How to Swing a Golf Club

It Don’t Mean a Thing if you Ain’t got that Swing
First Published October 27, 2013

Time for an update on my progress. I’ve played maybe a dozen rounds in total at Windermere, Grange over Sands and Ulverston and I tend to card in the 121 to 127 range, so consistantly poor.

Occasionally I’ll par a hole and/or have a run of maybe 3 to 5 holes where I’m around 2 over par or so, then inevitably lose 2 off the tee at the next and duff my way to an 11 …

Or worse.

And I’d find myself 200 yards from the green after a reasonable drive, knowing that a decent long iron, followed by a pitch would get me there in regulation; only to squirt the ball 45 degrees sideways into the rough, or top it a couple of times for a 10 yard gain.

Anyone relate to this?

It got to the point where I’d reach the top of my backswing (more on that later) and be thinking “I have not got the faintest idea where this ball is going to go. I could pull it left, slice it right, top it, or actually get the bloody thing in the air and hopefully in the direction of the green.

So fairly obviously, there was something fundamentally wrong with my swing …


The only remedy of course is lessons, so I booked myself in with Michael Newton at Barrow Golf Club.

I’m the web designer at my local BNI and we meet at Barrow Golf Club early on Friday mornings, so taking lessons there made sense.

Lesson 1 – Mike corrected my grip by getting me to rotate my left had clockwise, I’d say about 10 degrees. In other words, my existing grip meant that the club face was open, leading to a slice. He also got me to hold a golf club across my shoulders with my arms crossed so that my right hand was on my left shoulder – you can work out the other side for yourself …

Then rotate my trunk, so that my left shoulder dropped and pointed the club at the ball, to create the tension, or coil, ready to unwind into the shot.

And I got it, or at least I thought I did …

Two days later I put this to the test, first on an early morning round at Ulverston Golf Club with Derek Birkby from Derian and I did ok. Then at Grange in the afternoon with Gez, where I also did ok, getting a par at one hole and nailing a couple of 100 yard, over the trees and onto the green shots, with a 9 iron. I didn’t score the Ulverston round and at Grange, I was once again in the 120’s

So something was obviously still wrong …

Lesson 2 – Mike showed me my swing on video, and frankly, having observed what I do, I’m really surprised that I’ve ever managed to get round a golf course. Because both elbows are bent around my neck on my backswing, leaving the club head about 270 degrees to travel before making contact with the ball.

So we set about shortening up my backswing and keeping my left arm straight …

And that worked too

I tried it out at the driving range, and I’m getting the correct flight for my chosen club, just with variable distance and angle, so still work to do

So I FEEL like I’m making progress, but I’ve yet to see that reflected in a score. I’ll be attempting to play as often as I can through late autumn/winter, trying to break the 120 barrier for the first time, then making a push to sub 100 next year.

Wish me luck