The term “golf stroke mechanics” refers to the means by which golf players make decisions in executing a shot, for example, selecting the appropriate club. It consists of two stages: pre-stroke, i.e. the golfer selecting their club and which stance to adopt, and the stroke itself.
The golf stroke is a complex motion. There is much debate as to what constitutes a good swing. Nesbit and Serrano suggest in Work and Power Analysis of the Golf Swing that mathematicians and scientists have studied the process and come up with various equations to help convey the complexity of the perfect swing. Most golfers agree that a consistent and successful swing requires precise mechanics and timing, from the position of one’s fingers and the grip to the movement and position of the feet. At any moment during the swing something could go wrong, resulting in a missed hit.
To achieve the perfect swing, a player should start off by positioning his/herself in line with the flag. When approaching the ball, a good trick is to pick out a small stone, broken tee or leaf which is in line with the flag you are aiming at. The player may find it helpful to picture a line between these two reference points. They should then align their club with these reference points, standing parallel to this imaginary line. By following these steps, the player is optimally orientated to take their swing.
It is important that the player grips the club with their left hand correctly. They should ensure that the club is naturally on the ground behind the golf ball, placing the club in their left hand so that the shaft sits across the top of their forefinger. The club should slot into the heel of the palm allowing space for the club’s stability. The little finger should be curled around the grip to avoid rendering the club off balance. A good tip is to keep the thumb straight on top of the club shaft, maintaining a natural grip. When the player has perfected the correct left hand grip technique, they should be able to see two or three knuckles of their hand.
It is equally important that the right hand is gripped correctly, with the arm hanging naturally. The right thumb should be positioned on the club so that it is pointing at the right shoulder. It is vital that the back of the club is gripped correctly. There are three ways of doing this, with players adopting the hold which feels most natural to them. The Overlapping or Vardon Grip is the most commonplace, though the Baseball Grip and (more unusually) the Interlocking Grip are sometimes adopted.
Good posture is incredibly important in the sport. The player should maintain a relatively straight back with bent knees when taking a swing. The feet should be placed shoulder length apart.