Hitting a golf ball straight is one of the hardest if not the hardest aspects of the sport, which also happens to be a great determinant of how many strokes you take at the golf ball. It is a wonderful feeling having hit your first ball straight and an equally frustrating one when you see your shot hook or slice. You are then faced with the urge to keeping your shots consistent at the former, which may be a reason why you are reading this article. The key to that consistency you so desire lies in the mechanics of your swing, and fortunately for you, this article entails a compilation of 13 tips that will help improve your swing to hitting a golf ball straight.
- Relax Your Muscles
It is important that you release the tension in your muscles before you swing that club. And the muscles to focus on mostly at this point are the wrist and forearm muscles. That gives you a more flexible swing that will ensure a rather remarkable impact on your stroke. Your muscles react more swiftly when stress-free and can be resistant with tension. And that tension is dealt with from the mind to the body, plus a few dynamic stretches can be beneficial in loosening up tense muscles and boosting your confidence.
- Check Your Grip
For a straight hit, you will need to have a neutral grip on the shaft of your club. How do I know that my grip is the right grip or rather a neutral grip? You ask. Well, first you check the number of knuckles from each hand visible to you as you address the golf ball. You should be able to see a maximum of three knuckles on the right hand and a maximum of two knuckles for the left hand to avoid slicing or to hook the ball respectively; that is if you are right-handed. And vice versa if you are left-handed.
- Align Your Club Head’s Path to the Target
Accuracy is key at this point, and that is only achievable if you have obtained a clear visual of your target and its path. That of which you achieve by aligning your clubs head and the ball to your intended target. To help you in creating this path you can lay a different club just outside the ball directed towards the target. The club on the ground should be perpendicular to your club head to give you a visual cue of whether your club face is lined up appropriately.
- Swing Speed
It is essential that your swing speed be swift to reduce any possibility of slicing the golf ball. A speeded swing also increases the distance of your shot remarkably. It is, however, a terrible risk to change speed in mid-swing, mid-swing here being both the backswing and the downswing. You need a steady speed in your swing which is the only assurance of a straight hit.
- Steady Wrist
Most amateurs make this mistake in their backswing which ends up changing the angle of their swing as a result destroying every chance they have at a straight hit. The mistake being cocking the wrist at the height a backswing. It may feel like a promising try for more power but in the real sense is a misconception that causes an errant drive.
- Get in Position
The stance you take before the swing pretty much determines how much of a straight hit your stroke on that golf ball will be. Thus you should take up a good position for the swing. To begin your legs should be well apart, with your knees slightly bent for a more flexible swing. Given your grip on the golf club, one shoulder should be lower than the other depending on which hand is your lead-hand. However, your shoulders and legs should be parallel to the target.
- Power Your Swing with Your Body
It is another amateur misconception to power your swing using only your arms. An average observer would notice that any professional golfer with straight hits turn their whole body whenever they take a stroke of the golf ball. That is because the whole body powers the swing since that ensures a more flexible, less resistant and swift hit.
- Keep Your Club head Inside the Ball
It is important that you keep your club head inside the golf ball as you draw back before your backswing. That helps in alleviating issues such as the outside-in swing, which is a common error an amateur golfer would make just before hit off consequently causing a side spin.
- Pick a Golf Club
For the right consistent straight hit, you have to use a golf club that is suitable to your swing regarding speed and strength. For instance, if your shot distance is below average that means your swing strength is minimal thus women’s or senior’s clubs are the ones for you. And if your shot distance is way above average then you need an extra-stiff shaft.
- Know Your Ideal Tempo
You can discover your tempo by making a few continuous practice swings without a ball using a 5-iron. Knowing your tempo helps you keep your downswing balanced and controlled by speed and strength of your swing.
- Let the Club Do its Job
Once you make the swing, you can let the club head work for you at the point of impact. Lunging at the golf ball will only lead to miss-hits and stray shots rather than straight shots.
- Keep Your Hands Low
The lower you keep your hands, the lower your ball flight. Limiting the height of the follow through consequently reduces the height of your shots making them more precise and closer to straight hits.
After practicing and being able to control your swing the possibility of slicing or hooking is not permanently alleviated. You need to practice several exercises that will help you maintain consistent straight hits.
Now, you can go out there and become the best golfer that you have ever been.