Taking up a new sport or hobby can be overwhelming. It’s exciting at first, but the rules and technicalities seem to make it less fun. Golf can be a rewarding and thrilling experience, but learning how to hit a golf ball can be complicated.
It’s even worse when you think about how you need to use different golf clubs and different points of the course and how each swing requires different clubs.
The only way to make your life easier is by knowing how to hit a golf ball. Learning this first step will make your experience less challenging, and in turn, making it more enjoyable for you. Continue reading for our complete guide on how to hit a golf ball for beginners.
Perfect Your Form
Before a beginner golfer can learn how to hit the ball, it’s essential to know the proper form. Your form can transform your whole game. Here’s how to take a proper stance in golf:
Holding The Club
Your grip on the golf club determines how you hit the ball. It determines how much power you put in and which direction your ball will go. A weak grip means weak hits, which means that you’ll play a terrible game.
Start by holding your gold club out in front of you at waist level. The club should be horizontal to the ground and square to your face. Grab the club with your non-dominant hand first (usually your left hand) and stretch your fingers out against the club so that your palm aligns with the handle.
Once your palm is closed around the handle, rotate it until you start to see two knuckles when you look down.
Once your non-dominant hand is in place, it’s time to position your dominant hand. Place it on top of the non-dominant hand, but don’t hold it too tightly, and let the club rest in the creases and not in the middle of your palm. The dominant hand should always be lower because this gives you more control of the club, and it’s more comfortable.
There are different types of grips, but the one that we’ve described is the best one for beginners. It’s a 10-finger grip that professionals don’t use, but it’s a great place to start. Remember to hold the club in the position that feels most natural.
You can watch a video on how to perfect your grip, here.
Having The Right Stance
Holding the golf club the correct way is only the first stage of the process; the more complex part is learning how to stand correctly. Finding the right stance takes time, but it’s worth it, and can have a major effect on the quality of your game.
Your legs are the most critical part of finding a golf stance. The legs are important because you’ll use the lower body to drive your swings. You can use your golf club to calculate the best posture. All you have to do is measure the width of your shoulders using a club.
Lay the club on the ground and ensure that your feet are shoulder-width apart. You can wiggle a bit to ensure that you aren’t too stiff. A narrow stance could reduce the power in your swing. Also, remember not to move your feet because a wide stance will shift your body weight.
Positioning Your Body
Once you’ve figured out the foot placement, stand up straight with your arms extended outwards in front of you and the golf club facing outwards. Move your knees a little and bring your arms down to rest on your chest. At this point, your body should have a slight forward tilt. You should keep bending forward until your club touches the ground.
The best way to check if you’re in the proper stance is by looking at whether your body is forming straight lines. Your hands should be underneath your chin, and your back should be well-aligned. Your shoulders must have a slight tilt, but they shouldn’t lean to the side.
You’ll feel your body locking in once you’re in the proper position. The position feels natural, and you can feel that your center of gravity is stable. Don’t criticize yourself if you take time to adjust your form. It will take time before you get used to the adjustments as a beginner, but we promise that you’ll get better with frequent practice.
Position The Ball
Finding the right stance is the most challenging part when learning how to hit a golf ball for beginners. Now that you’ve got that out of the way, we can get into the fun stuff. The last stage of perfecting your form is putting the ball in the right spot.
The club you use determines how far away you put the ball. You’ll get used to the various distances the more you practice. You’ll be a natural at ball positioning in no time.
Lock your knees while you’re in the proper stance, and wait until you can feel your weight shifting toward your heels. Once you’re there, flex your knees slightly and move the weight to the balls of your feet.
Lower the club down your front until it’s about an inch above your kneecap. Once the club is fully lowered, the position where it’s pointing is where your ball should be. Reading the instructions might make this sound complex, but it’s not. Here’s a golf setup video to explain further.
Now that you know the distance to place your feet, here’s a helpful video showing how to put the ball in the right place. You should place the ball right between your feet when you’re using short clubs. The longer the club, the more you should move towards your left foot. The ball should be right inside your left foot when you’re using your longest club.
How to Take a Swing
Now that you’ve got the proper posture, you’re ready to take a swing and get the party started. The golf swing occurs in the following pattern: the address, takeaway, top of the backswing, transition, downswing, impact, and follow-through.
