Fix Your Fundamentals

A frame-by-frame look at the golf swing and the positions you need to know

May 2009
Todd Anderson: Fix Your Fundamentals

Nothing beats going back to basics. In fact, all of the quick tips and band-aids you hear are just clever ways of teaching these time-tested moves. My goal here is to remind you of the key positions at every point in the swing. But you don't want to get too position-conscious, so I've also included some sports images to help you feel the motion. If you're a technical thinker, focus on the positions; if you're a feel player, stick to the sports images. Either way, you'll fix your fundamentals, and that's the quickest way to improve.

Here's a breakdown of the basic golf swing from setup to finish.


Push back, angle down

For your body to move as freely as possible, you have to start in balance. Your weight should be in the middles of your feet, both left to right and back to front. Try this three-step routine: (1) Push your hips back, (2) angle your spine toward the ball and (3) flex your knees slightly. Steps 1 and 2 set good posture; Step 3 helps stability. Also, make sure your right side is lower than your left, the ball is in line with the left side of your face (for a middle iron), and the clubface is looking at the target.

Copy this move

A bowler sets up in balance -- hips back, torso forward, knees bent -- and doesn't have to re-balance to move.


Start clubhead first

The various parts of the swing should start back in this order: clubhead, hands, arms, shoulders, hips. Your right arm should stay close to your right side, so don't force a straight-back takeaway. As the hands pass the right leg, weight should start shifting to the right. When the club reaches parallel to the ground, it should also be parallel to the target line -- that shows the club is swinging on the correct arc. The clubface at that point should be toe up, making it square to the swing arc.

Copy this move

When a quarterback pitches the ball, his hands and arms pull his chest in the direction of the pitch.
Subscribe to Golf Digest
Subscribe today