Below are seven common swing mistakes women golfers tend to make. These mistakes boost your scores. As a golfer, especially if you’re a beginner, you need to iron them out of your swing. That can take your swing—and your game—to the next level.
- Use equipment designed for you — Using your husband or your boyfriend’s clubs is not a good idea. Often, they’re too heavy and/or too long for you to use effectively. Sure, some women like Brooke Henderson can use a 48-inch shaft and drive the ball well. But that’s rare. Instead, buy clubs fitted to you and your game.
- Taking the club back too quickly — The first foot or so of your swing is critical. Taking your club back to quickly pushes your swing off plane off target and disrupting your tempo, rhythm, and swing path. Take the club back low and slow, and your chance of hitting one long and straight increases dramatically. As a mental aid, say “low and slow” to yourself as you go back.
The golf drill below trains you to make a great takeaway:
Grip your driver’s club shaft a few inches below the club’s handle. Place the butt end of the club against your stomach, at a point just above your belt. Now practice making small swings, concentrating on keeping your arms close to your sides with the club touching your navel.
- Use your body, not your arms — Women tend to use just their arms to swing the club. This move short-circuits power. Getting your body into your swing, however, pumps up power and boosts distance. So, work first on strengthening your core muscles—abdominals, glutes, and so on. Then find some golf drills that train you on transferring the energy stored in your core to the club.
- Eliminate lifting/swaying at address — Often, in an attempt to generate more power, women sway back and forth during a swing, or they raise their bodies on the downswing. These are both deadly mistakes that can cause mishits and/or sap power from you. Instead, learn to pivot more around your body instead of going back and forth. That helps transfer the energy stored in your backswing to the ball.
- Keeping your head down too long — You need to keep your head down when you swing. Lifting it too soon during the swing can cause you to mishit shots. But don’t keep your head down too long. Once you’ve made an impact, you can lift your head to watch your ball. It’s a natural move that even the pros make.
- Don’t try to scoop the ball — Many women try to scoop the ball in the air. Scooping doesn’t’ work. In fact, it does the exact opposite. If you want to hit the ball up, you need to swing down and through the ball. That’s because the bottom of your swing is the point at which the club impacts the ball. So, swing down to get the ball up—unless, of course, you’re hitting off a tee.
- Know how far you hit your clubs — Technically, this isn’t a swing error. But it’s still good advice that can save you a ton of strokes. Knowing how far you should hit your clubs and how far you actually hit them, though, are two different things. If you don’t know how far you hit your clubs, go to the range and hit a bucket of balls to see just how far you do hit them.
Many golfers commit one or more of the seven mistakes above. That can cost you strokes and inflate your scores. Taking some women’s golf instruction session with a local pro can help you eliminate the errors and refine your swing. Ironing them out of your swing eliminates bad habits that can help you break 80 and take your game to the next level.
5 Things to Know Before Taking Your First Golf Lesson
Golf instruction for women often starts with lessons from a local pro. That’s a good idea. Taking lessons before playing a round of golf can help. If you’re already played a few rounds, taking lessons is still a good idea.
If you’re like many women, however, you’ll be a bit nervous before taking that first lesson. That’s okay. Everyone is. But knowing what to expect from a golf lesson calms you. Below we discuss five things to expect from taking your first golf lesson.
- You’ll be confused at first
- Getting the right grip is important
- Making swing mistakes is normal
- Posture is the foundation of a good swing
- Practice is essential to ingraining the lesson
Taking golf lessons is a great idea if you’ve never played golf before or you’re not an athlete. It’s also a good idea when you’re in a slump and can get out of it. Knowing what to expect before your first lesson makes a difference.
Golf isn’t an intuitive game. In fact, it’s probably one of the least intuitive games of all. For example, when you want to hit the ball in the air, you swing down. So, you may become a bit confused during a lesson. But have patience. Eventually, it will make sense.
Your grip is the basis of everything you do with a club. You need to master this basic first before moving on. For women, it’s even more important because of size and strength. But getting the grip right is critical. You want one that feels natural and doesn’t let the cub slip in your hands when you swing.
Teaching pros have seen just about everything there is to see in golf. No matter how bad your swing is, pros have probably seen worse. Keep in mind also that we all have to learn the game at some point. So, get over your embarrassment, have an open mind, and listen to what the pro says. Your discomfort will soon fade.
Many pros talk about posture during the first lesson. Like your grip, it’s a critical basic you need to get right. It’s also the foundation for consistency and balance during the swing. Beginners are usually taught the same thing about posture—back straight, chip up, and butt out. Try practicing your posture in a mirror to get it right.
Different teachers emphasize different things during the first golf lesson. Regardless of what the pro teaches you on the first and subsequent lessons. You’ll have to practice the principles he or she is teaching to improve. Set some time aside to do that and you’ll get the most out of each lesson.
Keep these five things in mind before taking a golf lesson, especially if you’re new to the game. Also, keep in mind that golf is a game. Golf instruction sessions for women—and men—should be fun. If they aren’t, find a way to make them so.
Stop Topping Fairway Woods with this Golf Drill
Golf instruction for men and women are similar in many cases. That’s because the basics of executing a good swing are the same for everyone. Nail down these basics, and you’ll drill pinpoint, laser-like shots consistently.
Women, however, tend to have slower swing speeds than men. So, they generate less power on approach shots. That means they have to use their fairway woods more often than men do. Women that hit their fairway woods well can slash strokes from their scores.
The key to drilling solid fairway woods is hitting down on the ball. That’s a challenge for many golfers. Below is a golf drill that trains you to hit down with fairway woods:
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Tee Peg Golf Drill
Find a spot at the range where you can hit the ball off the ground. Then drop a ball down on a flat surface. Put a tee about a club head width in front of the ball and set up to the ball with a 3-wood as you usually would do. Now take a swing.
When swinging, focus on hitting the tee, not the ball. You want to swing down on the ball, with a goal of taking both it and the tee out of the ground. To lift the tee out of the ground, you have to have a longer flat spot to your swing where the club bottoms out. Keep practicing this drill until you ingrain the swing’s feel. Then take the tee away and start hitting 3-woods without it.
Keep practicing this drill until you’re belting laser-like fairway woods is second nature. Hitting longer and better fairway woods can set you up for shorter chips and pitches into the green. That, in turn, can help you chop strokes off your scores and your golf handicap.
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