Think you are the only one that slices it, chunks the ball, or gets your wrist position too extended at the top of your swing?
Golf swing mistakes are common, and there are some consistent culprits that repeat themselves time and time again.
Golf swing mistakes are common, and there are some consistent culprits that repeat themselves time and time again.
I’ve put together some of the most common golf swing problems (chances are you struggle with at least one of these). Most importantly, I’ll fill you in on how to fix these problems so your game starts to really improve.
Golf Swing Problems & Fixes – Key Takeaways
If you don’t have time to read through all of these common swing problems and fixes right now, here are a few of the most important things you should be taking away.
- Most golf swing problems start in the setup and grip, if you are not paying close attention to these factors of your game, you are likely creating issues for yourself.
- Using golf technology can be beneficial to correct golf swing problems, but you must understand the results and data that you are getting.
- Watching professional golfers can teach you a lot about what works in golf and what doesn’t, use your time spent watching golf to learn and improve.
- Small changes in the golf swing make significant differences in performance, don’t overcomplicate the moves you make; it won’t benefit you.
Find out how mastering wrist mechanics can improve your golf swing.
- 11 Most Common Golf Swing Problems and Fixes
- Additional Tips for Success
- Advanced Golf Swing Mistakes Explanations and Their Fixes
11 Most Common Golf Swing Problems and Fixes
The hard truth is that there are probably hundreds of different golf swing problems that you could have.
Here are 11 of the most common and the ones that most amateur golfers are struggling with.
1. Incorrect Wrist Position
Most amateur golfers have too much extension in their wrists at the top of their backswing.
This extra wrist extension does not make it impossible to square up the clubface, it just means you have to work a lot harder to get there.
If you are able to maintain a balanced wrist position from the address to the top of the backswing, you will have an easier time getting a square clubface at impact.
The HackMotion is a perfect tool to help you fix your wrist position at the top of your swing. Take some swings with the HackMotion and record the data.
Take this data to see how much extension you have at the top, and whether or not you are decreasing this extension in your lead wrist as you get down through the golf ball.
HackMotion has a biofeedback mode that allows you to work on your wrist position in real time.
2. Incorrect Alignment
Many amateurs struggle with accurate aim, and if you are one of them, you are doomed before you start swinging.
Ask yourself, do you really understand what alignment is and how it works?
When you aim right of your target, you try to correct your club path mid-swing to send the ball in the desired direction, only worsening your shot direction.
Alignment in golf is hard because we aren’t facing our target when we hit shots, but you must take the time to learn it.
The position of your clubface at impact determines the direction your ball flies.
Address your golf ball and keep the clubface in place while you stand behind the impact zone.
Check where your clubface aims and adjust until it is square to your target.
I also use golf alignment sticks on the range to keep me on target.
3. Ball Position
Ball position is another common setup mistake that implodes many amateur golfers before they commence their swing.
I speak from my experience and the things I see daily at my home club. Golfers place a ball too far forward in the stance for irons and too far back for a driver, which impacts your launch and carry distance.
Lee Trevino explains that a golf ball too far forward in your stance produces thin and chunked shots, along with misses to the left.
Conversely, when your ball is too far back in your golf stance, you launch it lower and often push it to the right due to insufficient time to square your clubface up.
Follow a simple rule with your golf clubs to optimize ball position.
Place the golf ball towards the inside heel of your lead foot for your driver, and move it back incrementally with every club.
For example, you would place the ball towards the center of your stance for a 6 or 7-iron shot.
However, the ball must sit between the center and your back foot heel for wedge strikes. This will not be an exaggerated feel because your stance should be narrower when hitting with the wedge.
4. Poor Posture
Golf posture is different from the posture in other sports. At first, it feels a bit unique and almost incorrect. Once you get it down, you should be sure to get into the same position every time.
Poor posture impacts your ability to rotate efficiently, keep your club on path and square the clubface at impact.
Golf coach Brian Fitzgerald explains that most amateurs he coaches bend their knees excessively and straighten their spines.
Not only is this position lacking in power, it can cause certain swing flaws like a slice or a clubface that comes over the top.
I solved my poor posture by straightening my legs to a reasonable extent, tilting my chin forward, and pushing my buttocks out.
My favorite way to describe this is to feel as though you are sitting down on a stool, not bending your knees. There is a real difference.
Once I reached this position, I could feel the difference in rotation, and I was rewarded with superior clubhead speed and power on the downswing.
