Basic Golf Swing Lessons for Seniors
Basic Golf Swing Lessons for Seniors
In this article I want to cover long irons, shorts irons and short game in this basic golf swing lessons for seniors, I will be starting off with long irons to get you back into the swing of things for the new season ahead!
How to Hit Long Irons
Knowing how to play your long irons can save you many holes, especially if you play courses with several Par 5 holes. There are some key issues to keep in mind when playing those long irons.
Maintaining your balance is vital to hitting a solid long iron shot. Your swing must be smooth, not too fast and not too slow. For a successful shot, you must accelerate the club head through impact with the ball. Finally, choose your target with care. Hitting with Confidence Long irons can be unforgiving. You have to make a clean impact on the ball with the sweet spot of the club face.
Before playing a long iron, take the time to ensure a firm stance. This is essential to maintaining your balance. As you bring the club back, use a tempo that fits your swing.
The transition from backswing to downswing should be smooth and not jerky at the top. Maintaining the right tempo will help keep the club face square and allow you to gain speed as you approach impact.
Do not allow your hands to take the lead at the top of your backswing; instead, let your hips begin the process. This is where you’ll get the power you need for distance.
A common mistake made when playing long irons is lifting the head too soon to watch the ball. This can cause the club to hit the ground before it hits the ball, resulting in a bad shot. Resist the urge to lift your head, focusing on keeping it down.
Another common mistake is to attempt to lift the ball off the ground with the club face. When playing a long iron, you should hit the ball first, ground second with a crisp, downward swing. As with all golf shots, do not stop your follow through too soon.
Let your hips rotate fully, finishing with your hands high and facing your target
Can you hit a fairway wood with confidence and competency? Most golfers know if they can hit a fairway wood or not. Those who struggle with these clubs often leave them in the bag, even when they are needed.
This can cost you strokes as well as detract from your self-confidence. One of the keys to becoming a better golfer is understanding the differences between the clubs in your bag. Hitting a wood off the fairway is not the same as hitting a long iron.
To maximize your skill with fairway woods, try these tips: When you set up with your wood, position your feet in the square stance. (The exception is if you are deliberately planning to hit a fade or draw, in which case you want your feet shoulder-width apart.)
For most shots, you want to play the ball forward in your stance. This would be off the left foot for most players. Maintain your arm extension and do not slouch over the ball. To improve your balance, bend slightly at the knees.
To hit a solid wood shot, your forward arm must stay as straight as possible. It is also important that your hips pivot through the backswing and downswing as discussed earlier.
Keep your head behind the ball at all times to get the most power out of your swing. Again, it is vital that you do not try to lift the ball with the club head. Hit the ball cleanly without leaving much of a divot, if any at all. One very common mistake golfers make with their fairway woods is trying to rip the ball for distance, often leading to a wild shot or shank.
Trust your swing! A smooth swing will get the ball off the ground and down the fairway. Very few recreational golfers spend time on the practice range honing their skills with the fairway woods.
Head to the range with your fairway woods and long irons. Work with each one until you are comfortable playing all of them. Do not use the rubber tee on the mat. Play the club as you would on the course.
How to Hit Mid Irons
The mid-irons (5, 6 & 7) are often considered the workhorses in the bag. On any given day, many golfers will make a large number of shots using these clubs. The mid-irons are very versatile clubs and some of the easiest to master.
If you are having trouble with your mid-irons, spend some time looking at your basic set up. Remember, the shorter the club, the narrower the stance. Playing these clubs with your feet too far apart will lead to bad hits, as your stance affects where the club head will (or will not) impact the ball.
When playing your mid-irons, let your shoulders dominate the swing. Allow your hands and arms to follow, not lead, the swing. Your swing arc should be more inside the line with these clubs than with the other clubs in your bag. As you swing back, your wrists will naturally cock, putting the club on the desired vertical level.
Keep the right elbow close to your body as your weight shifts. When you reach the top of your swing, ninety percent of your weight should be on your right side. Your hips will begin the downswing, and the hands and arms will follow.
If you are struggling with your mid-irons, take them to the range or backyard and work with them. Don’t just hit the ball—spend time learning the right foot width, stance, and ball position for your body.
Once you know what positions are right for you, go to the range and hit several balls. Keep track of your distances in your notebook. Week Three: The Short Game Many golfers believe the short game is one of the most important components of success.
The short game is comprised of several different shots, such as chipping, pitching, and putting. If you include putting, it is a component of most or all holes. There is no way to master all of the aspects of the short game without spending considerable time with your clubs.
Honing your skills for the short game is one of the best ways to shave strokes off your scorecard—just ask Ben Crenshaw. The short game begins with the short irons. The Short Irons (8 & 9) Your 8 and 9 irons can be used for a variety of shots.
They are effective situations where you need loft and distance, and they can also replace many wedge shots. Not only do these clubs work great close to the green, they are also needed for many Par 3 tee shots. Above all, these clubs are very versatile.
Every shot, every lie, will demand its own set up and stance. The short irons and wedges are the two sets of clubs that allow you to do the most experimenting. You can adjust your grip, your stance, ball position, etc. and make shots like the pros do.
While the short irons are some of the easiest clubs to use, players will sometimes make the mistake of trying to get too much distance out of them by ripping through the ball with their arms. Time and time again, this only leads to a bad shot.
