8 Basic Golf Swing Drills To Improve Your Game! 

You can always improve at golf whatever your level

Golf swing drills are great tools to help improve specific aspects of your game while making your practice routines more focused and engaging.

Swing drills for golf are designed to give you instant feedback on which parts are going right or wrong in your swing.

You can be your own golf coach as you’ll know exactly when you’re meeting the correct outcome of the drill.

Golf swing drills allow you to practice with purpose: Give discipline to the individual parts that need work and watch your whole game improve.

There’s a golf swing drill to practice anywhere, whether on the course, at the range, or at home – provided you have enough space to swing a club!

This article will provide you with 8 basic golf swing drills to improve your game.

Let’s get started!

A young golfer and a golf teacher run through golf swing drills

#1. Towel Armpit Drill

The most successful and consistent strikes in golf are made when the whole body moves in unison in the swing.

If your body synchronicity is off, your club path becomes unreliable and you won’t reap the consistency and power benefits from a full-body swing.

With the help of a towel, you can train your arms so that they stay connected to the movement of your torso throughout your shot’s rotation.

Here’s how to perform this swing drill for golf:

  • Roll up a towel into a thin tube.
  • Fix the towel across your chest so that it rests in place under both armpits.
  • Take a series of 3/4 length swings making sure the towel doesn’t fall at either end.

If the towel drops during your swing, you could be displaying bad habits in arm positioning.

You might suffer from the dreaded ‘chicken wing’ or baseball posture, where you lift your arms up instead of swinging them back in the takeaway.

When the arms and upper body aren’t working together it increases the chances of coming over the top in your downswing which can cause slicing.

Note the towel is allowed to fall at the very end of a full capacity swing during the follow through where arm extension is promoted.

two golfers practice together.

#2. Train Track Alignment Drill

Providing a good foundation for the swing from the get-go is key to improving at golf – where you aim in your setup has a big effect on this.

Quite often our swing path will show us that we’re not aiming where we think we are.

Luckily aiming is one part in the swing sequence that you have the time to get right. 

Try this golf swing drill to improve your aim:

  • Lay an alignment rod down just beyond the golf ball so it’s pointing directly at your target (this can be another golf club). 
  • Then lay a second alignment rod down in front of your toe line at the address, making sure it’s parallel to the rod in front.
  • Practice taking a few shots with the alignment rods in place.

This swing drill for golf creates a visual ‘train track’ to help ensure your feet, and your club face, are aligned in the same direction square to your target.

If your shot goes wayward after establishing perfect aim, then you know the fault is somewhere else in your swing which is causing you to hook or push the ball off target, and not your aim.

A bucket of golf balls and tees next to a number of golf clubs.

#3. Chair Drill

Maintaining your spine angle in golf is key for consistency in the swing.

Failure to keep the angle of your upper body (first set at address) intact throughout the takeaway, downswing, and at impact will alter the path of your club causing unreliable shots.

You can use the help of a chair to make sure you aren’t extending out of your swing posture too early.

This swing drill for golf is a good one for home or on the range since you won’t have many chairs handy on the course!

  • Pull up the back of a chair behind you.
  • Get into your address position so that you are perching against the top of the chair.
  • Practice your swinging motion with your whole body, making sure your glutes stay connected to the chair at all times.
  • Your right glute should put pressure on the chair during your takeaway, before switching to pressure from your left glute on the chair at the impact position.

The effects of standing up at impact can lead to thin shots, whilst lowering your upper body at impact can lead to fat shots.

Only after the ball is struck should you lift in your follow-through. 

Your head should also remain in the same position throughout these swing phases which will tell you you’re performing the swing correctly.

A golfer practices chipping balls onto the green.

#4. Rubber Band Drill

To pure your irons and your drives, you’ll need to make contact with the golf ball in the center of the club face.

Not centering your club face at impact could be the reason why your shots aren’t flying as intended and you’ll be prone to shanking or hooking the ball.

You need to get familiar with finding that sweet spot in the middle of the club face for a straight flight path and that all-so-satisfying crack sound at impact.

