Different Golf Swing Methods (5 Options)

Have you ever wondered what the different methods are to swinging a golf club?

When I really started to explore the golf swing around 5 years ago, I often seemed to find crossovers between different golf teachers, but many times they seemed to be promoting contradictory advice.

We have all been there!  

We have heard you are supposed to turn your hips open in the swing, while others told us to keep our upper body facing back and just throw the arms. 

We have also heard to keep our heads centered, while others have told us to move our heads towards our back leg.

Some have instructors to shift the weight back, while others have promoted keeping the weight centered or even on the front left.

Then I came across a video by Mike Malaska that explained 4 different types of golf swing.  I would add a 5th that I believe pretty much covers the different swing methods out there. 

It made more sense once Mike Malaska explained it and showed the different swings (Video Below).

Below, I will take you through the different methods, give you names of PGA Tour players that utilize these swings and leave you with advice of the best online golf instructors for each of the swings.

The pros have differenet swings, but all swings can work. Find what is best for your game below!

What Are The Different Golf Swing Methods?

There are 5 golf swing method categories that the majority of the golf swings can fit into.  They include the following:

  1. Rotational Based Swing
  2. Hands and Arms Based Swing
  3. Separation Based Swing
  4. Directing the Momentum Swing
  5. Single Plane Swing

This gives us 5 different swing types that we can utilize as golfers.

The goal is to provide you all the key information to pick one swing you currently use or give you enough information to figure out what swing you might want to use if you are thinking of a swing change.

Four Different Types of Golf Swings by Mike Malaska:

Swing Method 1: Rotational Based Swing


The rotational based swing utilizes a lot of body rotation in the swing.  It takes a more athletic person to be able to make this swing happen.  As the body rotates through the shot, the club comes flying through and allows for stabilization of the clubhead.

Those that promote this swing talk about the reliance on the bigger muscles to create consistency in the swing.  These golfers will often be open at impact and get a quality turn back and through the ball.  The rotation is supposed to help stabilize the club through impact.

They are leaving nothing in the tank and often work on matchups to ensure the path and the face are being controlled by the big muscles through the swing.

Many believe this swing is best under pressure as it doesn’t rely on smaller muscles to control the golf swing.  There are definitely many great qualities of this golf swing, but it takes someone that can handle the demands on the body.

George Gankas has many quality videos that help people produce more speed from the rotation and using ground focus to maximize distance.

Who Uses This Swing:

Lee Trevino, Matt Wolff

Who Teaches This Swing:

George Gankas

Here is a complete review on George Gankas.

Here is a video from George Gankas teaching the body rotation:

Swing Method 2: Hands and and Arms Based Swing


The hands and arms based swing is one where the body is head more back and from the top of the swing the golfer has a focus of throwing the arms and hands at the golf shot. 

This swing utilizes different leverage points and the body works more as a stabilizing force to allow the arms and hands to work quickly.

The proponents of this swing believe that the best athletes have the ability to rely on their hands to fire away and make an athletic motion.

Many believe that we can control the club face with our hands similar to hitting a pong shot or hitting a baseball.

While this swing may be confusing to see because the body still moves, the main feels or thoughts come from controlling the arms and hands and allow the body to react to the arms and hand movement.

I have found this swing to produce the most distance in my game.  I believe that I am able to utilize the levers in the swing and get my speed in the right places.  With other swings, I often feel that my swing might get lost before impact.

Many that teach this position focus a great deal on impact.  I love this style as impact is the moment of truth in the golf swing.  There are many weird things you can do in the backswing, but it all comes down to impact.  The teachers of this approach focus greatly on impact and spend a significant amount of time here.

Check out our Weirdest Swings of All Time and Check the Impact Positions.

Who Uses This Swing:

Jack Nicklaus, Zach Johnson

Who Teaches This Swing:

Mike Bender

Here is a video from Mike Bender explaining the downswing:

Swing Method 3: Separation Based Swing


This swing relies quite a bit on creating separation in backswing by turning the shoulders, while maintaining the hips.  This swing is complicated and takes a lot of flexibility. 

It was the primary method of teaching in the 90s.  It takes a truly athletic person in quality shape with excellent flexibility to be able to hit this shot.

I believe that the two swing methods above and the two below are superior to this swing for the average amateur golfer.  I utilized this swing in the 90s and it created some difficulty. 

I would highly recommend a golfer test out the different swing methods, but skip this one.

I believe it can lead to different injuries and cause some bad golf.  However, if perfected it can create quite a bit of speed.

