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Top 10 Golf Swing Tips

Swing Basics
Adam Scott's backswing at the Barclay's Classic
Adam Scott's backswing at the Barclay's Classic
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Once you've spent time perfecting your grip and setting up your shot with the correct stance, you're ready to actually take a swing. By now the sheer number of physical things to keep in mind -- pointed thumbs, interlocked hands, foot distance, weight distribution and more -- probably has you reeling. Luckily, the mechanics of a solid two-part golf swing are pretty simple, in theory.

  • On the backswing, pivot your shoulders toward your spine, shift your weight to the front of your back foot and hinge your front arm up into a 90-degree L-shape.
  • On the downswing, release your arm in its L-shaped lever toward the target as you shift your weight to your front foot in one, smooth balanced motion.

Remember how Einstein's theory of special relativity made Newton's law of gravity seem quaint? To golf professionals, the idea that a swing consists of a simple back-and-down pendulum action is similarly facile. Entire books have been devoted to the golf swing. Professionals have debated every aspect of the golf swing -- from how much the back elbow should stiffen to how a golfer's weight should be distributed. Master a solid, basic swing before worrying too much about the dizzying array of variations available to you.