How to know where your ball is making contact on your club face? Try the following golf swing drill using rubber bands:

  • Stretch two rubber bands around your club face, one on either side of the grooves to start.
  • Try to hit a few balls without making contact with the rubber bands.
  • Reduce the gap between the two rubber bands to increase the difficulty level, making the space for connection in the center smaller.

You’ll know exactly when you aren’t hitting the center of your club face because you’ll feel and hear when the ball bounces off the rubber rather than the metal space exposed.

Lots of golfers practice on practice greens.

#5. Tee Peg Putt Drill

Keep missing those must-make putts?

Putting is crucial to low scoring. A shot counts the same on your scorecard whether it stretches 200 yards or 2, so it’s important to get your accuracy right.

If you find your ball often strays just wide of the hole there’s a good chance you’re also not centering your putter’s club face with the ball.

A couple of tee pegs can be used to help improve your putting stroke accuracy.

Here’s how this drill works:

  • Set up with your putter with the ball in the middle of the club face.
  • Place a tee peg on either side of the head of your putter behind the golf ball, leaving just enough room for the club to pass through.
  • Take a series of putts through the gap you’ve created without the club knocking either tee peg.

This exercise trains your swing path when putting to be dead straight whilst importantly making sure you’re hitting the ball in the central sweet spot on the club face.

It’s quite easy to get lazy when putting small distances, which can involve you catching the golf ball on the edge of the club where it’s not going to roll straight.

Related Article: 5 Ways To Practice Putting At Home

A golfer hits many balls into a hole.

#6. Trail Foot Back Drill

Here’s one of Jason Dufner and John Cook’s favorite golf swing drills to help widen the takeaway and get an automatic sense of the correct direction your body should rotate in your swing.

It’s easy to perform:

  • Once set up to your ball, simply take a step back with your trail foot so that your trail toes are level with the heel of your lead foot.
  • Practice hitting some balls in this position while staying balanced during your turns.

You’ll find this stance exercise will naturally encourage your lead side to move forward and your trail side back in your takeaway. 

If your chin hovers over your lead shoulder at the top of your swing, you’ll know you’re on the right track.

This swing drill for golf will help stop you from swaying off center in your rotation, improving the consistency of your swing.

Lots of golf balls on a golf green.

#7. Worst Ball Drill

Most practice settings will find you hitting a sequence of shots from the same spot, i.e the driving range mat. 

The ultimate assessment of your progress is when you take your hard work into practice on the course. 

This golf swing drill is one of Tiger Woods’ favorites which involves playing two balls through a 9-hole round focusing on improving your worst shots

Here’s how it works:

  • Tee off hitting two balls with the same club.
  • Watch where they both land and identify the worst ball, picking up the other.
  • Now play both balls from the location of that previous worst ball.
  • Repeat this process until you hole out with both balls.

This puts the harder real game scenarios into practice which is necessary to improve your all-around game and shoot lower scores next time you play competitively.

If you can score well with your worst balls, then imagine how you’ll score with your best!

A pyramid made out of golf balls.

#8. Bunker Drill

Bunker shots can be notoriously tricky to pull off, but improving your understanding of how the club is meant to interact with the sand will make life easier.

One of the main things golfers struggle with in bunkers is the amount of sand to take up at impact.

This golf swing drill uses another visual cue to help you practice your entry and exit points in the sand.

This is how it’s performed:

  • Draw a circle in the sand around your golf ball about 6 inches in diameter.
  • Your goal is to remove the sand inside the circle using your golf swing.

This will train you to make contact with the sand first getting underneath the ball, whilst throwing forward the right amount of sand so that the ball can make a cushioned exit onto the green.

If you can throw your circle of sand onto the green, your ball should end up there too!

Work in some of these golf swing drills next time you’re practicing with a bucket of balls and watch your game improve no end!

Keep practicing off the course with our guide to practicing at home!

Photo of author
George Edgell is a freelance journalist and keen golfer based in Brighton, on the South Coast of England. He inherited a set of golf clubs at a young age and has since become an avid student of the game. When not playing at his local golf club in the South Downs, you can find him on a pitch and putt links with friends. George enjoys sharing his passion for golf with an audience of all abilities and seeks to simplify the game to help others improve at the sport!

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