How to Build The Swing You Want

How to Build The Swing You Want
Follow Adam Scott’s simple steps for better ballstriking, more control and lower scores
By PGA Tour Player Adam Scott
With Michael Walker Jr.
Credit: Robert Beck

Golf Instruction pictureKEEP IT SIMPLE
You know the feeling. You pose like a superhero after a 260-yard bomb and feel like your game is finally coming together. Then on the next tee you hit a 200-yard pull and skulk away like a perp leaving the scene of a crime. Your main problem isn’t your swing plane or your alignment: it’s inconsistency. You won’t start posting the scores you’re capable of until you develop a swing you can repeat. The key is to master a few simple moves. Here’s how.

Golf Instruction picture1: FROM THE TEE
How to be More Accurate
Shorten your backswing and make a smooth and deliberate takeaway

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Notice how the club and my body start back together. Focus on making a smooth takeaway to time this right.

Golf Instruction pictureHow to Stop Slices and Hooks
For more solid hits, think about moving your arms and body as a single unit

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Swing your arms without a club. Focus on keeping your body and arms in sync.

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If you’ve moved everything as one piece, your arms will be in front of your chest at impact.

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How to Add Speed
Use your four power sources to create more yards than ever before

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Golf Instruction pictureTHE EYES HAVE IT
I want to finish my follow-through with my eyes looking directly at the target. This indicates that I’ve made a complete body rotation. Don’t keep your head down for too long — it can restrict your ability to move into your follow-through.

Golf Instruction picture3: FROM THE FAIRWAY

How to Pure Long Irons and Woods
Great ballstriking starts with a solid position at impact

Because my hips started my downswing, they should be more open than my shoulders through impact.

The bottom of the spikes on my right shoe are visible, which means that I’ve correctly rolled my weight to my left side off the inside of my right foot.

My forearms are square, and the divot indicates that I’ve hit down and compressed the ball off the ground.


Get square by setting a club parallel to your target line and your feet parallel to the club.

Golf Instruction pictureSTEP 2
Make your normal swing — start with a smooth backswing and end with a full finish.

Golf Instruction pictureSTEP 3
Watch your ball flight; that’s the best clue to what you did right and wrong in your swing.

Golf Instruction pictureMY IDEAL TAKEAWAY


My shoulders and arms are moving while my hips stay pretty quiet. Amateurs tend to turn their hips too early. Don’t move your hips until your shoulder turn forces them to move. When you’re halfway back, check to make sure your clubshaft is parallel to the club on the ground and the clubface is in a square position.

Golf Instruction picture4: FROM CLOSE RANGE

How to Attack Any Pin From 100 yards
First, assess the pin location, then pick the shot that will stick your ball close

I play aggressively and go for the green whenever I can (and you should, too, when you have the opportunity). On well-protected greens like this one, however, the smart play is to find your perfect lay-up distance. My full sand-wedge distance is 95 yards, so that’s where I try to leave myself a shot from.

My strategy for each pin position is shown at right. The only time you should do anything differently is when you’re faced with a sucker pin (that is, a pin position that dares you to hit a very difficult shot). In that case, forget about the pin and aim for the center of the green. Me? With a wedge in my hand, I go after any pin.

Bring the ball in lower than usual, so that it skips up to the pin after it lands. Move the ball a hair back in your stance, pinch it at impact, and cut your follow-through.

Create a shot that flies high and stops by playing the ball in the center of your stance and making a full finish.

When the pin is near the edge of the green (without any hazards), you can go right at it. The worst that’ll happen is that you’ll end up in the rough.

Golf Instruction pictureMY KEYS TO HITTING WEDGES

Pinch the ball and cut your follow-through.

Golf Instruction picture2. HIGH AND SOFT
Make your regular shot with a full finish.

Golf Instruction picture Adam Scott

I won the EDS Byron Nelson Championship this year by sinking a 48-foot putt in a playoff.

Hitting long putts is mostly about using imagination and feel, but it also has a lot to do with speed. No one expects you to hole a long pressure putt, but if you can put the proper speed on the ball, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll putt it to a spot that’ll give you a gimmie. You may even sink one from time to time!

When I look up after my practice strokes I imagine the ball rolling down the line all the way to the hole — I literally trace the path of the ball in my mind. This gives me a really good feel for how hard I have to hit the putt. (source: