There is a mountain of golf instruction online, and it's pretty easy to become confused when looking for tips to improve your golf swing. Before you know it you're down the rabbit hole and struggling to piece together any coherent strategy for your practice sessions.
For a multitude of reasons, what works for one golfer, might not work for another - but tips on the fundamentals of the golf swing should be universal. We have two such tips below, which will level up your ball-striking if you can use them as intended.
Pay attention to ball position
Firstly, and most importantly, you must pay attention to ball position. Of course, golf would be a far simpler game if we could set up with the ball in the same place for every type of shot. Unfortunately, that's not the case.
You absolutely, unequivocally need to get your ball position right with different golf clubs. Get it wrong for the shot you're trying to play, and the outcome can be disastrous.
Getting set up correctly is one of the most fundamental aspects of the golf swing, and ball position plays a huge part in that. Suppose you're a golfer who's been neglecting this vital piece of the jigsaw. In that case, you will benefit from implementing a consistent approach to the placement of your golf ball in relation to your body.
Because we can all get bogged down in the mechanics of the golf swing, this tip is for low-handicappers as much as it is for complete beginners.
The ball positions
As a general rule of thumb, the position will nudge up as we go through the bag, but it doesn't get too extreme. Don't go outside your lead foot; don't get too far behind the middle for your shortest irons and wedges.
When you're hitting the driver, the ball should be just on the inside of your lead foot, ensuring you hit the golf ball slightly on the way up. Your woods will be a ball or two ahead of centre, long irons a ball ahead of centre, mid irons just ahead of the centre line, and low irons/wedges in the middle of your stance.
If you're hitting a regular full shot, you'll rarely have your golf ball positioned much further back than the middle of your stance.
You might slip behind the middle with your ball position if you're trying to alter the flight, but otherwise the centreline should about as far back as you go.
You might get a little variation here and there from golfer to golfer, but generally, if you can implement those positions, you'll be on the right track.
In order to achieve these different positions, you can change the width of your stance, but the far more traditional way is to move the golf ball and your relationship to that ball in connection with the low point of your arc. We talk more about the low point of your arc below.
Top tip: try videoing yourself from face on at the range to get a real visual idea of where your ball is at address. It's so easy to feel like it's positioned off your lead heel when, in fact, it's a ball or two further back.
Low point is under your lead armpit
The feeling of a pure golf shot is... well, it's just everything. You know when you've hit one right out of the sweet spot, and that feeling will keep you coming back, round after round.
The unfortunate truth is that pure golf shots - for the majority of golfers - are the exception rather than the rule. Fat and thin strikes can be just as common - and they're the devil's work.
So how can you increase the frequency of those beautiful ball-then-turf golf shots? Well, it helps to have an understanding of the low point of your golf swing.
Keeping it as basic as possible, the low point in your golf swing - irrespective of the club you use - will be underneath your lead armpit. And by low point, we aren't referring to where the club contacts the ground.
Low point and ground interaction are related, but they aren't the same. Depending on the club and required ball position, the lowest point of your swing arc can be a couple of inches beyond where your club makes first contact with the ground.
With your irons and wedges, as long as that armpit stays ahead, you will strike down into the ball, helping to eliminate thin and fat strikes, and become more consistent.
If you can do this correctly, your divot should be after the strike. That's the perfect visual illustration of this low point being around your lead armpit (i.e. ahead of the ball).
Routine and Practice
Routine is what makes these skills a repeatable base from which to build your golf game. As with anything, repetition will be key in making these new aspects of your golf swing bear fruit.
The driving range will likely be the starting point for making the changes. Rather than going to hit golf balls without any real focus, spend some time working on your fundamentals, as it's vitally important to keep your basics in order.
With every club, make a concerted effort to get your ball position right, and keep your lead armpit ahead of the ball on each swing. It'll take a bit of time to get things right, but you'll eventually strike the ball much better than before.
And now you have the perfect recipe for a lower golf handicap.
If you enjoyed this article, take a look at our tips on how to recover from a bad round. You can read it here.