Entries Tagged as 'golf basics'

Golf Basics – Build Your Foundation First

More and more people every year get bitten by the golf bug. Golf’s popularity continues to rise year after year. With more and more people becoming interested in golf, more and more people are taking their first steps in wanting to learn how to play the game.

And the great thing is – it is people of all age groups, genders, race and social strata. I have really been enjoying working with every type of golfer.

The first aspect of the game of golf that I talk with about a person or group of people that are just beginning to take up the game is that learning to play golf is going to take some time and much patience. In fact, the patience part never goes away in this great game!

The second aspect (or at least real close to it) that I speak with beginning golfers about is practice; and the amount you spend with quality practice time will get you to the point in your game you want to be.

Everyone has different ambitions and expectations as to how far they want to take their game. Whether it’s just a spouse who wants to learn enough of the game and the golf swing to enjoy an afternoon with their significant other, or someone who one day wishes to play competitively, the game of golf can accommodate. But, it’s fundamentals and practice that will get you to your goal.

At its core of the game of golf is the golf swing. Your golf swing. How you start out learning the mechanics of the golf swing is crucial. Don’t skip the basics! Learn some fundamentals before you even begin to tackle the swing.

The grip, the stance, the setup to the ball, and your posture, is the foundation from which you must learn the golf swing. If you don’t spend the time early on ingraining these aspects into your physical psyche, you’ll not (if ever) consistently strike the golf ball. So, make sure when you are working with your instructor, you don’t just start whacking at balls. Make sure you build the proper foundation with the aforementioned elements.

When you do progress to actually swinging the club, I like to have people start with middle iron (usually a 6 or 7 iron). In my opinion, the middle iron is the best club to begin learning the golf swing. With a six iron, for example, the ball placement is in the middle of your stance. This means that as you progress to higher and lower irons you will have a benchmark to work from. Also down the road, if you swing begins to trouble you, I usually suggest that you get back to your basic neutral position club of the six iron and get your rhythm and timing back.

If you are just beginning, you must understand that the longer the shaft on the club, the longer it is going to take you to consistently and accurately hit the golf ball. It’s just the physics. I see way too many beginners want to rush to justice and hit the driver and they never learn the proper swing. Always learn, tune, and groove your swing with a middle iron. Then work to keep that mindset as you climb the ladder of your clubs.

From you middle iron placement your longer shafted clubs will find your ball placement more toward your front foot’s instep; while your shorter irons will have the ball work more toward the back foot’s instep.

But before you do any of this, make sure you start with your foundation. Make sure that when you speak with your teaching professional you let them know that you want to spend time with and make sure you understand the concepts of the grip, stance, alignment, and posture. This will ensure that you don’t build a house of cards with your golf swing that will always be tumbling apart.

Once you get past your first couple of lessons of working on the foundations, don’t forget them. Always, always, always, be cognizant of your grip, stance, alignment, and posture even as you begin developing your golf swing. Be sure to incorporate a quick check of these before you engage your swing.

And finally, we come full circle. Be patient with yourself and spend time practicing. If you do, you’ll realize the wonderful rewards that the game of golf returns in a much sooner fashion.

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Golf Basics – Learn To Turn

One of the biggest challenges for beginning golfers and an area of constant attention for low handicap golfers as well as professionals is consistency in their swing. For someone just beginning to learn and apply the mechanics of the golf swing, one of the most important concepts to get on the right track with right from the get-go is to learn that the golf swing is a rotation of the shoulders and the hips not the forearms and hands. In short, when learning the basic golf swing, learn to turn.

One very simple drill you can perform to reinforce and to illustrate this concept is to place a golf ball (or any similar object that you can focus on) on the floor in front of you. Stand over the ball as you would normally properly address the ball. With a slight bend in the waist and knees, and with a flat back. Take your left hand and place it on your right shoulder and do the same with your right hand on your left shoulder. In other words, fold your arms across your chest.

From this position emulate your take-away from the ball. It is important to keep your posture in tact and your chin slightly up. This allows your left shoulder (assuming a right handed golf swing) to pass slightly under your chin. The key while doing this is to keep your head still and your eyes focused on the ball on the floor in front of you. Ultimately, you’ll want to make a full shoulder rotation that completes with your upper back approaching a point where it is actually pointing toward the target. Your hips (bellybutton) should achieve an angle of about half as much.

As you reach your full turn, again be mindful that your head stays still and you are still comfortably seeing the golf ball. At the height of your turn we want to feel our weight braced against the instep of our right foot. Not rolled over the outside edge of the right foot. Not rolled over the top of the right foot allowing the right hip to get outside of the line of our right leg. The weight distribution at your fullest part should be about 85% on the inside of the right foot. Do not allow yourself to ‘reverse pivot’ when you turn. By that I mean, as you turn you don’t want to dip your left shoulder and head and accomplish your turn by dipping and ending up with the majority of your weight on your left foot at full turn instead of your right. Hence reversing the intended weight distribution.

As you begin to release your turn you should do so with your hips and shoulders. Again keeping your aforementioned posture in tact. As your hip and shoulder initiate the return sequence, your weight will move in the same fashion proportionally from your right to your left side. Allow your hips and shoulders to pass through the original address position with your right should now passing slightly under your chin much as your left shoulder did on the takeaway. All the while keeping your focus on the golf ball you placed on the floor at address. Upon finish your weight will now have moved from the right to the left side. Your hips and bellybutton should finish facing your intended target with your head and eyes not leaving their focus on the ball until they are naturally pulled up and toward your target by the finish.

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