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Terms to know before taking a golf lesson

Taking a golf lesson has never been easier thanks to Skillest. The ability to communicate with the best coaches from around the world entirely remotely makes improving your game a reality.

Although our coaches break down lessons in easy-to-understand ways, it’s always good to know some terminology heading into a lesson.

A

Alignment Stick: Simple training aid that can be used in a variety of ways to help with aim, swing path, and other alignment related focus areas.

B

Balance: Distribution of weight before and throughout the swing.

Bowed: When the top wrist is bent slightly inward at the top of the backswing.

C

Casting: Prematurely uncocking wrists on the downswing, resulting in loss of power and control.

Closed Clubface: When the toe of the club is closer to the ball than the heel, either at address or impact.

Closed Stance: When the rear foot (right for righty golfers) toe is pulled back towards behind the golfer.

Coil: Body turn during the backswing.

Come Over The Top: Sometimes known as an outside-to-inside swing; when the clubhead is outside the target line at impact because of its swing path in the downswing.

Connection: All body parts working in harmony to produce a fluid motion.

Cupped Wrist: When the top hand is hinged outward at the top of the backswing.

D

Down the Line: One of two ways swings should be recorded; refers to the angle behind the ball, similar to what’s seen on golf television broadcasts. Swings should be recorded at hand level height.

Downswing: The swing forward.

Draw: A shot that flies slightly towards the player (right to left for right-handed players).

Dynamic Balance: Appropriate weight transfer during the swing while maintaining body control.

F

Face On: The second way swings should be recorded; refers to the angle looking straight at the golfer, as shoulders are square to the camera. Swings should be recorded at hand level height.

Fade: A shot that flies slightly away from the player (left to right for right-handed players).

Fanning: Opening of the clubface as the backswing begins.

Fat Shot: When the clubhead strikes the ground behind the ball, resulting in poor contact and a short shot.

Flat Swing: A swing that is more horizontal than vertical.

Follow-Through: Part of the swing after the ball has been struck.

Freezer: Drill where the golfer pauses at the top of the backswing for body awareness.

G

Grip: How the club is held. Different positions of the hands/fingers result in different style grips.

H

Half Shot: A swing with less speed and shortened motion, meant for less distance and to keep the ball out of high winds.

Hook: A shot the curves sharply toward the player (right to left for right-handed golfers).

I

Impact: The moment when the club strikes the ball in the swing.

Impact Bag: Training aid to help with a variety of issues in the swing, mainly at impact.

Inside-To-In: Swing path that has the greatest percentage of producing solid strikes. Club head travels from inside target line, to impact, and then back inside the target line.

Inside-To-Out: Swing path in which the clubhead travels from inside the target line to outside the target line after contact, all before turning back to the inside of the target line.

L

Lateral Shift: Weight shift towards the target in the forward swing.

N

Neutral Grip: When the palms face each other with both thumbs resting on the top of the shaft.

O

Open Stance: When the lead foot (left for righty golfers) toe is pulled back towards behind the golfer.

Opened-To-Closed: When the clubface is fanned open on the backswing and then closes at impact.

Outside-To-In: Swing path in which the clubhead travels from outside the target line then continues to inside of the line following impact.

P

Path: The direction the club travels during the swing or putting stroke.

Pivot: Rotation of the body around a fixed point.

Positions (P1 through P10): The 10 positions of a golf swing.

  • P1 – Address
  • P2 – Takeaway
  • P3 – Backswing
  • P4 – Top of Swing
  • P5 – Downswing (a)
  • P6 – Downswing (b)
  • P7 – Impact
  • P8 – Release (a)
  • P9 – Release (b)
  • P10 – Finish

R

Radius: The distance between the center of the swing arc and the hands on the grip.

Rhythm: The coordination of movement during the swing.

S

Separation: When any body parts or the club moves either faster or slower than other parts of the swing.

Setup: Addressing the ball; aim & alignment.

Shallowing: When the club flattens out more horizontally in the downswing.

Shape: To curve a shot in certain situations.

Short Irons: 8 & 9 irons, plus the pitching wedge.

Slice: A shot the curves sharply away from the player (left to right for right-handed golfers).

Square: Term to describe a stance, the clubface, or contact with the ball.

Stance: Position of feet at address.

Steepen: When the club is more vertical in the swing.

Strong Grip: Not meaning grip pressure. Refers to hands being rotated toward trail leg on the club. The “V” shapes made with your thumbs and hands point towards the trail side of your head.

Swaying: Exaggerated lateral movement of the body.

T

Takeaway: The club’s movement at the start of the backswing.

Target Line: The imaginary line drawn from the ball to where the golfer is aiming.

Tempo: Speed of the swing.

Transition: The change from the backswing to the downswing.

U

Upright: A steeper than usual swing plane.

W

Weak Grip: Not meaning grip pressure. Refers to hands being rotated toward lead leg on the club. The “V” shapes made with your thumbs and hands point towards the lead side of your head.