How to Build a Consistent Golf Swing

By Brian Hill
Instruction and practice help you develop consistency in your swing.
Instruction and practice help you develop consistency in your swing.

No golfer, even top tour professionals, can hit every shot perfectly. A consistent golf swing is one that produces the desired results – distance and accuracy – a high percentage of the time. Golfers build consistency through instruction and focused practice. Amateurs often find that their scores vary considerably from week to week. Improving your consistency results in fewer poor scores, which makes the game more enjoyable.

Work on improving your physical fitness. A golfer's swing may break down near the end of the round simply because of fatigue. Even a modest amount of exercise done on a regular basis can help you build both strength and stamina. Take a brisk walk each day for 30 minutes and spend 15 minutes lifting light hand weights – 5 pounds or less.

Seek out expert instruction from a PGA or LPGA professional to help you diagnose swing flaws that are causing inconsistent shotmaking. Poor alignment at address, a swing tempo that is too fast and a swing that doesn't start on the correct plane are examples of flaws that a pro can quickly identify after watching you swing.

Construct a swing that is right for you. You may not have the flexibility to take the club back far enough so it is parallel to the ground at the top of the swing without folding your left arm or moving your head. The instruction book "Master Strokes" points out that a golfer's ideal swing plane depends on his body build. Taller individuals stand closer to the ball than shorter golfers; as a result, their natural swing plane is more upright. Shorter players stand a bit farther from the ball and have a naturally flatter swing plane.

Strive for consistency in swing rhythm. Having a rhythmic swing means coordinating all the moving parts of the upper and lower body so they work together as a unit – the best way to deliver the clubhead to the ball in a square position. Former U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange defines rhythm as the "smoothness or evenness" of the golfer's motion. Amateurs often let their hands take over the swing right from the start or when transitioning to the downswing. Swings like this often have a jerky rhythm. When hand action reacts more quickly than leg action, the result is usually off-target shots.

Step up your practice routine. Skilled golfers have swings that look "grooved" – if you watch them hit a number of shots, each swing looks almost identical. This consistency comes from teaching the muscles to react the same way with each swing, and it is achieved through maintaining a practice routine. A golfer whose practice is usually limited to warm-up shots before rounds can benefit greatly by going out at least once a week to hit balls on the practice range.

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