Demonstration of golf stance

Mike Slentz demonstrates the proper stance. Notice his feet are about as wide as his hips and his knees are slightly bent.

Step 1: Stance

When setting up your stance, your feet should be about as wide as your hips. The ball should be lined up in the middle of your stance. However, if you're having trouble getting the ball in the air, have the ball a little more toward the front of your stance. When you're all set, slightly bend your knees, setting the club down directly behind the ball.


Demonstration of golf grip

Mike Slentz also demonstrates the proper grip. Notice he interlocked his right pinky with his left index finger. This is a personal preference, but some pros recommend this. I say do what makes you feel comfortable.

Step 2: Grip

Right-handed: First place your left hand toward the top of the grip with you thumb facing downward. Next place your right hand below your left, and have your right thumb overlap your left thumb. Wrap the rest of your fingers around the grip. Left-handed: Use same steps as above, but place your right hand toward top of grip and left hand below it.

Tips

You want a firm grip on the club, but make sure not to hold it too tightly as it will lead blisters and restrict the flow of the club.

Make sure you don't grip the club too far toward the top because you will lose some control over the club, or the club will then be too long and likely strike the ground before hitting the ball. If your clubs are a little long for you, choke up on the club, meaning place your grip further down the shaft.


Demonstration of golf backswing

Notice my club is past parallel. I tend to over rotate my flexible shoulders, so this is a good example of what not to do.

Step 3: Backswing

The backswing starts with the movement of the arms bringing the club back to about 8 o'clock. Then the hips rotate bringing the club to about 10 o'clock. Finally, the shoulders rotate to where the club is nearly parallel with the ground.

Tips

Remember to keep your feet planted throughout the backswing. Some people like to lift their front foot, but this causes an over rotation of the hips throwing off where the club will swing through.

Also, to avoid my bad habit of bringing the club too far back, practice bringing it a little less than parallel. This will feel a little unnatural, but it will lead to a better shot.


Demonstration of follow through

Remember to always keep your head down during the follow through. Also, notice my wrists are straight. When coming out of the backswing your wrists should straighten out at about 7 o'clock.

Step 4:Follow Through

During the follow through you will rotate your shoulders, then your hips and finally your arms back into starting position while striking the ball. However, it doesn't stop there. Your arms should then bring the club forward in front of your body, forcing you to bend your arms letting the club naturally swing behind your head in a forward facing position. Also when following through, your back foot should slightly lift off the ground following the rotation of your hips.

Tips

The fastest part of your swing should be near the bottom, from about 7 o'clock to 4 o'clock. Don't try the force the club down really hard out of your backswing. This can cause you to lose control and possibly miss the ball altogether.

Always, always, always keep your head down when striking the ball. Your head should then naturally flow up as the club swings toward the front of your body. Lifting your head too soon will cause the ball to go in directions you don't want it to or not go at all.

I think of the follow through as the exact opposite of the backswing until you strike the ball. Then the follow through is more like a forward facing backswing.



How to Swing a Golf Club from Kate Ashby on Vimeo.

Ronny Mobley demonstrates the proper golf swing.

Putting it all together

Remember what I've said above when putting it all into one fluid motion. Practice swinging the club first, before hitting a ball. And when you're ready to hit the course, make sure you take a practice swing or two before hitting each shot.


Ronny Mobley

The Expert

Ronny Mobley grew up cutting greens and fairways on a 9-hole course in Brundidge, Ala. He played in his first golf tournament at the age of 15. Mobley attended Troy University in Alabama on a golf scholarship, and played on two national champion teams. He played on the PGA Tour from 1978 to 1979. After a career as a small business owner and later in banking, he is playing professionally as a senior and teaching lessons.