50 Best Swing Keys

What to do and where to be throughout the swing for guaranteed success

50 Swing KeysWhen you watch Tour pros on television, you probably notice certain similarities in their respective swings. Good tempo is common, as well as good balance. Do you remember the last time you saw a professional golfer fall down after a swing or take a hack that looked awkward or rushed? Amateur golfers also tend to notice the look and feel of effortlessness Tour pros project during the swing. Of course, the prodigious distance their shots travel and the crispness of their ballstriking are impressive as well. The problem is, most amateurs simply don’t do the things the pros do before, during and after the swing and, as a result, are unable to get the same results. To hit the ball like a pro, you have to understand the moves they make and learn to do them yourself. Then, you’ll be solid.

Pro Drills
A corresponding drill is included for every dynamic part of the golf swing in this article. These drills are designed to help ingrain the “magic moves” that you’ll need to hit the ball like a pro. Once you better understand the swing, practicing the drills will be easier and more productive.

Setup Setup Keys
1 To get your legs properly positioned, begin by placing your feet just outside your hips, with your toes pointed outward at about 25 degrees. Then make sure your knees are relaxed and slightly bowed.
2 It’s crucial to position your upper left arm on top of your chest, not on the side of it. Allow your left arm to hang naturally, and slightly bend your right arm at the elbow.
3 The right shoulder must be slightly lower than the left at address to promote a proper takeaway.
4 The clubshaft should be perpendicular to the ground and not forward-pressed.

Perfect Posture
Good posture at address is critical. Without it, a proper takeaway and weight shift are impossible, and a multitude of problems, most notably a reverse pivot, can occur. Notice (right) how my upper body is at a 45-degree angle to the ground, while my legs remain The Proper Takeawayflexed and supportive. At the same time, the small of my back is flat. Good golfers maintain this position throughout the swing, particularly through impact. Losing this position by straightening up prematurely tends to produce thin, weak shots that move from left to right. Establishing an angle of about 45 degrees between the clubshaft and the ground is also important—a club that’s too vertical at address will promote an overly inside takeaway and an over-the-top swing pattern.

 The Proper Takeaway
A solid takeaway is as important as any aspect of the golf swing. If you watch Tour players closely, you’ll notice they’ve all mastered it because they know that without a proper takeaway, it’s almost impossible to make a good golf swing. After you’ve worked on your setup, it will be much easier to learn a sound takeaway, and you’ll be that much closer to swinging like a pro.

Outside & Up
Notice how the upper part of my left arm is still attached to my chest, while the clubhead is outside my hands as the club has traveled about halfway back. My left wrist is still cupped, my right arm is above the left and my right knee is still flexed. These positions, though simple, are absolutely critical.

Takeaway Drill
Grip a long iron just below the handle and place the butt of the club in your stomach. Elevate the shaft so the clubhead is at about knee height, and concentrate on feeling that your torso, arms, hips, legs and club are one unit. Then, simply take the club back by turning your body. You should feel that your hands and wrists are doing nothing to manipulate the club.

Pro Techniques
Three-time major winner Nick Price has the perfect takeaway.

There aren’t many golfers in the world who take the club away better than Nick Price. Because of his machine gun-like tempo, it can be tough to appreciate exactly how great Price’s technique is, but here in stop-action, it’s all crystal-clear. From the beginning, he keeps the club well outside his hands, and even when he brings the club up, the clubhead never gets too inside. This allows him to deliver the club on-plane and produce consistently well-struck golf shots. If you want to hit it like Nick, start practicing. 

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