There are many things that can negatively affect a golf swing, from your ball placement, stance and grip to your takeaway, forward swing and follow-through. Many of these problems can be unique to individuals golfers, while others are fairly common mistakes made by many golfers at all levels. Knowing a few of the more common golf errors and the simple corrections will help you improve your golf game.
Don't Stand Too Close
One of the most common problems in golf is the slice. Slice is a sidespin on a ball that causes it to travel left to right for right-handed golfers. This often occurs when the club travels from outside to inside the shoulders, glancing the ball from right to left. This contact spins the ball from left to right, causing a slice. Standing too close to the ball creates an outside-in swing path. Practice standing in different positions in relation to the ball until you are able to swing the club straight through, eliminating your slice. Continue moving away from the ball until you create an inside-out swing path that causes the ball to hook to the left. Once you have reached this point, move forward again to the last point where you were hitting the ball straight.
Many golfers chop at the ball during a putt, stopping at contact instead of swinging through and past the ball. This causes the ball to stop well short of the hole or veer off to one side of the cup. In order to maintain a steady swing path that will send your putt to the hole, use a 1-2 rhythm or tempo when you putt. To create this tempo, practice several swings prior to your putt, using a follow-through that is equal in length to your backswing. The farther you are from the hole, the more backswing and follow-through you will use equally, rather than simply creating a larger backswing. This pendulum-like motion will create a smooth swing that helps you generate the correct distance and provides directional control.
Shift Your Weight Forward
In order to hit the ball "harder," many golfers hold the club in a death grip, swinging so hard with their arms that they fall backward as they swing. The correct swing on a long shot requires you to shift your weight from your back leg to your front leg. Practice this weight shift with a "flamingo swing," transferring your weight to your front leg by taking your back foot off the ground, so you are standing only on your front foot. Practice this swing without a ball several times at a moderate speed to get the feel for this weight shift. Once you have done this several times, practice the swing again, this time keeping your back foot on the ground. Shift your weight far forward enough so that the heel of your back foot comes off the ground, with your toes pointing downward, suggests LPGA professional golfer Grace Park in a Golf Digest article.