Mastering Golf Swing: Step-by-Step Guide

Golf ball


In this article we aim to teach you the basics and foundations of an effective golf swing. From reading this article, you will hopefully get a good understanding of how a golf club can be swung in a repeatable and powerful motion.

However, this article is for informational purposes, and we highly recommend lessons with a PGA teaching professional, they are very beneficial to learning the game of golf. If you start with good fundamentals and principles, this will help set you in the longer term to become a better golf player.

Grip the club creating connection!

It is essential you grip your golf club properly, as this will affect the impact on the golf ball’s trajectory and flight. When it comes to golf swing basics, the correct grip is extremely important to help you square the club head to the golf ball. Choosing the right grip can stop elbow pain developing.

Grip size

Generally golf clubs are fitted with a standard size grip. Getting fitted for your clubs really helps, as there are many sizes and thicknesses of grip available to make it more comfortable. In most cases the standard grips are suitable for golfers with smaller hands. Golfers who have larger hands often require midsize grips or more layers of tape under the grip.

Grip Size


The golf grip involves two parts.

The upper hand, or lead hand, is placed higher at the end of the grip handle, then your lower hand or trailing hand is placed under to add to the grip.

Many golfers have an overlapping grip either using an interlock or Vardon grip. This will help the hands work together in the swing.

There are three different strengths of golf grip
1) The neutral grip

To set up a neutral grip start by positioning your club face square to the ball at address aiming at your target.
Position your lead hand on the grip and ensure that only two knuckles of the lead hand are visible, being the index finger and middle finger. Then position your trail hand below your lead hand and ensure that only the knuckles of the index finger and the middle finger of the trail hand are visible.

2) The strong grip

Setting up with a stronger grip promotes a closed club face through impact, this will result in a draw or hook of your golf ball, due to your hands turning over more through impact.
By placing your leading hand on the grip, allowing the ring finger to become visible together with the two knuckles of the trail hand. This will give you a stronger grip at address.

3) The weak grip

Setting up for a weak grip is the opposite of a strong grip, where the lead hand leans more toward the non-dominant side. This results in only the index knuckle being visible at address, promoting an open club face at impact producing a fade or slice ball trajectory.

Golf Swing Planes

What is golf swing plane?

The golf swing plane is the angle and path created by your club as it travels in to your back swing from the address position, reaching the top of your backswing and then back through the ball to your follow through position.

There are two types of swing, the One-Plane and Two-Plane swing:


The one plane golf swing can be a preferred choice, as this technique is simple and requires less timing to be accurate. It allows for a more shallow swing plane around the body, this enables better players who are looking to draw the ball more in their swing. The plane at the address remains the same throughout the entire swing, making the swing easier to repeat.
The one plane swing is good for players that have good upper body flexibility and strong recoil. Many top modern golf professionals have changed towards one plane swings, as they have specific golf strength and flexibility, allowing this type of motion.


The two-plane swing is more complicated and steeper than the one-plane swing. The backswing is much more upright, and then by dropping your hands during the transition phase, the downswing becomes a much flatter plane. This type of swing is also characterised by the lead arm swinging upwards to be in a more upright position, than the shoulders at the top of the swing.
The two-plane swing helps promote an increase in swing speed and distance. To swing a golf club like this is more suited to players that may not be as flexible, but they have excellent timing and rhythm in their golf swing.


swing plane

Refine the best golf posture

Posture is a key fundamental and one of the golf swing basics of creating a solid golf swing. Getting yourself into optimal golf posture is crucial in your setup, when you are addressing the golf ball. Your swing relies on a consistent and solid foundation being retained; this helps you deliver a solid strike of the golf ball.

It is really important to develop your golf posture by adopting an athletic position and aligning your body parallel to the target line for straighter and more accurate golf shots. Let your body hinge forward at your hips and keep knees slightly bent, arms naturally fall down to your sides, before bringing in to grip your club in a relaxed manner and position. Your final golf posture should feel comfortable, relaxed and prepared for movement to swing a golf club.

Good body alignment

In golf, you need to be precise where you are aiming and to be accurate. It is really important to set yourself, so you know where you want the ball to start before you can hit many good golf shots.Body Alignment

When addressing the ball, it is really important to establish your target line, making sure your left foot and right foot are aligned towards your target. As your upper body tilts forward, it is important to keep your knees bent, let your shoulders match your foot line aiming at the target line.

Always check your alignment as you set up. Try to think of an imaginary line passing from your back shoulder to front shoulder, and another line from left foot to right foot, pointing directly at your target. This is referred to as keeping your alignment “square to target”.

An easy way to check your alignment at the golf course, get into your golf stance and place a golf club on the practice ground teeing area, ensuring it runs along the tips of your toes. Then take a step back from the golf club and look at the direction the club shaft is pointing. Ideally it should be pointed either directly at your target or slightly left.

Ball position

The position of your golf ball actually changes depending on which club you are using. The reason we move this position to swing a golf club is that we want to achieve optimal impact position and launch conditions. Ball position is changed to swing a golf club to achieve the best ball flight for the club in hand.