5. Grip is Too Weak or Too Strong
Your grip impacts your swing path, wrist hinge, and the clubface position at contact.
Jack Nicklaus explains that a strong-closed grip prompts the clubface to close and generates a hook, while a weak-open grip thrusts the face open at impact, sending the ball to the right of the target.
The Golden Bear recommends operating with a neutral grip, which helps you keep your club on path for a powerful and accurate strike.
For most right handed players the left hand is turned too far to the right. By moving the left hand back a bit more towards a neutral position, you can then put the right hand in a neutral position and hit straight golf shots.
Adjust your grip until you produce a maximal hinge and enjoy optimal control.
6. Tense Hands
Tense hands tighten your grip, wrists, and forearm muscles, restricting optimal upper-body rotation and preventing unloading on the downswing.
Plus, the tension in your upper body limits your backswing and increases the difficulty of keeping your club on path.
I never really loved the concept of gripping the club as if you were holding a baby bird. This concept has been tossed around for a long time, but it can lead to issues with closing the clubface.
Loosening your hands to achieve a comfortable hold on the club is recommended before each shot.
Feel as though you release some of the pressure in the forearms and it will reduce the pressure in the hands.
If you cannot do this with your current grip, I recommend looking at oversized grips, which promote a softer feel and improved control of your golf club.
7. No Rhythm and Tempo
A golf swing requires a smooth, fluid motion where all components work together to produce speed and precision.
An amateur swing often lacks proper or balanced tempo, which impacts rhythm and leads to an inconsistent swing path, plane, and clubhead speed.
A basic drill to improve tempo is to count aloud from the moment you walk up to the ball until you strike it.
This turns my attention to the count, and I swing without overthinking anything. As this drill continues, you notice your swing following the tempo and producing a beautiful rhythm.
Some players think about the backswing happening while saying “1,2” and the downswing happening in 3.
Golf Channel provides a concise overview of how the drill works.
8. Swinging Too Hard
You step up to a short par 5 and have the ability to reach in two, but instead of swinging easily with your normal swing, you try unloading like Kyle Berkshire.
Unfortunately, the lack of cohesion in your swing mechanics causes the clubface to fling open, and your ball curves to the right of the target.
Don’t get the wrong idea here, going after the ball is a good thing, but you have to be smart about how you do it.
The solution here is simple, only swing as hard as you can so that you can maintain proper mechanics and balance. As soon as you feel out of balance or that you can no longer control the clubface, back it down.
Some players feel that swinging too hard happens because the backswing is too long, and this can often have quite a bit to do with it. Try to control the backswing to only parallel at the top.
9. Over the Top
All the mistakes I have mentioned above tend to cause amateurs to produce an out-to-in swing path.
This propels the golf club on an outside path on the backswing before moving an inside swing path before impact.
Your clubface cuts across the ball and generates sidespin for a slice or pushed shot. Take a video of your swing and look at the first move from the top of your swing, if you see your arms make the jump, it’s probably an over the top swing you are dealing with.
Fixing an over-the-top swing requires precise ball position, a neutral grip, optimal posture, and rhythm and tempo.
These features must align to produce a more favorable swing path.
However, in the interim, reduce your backswing to ¾ and focus on activating your upper and lower body rotation.
When shortening your swing, you lose the leverage of a full swing, but your rotation helps you keep the club on path for greater accuracy.
Personally, I prefer accuracy to distance every time.
In addition, you need to pay close attention to the position of your wrist at the top of your backswing. When the wrist is extended a bit too much it’s easy to come over the top.
10. Poor Swing Timing & Sequence
Once you figure out all of these positions in the golf swing, you then need to learn to time them all correctly. If this seems overly complicated to you, you are not alone.
Timing deals with the duration of the backswing and downswing and the ratio between the two.
Some players take a slower backswing and a faster downswing, but they can repeat it each time and keep the body positions all working together.
In addition, the timing of the entire swing is something to consider, amateur players usually take a little longer than professionals, which is to be expected.
However, understanding these ratios, figuring out the timing, and making sure that all parts of the swing are working together can be difficult.
I have found the best solution to poor swing timing is an understanding of what the club is supposed to be doing in all positions of the swing.
What is your first move back from the ball?
What is your first move down from the top?
When learning these golf swing sequences, you can then figure out how the order of events will occur in your golf swing. One thing to be very aware of is the relationship between your arms and your body to ensure they are working together.
Start with a low and slow takeaway that engages your lower body. At the top of your backswing, start with a rotation down and towards the target, let the arms drop into place.
