How to Perfect Your Golf Swing: A Step by Step Sequence

In today’s guide we are going to review the different steps of the golf swing so you can learn the entire golf swing sequence and how it’s properly done. Working on your golf swing is key to being successful at golf and it starts with the fundamental components that make up the golf swing.

While you need to focus on all the different aspects of your swing, it is also important to focus on the swing as a whole. Whereas these aspects are mainly six, they happen simultaneously to make one nice big movement when done correctly.

Therefore, the key to getting the golf swing right is to treat it like the athletic movement that it is. This means that the flow should be cohesive and graciously vibrant.

The Perfect Golf Swing Sequence

  • Setup & Address
  • Takeaway
  • Top of the backswing
  • Transition
  • Backswing
  • Downswing
  • Impact
  • Follow-through

1. Setup & Address

Your setup is key to getting your swing right. When done right, you adopt the best possible position to make solid and consistent contact with the ball. The setup is the only time you will have to set the foundation for a proper golf swing.

This is by having perfect control over your grip, posture, stance, alignment, and finally, the ball position. Be sure to leave your arms free hanging with very little tension in them. The Address, on that note, is mostly a motionless stance.

The position entails a bend at the waist while maintaining a straight spine. It is the stance the player holds before they take a swing. The player must get this position right from the start.

If the player doesn’t get the position right at the start, odds are that he will finish in the wrong position. A wrongly executed setup causes problems when swinging later on. One of such problems is getting stuck in the downswing.

The mistake new golfers usually make is bending more at the knees instead of the waist. While most athletic sports involve the knee bend, golf is different. Slight knee bending is incorporated but more of the body tilt is derived from the waist.

Next, ensure the arms hang somewhat loosely and straight downward where they hold onto the club. The common mistake people make is to push their arms up or down.

The correct way is to maintain a free hanging position.

Lastly, the feet should be at least shoulder-width apart. Place the ball in the middle of the stance positioned according to which club is being hit.

Read: Golf Swing Balance Drills

2. Takeaway

The Takeaway is the initial half of the swing. At this position, the golf club is about waist-high. Ensure that you use your shoulders and arms to make the first movements keeping the wrists out of play.

The arms and shoulders pull the club at the line exactly along the target until the arms reach waist-high.  While in this position, it is important to move the clubface in rotating motions so that the club toe points upwards.

Ensure that the hands are maintained at the waist-high position all the while. The purpose of the rotation is to make sure that the club stays on the plane. It also allows the club to get back to the ball in a square position.

Players with little experience often make the mistake of trying this with the clubface pointing at the ball. This endeavor is impossible and affects your distance and direction.

Read: Golf Swing Takeaway Drills

3. Top of the backswing

When the hands achieve the waist-high position, the following swing is the top of the backswing. It is the final step of the backswing sequence. It occurs right before the club and the hands start to swing downward towards the ball.

At this step, you begin to apply your wrists more than at the takeaway position. Continue to apply the shoulder and arm muscles. The shoulders turn your body, while the arms swing back around the spine. You then incorporate the wrist muscles to create a pivot motion.

When picking the club into the air, ensure that it is pointing at the target as you complete the backswing. Often amateur golfers execute the backswing with the club pointing to the side of the target.

Pointing to the left side or right side of the target causes so much additional movement in the swing. This can lead to various errors. The correct way is to keep the shaft of the club in the target line.

Whether or not you are on the target line may be hard to determine on your own. Employ the help of a friend or record a video and play it back so you stay on the right track. Lastly, to ensure that you make a good shot, the golf club should be parallel to the ground.

Any deviation from the parallel position increases the number of moving parts. This makes it difficult to make a good shot.

Most people assume that taking the club far back enables them to gain greater distance which is wrong. The parallel position maintains balance, speed, and accuracy.

4. Transition

This marks the end of the backswing. At this point, the club is moving to hit the ball with the body going in the opposite direction. While executing this, all parts of the body must be in harmony.

To execute this cleanly, be slow while doing the backswing. It is a wrong assumption that a fast backswing gives the ball more speed which leads to more distance. More speed leads to more distance indeed, but that pace is crucial for the downswing and not the backswing.

During the backswing, it is more important to achieve the transition point while you are still balanced. Condition your transition time in a way that all parts of your body are moving together. Maintaining a slow backswing helps with all of this.

Achieve the point when the hands get to the top of the golf swing and the golf is parallel to the ground. At this point, pause your swing before commencing the downswing. The pause is so that you can transition and start your downswing with your lower body.

Rotate the hip and torso area towards the golf ball subsequently. When you do this, your arms and golf club follow the lower body movements. At this point of the swing, shift your weight back to the lead foot.

5. Downswing

The downswing is the motion intended to make the impact. At this point, you are throwing the hands and the club at the golf ball. During the downswing, the hands do not follow the backswing path.

The hands will instead drop down. Allow them to freefall a bit with gravity when you move from backswing to downswing. For a right-handed player, keep your right elbow close to your rib cage.

If the elbow flares in a wide arc, the move may be difficult to control. Therefore keep in mind that the back elbow should be close to, though not touching, your ribs. Remember to also maintain your wrist hinge.

The mistake made often, at this point,  is to release the wrist hinge immediately after the transition. This is referred to as casting. Casting causes you to lose all tension previously created in the wrist that you could have converted into power.

Regarding the feet, don’t force the heel off the ground. If your goal is to achieve more distance, allow the heel to leave the ground naturally. If the intention is to gain accuracy, however, keep the heel planted on the ground for as long as you can.

Read: Golf Downswing Drills to Practice

6. Impact

This is the most important part of the golf swing and the whole point of the swing. The player must get it right. It is the only point of the swing where the club and ball make contact.

There are majorly three impact positions which are;

  • Driver shot
  • Regular fairway shot
  • The Sand shot

Driver shot

The club in this position approaches the ball a little from the inside. Contact is made at the underside of the ball and moves up instead of the ground. Under this position, contact with the ground is avoided.

Regular Fairway shot

This is considered the traditional shot. In this position, the clubhead is moving downward into the golf ball. When making this shot, ensure the club makes contact with the ball first and the ground later. The club must approach the ball slightly from the inside.

Sand shot

The sand shot is a bunker shot. Sand shots are greenside bunker shots. When making a bunker shot, first make impact with the sand and then slide the club under the ball. This is to make the ball fly in the air.

The displacement of the sand is more effective in moving the ball than the actual impact. The impact with the ball depends on the amount of sand in the bunker. The more the amount of sand, the further back you will make impact with the sand.

7. Follow through and finish

This step of golfing only works when all the previous steps have been properly executed. At this point, you have to ensure that your body follows the ball. This is the point when your back heel rises.

As your body follows the ball, your weight is transferred to your front foot. You have to ensure you finish your shot while still balanced. To finish properly make certain you are aligned with your intended target.

It is also essential to the follow-through and finish that your arms rest on the front shoulder. For a right-handed player, the hands should rest on the left shoulder. At the finish, the club should rest behind the player after the swing.

The hands will then come to rest behind the head or on the shoulders. Having worked on all the previous areas collectively, you achieve the perfect follow-through and finish. Following the right sequence ensures a flawless shot.

Conclusion

Focus on mastering the essentials behind the golf swing sequence and you will perfect your technique in no time. Highlight problem areas as you go along so you focus more on them.

Take time off to practice each of the different aspects so you can refine them to perfection. Record your golf sessions for review.  And while practicing, keep in mind that the body needs time to be able to execute this athletic movement certainly.

Golf Practice Plans with Step by Step Schedules to Follow