Did you know that Jim Barnes wrote the first-ever golf instruction book in 1919? The book contained various pictures and types of golf swings used by champions of the game at the time. It is now over a century later, and a lot has changed in the game.
Honest Golfers has decoded the data, studied how champions (back then) played the game and compared these techniques with current ones. We found some surprising similarities and narrowed down the list. Here are the 5 most popular types of golf swings common among pro golfers today:
- Rotational based swing
- Hands and arms based swing
- Separation based swing
- Directing the momentum swing
- Single pane swing
|Golf Swing Type
|Rotational based swing
|Put total swing energy into the body rotation.
Best for athletic golfers.
|Hands and arms based swing
|Movement of the arms and the hands during the swing dictates how the body moves.
|Separation based swing
|Separate your shoulders without moving your hips during the backswing.
Not recommended for beginners.
|Directing the momentum swing
|Hybrid technique that feels natural compared to other swing styles.
Great swing for new golfers.
|Single pane swing
|Arms and shoulders are on the same plane on your downswing.
Considered the most difficult golf swing to master.
How Many Types of Golf Swings are There?
Studies show that the average golfer uses at least eight different swings every game. Just ask the “Round Mound of Rebound”, Charles Barkley.
With this in mind, it’s important to invest in online golf instruction to improve your game and learn new techniques.
For example, a player will use a different swing for chipping, pitching, wedges, mid irons, long irons, hybrids, fairway woods, and drivers.
The truth is that there are dozens of ways to swing at a golf ball. What matters is that you are comfortable with your stance and movement. So what golf experts have done is analyze data from old and current pro golfers to create a starting point for finding a swing that works for you.
Using multiple swings in a golf game results in inconsistency. When You look at pro golfers, they use the same swing movements for every hole. The only thing that changes is the club they use, and that’s why their game is consistent.
Are All Golf Swings the Same?
A golf swing is much like a fingerprint, and every player has their own unique move. However, generally speaking, the golf swing technique is the same. The golf swing breaks down into the following phases:
- The pre-shot routine – is a series of actions that a player undertakes before hitting the ball. Every player has their own routine, which might include making a practice swing.
- Waggle (optional) – is an optional part of the pre-shot routine that involves swinging the club back and forth shortly before a hit.
- Address – is the player’s stationary position before they swing on the ball. The golfer might be allowed to place the clubhead behind the ball for a short time before swinging.
- Takeaway – is the first process or action of the golf swing. The takeaway happens between the address and the backswing. In simple terms, it is the action that transitions into the backswing.
- Backswing – happens immediately after the takeaway up to the point where the player starts to reverse course towards the ball to hit it.
- Top of the backswing – is the end of the backswing and the beginning of the downswing. It is more of a transitional moment of the golf swing. At this point, the club is up, and the player has identified their swing plane.
- Downswing – is when the club starts its reverse course towards the ball and ends when it is at the lowest point when it hits the ball.
- Impact – is the moment of truth for every player when the club hits the ball. The impact decides where the ball will land on the green.
- Release – is the transition that happens with the hands before and after impact. A player’s hand will reverse positions during the backswing, and the downswing and this movement are what we call the release.
- Follow-through – is the series of actions that happen after the impact until the club rests on the golfer’s shoulders. Following through enables the club to lose momentum and energy after the play.
In this article, you will learn about the various golf swings in detail so you can decide which one works for you.
5 Types of Golf Swings: What are the Swings in Golf?
Golf experts and instructors have identified five significant golf swings common among pro golfers today:
1. Rotational Based Swing
Athletic players mainly use the rotational-based swing because it requires a lot of power and the big muscles in the body. As the name suggests, players must put their total energy into the body rotation. By doing this, the club will follow through swiftly, enabling the clubhead to stabilize through impact.
This swing is best for athletic players because it demands a lot from the body. If you have less physical strength, you will struggle to control this swing because you need your whole body to rotate at full force.
Notable rotational based golf swingers are Lee Trevino and Matt Wolf.
2. Hands and Arms Based Swing
This swing can be hard to spot during a game because the body still rotates. The difference here is that the body is more of a stable force allowing the arms and hands to move swiftly.
In simple terms, the movement of the arms and the hands during the swing dictates how the body moves.
This swing borrows various leverage points from other swing methods to produce the best result. When asked, players who use this swing say that it creates the most distance.
But, as you already know, the impact is everything in the golf game. That’s why instructors of this swing advise players to utilize the levers in their swing to get speed in the right places.
Notable golfers who practice the hands and arms based swing include:
- Jim Furyk
- Jack Nicklaus
- Zach Johnson
3. Separation Based Swing
Remember when we talked about instructors having a standard method of teaching the golf swing? The separation-based swing is one of them, and most players in the 90s used this swing in their games. However, today, the swing is not used as much because it is more complex and requires a player to be more flexible.
The swing requires you to separate your shoulders without moving your hips during the backswing. This technique can take a lot of effort, especially for the less flexible amateur player.
Most instructors do not recommend beginner players start with this move because if you are not in good shape, you might end up with a severe injury.
Prominent players who use utilize the separation based golf swing are Alison Lee and Brooks Koepka.
4. Directing the Momentum Swing
Think about how you naturally hit a ball. You use your whole body together with your arms and hands. Directing the momentum swing is also a combination of the two, and many players agree that this hybrid technique feels the most natural compared to other swing styles.
Instead of focusing on leverage points and various ways to move your hands and body, this swing allows you to focus on using the clubhead to hit the ball. This swing should be easy to understand and execute if you have an athletic past.
If you are a beginner at golf, this swing is the perfect place to start. Reputable golfers who use the “directing the momentum golf swing” are Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose.
5. Single Plane Swing
The single plane swing is considered to be the most difficult to master. Proficient players who use this swing have excellent control over the ball, and that’s why they have consistent game.
Learning this swing requires you to be willing and committed to unlearn many things and master new ones.
Most people find this swing strange because the player’s hands are higher than usual during the top swing. Besides that, you must ensure that your arms and shoulders are on the same plane on your downswing to create more right-to-left shots.
Nevertheless, players who use this swing testify that it helps them achieve a straight draw trajectory on the green.
PGA professionals who use the single pane swing include:
- Rickie Fowler
- Lee Westwood
- Mo Norman
- Bryson DeChambeau