Do you watch the pros play on TV? We do. It’s fun. While the PGA Pros do make mistakes, they usually play well. It can be hard on our egos to watch a perfect golf swing and see how easy it is for them to make those tough shots. But watching the pros on TV can also be instructive. In fact, you can pick up a lot of golf tips on how to create a perfect golf swing and play the game just by keeping your eyes peeled.
But no matter their talent, no PGA Pro has the perfect golf swing. Not Rory McIlroy. Not Fred Couples. Not Ernie Els. Not Jason Day. And not Dustin Johnson, who at the time of the writing of this article was the top money winner on the men’s tour. No one has the perfect swing. So stop don’t look for a player who does. Instead, look for a basic that a pro executes well and ingrain it in your swing.
Below are five golf tips based on a single basic that five of the PGA Tour’s best players do well:
- Posture/Alignment — If there’s one player whose setup you want to copy, it’s Adam Scott’s. Watch closely when he sets up to a shot. His posture is great. His balance is great. And his alignment is great. He sets everything parallel left—hips, shoulders, knees, feet—and his spine stays neutral. Plus, his weight is evenly balanced. After reviewing Scott’s backswing, check your setup in the mirror to see how it compares.
- Backswing — Anthony Kim’s backswing is near perfect. He uses both leverage and width in his backswing to power his shot. He creates width when he takes the club back by aligning his hands and clubhead when the shaft is parallel to the ground. He creates leverage by hinging his wrists and then completing a wide turn. Creating width and leverage like this boosts power. Plus, his backswing is simple and repeatable.
- Transition — Transitioning smoothly from the backswing to the downswing is critical. It can make or break a shot. Fred Couples’ transition is so smooth it looks effortless. But it’s productive. It also helps Couples saves his swing speed for when he needs it. A good drill to help you ingrain a Fred Couples-type transition is to tie a towel around the neck of your clubhead. Then make a backswing and pose at the top. If your transition is off, the towel will slide down the shaft.
- Power Move — When the hands lead the clubhead through the swing, it’s called lag. Nobody makes this power move better than Sergio Garcia. His secret: He keeps the triangle formed by his forearms intact deep into the downswing, which is ideal. He also moves from a wide backswing to a narrow downswing by shifting his weight first and then leading the club through the swing with his elbow. It should feel like you’re cracking a whip instead of swinging a golf club.
- Swing Tempo — A good pro to copy when it comes to tempo is Ernie Els. He embodies the old saying: Be quick, but don’t hurry. His swing speed peeks just after impact, exactly where it should. That ensures he hits the ball with maximum speed at just the right time. His swing tempo builds slowly then picks up through impact. To ingrain good tempo in your swing, keep this idea in mind: You want the speed of your driver swing to feel the same as the speed of your wedge swing.
Ingrain these five golf tips in your golf swing and you’ll find yourself making shots that reduce your scores and your golf handicap.
It’s fun to watch the pros play golf on television. They do some amazing things. But it’s also instructive if you watch them closely. Hours of practice have helped them master their swings. And while no golfer’s swing is perfect, the pros come as close to having a perfect swing as possible. Plus, you never know when you might pick up a golf tip that transforms your swing and your game.