Golfers strive to build a swing that delivers maximum distance, allows sufficient control over the ball -- accuracy -- and is dependable. You want develop a consistent swing, one that you can depend on to produce on-target shots even under competitive pressure. Golf will be more fun if you don't have a wide variance in your score from week to week.
Game Improvement Plan
Find a PGA or LPGA professional to provide regular instruction. The pro has the training to diagnose your swing flaws and to recommend methods to correct them.
Determine how much time you devote to playing and practicing and set a goal for increasing that time by a reasonable amount -- 10 to 25 percent -- in the upcoming year. Spend the time necessary to eliminate your current swing errors and to train your muscles to apply the game improvement fundamentals you're learning with your golf instructor.
Watch -- and play with -- golfers whose swing skills are more advanced. This will push you to practice and improve your swing so you can keep up with the better players. Seeing the flow and rhythm of good players' swings can help you develop better timing in your own swing.
Fundamental Swing Skills
Find the ideal length for your backswing, based on your flexibility and physical condition. Swing as far back as you can while still maintaining balance and keeping firm control of the club. Don't assume you have to swing back until the shaft of the club is parallel to the ground -- or beyond parallel.
Learn how to make a full body turn to coil the big muscles in the back and shoulders and generate maximum power. The instruction book "Master Strokes" advises golfers to create the mental image of turning until, at the top of your swing, your left side pants pocket is where your right side pocket was at address (for right-handed players). Even though it's not possible to turn quite that much, the image will help you rotate farther than you were previously.
Develop a smooth transition from the top of the swing. Work on starting the downswing with a coordinated, fluid movement of your arms, hands and legs that's never rushed.
Keep your feet active; don't just swing with your upper body. On the backswing, roll your left foot inward to shift your weight toward the right. Let the momentum of your swing lift your left heel slightly off the ground. Activate your right foot on the downswing, rolling it inward so your weight shifts back to the left as you strike the ball.
Practice extending your arms after impact with the ball. Two feet after impact your arms should form a letter "V" and the shaft of the club should be pointed between them. This allows you to keep the clubface square and generate maximum power.