Part I of this tutorial explained how to study your golf swing fundamentals when directly facing a full-length mirror or other reflective surface. In Part II, we’ll take you from setup to the top of the backswing with the mirror on your right (left if you’re left-handed). In other words, you’ll be “hitting” away from the mirror.
Assume your setup, with or without a golf ball. Place a club along the line of your feet, perpendicular to the mirror, to ensure proper alignment:
- Balance: Weight should centered on the balls or center of your feet. If your backside is well behind your ankles, you may have too much weight in the heels. If your upper body leans out over the ball, you’re on your toes.
- Knees and hips: The knees must be comfortably flexed. Check that you are bending from the hips, rather than the waist. Bending from the waist will cause your back to arch.
- Spine angle: Your spine should form a reasonably straight line from the tailbone through the neck. Too much arch and you may be bending from the waist.
- Arms: Once you’ve achieved proper posture, your arms should hang naturally from the shoulders. They don’t necessarily need to hang straight down, but be sure you’re not extending them to reach for the ball.
- Takeaway – clubhead path: The club should trace a line straight back from the ball for the first 6-10” before arching to the inside.
- Backswing — clubface position: With the hands at hip height and the shaft approximately parallel to the ground, a toe that’s pointing straight up signals a clubface that’s square to the target line. If it points in front of you, it’s closed; behind you, it’s open.
- Backswing – swing plane: When the left arm reaches parallel to the ground or a bit higher, trace an imaginary line from the butt end of your club to the floor. If it points directly at the ball or just inside it, you’re on plane. Too far inside the ball means you’re too upright (vertical); outside the ball means you’re too flat (horizontal).
- At the top – club position: Where is your club pointing? Straight ahead (parallel to the target line) is ideal. Right of target means you’re “across the line,” while left is a “laid-off” position.
- At the top – clubface: If the face is flush with the back of your left forearm, it’s square. The toe hanging down means the face is open; pointing in front of you means it’s closed.
- At the top – right elbow: Where the elbow points depends on your swing plane (angle of your left arm), but the right arm should form approximately a 90° angle and support the left arm. The right elbow should be close to your body.
Now for the takeaway and backswing:
At the top – posture and balance: Your weight should remain poised over the balls or center of the feet, with the spine angle mimicking the address position. Make sure you haven’t risen up or squatted down excessively at this point.