The longer the club, the further forward the ball position. For example, when using your driver the ball should be farthest forward, just inside your left heel. As you come down the clubs, moving progressively the ball farther back until you get to your wedges, here the ball should sit squarely in the middle of your stance.

What does your golf swing involve?


The golf backswing is a really important part of the swing, how you raise the golf club away from the target towards your back from address position really dictates what happens to the rest of your swing. A poor backswing and takeaway can and will often result in a poorly executed full swing.

Try to start your swing by taking the hands in a straight line back, while holding them near to your back leg and keeping your left arm in a straight line while you do this. Simultaneously let your whole body rotate as you take the club away. As the club face pivots away towards the back swing try to keep width in your arms.
During the backswing, your trunk will rotate more than your pelvis rotation, this helps transfer the weight from your front foot to your back foot. It is really important to maintain good balance as you rotate onto your trail side. If you can develop good shoulder turn this will really help you get into the correct sequencing developing a strong swing.

When moving your arms move towards the top of your swing, your wrist will start to cock and the club should virtually be at right angles to your front arm, while the butt of the club is aiming marginally outside the golf ball. Continue turning, whilst pushing your hands and arms back until the club faces down the target line behind your head.

Your lead shoulder should turn under your chin and behind the ball to reach the top of the backswing. Keep your torso bent as you turn, maintaining posture and balance whilst keeping your back leg bent. When reaching the top of your backswing, your body should be completely coiled and geared up for the downswing.

Transition of the swing


Once you have completed your backswing, there is often a slight delay before commencing the downswing. Rushing your downswing is almost certain to prevent good contact and sequencing in your swing. Take your time at the top of your backswing, allows you to harmonise all the moving parts in your swing, creating an effortless rhythm for solid ball contact. Try to learn good timing by transitioning with rhythm at the top position of your swing, before you start your downswing.

Downswing and impact position

Following a smooth take away into your backswing and a well timed transition at the top, the downswing should likewise be smooth in rhythm to maintain control of all the parts engaged in the swing and to help sequencing in the downswing. The downswing should start slowly and build speed progressively as the club approaches the impact position, until you reach maximum club head speed at impact.

Initiate your downswing by loading into your leg leg and sense that your right shoulder and right hip drive in sequence towards the ball direction and that your arms are falling downwards as your hips clear to your left side for peak speed at impact.

The synchronised movement of the hip and shoulders, involves the hips firing faster and staying ahead of the shoulders, allowing the lower body to lead the swing. By starting the swing this way and using your hips will help generate power through your hip drive first and foremost. Ensure you turn in to your left side instead of sliding ahead too much, this helps avoid reverse pivoting and gets you moving towards the target, promoting the creation of maximum speed and power in your swing.

If you start the downswing by sliding your hips forward too soon, this encourages your body to lean backwards, creating a reverse pivot that slows your swing down and prevents you from covering the golf properly achieving the highest swing speed you can.

Finish and follow through

Following through and finishing balanced towards your target is a key golf swing fundamental. Many golfers believe that once they create contact with the ball and the club face, their swing is complete. Although good contact is important, stopping your swing at that point will result in the deceleration of the head at the exact moment, when in fact acceleration should be at its highest. This continues right through to a balanced finish extending to the target. If you do not complete the follow through this severely affects your ball trajectory and your balance. In the finish position, your body should have rotated right through to have your belt buckle pointing towards the target, your weight balanced on your lead foot with the trailing foot balanced on it’s big toe, the club should be positioned high behind your head and body stable.

You should be able to maintain your finish position, as if you are posing for photos as you watch the ball flying towards your target. That is the correct way to swing a golf club, watching many amateur players they struggle to extend through and balance in their finish position.

How to swing a golf club – the magical tip!

Every golfer has their own unique swing, and you should not focus too much on what your swing looks like, but more on feel and performance. Golfers tend to offer golf tips to each other, but each of us has different physiology and skill sets, thus what works for you may not work for someone else. Your swing may not be textbook, but you must learn what works best for you and your body. Taking lessons with a PGA professional is very helpful, as they will understand cues and drills to get the best out of your individual golf swings.

Keep your head down

A simple swing thought is to keep looking down at the back of the ball, even after making contact stay down for a short period. Let your head come up naturally at the moment you can no longer stay down during the follow through. In contrast, lifting your head too early just before impact and taking your eye off the ball, can result in poor contact with ball. This is often one of the first swing instructions given to many beginner golfers. Often beginners are very anxious to see where the ball will go after they hit it, which often leads to them lifting their heads and taking their eyes off the ball at impact.

It is a natural predisposition of many golfers to look at where their ball is going instead of pausing to see contact made between the club face and the golf ball.

When you swing hard, fast and powerfully, this will tend to force your head up due to the impetus generated. When this happens this can cause for you to lift your club head. This movement alters your swing path and frequently leads to you topping or mishitting the ball.

