For all of us golfers, the search for consistency is our obsession. We constantly try something new, searching for the answer to better golf, but we often forget the essentials. After all, what is a great building without a solid structure?
After turning pro at 19, I’ve been fortunate to spend my career helping golfers improve their swing at the Leadbetter Academy. When I’m working with students, I’ve found that some significant lessons can lead to big improvements in their swing.
Here are 5 major keys to building a solid golf swing that repeats consistently.
- The Takeaway (the first move of the swing)
- Loading the body (completing the backswing)
- Swinging and releasing the club to a balanced finish
You probably know about these elements already, but you’ll want to understand the details so you don’t make any mistakes that could hurt your game for years to come.
Below you’ll learn about the keys to mastering your golf swing, and I’ll share a swing aid that could give you instant feedback on the most important part of your swing.
5 Keys To A Consistent Swing
The correct grip is one of the most important fundamentals in golf, yet it is often overlooked. Remember, after all, the grip is your connection to the golf club.
It is important to position the club diagonally across the lead hand down towards the fingers to properly hinge the wrists. Both hands should connect together with a feeling of symmetry and connection between the two. There should be slight angles at the base of both wrists, and you want to see a couple of knuckles showing when looking down at your lead hand. Light pressure in the grip is crucial to allow you to feel the clubhead and get the club swinging freely.
Posture is the platform for a solid swing. It will allow your body to move in its most natural and efficient way, creating balance and power. The posture should feel athletic and comfortable while at the same time being balanced and stable. This way, you can maintain your posture throughout the swing.
Check the following in the mirror:
- Chest up and shoulders back
- Bend from the hips
- Slight knee flex
- Weight on the balls of the feet
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The takeaway is the first move in the golf swing that makes or breaks the rest of the swing. When the swing starts correctly, it will promote a better sequence and get the hands and clubhead on the proper track- a secret for consistency. There is no question that the biggest single difference in the swings of the top players vs everyday amateurs can be traced back to this first move.
The best players all begin their swing where the path of the hands is inside the path of the clubhead (hands in and clubhead out), while typically, the major fault with most golfers is that they have their hands out and the clubhead in, as illustrated below.
We call this first move when done correctly, the Tour Takeaway. It is a key element in the swing, deemed so important by the tour players that you see many of them adopting the Tour Takeaway move as a form of waggle. They want to ensure that in the first move, the hands and the clubhead track on the correct path in sync with the body’s motion – the chest and the core.
Such a crucial move must be grooved and incorporated into our swings, even as the pros do in the preshot routine. Up until now, we have not had a way to perfect the Tour Takeaway to ensure that we are doing it correctly- but no longer.
Legendary Golf Instructor David Leadbetter, with his vast experience working with the world’s best golfers and thousands of amateurs, has designed a “Magic Gadget” called the StraightAway to perfect the takeaway. The great thing with the StraightAway is you know immediately if your takeaway is right or wrong – no guessing, hoping, or wishing, just simply getting a major fundamental correct. From an instructor’s point of view, I can tell you that StraightAway is so easy to teach with, as you can quickly diagnose the cause of most swing problems by looking at issues caused by a bad takeaway.
Have more questions about the StraightAway? Read our interview with David Leadbetter as he answers our questions.
4. Completing the Backswing
Now that your swing has begun correctly with your move to the Tour Takeaway, you need to complete your backswing. Rotate your torso until fully coiled back to the target, shoulder under the chin. You want to load into your trail leg, so you feel pressure down to your trail heel at the top of the backswing.
5. Swing to the Finish
As you start your downswing and the body begins to unwind from a fully coiled backswing, allow for all your preparation to pay off. Now it is time to rotate your body to the finish. The Tour Takeaway promoted a core-engaged start to the swing, which will encourage the core “belly button” to unwind through impact all the way to the finish. After your swing sense, all your weight is in your lead heel, with the belt buckle facing the target and your knees touching.
How Many Years Does It Take To Get Good at Golf?
Building a solid golf swing that repeats consistently is essential for any golfer who wants to improve their game. There are five major keys to building a solid golf swing:
- Grip: The grip is the foundation of the golf swing. Having a good grip that feels comfortable and allows you to control the clubface is important.
- Posture: Good posture is essential for a consistent golf swing. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Keep your back straight and your head up. Your weight should be evenly distributed between your feet.
- The Takeaway: The takeaway is the first move of the swing. To get instant feedback on your takeaway, check out the StraightAway by David Leadbetter.
- Loading the Body: Loading the body is the second part of the backswing. You should feel pressure down to your trail heel at the top of the backswing. This will help you generate power and create a good angle of attack for the downswing.
- Swinging and Releasing the Club to a Balanced Finish: With your core engaged to start the swing, your “belly button” should unwind through impact all the way to the finish. You will know you’ve done it correctly if all your weight is in your lead heel with your belt buckle facing your target and your knees touching.