Rather than trying to slam the ball, use more club to ensure a smooth swing. For many golfers, this single tip can save two or three strokes per round. When spending time with your short irons, remember to hit the ball on a downward arc and accelerate the club head as you connect with the ball by using the proper stance for your body.
Some newer golfers confuse chipping with pitching. To remember which is which, understand that chipping is more like putting. The chipping swing is basically restricted to the shoulders and arms; your body will remain still. A good chip shot is dependent on proper set up and swing.
When you set up for a chip, use the open stance. Your feet and hips will be opened slightly toward the target. This stance may feel odd at first, but it is necessary to give your arms enough room to swing through toward the target. With the chip shot, you do not to risk unhinging your wrists by using an open stance.
Play the ball towards your back foot and narrow your stance. Use a neutral grip, but line the shaft up with your left thigh. You may want to move your hands down the shaft for better control. Using the shoulders, execute a simple pendulum swing. Make sure to hit the ball first, ground second.
There are three basic types of chips, each with its own purpose. Learning how to perform all three will greatly expand your golfing abilities.
The Standard Chip Shot
The goal of the standard chip shot is to get the ball airborne for about one-third of the distance to the hole and roll the rest of the way to the hole. Most golfers use either a wedge or the 9-iron for this shot.
Play the ball in the middle of your stance with your feet fairly close together. Your hands must be well ahead of the ball to hit it properly. As you make your pendulum swing, remember to keep the club face square.
The Soft Chip Using the soft chip allows the ball to remain airborne longer. When it lands on the green, the ball should stop fairly quickly. Most players will use a sand wedge or lob wedge for this shot.
Unlike the standard chip, where you kept the club face square, the soft chip calls for you to open the club face a little. You will play the ball forward in your stance, feet close together, with your hands ahead of the ball through impact.
For this particular shot, you will need to accelerate the club head on the downswing, but not too much!
The Low Ball Chip
This is a good shot to have in your arsenal if you have a lot of distance to cover on the green. This chip shot is normally performed with one of the mid-irons.
When you set up, play the ball to the back of your stance and make sure you hit the ball with a downward arc. The hands must be kept in front of the club head during your swing. For this shot, keep the face square to the target.
The low ball chip allows for a lot of roll once the ball hits the green. Accurate aim is essential to sinking the ball with this chip shot. Because you want to gauge the amount of roll you get with your shots, this is best done at a practice green. Pitching Unlike chipping, pitching requires some body pivot. Pitching is perfect for those shots that are 50 to 100 yards away from the green.
A good pitch shot requires a lofted club. Most players use one of their wedges, or they may go with a 6- or 7-iron if the distance warrants. Pitching, like chipping, requires the right set up and swing to be effective. Address the ball using an opened stance, with your feet aimed somewhat to the left of your target.
As you begin, keep more weight on your left foot than on the right. Your backswing should be smooth and adjusted to fit the distance. Most pitch shot backswings stop either at the waist or at shoulder level.
Keep your head behind the ball and your hands ahead of the club. Impact the ball with a downward arc, keeping the face of the club square. Your follow through may not end high, but it should allow for your hips to rotate through to the end.
Spend at least two hours working on your pitch shot. Use a variety of clubs and make notes on how each behaves. Tips on Pitching and Chipping from the Rough Knowing how to pitch and chip can work miracles when you end up in the rough.
Playing a pitch or chip out of the rough is a bit different than playing those same shots off the fairway. Let’s look at some common examples of when you might need to pitch or chip out of the rough and how to do it successfully.
Tall Grass—Close to Green When you are close to the green but are in tall grass, pull out the lob wedge or the sand wedge. Address the ball with your hips and your feet in an open stance.
Your feet should be fairly close to one another with most of your weight on your left foot. Two key elements: make sure your hands are positioned in line with your left thigh and choke down on the shaft for better control.
When you begin your backswing, let your shoulders turn and cock your wrists. You want the club head to come up on a steep plane. On your downswing, rotate your hips smoothly, your arms following. Strike the ball as if you are trying to trap it between the ground and the face of the club.
When performed properly, the ball will pop out of the grass. Medium Rough—Low Flight Path When you need to chip or pitch out of the medium rough but also need the ball to roll a considerable distance once it lands on the green, use the low ball shot.
The best club for this shot is the sand wedge. Set up just as you did above. Play the ball off your back foot and keep your hands ahead of the club as you hit the ball. Many golfers miss this shot due to improper hand position as the club hits the ball. Keep those hands forward!
As you move into your follow through, the club will be on a low plane but pointing toward the target. High Ball—Less Roll When you need to get over an obstacle but do not want the ball to roll too much once it lands, the shot is best performed with the lob wedge.
For this shot out of the rough, keep the ball positioned in the middle of your stance. The shaft of your lob wedge should just barely lean toward the target line. As you move into your downswing, keep your hands well ahead of the club. This is a crucial key to making this shot work.
As you come through impact, your arms should be extended and pointing toward your target. Remember, your target for all of these shots is the place where you want the ball to land. It is not the hole!
I hope that you enjoyed these tips for basic golf swing lessons for seniors and as always if you have any comments or feedback please do not hesitate to leave me a comment below.
For more articles on chipping I have written another article CLICK HERE.
Keep hitting it straight down the fairway!