Basic Golf Swing
Golf is a field sport, it's unique in that the field is not standardized and, under normal circumstances, there is no official or umpire present. It's also a game. Indeed, it's most often referred to as the game of golf.
The concept of golf is a relatively simple one, hit the golf ball with a golf club until it falls into the hole and keep a record of the number of strokes you took to achieve it. That's the simple part, then it gets increasingly more complicated. What makes it complicated and challenging is the golf swing used to hit the ball with the club. In order to hit the golf ball in the direction chosen, and to get a decent distance from the shot, we need to understand the simplicity of the basic golf swing and understanding why the basic golf swing is so important.
Before we can get to grips with the more complex side of the golf swing that the pros use, we need to start at the beginning and, like every other sport, learn the basics first. Most golfers, especially new golfers, seem to bypass the basics altogether and jump right into trying to emulate the tour pros and, as a result, they have nothing to fall back on when things go wrong, that is why the basic golf swing is so important.
As you are reading this, you are not a tour pro. You are most likely a weekend golfer or perhaps a beginning golfer trying to improve your golf swing. you will have to remember this and be prepared to have average drives of around 200 yards while you work on the basic golf swing. Getting a consistent golf swing that you can rely on is more important than trying to maximize distance at your skill level. As with most things, learn to walk before you try running. Too many golfers, especially younger ones, place far too much emphasis on distance, control and accuracy is much more important.
Golf PracticePractice is also something that is in short supply for most golfers and, because of this, they never get the correct golf swing ingrained into their muscle memory. This leaves them in the awkward position of having to relearn their swing every time they go out for a round of golf. Their muscles remember a certain amount, but not the fine detail that is required for a consistent golf swing , so there is the tendency for their golf swing to become nothing more than a comfortable way of swinging the golf club. Practice is everything, but only if you have a good basic golf swing to practice with. Practicing a bad golf swing is far worse than not practicing at all.
Humans, being what they are, get round this lack of muscle memory by settling into a natural and comfortable golf stance and swing and, in their own mind they think, falsely, it is the same one that the pros use. In golf, it is just one of those things, we seldom do what we think we are doing, even pros have this problem hence their swing coaches. After a few outings, or perhaps a lot of outings, this natural and comfortable way of playing becomes the normal, even though it does not work for them, and even worse, their swing and swing plane are seldom the same. One of the biggest problems is that it seems to work some of the time, so they think they are on the right track and just need to practice more or search for those golf swing tips that will give them that one magic golf move that they are missing. The one secret that will escalate them from novice to pro instantly.
Golf ConsistencyThis inconsistent way of playing golf encourages the golfer to constantly change their golf swing to try and get the "secret golf move" that will give them a straight and reliable shot on a consistent basis. But, having failed to learn the basic golf swing in the first place, the consistency they are looking for is almost impossible to achieve.
During their search for golf swing tips, they will try almost every new piece of advice they come across. In the process, they will change their golf swing entirely. This is a common experience for most golfers, not just those that are beginning golf and just starting out, but more experienced golfers fall for it too, they start to read magazines, buy books, watch the televised tournaments, take lessons from their local golf pro and, generally, try to make up for their lack of knowledge of the basic golf swing and experience that, once learned, can always be returned to in times of trouble. When their swing breaks down and a variety of swing faults creep in, and they will, they are left floundering and not knowing what to do to correct them.
Golf Swing FaultsTrying to correct their golf swing faults using these methods is problematic in that these sources generally give you the advice to achieve the "professional" golf swing and not the basic golf swing. The tournament golf professionals know the basics better than anybody, but they no longer use the basic golf swing, they have adapted the golf swing in order to optimize their performance and put them in a different league than the rest of us, and this is the reason why trying to learn the professional golf swing is so wrong for us. We just don't have the skills and experience to to use it.
The "professional" golf swing is balanced on a knife edge, it is optimized so much that it is very difficult to maintain and it has to constantly be tweaked with very slight and subtle changes in order to keep it working. The tour pros have swing coaches to help them with this, they also practice a lot more than we do, up to 5 or 6 hours most days. Does that give you a hint as to why the professional golf swing is not the one that most golfers should be striving for? It simply takes too much time to learn and maintain it.
Basic Golf SwingThe basic golf swing, when learned correctly, has far fewer moving parts to it, it produces a straight shot with a reasonable distance for each golf club. It is also far more forgiving when we get our stance, or our grip, or direction a little wrong. Most importantly, it gives us the consistency in our golf swing that we need, a method that we can return to in order to sort out our golf swing problems. The very problems that we have introduced ourselves when we try the various optimizations that we can't help but try. It also helps us fix some common golf swing faults like correcting a golf slice or hook.
Knowing the golf swing basics will give you less frustration, a lot more fun, and will give you something tangible to tweak and adjust and play around with without destroying your game in any way. It's more than possible to play golf and achieve a handicap in single figures using nothing more than the basic golf swing.
There are other golf skills besides the golf swing that have to be learned and used in order to play golf well. It's not all about monster drives, indeed, it's about how you approach the whole game of golf and learning all the golf skills that you can, including the basic golf swing. This is the reason why the basic golf swing is so important.