The Principles of the Pro Golf Swing

Each golf club is engineered to very fine tolerances and has been built to help you to gain a level of control over trajectory, curvature and ball speed. Your job is to use the golf club correctly, which is to say use it in such a way that you strike consistent golf shots that you're satisfied with...most of the time. But this as you already know is definitely a challenge given the amount of conflicting information you have to sift through to find the best way for you to use the golf club correctly.

We all want to hit the ball better and learning how to apply the principles of the pro golf swing will definitely help you to develop consistency and confidence. Following are the pro golf swing principles that I believe will help you to strike the golf ball more solidly and consistently leading to more confidence on the golf course.

Principle # 1 - Control the angle of the golf shaft as it strikes the golf ball.

Controlling trajectory begins by understanding the relationship between the head or striking end of the golf club and the handle or holding end as the golf club strikes the golf ball. There are three conditions that the golf shaft can be in as it strikes the ball. The shaft can lean forwards towards the target, it can have no lean, or it can lean backwards away from the target. When using an iron or a wood we ideally want the golf shaft leaning slightly forwards as the golf ball departs from the clubface.

How do you do it?

Practice punching your golf shots by trying to hit your golf shots as low as possible using a seven iron without moving your upper body towards the target until the golf ball has left the clubface. Practice hitting golf shots under low tree branches and bushes and focus on hitting the ball before the ground. You might have noticed that PGA tour professionals use the punch shot quite often when they hit their approach shots into the green.

Principle # 2 - Control the clubface angle as the club head strikes the golf ball.

The clubface can be in one of three conditions as the golf ball is struck. It can be open to the target line, square to the target line or closed to the target line. It is helpful to know that the golf club should not be square at impact but actually slightly open. The reason for this is that there is a very important distinction that you should be aware of. Rather than thinking of impact as the time when the club comes into contact with the golf ball, think of it as two distinct times in your golf swing - impact or collision and separation. When the golf club makes contact with the ball the clubface should be slightly open not square, and during the time that the golf ball is in contact with the clubface it "squares up" and the ball departs or separates from the clubface.

How do you do it?

The key to achieving this is to make sure that your hands when applied to the handle are positioned so that the pressure is behind the handle rather than on top. The best example I can give you is to imagine that you are pushing a shopping cart or lawn mower and think about where your hands are positioned on the handle. The strongest position for your hands is behind the handle when applying pressure to move the object forward. This is no different on a golf club where the objective is to apply pressure to the rear of the golf ball. If you want to hit stronger and longer shots, make sure that both hands are rotated slightly behind the handle of the golf club.

Principle # 3 - The accelerating golf club should decelerate as late as possible.

A golf club at the start of the downswing accelerates, achieves peak acceleration and then decelerates until it stops. Every golf club swung by a human being does this. You may have heard commentators describe how pro's "accelerate through the ball" which is a nice thought but actually it doesn't happen quite like that. In fact the golf club is slowing down as it comes into contact with the golf ball and for some golfers it's slowing down quite rapidly. The key is to reduce the deceleration so that it happens as late as possible.

How do you do it?

Make short backswings with a full and complete wrist cock. Swing your arms back to about 9 o'clock with the club head pointing directly upwards. From this position swing the club to the finish position and create a loud whoosh sound on the target side of the golf ball. As you whoosh your golf club swing into a perfectly balanced finish position. The key to this practice method is to only focus on developing the whoosh in front of the golf ball rather than at the golf ball. Now transfer the feeling into your golf swing by still focusing on creating the whoosh in front of the golf ball.

Practice developing the pro golf swing principles and incorporate them into your golf swing. With some consistent practice you will start to notice improved results leading to more consistency and golf confidence.