the center of your stance. This allows for your body to take a fluid swing and consistently make proper contact with the ball
The most important component of the ball address is to be square to your target. Many amateur golfers plant their feet first and then look towards their target. They may think they’re square to the target because their eyes tell them so. Their eyes may tell them their square but their body position may tell a different story.
If you watch the pros, they first stand behind the ball and pick their target. They then grip the club, square the club head as well as their shoulders and then address the club to the ball. This pre-shot routine will help you to become square to your destination and eliminate the optical illusion that many suffer. Eliminate the guesswork by following these steps and you’ll hit the ball towards your target more consistently.
Now you’re all set to make the shot. When you draw the club back, refrain from lifting it with your arms as in a baseball swing. Torque your body from the hips and allow the club to come back naturally. This turning motion at the hips is what gives you power and distance. Keep your head down with the chin lifted slightly for a fluid motion. Keep your eye on the front of the golf ball through the whole process.
There are five key areas to focus on during the golf downswing:
• Begin the downswing by driving your lower body in a forward motion
• Pull the club with your forward arm throughout the swing
• Keep your head down and behind the ball with your chin up slightly for fluid motion.
• Clear the hips out of the way through full rotation
Follow these simple steps and you will be hitting the ball consistently.