7 Faults Most Amateurs Make

and the quick tips to cure them

This Article Features Photo Zoom

1. Poor Balance?/Stick Your Finish
Here’s something to look for the next time you watch a professional golf tournament: Notice how, on great shots, the pros hold their finish and how, on bad shots, they don’t. Why’s this worth noting? Because, all too often, amateurs swing as if, once they hit the ball, nothing afterward matters. Just the opposite is true.

Whether you’re on the range or on the course, I want you to swing fully into your finish. If you find yourself falling backward, then you’ve pulled the golf club through with your shoulders and hips rather than starting your swing with your lead leg and then swinging your arms. If you fall forward on your toes or start to walk after you’ve finished your swing, then your downswing started with your shoulders and you came over the top.

I tell my students to feel their swing from start to finish, and by finish, I mean to hold their finish. This keeps them focused through the ball versus “checking out” before the hit.

2. Improper Grip Pressure?/Hold It At 45°!
Although you might think that most amateurs grip the club too tight with only their hands, they also typically hold it too tight in their wrists, forearms, upper arms and shoulders. Squeezing the club like this inhibits your swing and makes it virtually impossible to make a fluid motion.

To find the ideal grip pressure, try this simple exercise with any golf club. Hold the golf club in front of your chest with the shaft and clubhead pointing toward the sky. Hold it as lightly as possible until the golf club feels as though it will slip out of your hands. This is too light of a grip. Next, allow the golf club to “fall” so it’s parallel to the ground. Notice how the tension increases in your hands, wrists and forearms. Now your grip pressure is too tight. Finally, hinge the golf club to a 45-degree angle and begin to make little circles with your hands and wrists. Feel the weight of the clubhead. You now have the perfect grip pressure, like in the upper left photo.

Be aware of your grip pressure the next time you practice or play. You might find that you hold the driver the tightest even though it’s the very club that you should be gripping the lightest (the driver is the lightest club in your bag, while the sand wedge is the heaviest). Find your perfect grip pressure and start making fluid swings.

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