Instruction — Three Keys to a Good Swing

The golf swing has several different ways it can be taught. This can be dictated by the different shot patterns instructors and, for that matter, students like to see. But with all the different looks to a swing I believe there are three areas of the swing every golfer should achieve. These three areas are staples that can be interchangeable with any instructor’s style.

1. Pivot in the backswing • When the club is set in motion, it should always be in conjunction with the upper body starting to coil or turn. Obviously, the bigger the backswing, the more coil or turn is associated with the motion. Instructors will use various phrases (coil, turn, pivot, etc.) to describe the body motion in the backswing. Whatever the style of teaching there needs to be a body coil, turn or pivot to go along with the backswing.

2. Wrist Cock • In any given swing model there needs to be a hinging of the wrist as the club swings through the backswing. The wrist cock adds an additional lever to the swing that’s vital for distance and solid contact. Wrist cock happens immediately however gradually throughout the backswing. By hinging your wrists it helps to store up power in the hands. It also gives you something to hit with at impact. The wrists hinge in the backswing and then gradually unhinge as the arms/hands rotate along with the body in the downswing. Lastly, by hinging your wrists in the backswing it helps allow the bottom of the downswing be at the ball at impact.


3. Follow Through • Every swing needs a follow through. In the through swing, the club swings through and the body turns through. On a full swing, the club should finish across the back of your head with the wrists cocked again. The trail foot should be released and straight up and down. Your belt buckle faces the target and your trail knee is touching the lead knee. A good follow through is like ‘sticking the finish’ in gymnastics. You should be in balance with the majority of your weight on your front foot, using your back for balance.

Regardless of your swing style these three parts of the swing will be vital in creating a consistent swing that produces good quality shots.


Tim Cusick is the Director of Instruction at the Four Seasons Resort and Club/Dallas at Las Colinas. The Northern Texas PGA named Cusick Teacher of the Year in 2005, 2009 and 2015, as well as the 2014 Horton Smith Award winner for education. He’s the author of ‘The Four Keys to Improve your Swing.’ Follow him on Twitter @timcusickgolf and visit his website: