We all adore the skill and proficiency of professional golfers. The best golf players in the world can make long and short distance strikes that reach the targets in a seemingly effortless manner. However, even tour players require practice and strategy when making their shots.
If you are wondering what makes a good strike, this guide is for you. This post discusses the proper stance for making good strikes and the steps involved in hitting a golf ball using a driver or an iron.
How to Stand When Hitting the Golf Ball
Step 1: Feet Apart
Stand upright while keeping your hands at your sides and with your feet firm on the ground. Ensure your feet are a comfortable distance apart because finding the right standing position is crucial to getting the set up right. Ideally, you can stand with your feet shoulder-width apart to achieve an athletic movement as you swing your club.
Step 2: Bend the Knees
You should add some knee bend to your stance to ensure you have enough support for your body during the setup. Insufficient flex in your legs will limit the amount of power you deliver in your swing. At the same time, too much flex will make it harder to make clean hits. So, you should have enough flex to provide some bounce to your set up.
Step 3: Bend the Hips
The next thing to do is to bend your hips between an angle of 34-38 degrees to achieve the right posture between your spine and the ground. The degree of bending could be less or more depending on how comfortable you feel. Just ensure you are not leaning too far back or forward to lose your balance.
Step 4: Arms and Hips
Continue from the previous position and release your hands to hang down from your shoulders naturally. This is the primary position your hands should be in during the setup. The more you bend your hips, the further your arms will hang from your body, while the less you bend, the closer your heads get to your body.
Step 5: Final Touches
Having achieved the proper stance for hitting a golf ball, here are a few pointers to polish your set up position for the best golf swing.
- Front Foot
You should adjust your feet in a way that maximizes your physical ability. Turn your front foot in a counterclockwise direction towards the target to finish your swing more easily. The more you turn it, the easier it will be to finish, taking away unnecessary strain and stress from your front knee as you deliver your golf swing.
- Back Foot
Like the front foot, the back foot allows you to improve or reduce your turning speed as you swing the golf club to hit the ball. Turning your back foot in a clockwise direction away from your target will give you more room for rotation and mobility in your swing. Try out a different stance for each foot until you find the best position.
Finally, while you can take every measure to achieve the perfect stance for hitting the golf ball, your swing will not take the ball where it should go without proper alignment. As you set up to hit a golf ball, you should make sure your knees, hips, and feet are all parallel to the target.
You can achieve this by pretending to hit the ball on railway tracks with your feet standing on one track and the ball sitting on the other. This will help you get the proper alignment to hit the golf ball as accurately as possible.
How To Hit the Golf Ball Using a Driver
With the perfect stance set up in place, the next thing is to adapt to the Driver.
1. High or Low Tee
When using a driver, you are allowed to get a head start in your first golf shot since the ball is not on the ground but a tee. The ideal tee for your golf ball shouldn't go lower than the center of the clubface or higher than half the height of the ball while it is above the club top.
The reason golfers tee the ball up is because the club face of a driver has little loft making it harder to get the ball in the air than a sand wedge. The loft of most drivers range between 8.5 to 12 degrees, while a sand wedge has about 56 degrees. As such, the purpose of placing the golf ball on a tee is to provide it with a head start.
2. Best Golf Ball Position
Now that the golf ball is on a tee let's look at the best location to position it between your feet. Since the driver is the longest golf club in your bag, you should place the golf ball forward for the best contact. The golf ball on the tee should be closer to your lead foot, which means your body should be to the side.
Placing the ball near your rear foot will cause you to hit it while the driver moves down, making it more challenging to get the ball in the air. Having the ball forward will ensure it can travel further up in the air with the driver.
3. Keep the Club and Your Arms Straight
By now, you know how to stand properly and the ideal position for the ball in your set up. Now, let's focus on the location of the grip of the golf club. Many golfers place their lead arm in a way that creates a straight line as they swing the driver.
If the golf club's grip endpoints your belt buckle, the club face will point towards the left. If the grip end is beyond your front hip, the club face will point to far on the right. So, for the perfect position, make a straight line between your lead shoulder, the club, and the ball. If you grip the club in this posture, you will ensure you make accurate shots and improve your game.