Weight transferWeight transfer

In your swing, as you turn backwards you naturally transfer your body weight from the centre to your back foot loading into your leg with a soft right knee. As you initiate your downswing, your weight is driven back across to your left side towards the intended target. Maintain the flex in your knees as you downswing to aid the weight transfer to the front foot. Then drive the hips up and around, as left knee straightens, allowing you to stack onto the left leg shifting forward in the direction of the target.

To help get correct weight transfer in your swing, avoid driving your weight too early or beginning the down swing movement leading with your hands too quickly. By doing this, can result in altered path and angle of the club head, which can influence the speed and direction of the golf shot.

Some tips to build a great golf swing

Let us look at some simple tips that you can use to build a better golf swing and allow you to become more competitive. Each of these golf swing tips are aimed to help raise your game. It is recommended that you practice each of the golf tips individually, stick with one change until it feels natural, and you master it.

Tip #1: Control direction with your lead hand

With time you can learn to control the club face and direction with the back of your lead hand. For example, in your golf swing, if you point the back of your lead hand to the left of your target. By doing this closes the club face at impact and promotes a draw ball flight. To fade the ball, hit your shots where you point the back of your lead hand to the right of the target, opening the face at impact. Many professional golfers develop this skill and can point the back of their lead hand for as long as possible after impact to direct the ball to its target and improving their accuracy.

Tip #2: Improve golf grip for straighter shots

How you take grip of the golf club will affect how you swing the club, and you can really neutral pattern your swing with an improved grip. Having a good neutral grip on the club, will make your shots fly straighter at your target. It is important to grip the club softly, but firmly. It helps at set up to wiggle the club a bit to release the tension in your forearm and wrists. It is a good idea to practice the grip to discover what gives you the best feel to hit solid golf shots.

Tip #3: Swing smoothly for better tempo

Most beginner golfers swing too hard and quickly, and this quick swing can throw you off balance and affect your accuracy. To help slow a fast swing, you can count throughout the swing process slowing your swing. May be count one when you start the swing, two when you reach the top of your backswing, then three at the point of impact, and four once you conclude with a balanced finish.

Tip #4: Know your targetTarget

Many golfers think too much about the golf swing, they neglect to set up properly aiming correctly at the target. The really important part of the golf swing is when you hit the ball and as the club releases to where you want the ball to go. Pick a spot a couple of steps in front of you to align yourself to the target. It helps to be focused on a small target before taking your swing, as this improves your dispersion. It is important not to get too caught up in your swing and focus on your target instead and the type of shot you want to hit.
Obviously, your golf swing does matter, but do not analyse this on the golf course, as it will get you nowhere if you do not focus on your aim.

Tip #5: Adjust your stance for a better strike

Just by setting up properly helps many golfers hit the ball with the middle of the golf club head. Poor execution often arises because of a poor setup, standing in the correct position with the ball in the correct position really helps for an efficient golf swing. Ensure you aim for a golf posture that puts your body in a balanced and athletic position. Your body then can rotate freely around your centre of axis, and you can maintain this throughout the swing.

What else can you do to improve your golf swing?

There are many physical and technical aspects to swinging a golf club, and your mind plays an equally significant role. It is important to keep a clear and strong mindset during your swing sequence, really learn to develop a clear picture of the shot you need to hit. Creating consistency in your swing involves good preparation and commitment. It is vital to build a good routine to help build a fluid swing maintaining the same tempo and balance from the takeaway to the finish. There is a time to swing hard and fast but try to stay away from using aggressive force to generate speed. Try to start with an effortless swing and speed it up as you learn good patterns and timing. It is important not to tense up when swinging your golf club.

Golf is an atypical sport, where hand-eye coordination plays a huge role over athletic prowess. The golf ball is static when you strike it and that point makes performing the golf club swing with control more important than swinging with speed like in baseball. Timing and good sequencing can create enough power in golf. Get your body golf fit, most amateurs are not supple enough to get into the correct positions for the golf swing. Most of us stay stuck in flexion for the most part at work or commuting. Opening your hips and chest will really help you to extend through the ball and improve your golf swing.

Exercise for golf


In summary

The golf swing is a very complex process involving many moving parts, which combine to connect the club head and golf ball with perfect timing. Unless you understand the correct sequencing, many will struggle to execute this extraordinarily complex process without knowing the complete process of an effective golf swing. Get some coaching or watch some instructional videos to help you know and understand the golf swing mechanics, this will enable you to help unlearn any golf swing errors and improve your golf game, so that you know how to swing a golf club properly.

It does seem like a lot to think about and learn when it comes to golf, but take it one step at a time and read through this article again from time to time to see where you may be able to improve.

We hope that this article on the golf swing explained the process of developing your swing and will assist you in the future to learn or remedy your swing. If you encounter struggles hitting the ball, it is important to return to the simple fundamentals such as grip, posture, alignment and tempo. Learning how to swing a golf club is an ongoing process, your game is always changing and developing over time.

At Lilyfield Physio we are here to help your body get fit to swing in an efficient and strong way! Kam Bhabra is our golf expert, who has worked with many professional and recreational golfers achieve their best game.

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