Become A Better Ball Striker Today
Hitting the ball might seem like the simplest thing in the world to people who’ve never actually played golf, but every player knows that striking the ball cleanly and efficiently isn’t as easy as the professionals make it seem.
In fact, the key thing that sets the pros apart from casual players is that they have mastered the techniques necessary to strike the ball well each and every time they swing.
And the crazy thing is that it really isn’t too hard to learn those techniques yourself. Depending on your current level of play, a few simple tweaks and tips could be enough to give you much greater control of your shots and a much smoother swing.
Creating Your Own Swing and Locking in to Striking
The key is to building a swing that is consistent and repeatable is to not try and copy someone else’s swing by constantly making major tweaks to yours. It might seem logical that, in order to play like a pro, you should try and copy their technique, but this doesn’t actually work.
Everyone’s physique and swinging style is different, and you need to find a style that suits you and your muscles, rather than trying to adopt a technique that isn’t your own.
So, instead of trying to copy the pros’ swinging styles, what you should actually be doing is trying to incorporate some of their little tricks and movements into your game, enhancing and improving your own swing in order to become a better ball striker.
Let’s look at some key tips you might want to try to start hitting the ball better and more consistently.
Fix Your Backswing
First up, let’s talk about shortening your backswing. You might not have enough flexibility in your shoulder to do the sort of full backswings the pros are capable of. To test this, simply stand up straight, raise your right arm out to the side and then bend the elbow at a 90-degree angle.
Try to bend your forearm back behind your ear without moving the rest of your arm.
If you can’t really bend it back too far, this means you shouldn’t be attempting huge, full backswings. The key here is to know your body’s limits and adjust your swing accordingly.
Stop your backswing when it feels right to stop it, rather than trying to force your arms back into an unnatural position. Forcing things will only result in mistakes like an open clubface or bad weight shifting.
The trick to perfecting your backswing is to keep the left arm tucked tightly in. Try to ensure that as you take the club away from the ball, your left bicep stays touching the left part of your chest. This will stop you lifting your arms too far. It might seem like you’re not getting enough of a lift to have sufficient power, but try not to worry about that.
Like we said, forcing the issue will only result in bad hits. It’s much better to have a shorter backswing with total accuracy than a slightly longer one that causes mistakes and inaccurate shots.
A long backswing does not necessarily translate to a long shot, and a short backswing won’t necessarily mean you won’t hit the ball far either. It’s all about accuracy and hitting the ball in the sweet spot.
Ball Striking is All In Your Hips
The next step concerns your hips. You need to turn them more. We always here that the pros like Spieth and Fowler limit their hip rotation, but again they are likely considerably more flexible than you.
If you want to test out the flexibility of your hips, try sitting in a chair and resting both feet comfortably on the ground, bending the knees.
Next, try raising the right foot slightly and then moving it outwards without using the knee or thigh. You should feel a bit of tension in the muscles of your right hip, and this will let you know how flexible you are.
Most players don’t have the same sort of flexibility as the pros, and this is where the hips come into play. Start turning them away on your backswing, allowing your shoulders to turn fully and charge up your shot.
Again, don’t try too hard here. There’s no need to push the hips too far; simply let them twist to a naturally comfortable point and then stop.
Lock in Your Spine Angle
Moving on, let’s talk about your spine angle. Too many casual and amateur players seem to focus on this like it’s the holy grail of the golf swing, but really you just need to forget about it.
Once again, this is a case of players trying to emulate the pros, but most people simply don’t have the muscle strength or coordination necessary to maintain a perfect spine angle during a swing.
Not everyone can boast of perfect posture, but it doesn’t have to hinder your swing as much as you might fear. The trick here is to swing a little more slowly and get your arms into the movement more than normal.
Swings that are dominated by the arms create less force on the rest of the body, helping you keep your hips in place and try to maintain a respectable golfing posture.
Once again, you might worry that this technique could cost you some distance and it might feel like you’re not hitting the ball as powerfully, but you will be hitting it sweeter, and that additional accuracy will compensate for any slight loss of power.
Understanding the Release
Our final tip is to release with your chest. This tip is perfect for people who suffer with a lack of flexibility in their left shoulder. If this description fits you, it’s important to start releasing with the body, and you’ll quickly find it’s much easier than trying to release with your hands.
You need flexibility in your left shoulder in order to turn your hands over properly, and you’ll suffer a lot of pulls and pull slices without it.
To start releasing with the chest, make a triangle with your arms. Rather than worrying about rotating your wrists and forearms to release the club, simply keep your hands facing each other and rotate your body to keep the triangle intact, pushing the ball with the strength of your chest and upper body.
It should actually feel like you’re hitting the ball with your chest and your arms are just swinging along with it. The key is to keep that triangle shape through the moment of impact.
Again, this and every tip from above will greatly improve you ball striking almost immediately. Take these tips to the range today and leave a better ball striker.