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Hitting the Ball

    Hitting The Golf Ball
    hitting golf ball

    Balance and rhythm of the body are both imperative in developing an effective golf swing. Knowing how to hit the ball correctly increases the chances of your ball landing in the intended destination and maximizes your control over the club.

    Start each shot by relaxing in order to maintain your balance. Stand so that you are comfortable and relaxed.

    For each shot in golf a different stance in required. There are three common stances:

     Square stance refers to that in which feet are of equal distance from the line of flight. This is the standard stance and is recommended for maximum control.

     Closed stance refers to that by which the left foot is closer to the line of flight than the right foot. This stance is utilized to draw or hook the ball.

     Open stance involves the placement of the right foot closer to the line of flight than the left foot. This stance is to slice the ball to the right of the intended destination.

    During a swing legs should be planted firmly on the ground and feet should be approximately shoulder width apart. Knees should be slightly flexed and should remain so throughout the swing.  Weight should be evenly distributed between the left and right feet, and between the heel and the ball of the foot.

    In starting the swing and this initial stage is known as the backswing, the left foot should be rolled over towards the inside of the right foot. Knees should remain slightly bent and the majority of weight should be on the right foot. If
    weight transfer does not occur effectively there will be insufficient power behind the swing.

    Before starting the downswing, pause for a moment. This will ensure the shot is not taken too quickly and will thus optimize rhythm and chances of hitting the ball to the middle of the green.

    During this time take care to notice the positioning of your body.  Your leading side arm and shoulder should be parallel to one another, and your trailing side arm should form a right angle.

    As you start the downswing, take care to keep your wrists on the same angle as when you are taking the backswing – this will minimize the risk of hooking or slicing the ball.

    Keep the head of the club traveling straight through the ball to ensure the ball travels in a straight line rather than traveling to the left or right due to a slice.

    Keep your head still while swinging the club and don’t take your eyes off the ball. This will ensure you remain looking at he same section of the ball throughout the entire swing, and aids in keeping the head of the club traveling straight through the ball.

    Perfecting Your Swing

    They say practice makes perfect, and this is no exception in attaining the perfect swing for golf.  The key to playing a good game is in perfecting your swing. In order to do this, much time and effort must be dedicated towards practicing the elements of the swing.

    The following tips may be helpful in practicing and maintaining that perfect swing.

    1. Practice your grip without a club. Hold on to the thumb of your leading hand and swing your arms back in an upswing so that your thumbs are pointing upwards. Swing your arms forward allowing your trailing side arm to rotate over the other, ensuring thumbs point upwards during the follow through.

    2. Get into your swing position while holding a ball with your arms extended. Swing your arms back as though to throw the ball over your right shoulder. This will allow you to feel the correct rotation of your body.

    3. Practice holding the club with the correct grip.

    The Drive: Avoid Developing Annoying Habits   Some of the common faults associated with driving in golf are slicing, hooking, shanking and the push and pull.

    Slicing: As mentioned in the terminology section, slicing causes a ball to travel in the opposite direction to which it was intended.

    To address the issue of unwanted slicing, stand in your normal position with your body straighter than usual, and adopt a square stance. Take your swing – you should notice that the ball will swing into line with the target as it gets closer. Continue to practice this shot.

    Hooking: A hook will have the opposite effect of a slice, causing the ball to travel from right to left for a right handed player and vice versa for a left handed player. To minimize the effect of an unwanted hook, assume your normal position and a square stance, ensuring that your shoulders remain square with the leading shoulder and hip slightly higher than the trailing shoulder and hip. Move the ball forward from your stance. Take your swing –  you should notice that the line of flight and your shaft are parallel to one another.

    Another way of addressing an unwanted hook is through maximizing the use of your upper body. Stand in your normal position, this time your body should be directly facing the target. Twist your body towards the side of your trailing hand and place the head of the club behind the ball. Hit the ball, allowing your body to turn as you take the stroke.

    Shanking: This occurs when the ball connects with the curved area where the club head is connected to the shaft, and as a result curves to the right for a right handed player of the left for a left handed player.

    To avoid shanking, ensure that weight distribution during your swing is concentrated on your heels and ensure the leading side shoulder remains over the trailing side knee during the swing.

    The Push and Pull: This is commonly caused by insufficient rotation of the upper body during the downswing, causing the arms to stretch out too far.  To adjust for the push and pull shot start in your normal position, then position yourself slightly wider to allow for more space to swing and adopt an open stance. Take some shots from this position, taking notice of the swing with which you are hitting the ball.

    Once more, proceed to adopt your normal position and repeat the new swing. Ensure you are keeping your arms further to the left during your downswing. Continue to practice this swing as it will take time to adjust to.

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