How to properly swing a golf club

Natalie Gulbis_tee-offA proper golf swing can make or break a day on the green. If you’ve ever struggled to connect with that dimpled little golf ball, then you understand the exasperation that millions of golfers experience worldwide. Such an apparently easy task can quickly become frustrating if you aren’t shown how to correctly swing the club. Or maybe you can get the ball down the green without a problem – it’s your back pain that puts a damper on your game. Regardless of your history with golf, keep reading for some tips on straightening out that swing and spending a pain-free day on the course.

The stance – A correct golf swing starts with a balanced stance. If you find your weight unevenly distributed, you risk doing damage to your spine when twisting off-balance.  Spread your feet shoulder-width apart, weight on the balls of your feet, and with your spine aligned toward the ball on the tee. Now you are in starting position.

The load – The mechanics of a golf swing are detailed, but here are the basics. You engage your entire body in the motion so you can avoid straining or over-reaching. Practice slowly going through the motion to be sure you feel comfortable with the movement. Your shoulders should rotate farther than your hips do, and your weight should stay centered over your feet at all times. When the club is fully extended back, your wrists and hands should be supporting its weight – not your shoulders or your back.

The swing – When bringing the club down and through, you should shift your weight to your outside leg and foot, remembering to remain balanced. Again, your shoulders rotate farther than your hips, following the lead of your arms, and extending through to the club.  

Movement – Don’t mistake golf for a passive game. A powerful swing engages numerous muscle groups and requires that you rotate your spine and hips. To keep everything loosened up, avoid sitting and relaxing in the golf cart between every hole. Walk as much as possible to keep your muscles warm and limber; avoiding stiffness can make it easier to maintain a proper swing.

Preparation – LPGA player Natalie Gulbis is a firm believer in core strength. As a former patient of Laser Spine Institute, she knows the reality of back pain. So she recommends yoga, Pilates and other core strengthening workouts to help you maintain correct form and swing stance on the golf course.

Balance is the key word to a successful golf swing – a solid foundation can make all the difference in a winning shot.

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