How to Hit a Golf Ball Straight
According to Golf Digest, the popularity of golf surged during the pandemic.
With so many new golfers hitting the links these days, there's an obvious need for coaching. Ball-hitting techniques can't be learned overnight, and if you don't know how to hit a golf ball straight with a driver, irons, and putter, your handicap is never going to be where you need it to be.
Golf is a game that requires a lot of patience. A lot of wannabe golfers struggle with aiming golf balls down the fairway, which throws off their entire round. Today, we're going to help you choose the right gear and correct your swing to guarantee straight shots (nearly) every time.
There's literally nothing easy about swinging a golf club. Keep reading, however, and we'll try to instill the right ball hitting techniques to keep your score down.
Get the Right Clubs
Your clubs play an extremely important part in the way you swing and connect with the ball. If you have the wrong clubs, you won't be able to get comfortable and your swing will suffer. This generally results in plenty of irretrievable balls, not to mention losing power in your swing.
When you're shopping for your first set of clubs, it's important to try them out extensively in-store. Don't be afraid to ask plenty of questions and get a professional opinion before putting the money down.
Your club's shaft is arguably the most important part of straightening your shots. Consider looking for clubs with more flexibility. If it's too stiff, no amount of technique and setup will prevent you from misfiring a lot of the time.
Improve Your Grip
Your grip has to be just right to perfect your golf swing. Too tight and you'll tense up in your hands and arm, taking power and accuracy away from your shot. Too loose and you'll never be able to drive the ball consistently down the fairway.
Match your grip to your body. Let it rest in your fingers instead of your palms, and let it sit gently in your hands when you drop your arms. The grip and wrists should be secure but not too tight.
This helps you square the face of the club to the ball and hit it where you want to every time. A telltale sign that you're gripping clubs too tight is when the grip itself starts to wear away.
Where you position the ball in front of your body is a major factor in making straight shots. If it's too far forward, your swing will be too open and you'll pull and slice the ball away from you. Too far back means that you'll hunch your shoulders and hook the ball too often.
The best method when you're starting out is to keep a very neutral ball position and tweak it from there. When it's on the ground, you should keep it centered in front of you so that your lead shoulder is slightly higher than the trail shoulder.
Setting up your swing this way will help produce a smooth motion and allows the rest of the fundamentals to fall into place.
Get Your Back Tilted
Posture is important, not just for the health of your swing, but to fend off golf-related injuries. If you don't pay attention to the angles your body takes before and during a swing, you can really hurt yourself by wrenching your back and neck. It's important to stretch to avoid these injuries.
A golf swing takes advantage of a smooth rotation of the body around the spine. Start by setting your feet shoulder-width apart, then tilt your back forward at a 30-degree angle from your hips. Bend your knees slightly and you've got the perfect swing posture.
Aiming Golf Balls
Of course, your aim plays a big role in the trajectory of your shot. You can do everything else correctly to get a straight shot, but if it goes straight into the sand or water hazard, it points to poor aim.
Aiming your golf swing isn't easy. The ball is going to head in the direction that the club face is pointing, not really where your body ends up pointing. It can be beneficial to use an alignment tool to get a better sense of the nuances of aiming a golf swing.
Your swing should be one fluid motion, but it should have a buildup of speed from start to finish. A lot of golfers either pull back too quickly and lose speed on the downswing, or pull back slowly and create a disjointed downswing that destroys any chance at accuracy.
Jerky movements result in certain parts of the body beating others to the punch. A smooth tempo increase, with the downswing being 2-3 times faster than the backswing, will create a really good balance that gives you consistency.
The particular tempo ratio will depend on what club you're using. For a putter, it's slower, but faster with a driver.
Among the most important fundamentals of a good golf swing are swing range and control, which has to do with weight transfer.
During your backswing, you should transfer 60-70% of your weight to your back foot. When you follow through, your entire weight should transfer to your lead foot, with the back foot coming off the ground onto the toes.
If you don't do this properly, you'll never have predictable shots. Your body will fail to rotate the way it needs to and you'll have too much wrist movement. It's all about creating torque by building up tension on your backswing to release it on the downswing.
Stillness When Putting
Putting can be overlooked when discussing golf swings, but it's just as important. The most important aspect of hitting straight puts is keeping your body and head still as you perform the shot.
There's always a tendency for new golfers to look where the shot goes as soon as contact is made. In fact, it's better to complete the stroke, wait a second, then turn your head to look.
Practice How to Hit a Golf Ball Straight Every Time
Learning how to hit a golf ball straight every time requires practice. Repetition is how you hammer all of these fundamentals into your brain so that they become second nature. Now that you've got these important tips, you can hit the links and develop your game the right way.
If you're in Naples, the best place to hone your golf skills is at the Golf Club of The Everglades. For 15 years, our members-only course designed by Rees Jones has been one of the finest facilities in the state.
Because we want each of our members to thrive on our course, we offer all levels of golf instruction. If you're struggling with your swing, sign up today and let our professional instructors help you fix it.