Hitting a golf ball accurately is one of the hardest things to do in sports. The difficulty ranks up there with hitting a pitched baseball either from a real-life person or a pitching machine. Being able to hit the golf ball from a tee or from the lie is a large portion of a person’s golfing experience. You can be good at putting and that will save a player with a halfway decent drive or approach. But, if you can’t even get the ball off of the ground, you have much bigger problems to deal with! We will look at the proper mechanics of how to swing a golf club.
The proper swing all starts in how you stand at the tee, you can’t just stand there with your legs straight, looking like you’re waiting on a fastball. You have to bend your knees slightly; this lowers your head closer to the ball to get a better overall view of your shot. Your hands should be on the club grip with your left hand above your right (reversed if you’re left-handed) with the club face directly behind the ball. You can waggle your club a little in preparation of your shot, this mentally lines up your club face with repetition, and it can help you relax a bit before your shot.
Mental preparation and Visualization can really help here, you can close your eyes for a brief second to visualize your club face hitting through the ball with accuracy. Visualization has helped many sports players over the years in improving their game. A famous study was done with three small sets of players in shooting free throws. All three sets of players were recorded shooting a standard set of free throws. Their numbers and percentages were then tabulated for data to be compared later. After this first round of free throws, the first set of players didn’t practice at all, the second set of players practiced their free throws, and the third set of players didn’t practice free throws, but instead closed their eyes and visualized shooting free throws for a set period of time. When the next round commenced, the greatest improvement was done by the third set of free throw shooters who didn’t even shoot a ball to practice and just “saw” themselves shooting better.
Back to your shot, you should draw your club back behind your left shoulder (right, if you’re left-handed) and spring forward driving your club through the golf ball and finishing with your club head over your opposite shoulder. Your head should not move during this process with your eyes fixed upon the ball as you explode through the tee with your club. Your eyes should follow the flight of the ball after striking. During this process, it’s imperative to keep your club head straight as any shift in one angle or the other will facilitate a hook or a slice.