David Leadbetter - My 5 Keys To Better Golf

Here the iconic coach gives his 5 keys to play better golf.

(Image credit: Steve Wilson/Azalea)

Here the iconic coach gives his 5 keys to play better golf.

David Leadbetter - My 5 Keys To Better Golf

As CVs go, David Leadbetter’s takes some topping. He’s overseen 26 Major Championship victories and guided seven players to World No.1 (opens in new tab). Here he gives his five keys to better golf.

1 - Reduce tension

Tension is a common problem among amateurs and it hinders fluidity in the swing. You need to reduce tension specifically in the forearms, shoulders and neck area. Shake the arms out as you address the ball so you can relax. Too may amateurs grab on to the club like they are trying to strangle a snake.

2 - Grip the club correctly

I’d say 90% of amateurs grip the club incorrectly, specifically way too much in the palm. Any time you do this you create an enormous amount of tension and it doesn’t allow you to set or load the club correctly. A more relaxed grip where golfers can see at least two knuckles on the left hand is important.

3 - Complete the backswing

leadbetter 5 keys

Completing the backswing is crucial (Steve Wilson/Azalea)

If you don’t complete the backswing, you won’t have generated that coil and you’ll have to start down with your hands and arms. You want to load into your right leg, so you feel pressure in your right heel at the top of the backswing. That’s a signal for you to start your downswing. Also, make sure you really finish to the target.

4 - Takeaway is key

A good start, where you’re moving your navel and tummy button and synchronising with the hands, is important. What most people tend to do, some of it through tension or a poor grip, is take the club back with their hands and arms, which gets it in a bad position. The arms and hands should move together with the shoulders, chest and core.

5 - Maintain good posture

A lot of golfers tend to ‘sit down’ on their heels or bend forward on to their toes. You’ve got to put yourself in a balanced position as if you were a cricket slip catcher or receiving a serve in tennis – a slight knee flex, a good amount of forward bend from your hips and being well balanced between toes and heels.

We spoke to David at the launch of the Leadbetter Golf University which is a new online platform that provides the best coaching knowledge and educates golf coaches using interactive training techniques. The platform has 20 courses on a variety of subjects like fitness, sports psychology and technical swing instruction. There are also tutorial cameos from tour pros like Ernie Els. Visit university.leadbetter.com for more information.

For more tips to help you play better golf, do not forget to follow Golf Monthly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Sam Tremlett
Senior Staff Writer

A golfer for most of his life, Sam started playing the game to prove he was the best player out of his father and two brothers.
He quickly became a golf equipment expert and has always been the one family and friends come to for buying advice, and spends a lot of his time putting golf gear, apparel and shoes to the test.  
He is a graduate of Swansea University where he studied History and American Studies, and he has been a part of the Golf Monthly team since February 2018. He also previously worked for World Soccer and Rugby World magazines.

A jack of all trades across print and digital formats, Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website. He also oversees all Tour player content as well. 

Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a handicap of five. 


Sam is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TS3
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade M5 (15 degrees), Nike Covert Tour 2.0 (19 degrees)
Irons (4-PW): Titleist AP2
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 54˚, 58˚
Putter: Scotty Cameron Circa 62 #6