Hitting a golf ball is the most fundamental action in the game of golf. Therefore, it would pay to understand the basics of the golf shot thoroughly.
Therefore, you may wonder: how do you hit a golf ball with the correct technique?
In this article, we will tell you exactly how to hit a golf ball with the best fundamentals.
How To Hit A Golf Ball?
To hit a golf ball, hold your club correctly, lift your club while rotating your upper body by twisting your hips, then rotate the other way to generate power on the downswing, making contact with the ball with the club head face perpendicular to it, and following through.
To hit a golf ball, the basics are ever so important. You can become a good golf player just by mastering the basics. After you master the basics, you can apply advanced techniques to become a great player.
Aside from putting, swinging a golf club is pretty much the only other action in golf, making it an essential skill to master.
If you are using a driver, your golf swing will need to be faster, which makes the swing harder to master than by practicing with shorter clubs, like irons.
We recommend you start practicing with irons to get the golf swing technique down, if you are a complete beginner. Just so you know, the swing speed you need with a driver is about twice as much as the swing speed you need to use a 3-iron.
On top of requiring slower swing speeds, irons have more loft than a driver, which helps give the golf ball lift.
All these elements will combine to give you more and more confidence in your golf swing. If you would like more tips to increase your golfing confidence, read our guide: How To Increase Golfing Confidence?.
The gist of getting a good golf shot off is that you need to use the right clubs, hold your club correctly, lift your club while rotating your upper body by twisting your hips, then rotate the other way to generate power on the downswing, making contact with the ball with the club head face perpendicular to it, and following through.
Follow the steps down below to get a sound, solid and well-executed golf shot off.
Steps To Hit A Golf Ball Correctly
Step 1: Use the right equipment
Before even attempting a golf shot, you should ensure that your equipment is right for you.
If you want to make sure you have the right golf club length, you can go get some golf club fitting done for you.
Step 2: Hold your golf club correctly
Now that you have golf clubs that fit you well, you need to hold your golf club correctly.
If you do not know how to hold your golf club as you should, you can read our guide: How To Hold A Golf Club Correctly?.
The correct way to hold a golf club is not intuitive, so pay close attention to whether you have the right technique down.
Step 3: Stand in front of the golf ball with correct golf stance
Next, now that you are holding the golf club correctly, you want to assume proper golf stance in front of the golf ball.
The golf ball may be about 2 shoe lengths away from your toes, and around halfway between your feet. If you would like to know more details about the optimal golf ball distance from you, read our guide: How Far Should You Stand From The Golf Ball?.
However, it is important to note that the ideal distance from the golf ball can vary from person to person, depending on factors like your height, your club length, and club lie.
To get into the correct golf stance position, your feet should be shoulder width apart, facing the golf ball, perpendicular to your shot target. Your legs should be very slightly bent at the knees, and your buttocks popping out slightly.
Your back should be straight, but bent down at the hips. Essentially, you are somewhat crouching over the golf ball with the added constraints just mentioned.
Finally, let your arms hang down from your shoulders, holding the golf club. There should not be much elbow bend at all.
Step 4: Twist your hips to rotate your upper body and start the backswing
Now that you are in the proper golf stance, an adequate distance away from the golf ball, it is time to start your backswing (bringing the golf club up behind you to prepare to strike the ball).
To start your backswing, twist your hips to rotate your upper body, using your back hip as the pivot point for the twist. This is important to give your golf club the correct swing path, and to give room for your arms during the downswing. Twisting your hips will also avoid early extension.
At the end of your backswing, when the club is at its highest point, your lead arm should be very straight, but your rear elbow will be a bit bent.
During the backswing, you need to rotate your hips and shoulders, and during the downswing, you will rotate the other way. The purpose of the backswing is to store potential energy that you can then turn into kinetic energy (high speed of the golf club).
When you twist and rotate your upper body, it is like you are twisting a coiled spring, and prepare to unleash lots of energy. When you twist your upper body, you will notice it immediately wants to come back to an untwisted position. Use this effect to generate more power.
During both your backswing and your downswing, the golf club head should follow an arc-shaped path around your body that is attributed to the rotation of your body. If your golf club stays in the same plane parallel to your target during the entire swing, you are not rotating your body.
Looking from behind you, the golf club head should move during the backswing from low to high in an almost diagonal arc.
Step 5: Untwist your hips and start the downswing
With your upper body rotated one side, and your golf club at its highest point, it is time to start the downswing.
To downswing correctly, rotate your hips and shoulders the other way, making sure your golf club follows the same arc-shaped swing path it followed during the backswing.
Near the end of the downswing, after making contact with the ball, your hips will be rotated to turn the entire body towards your target. You may feel like lifting the heel of your rear foot to aid in translating the rotational power of your hips forward.
Swing as fast as possible while still maintaining club control to get the hardest, yet still accurate shot you can. A useful training aid tool you can use to teach yourself the optimal swing path is the Hula Hoop Training Aid.
During your downswing, your head level should remain stable, and your head should not move much.
Step 6: Make contact with the golf ball
Near the end of your downswing, you will get close to hitting the golf ball very fast. The next step is to actually make contact with the golf ball effectively.
When you hit the golf ball, you want the golf club head’s face to be perfectly perpendicular to the ball. If the club head face is not perfectly square to the ball, but angled instead, then you will give the ball a trajectory that is not intended.
You also want the golf ball to make contact with your club dead in the center of the club head face. This is the sweet spot.
If you hit the golf ball with the extremity of the club face rather than dead in the center, even if the head face is perfectly perpendicular, it will affect your shot negatively.
When hitting the golf ball, it is often a good idea to imagine you are sweeping the grass, barely even touching hit before making contact with the golf ball. Do not hit the turf hard; you are just wasting energy and power.
Do not tilt your body backwards to scoop the golf ball, the loft of your golf club head will lift the golf ball automatically if you follow this guide. If you are using a driver, which barely has loft, you can tilt your body backwards to scoop the ball.
If you are hitting a golf ball off a tee, then sweep the ball off the tea, since your club will be nowhere near the grass.
Note: when hitting the ball with a driver, a club that has very little loft, tilting your body backwards to scoop the ball up in the air is useful. You do not need any backwards body tilt if hitting the ball with other clubs like irons.
Step 7: Extend your body and follow through
Finally, after hitting the golf ball at the end of your downswing, it is time to extend your body (straighten up a bit) and follow through with your swing.
After making contact with the ball, you will probably naturally feel like extending your body as you face your target, which adds power to your shot. Make sure extension happens now and not too early, or you will be a victim of early extension.
Considering how hard you hit the golf ball to maximize power, your arms may very well wrap around behind your head after you release all the energy in your swing. This is also a natural by-product of your swing following the correct arc-shaped rotational swing path.
If your arms naturally want to wrap around and behind your head, you are doing something right.
To wrap things up, this guide showed you 7 steps to a fundamentally good golf shot, but you need to realize that only practice will allow you to get a good shot. Practice the correct technique, and it will be burnt in your subconscious mind.
These 7 steps need to be performed in an extremely quick sequence; you will not have time to think of each step during your swings. Therefore, it is a great idea to film yourself taking golf swings, at the driving range, and to analyze your form and try fixing little bits each time.
Practice, practice, practice, only the good habits, and you will become a solid golfer.
There you go! After reading this article, you have learned the best shot fundamentals to follow to know how to hit a golf ball correctly.
To really internalize and perfect your golf shot technique, you can film yourself and pick out bad technical elements and fix them over time.
Have you mastered the golf shot fundamentals? What part of hitting a golf ball do you struggle with? Let us know in the comments down below!