You’ve already got the address down, so now we’re moving onto the takeaway with our how to hit a golf ball for beginners guide.
The takeaway refers to how you start your swing. It’s a make-or-break moment that determines how the rest of your shot goes. Don’t let this discourage you, though! Nailing your takeaway means that there’s a high chance of nailing your swing. Here’s how to do it:
You can either use the one-piece method or the right-arm method.
The one-piece method uses the front shoulder as the swing’s driving force. The rest of the body mainly stays still while you concentrate on bringing the club back to your chin.
The advantage of using this method is that you use less power, you have more control and stability, and it looks more graceful. The stability it offers is great for balance, and it means that you’ll be in the best position when you reach the top of the backswing.
The right-arm method has more moving parts. By moving your right arm backward (or whichever hand you use as your back arm), you open up your backhand, rotate your forearms, and your palm faces up. The benefit of this movement is that it’s better for your cuff rotator muscles, thereby keeping you fitter.
Whichever method you use, remember to focus on the bigger muscles before using the smaller muscles. This means that you should move your shoulders and arms before moving your wrists. As a beginner, it’s easy to get caught up and focus more on facing the ball for longer, but this will only hurt your distance. Focus on your form and trust our instructions.
Top of The Backswing
The top of the backswing is the move that you’re most familiar with because it’s often pictured in logos, photographs, and on TV. To get in position, start by using your shoulders to turn your body while using your wrists to create a pivot motion.
Tilt the front shoulder downwards and take the chance to look at the ball. Don’t forget to slightly bend your hips and relax a little. Putting too much power at the top might throw your shoulder out, and getting into your head could make you miss the ball.
Since this is the most exciting part of the swing, it’s easy to get overexcited. The feel of picking up air is so much better than adjusting your form and positioning the ball. However, remember to stay in control and ensure that the club remains on target and lines up with the ball.
The transition happens at the end of the downswing and marks the moment that the body and golf club work in harmony. This is when you move to see the results of your initial hard positioning work. It’s a peaceful, yet exciting, moment because you can feel everything working in unison.
Once again, take your time and save your speed for the downswing. Your transition is a chance to retain control, position your body, make sure everything is moving in unison, and shift your weight to the lead foot. However, don’t waste too much time here and focus more on getting to the next stage.
It’s called a transition for a reason!
The downswing is the second-most important part of taking a swing. After shifting your weight, lead with the front hip and turn your body towards the target. Use the power and momentum that you used for the backswing when performing this move. Carve the same path that you did when taking it to the top, except this time you’re aiming for the ball.
You can slightly loosen your control to allow gravity to guide you and drag you towards the ball. Avoid the rookie mistake of letting your elbow flail around and keep it as close to the ribcage as possible. Also, keep your eye on the ball to ensure that you’re on the right track.
And now the most important and exciting part of all: hearing that excellent crack once your club makes contact with the ball. For regular fairway shots, hit the golf ball in a downward motion and ensure that the club first contacts the ball. Ideally, if you’ve followed the instructions, this won’t be difficult because you’re so well-aligned that the movement comes naturally.
For a driver shot, move the club inwards and not downwards. The club should hit the ball at a slight angle, and it should make contact with the air and not the ground. Your swing should have so much power that it needs a proper follow-through.
If you’re playing in the sand, aim for the sand and not the ball. Hitting the sand first gives your club extra impact, making it easier to push the ball in an upward direction.
Lastly, the follow-through and finish tie up your swinging experience. Lean forward and direct your body in the same direction as the ball. Your hips, arms, and torso should all point in the target’s direction.
You’ll know that you’re in the right position when your body stands tall. There’s a slight twist, but there are no hunched shoulders or hinged knees. Your chest should be puffed out and your legs and torso extended. Don’t forget to use this moment to take pride in your hard work and appreciate the beauty of your shot.
Reading this article might make it seem as if hitting a golf ball is difficult. It seems like there are so many steps and instructions to remember and so many body movements to keep up with. However, it will probably take you less time to hit a golf ball than it took for you to read these instructions. You’ll get the hang of it with frequent practice.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand how to hit a golf ball for beginners!