One other aspect I don’t like in this swing is the promotion of keeping a flex back knee.  From my experience I believe the let should straighten some to help with the hip rotation and overall turn behind the ball.

Who Uses This Swing:

Brooks Koepka

Who Teaches This Swing:

Jim McClean

Swing Method 4: Directing the Momentum Swing


This is the swing that Mike Malaska himself teaches.  It is a combination of utilizing the body and the arms and hands to direct the momentum of the golf swing. 

To me this is one of the most naturally golf swings out there and easy to understand and even easier to make happen.

Many of us have played other sports in our time and this swing allows you to maintain and utilize the athletic ability that many of us have. 

It doesn’t take getting into many of the key positions that others swings require, but simply allows you to think about a task of utilizing the club head to hit the ball.

Mike Malaska provides a wealth of free information on youtube and has a membership site if you want to dive deeper into the learning.

I have utilized this swing at different times when I feel my swing getting too out of control.  This simple concept approach has produced several rounds right around par.  

Who Uses This Swing:

Justin Rose

Who Teaches This Swing:

Mike Malaska

Here is a great overview by Mike Malaska:

Swing Method 5: Single Plane Swing


This swing can be funny looking as the hands at address are usually higher and the swing looks like it always stays on one plane.  The proponents of this swing will promote the ease of repeatability as the stays on one plane.

Todd Graves learned from Mo Norman and teachers this method on his membership site.  The swing is worth exploiting, but is different than the typical swing.  It takes a full commitment and willingness to make some significant changes.

It is hard to argue with the simplicity of the DeChambeau and Mo Norman type of swing.  They are two highly effective golfers that have quality control over the ball. 

And now Bryson has added distance he might run some major victories off here in the coming decade.

Who Uses This Swing:

Bryson DeChambeau and Mo Norman

Who Teaches This Swing:

Todd Graves

Here is Todd Graves explaining the Single Plane Swing:

Which Swing Method Is the Best?

I would highly recommend swing method 2 or 4.  Having tried each of these swings at one time or another, I believe that 2 and 4 provide someone with the best chance to utilize their current athletic ability to hit a shot.   

The combination of the two has worked for me.  The teachings of Kyle Morris, Mike Bender and Mike Malaska are some of the best around and I have followed many of them.

To check out our Top 5 Online Instructors, check out this post.

I would stay away from swing 3.  Swing 1 can work if you are young enough and have the ability to make the rotation necessary to make the swing happen. 

I wouldn’t mind my sons learning this swing as I believe it maximizes the power in the golf swing and utilizing golf swings.

There are different ways to test the swing and we would recommend assessing it based on the three fundamentals listed below:

The Stack and Tilt Instructors said it best when they described what they believed were the fundamentals of golf.  They explained it somewhat similar to this:

  • Fundamental #1: The golfer’s ability to control the bottom of the golf swing.  The best golfers will hit the ground in the intended spot, close to 100% of the time.
  • Fundamental #2: The golfer’s ability to control the curve of the golf ball. The best golfers are able to start the ball to the right or left of the target line and have the ball curve towards the target without the ball over curving past the target.
  • Fundamental #3: The golfer’s ability to have enough power to play the golf course.  This means they are able to hit the ball far enough to play the course in regulation.

When you try a different swing measure your results by looking at these three fundamentals.

What If None of These Swings Work For you?

I have one last name you should check out.  The Jim Venetos swing is quite interesting and might be the solution for you.  Tired of all of the movements and positions int he golf swing, Jim has found a way to truly simplify the swing and use the forces to maximize distance in his stillness based swing.

It works off of a set position that has 70% of the weight forward and a closed stance at address.  To learn more about the Jim Venetos Swing, check out this post.

Regardless of your method of swinging the club, I must recommend you check out these two options:

Take Action – What You Can Do Today to Get Better

What does this mean for you?  I believe in the following recipe to get better:

1 – Improve your motion in the golf swing by identifying a golf instructor.  Here are some options:

Here is a list of golf instructors that we have reviewed:

2 – Train to swing faster and improve your swing speed.  Here are some options:

Looking to gain more Speed and Distance in your swing. Two Options:

3 – Understand course strategy and work to break through your next barrier.  Here is a series on breaking through:

We have provided guides on how to break 100, 90, 80 and 70. Check out more below, if interested.

4 – Practice Frequently

Did you know that I build a golf simulator in my garage and have played over 500 rounds of golf on my SkyTrak system?  It has been a game changer and one worth checking out. Here are some of my other posts on golf simulators frequently asked questions:

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