4. Add Some Tilt
Finally, all that remains for you to hit the ball with your driver is to add some tilt. Since we want the ball in the air and the driver, you should place your front shoulder higher than the other one. The tilt is directly proportional to the height of your golf shots as you hit the ball with a driver.
How to Hit a Golf Ball with an Iron
The main challenge many golfers face when using an iron to hit the golf ball is that the ball is usually sitting on the ground and not on a tee. So, let's look at how to hit the ball with an iron.
1. The Best Point of Contact
First, it is essential to understand how hitting the golf ball with an iron works. As you swing your golf club, it moves in a circular motion, and at some point, it should make contact with the ground. After striking the ground, the golf club continues up into the air and moves all the way round towards you.
When using the driver, the lead foot needed to be closer to the tee because the club had reached the lowest point behind the ball, and then it ascends to help achieve the height necessary for drives. When using an iron, the ball should be closer to the center of your standing position, which is known as the 'low point' of your golf swing.
2. Move the Handle and Your Hips Foward
Golfers must identify the low point since it's what makes the ball get into the air and onto the green. Now, with the ball close to the middle of your stance, only a few steps remain in mastering the way to hit the ball with an iron.
Make sure you make a straight line between the ball, club, and lead to achieve the best angle for hitting the ball. In this position, push your hips and a little more than half your weight towards the lead foot. This will help you strike the ball and the ground as accurately as you can. If you place too much weight on your trail foot, your golf swing will hit the grass and turf first, making your shot less effective.
3. Hinge the Club
All that remains now is to find the best way to hinge and unhinge your club. A hinge is similar to the swinging motion of hitting a nail with a hammer. Just like the way you hinge the hammer at your wrist as you swing to create an accurate and powerful hit, so should you do for your golf swing.
Without hinging the club during your swing, it will only result in a powerless impact that won't get the ball across the distance you need it to go. During the backswing, hinging will allow you to take the golf club vertically, which will cause it to make contact with the ball at a descending angle that can take it further.
How to Hit the Ball Straight or with Curvature
Two primary factors affect the direction and curvature of a golf ball. First, we have the club head, specifically the direction it points to as it strikes the golf ball. Place the club face behind the ball and look at the direction if faces in relation to the ball.
As you turn or twist the grip of the club, you'll notice that the face also turns either to the left or right by some degrees. The direction the club head is facing is crucial because it informs the direction the golf ball will move after a stroke.
Secondly, to achieve curvature when hitting the ball, you need to understand the IN TO OUT angle of your swing. The angle at which you strike the golf ball will determine the swing path of the ball. A golf shot with a swing path of 10 degrees IN TO OUT will deliver an impact that will curve the ball 5 degrees to the right and then 5 back to the left, taking the ball directly to the target.
How to Hit a Golf Ball Low
Most golfers want to make low shots to counter the weather and wind while increasing the shot accuracy. Here are the steps to follow to achieve lower strikes.
- Start by getting into your set up as if you are using an iron to make your shot.
- Then move the ball about 6-12" back in your standing position. The further back you take the ball, the lower the flight it will achieve with your shots.
- Keep the handle of the club in front of the ball and create a straight line with your lead arm.
- Then, as you swing, make an L between your lead arm and the club.
- Execute your downswing while unhinging your club as late as you can to create just enough loft to cause the lowest flight for your shot.
- As you finish your swing, keep it shorter, just about your waist height. This will also help ensure the lowest flight for the ball.
How to Hit the Golf Ball High
If you want the golf ball to go higher than usual, here are the steps you can use
- Start with the iron shot set up.
- Move the ball 6-12" up your standing position. The further forward you place it, the higher up the ball will fly.
- Then, ensure the handle of the club is aligned with your lead arm. However, the club shaft should have less angle to ensure the handle doesn't go too far forward.
- During the swing, the club and your lead arm should make an L shape.
- Next, deliver your downswing and unhinge your club as you normally do. The forward movement of the ball should be enough to make it go higher than it typically would.
- The finish for this method should be full and exaggerated, but you can use whichever finish is comfortable for you.