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Stroke Mechanics

Feb 8th, 2012

Understanding the golf stroke is easier if one first understands the golfer's role. The golfer does not "hit the ball". The golfer's role is to swing the club, which then strikes the ball.


Golfers start with the non-dominant side of the body facing the target. At address the body and club are positioned parallel to the target line. The feet are commonly shoulder-width apart for middle irons and putters, narrower for short irons and wider for long irons and woods. The ball is positioned in the centre of the player's stance for short irons and putters, more to the front for middle irons and even more for long irons and woods. The golfer chooses a golf club, grip, and stroke appropriate to the distance:

  • The drive is used on the teeing ground to tee-off long distances;
  • The approach is used in long- to mid-distance shots;
  • The chip is used for relatively short-distance shots around the green. The goal of the chip is to land the ball safely on the green allowing it to roll out towards the hole.
  • The putt is used in short-distance shots on or near the green. The goal of the putt is to get the ball in the hole.