Top Tips on How to Start the Swing
Now that we have covered the most important tips of the swing, we will get a little more fine-tuned and focus on how to correctly start the golf swing. A lot of this has to do with tempo during your takeaway, but there are other major aspects that should be considered when working on the start of your golf swing. During this section, we will discuss hand placement, shoulder alignment, hip rotation, and upper body movement. Yes, it seems like a lot, but there truly are many things that go into the start of the golf swing, and we will cover each of them below.
The most important aspect of the swing, is your hand placement before you start your swing. There are a million different articles out there that tell you to either drop your hands low, raise them higher, keep them at waist height, etc. The list really does go on and on for days, but I know what has worked for me and will work for you as well. I have tinkered around with dropping my hands low (which results in more of a draw), and also keeping my hands higher (which prevents the snap hook). To be honest, it really is personal preference here. If you are looking to hit a hook, then drop your hands lower when you address the ball. This will help speed your hands up a bit during the swing, resulting in a draw… or even a hook if you get them to low. Which brings me to what I suggest – keep the hands higher. This will keep the wrist movement to a minimum, and it does slow your hands down a bit, which prevents the over the top snap hook and allows for the ball to start down the intended target line. As I previously mentioned, this is all personal preference, depending on what type of shot you are wanting to have in your game… but either method will give you the desired result.
The next way to improve the start of your swing, is to simply check your shoulder assignment. As I mentioned earlier with your body alignment, your shoulders are just as important. If your shoulders are open at address, this will hinder the start of your swing, and ultimately cause your shot to start well off the target line. The same thing goes for closing your shoulders, and the result is, well… you guessed it, off line. To correct this, simply check your shoulder alignment at address, and pick your club up to check if you need to. While standing to address the ball, simply pull the club up and put it across your chest. If you are pointing down the intended target line, then you are set. If you are off line, adjust accordingly and continue to do this before each shot, until you are lined up correctly every time.
The third major aspect, is hip rotation. The start of your swing is vital to the rest of your swing (obviously), so you need to pay attention to your hips. The ideal turn of the hips would be to turn until your front knee is pointing behind the ball. This means that you are turning enough to rotate your entire body through the ball, which ensures the ball will start down the target line. If you are not getting the knee behind the ball, you are preventing the body from rotating correctly, which will hinder the rest of the swing. It is extremely important that you invest the time to work on this motion. I am not going to sugar coat it at all, you will truly feel uncomfortable with this until you have put in the time. Keep working on this until you are comfortable and confident that your knee/lower body is rotating enough through the first half of the swing.
The final aspect is the upper body, which goes hand-in-hand with the knee movement I just mentioned. The ideal turn here, is to rotate until your club is parallel with the ground. Don’t push this too hard, not many people can bring the club back as far as John Daly does. With this, simply have someone take a camera and record your swing. Just the first half of it would be ideal, because you will only be looking at where the club goes at the top of your swing. If you are reaching the parallel point, then you are set, and ready to roll.
In all, there are many things that come into play when discussing the start of the swing. You need to focus on your hand placement, upper body, lower body, and shoulder alignment, which all play a big factor in just the first half of your swing. I suggest spending an entire week just working on these motions. Some of these will be easy adjustments, but others will require some hard work and plenty of focus.