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The Swing Sequence in Golf: Mechanics, Steps, and Tips

golfer about to hit ball

Your swing sequence is one of the most important aspects of your game. If anything is out of sync you’ll find it difficult to stay consistent. Today we’ll take a look at how your swing sequence can affect your game and give you a step by step rundown of how the swing sequence should work. 

What Is A Golf Swing Sequence Anyway?

When we say swing sequence we’re talking about the series of steps that make up your golf shot. A typical golf sequence consists of a setup, backswing, apex, downswing, impact, and follow through phase. 

A bad swing sequence is the most common culprit of nasty hooks and slices; there are so many moving parts that misuse of the hips, arms, shoulders, even throwing the head in a weird direction can dismantle a swing. 

On the other hand, a good swing sequence can open up possibilities and allow you to use your body mechanics to drive greater power, precision, and speed to your game. 

The more refined your swing sequence is, the more freedom you’ll have with your shots. Since you want to get the best response from your club that you can, it’s important that you get your swing sequence right. 

Our advice is to tailor your swing sequence to your body. Everyone is different and no one person golfs the same. Ready for an awesome hack? Your biomechanics can be used to your advantage. Self awareness on the course is one thing, but you should know how your body is meant to golf down to the finest details.

At Gears Golf we offer a powerful, precise, golf swing motion capture system to help you golf at your best. With our system you can not only compare your motions with a pro’s, but you can enjoy a glorious 3D rendering of every angle and speed of your body movement so you know exactly where you should be improving. Stop trying to guess at what you need to fix. Learn how you can really golf. 

The Perfect Golf Swing Sequence

golfer in pink shirt about to hit ball off tee


The Setup is easily the most important part of your swing. A perfectly executed backswing, downswing, and follow through can’t compensate for a bad starting position. 

Start with where you place the ball. While this varies by shot type, you want the ball to be slightly ahead of center for fairway play, and closer to your front foot at the tee. 

Stand shoulder width apart. Keep your spine straight with a slight bend at the waist as you hold the club in front of you. 

Keep your knees mostly straight. Bending the knees too much is a rookie mistake you don’t want to fall for. 

golfer by a pond

The Takeaway

The backswing determines your swing path. Where your clubface points at the top of your swing, how bent your arms are, where your torso is facing–these all play into how clean your contact is. 

The takeaway or the first part of the backswing is the part where you bring your hands to about waist level. 

Start the backswing from the knees. Don’t get all wonky on us, we just mean use your big muscles first. While the shoulders and arms keep your club up, most of the heavy lifting when it comes to the backwards rotation will come from your hips and your core. Not only will this help you have a better backswing, but it will introduce better connectivity, rotation, and right-side bend into your shots. 

As your body rotates, look at the clubface. Even at waist height, the toe of the club should face the sky. 

Resist the urge to try and keep the clubface square during the takeaway. As you rotate the clubface will face away, and eventually square back to the ball on the downswing. 

golfer upswing

The Apex

This is the top of the backswing. You’ll need to use your shoulders and hips to get here, Let your right hand bend a little bit at the wrist. Your left arm should remain mostly straight. 

Once your hands reach the top, look over the shoulder to see what’s happening. At this point the club should be on path to the ball, if it’s not make an adjustment. 

golfer shifting his weight

Shifting Your Weight

How you transition your weight going into the downswing is extremely important. A good rule of thumb is to press down with your lead foot before you ever start the downswing. This creates a small lateral slide and enables you to have clean contact with the ball. 

Always flex your front foot before you begin to turn. You should only focus on your rotation once you’ve loaded your weight properly. 

In this phase, your hands should drop down the inside of the ball. It’s important to keep your wrists locked here. 

Think about the downswing as letting gravity do the work and just guiding the club. Keep your elbow as close to your body as possible. Be careful not to let it cross your lead elbow. If you do you’ll likely wind up coming out on top. 

Don’t lift your heel. While it may get you a few extra yards, it can throw your swing off. Instead, lift it on the follow through. 

golfer making impact with ball


At impact, you’ll actually want to manipulate the club based on the shot you’re taking. In other words, the attack angle varies.

For fairway shots, the attack angle is more of a downward motion. The hands pull the shaft ahead of the clubface at impact in sort of a whipping motion

For driver shots, hit the ball from the inside but hit the ball squarely. Your hands shouldn’t be ahead of the head during a driver shot. 

Bunkers call for a very downward motion, more so than fairway shots. 

golfer follow through

Follow Through

Swing all the way through the ball. Let the natural momentum of the golf club prevail.

Where your hands go after you hit the golf ball can affect the trajectory and direction of your shot. You should finish your follow through at your lead shoulder. 

Practice, Practice, Practice

Spend time to develop good muscle memory. Revisiting the fundamentals when you’re at the range enables you to succeed when you’re on the course. If you’re at a loss for where to start, check out these drills that teach you to make better contact with the ball. 

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