what is proper golf swing

So you want to know what makes a good golf swing good, and which techniques are essential to succeeding at this often frustrating game.

You might as well ask, What is the meaning of life? OK, so maybe the golf swing isn’t that mysterious. In fact, there’s a simple answer to the headline question: One that hits the ball long and straight.

Put another way, a swing that delivers the club to the ball with a clubface and path that are square to the target line is a proper one. Of course, it helps if the clubhead is moving at a high rate of speed, on an angle that produces optimum launch and spin conditions.

Golf is, indeed, a complex game.

Let’s back up for a moment to the square-clubface-and-path concept. One thing all good golfers have in common is their club position at impact. In fact, most of them look remarkably similar in the arms, hands, hips, shoulders and head at the instant the club contacts the ball. This in spite of some drastic differences in how they get there.

While there’s no single “textbook technique” for swinging the club, there are some basic methods and positions that are nearly universal among better players. For instance, most make a full shoulder turn on the backswing, lead the downswing with the hips, and exhibit excellent balance.

On the other hand, there are pros who seem to violate numerous swing rules yet still find a way to succeed. Jim Furyk, Bubba Watson and even the great Jack Nicklaus all feature unorthodox moves.

But they all end up in the same place – square at impact. Any swing that achieves this critical goal can be called “proper.”