In golf, as in life, the fundamentals are key.
You can stumble your way through without them, but true mastery will elevate your game and invigorate your experience. And as boring as mastering the basics sounds, I find it super fun to see the light bulbs go off when things fall into place and everything starts clicking. My students love it too!
This is a fundamental you just can’t skip. For your top hand grip, lay the handle in your fingers so that you would be able to see a wedding band. Then, allow the back of the hand to wrap over the club handle so that you can still see the logo on your glove or at least two knuckles. For your bottom hand grip, imagine you are shaking someone’s hand, then relax or soften for more speed and tighten for less speed.
Stance and posture.
As a new golfer, keep your stance shoulder width or less until you develop your swing. Players with ten handicaps and lower can widen their stance for more power. Like playing second base or being ready to receive a tennis serve, the right athletic position keeps you mobile and well balanced through the swing. Stance and posture along with alignment are things you must “feel” rather than think about doing. Really, there’s no better way to figure these out than with a PGA coach during a hands-on lesson.
The all-important swing.
What is it supposed to feel like? When students make it into the zone with their swing, I always ask them how it felt on an effort scale of 1-10. I hear the number four a lot. Also, “effortless,” and “wow, look how far the ball went!” I ask where past efforts fell on the scale. Eight is a common response. “I would tighten my grip or push/pull with my arms.” Setting up and executing over and over in just the right way leads my students—young, old and everything in between—to the same conclusion: “I let the club do the work and it just happened.” This realization isn’t intellectual, it’s bone deep: something you will begin to feel as soon as you’ve got your fundamentals right on the nose.
Are you ready to play the game you’ve always dreamt of? Come on out and let’s get started!
Carolina’s PGA Teacher of the Year, Doug Weaver is the Director of Instruction at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy. He conducts “Where Does the Power Come From?” a free interactive clinic and demonstration every Monday from 4-5 p.m. at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course. Volunteer for a free lesson and some will win prizes! Call (866) 455-6890 or go to www.palmettodunes.com for more information.