From here, you can rotate as fast as you want, as long as your clubface is square.
11. Poor Clubface Control
The clubface is the key indicator when determining if your golf ball is going to fly straight or if it moves right or left.
When you don’t have control over your clubface, it is likely caused by improper wrist position at some point of your golf swing.
The worst part about poor clubface control is that most golfers have no idea they are struggling with poor clubface control.
The HackMotion will immediately identify your impact position and the consistency in it.
Typically speaking, wrists that are a little more extended at impact cause shots to go right, overly flexed lead wrists can cause a shot to go to the left.
Wear your HackMotion device for your next practice session. Hit ten shots, and then look at your impact position and where your lead wrist is from a flexion/extension standpoint.
If you are seeing shots going to the left or the right without much consistency, you will likely see that information reflected in the data.
Work on getting the club to the same position at the top of your swing each time, and see what that does for your clubface control at impact.
You can use the HackMotion audio feedback, even just take some practice swings and look at the real-time movement of your wrists.
Additional Tips for Success
Even if you aren’t making certain mistakes in your golf swing, there are certain things you could be doing better.
Here are a few additional tips for success to help you make the most out of your next round of golf. Also, these tips may help you reduce the chances of further golf swing problems.
Many amateurs, including myself and playing partners, often forego warming up and head directly to the first tee.
When you do not take the time to warm up and stretch your core golf muscles, a fluid strike with enhanced rotation is challenging to produce.
Arrive at the golf course at least 45 minutes before your round to give yourself time to check in, warm up, and hit some practice shots if possible. It’s a good idea to start your warm-up early in the day when you are still at your house.
I also recommend looking into swing training aids to warm up. The flexible shaft and weighted head of these devices help you induce rotation and awaken vital muscles.
Establish a Pre-Shot Routine
Not only do you need a pre-shot routine, but it should be the same every single time. Your pre-shot routine is a trigger to your brain that it’s time to complete the task at hand.
Implement the pre-shot routine today and have it include a swing thought, a setup thought and even a follow through thought.
I find that a pre-shot routine also gives me time to determine if my alignment is on point and my grip is comfortable.
In addition, your pre shot routine can help you keep your pace of play consistent. You don’t need to be a quick player or a slow player but your routine should be consistent throughout.
Address the ball before each shot, ensuring limited tension in your grip, optimal ball position, and the clubface aiming at your target.
Stand behind the ball to frame the hole and envision the shot you wish to play.
Finally, approach the ball again, take 2 to 3 practice swings, do a final check, and commence your backswing.
Advanced Golf Swing Mistakes Explanations and Their Fixes
This video from Christopher Bausek goes through some of the most common swing faults that amateurs experience and how HackMotion can be used to fix them.
Of course, HackMotion can easily help you correct and change your wrist angles but there are additional fixes for the grip, a steep swing and even improper timing.
Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about golf swing problems and the issues they cause for your game.
What not to do in golf swing?
The biggest mistakes you can make in your golf swing include not transferring your weight effectively, setting up with poor posture, swinging over the top, and swinging out of balance.
Remember that the golf swing is very precise, and you must be careful about making large movements and adjustments.
Why am I struggling to turn in the golf swing?
Turning in the golf swing mostly happens with the lower body. If you feel physically restricted, try turning your toes out a quarter of a turn at setup, you will be less restricted in your ability to turn.
How do I fix my golf swing?
The best way to fix your golf swing is to take a video of the swing, use golf training aids and feedback tools like HackMotion, and expose yourself to great players. Even if those great players are on TV, you can learn a lot to help fix your golf swing.
Why does my golf swing hurt?
If you are in pain when you swing the golf club, make sure your setup is correct. Many golfers bend their knees too much or hunch their back, and it creates problems with their knees and back.
In addition, don’t be afraid to take a wider turn if you feel pressure in your hips or knees.
Making common golf swing mistakes is a natural part of learning and understanding the mechanics of the process.
The more time you spend playing, the easier it becomes to detect and correct issues. However, even low and mid-handicappers occasionally experience golf swing flaws.
I suggest warming up before every round and adding a pre-shot routine before every shot you play.
Awakening your muscles and clearing your head before each strike is vital for a fluid, powerful swing.
In addition, remember to maintain a neutral golf grip, and softer pressure, and work on developing better rhythm and tempo.
Finally, keep a neutral posture, swing inside to out, and use the HackMotion to keep track of where your wrist position is throughout your swing.
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