The beauty of teaching professionals is they have different approaches, drills, and keys to pass along to their students, but the goal is always the same: to hit better golf shots.
Joe Potty, the head pro at Hopedale Country Club, has a four-step process when it comes to the swing, which includes everything from grip to followthrough.
Potty’s four keys:
“Grip — Place the club in the lower fingers of your left hand and close the finger tips. Bring the top of your left hand over so that you can see the top two knuckles of your left hand. Pinch the thumb and forefinger together so that they form a V that is pointed toward the right shoulder. Next, place the right hand on the club by using an interlocking, overlapping, or 10-finger grip. Place the grip in the fingers of your right hand. Take the pad below your right thumb and place it on top of your left thumb. The thumb and forefinger should also be pinched together forming a V pointed toward the right shoulder. Grip pressure on a scale from 1-10 should be about 4 or 5.
“Setting up to the ball — Start by placing your hands on the grip. With your feet together, bring the club up in front of you with your arms extended to waist high. From this point, bend forward from your hip joints and set the clubhead on the ground. Spread your feet shoulder-width apart and add some knee flex. Distribute your weight equally on both sides, toward the balls of your feet. Now you’re in the proper posture to hit a good golf shot.
“The L-shaped backswing — From the correct setup position, you’ll notice that your arms and shoulders form a triangle. Start the backswing by moving the club with your hands, arms, and shoulders, keeping the triangle intact. When the club is waist high, feel the wrists hinging upward. When the left arm is parallel to the ground, form an L-shape with your left arm and club shaft, tilting the club shaft on an angle so that the butt of the club points to your target. Now, with an on-plane backswing, you’re in position to return the club to square at impact.
“The finish position — Before you can get to the finish you need to start the downswing correctly. The downswing starts with a bump to the left with the left hip returning the weight to the left leg. As this occurs the arms and club will follow into the on-plane delivery position. The hips should start turning to the left as contact is made with the ball. The club will move to the left and up to the finish, your hands should be over your left shoulder, and the front of your body facing the target. At this point all of your weight will be on your left side. The right heel will be up and the top of your right foot will be facing the target, bringing you into a balanced finish position.”