I recently had the pleasure of instructing a new student at our continuous learning sessions. Marcus had been playing golf for a short time and confessed that he was having difficulty in making good contact with the ball and was never quite confident in where it might go.
I watched him hit a few shots and said nothing while he hit with a number of different clubs.
“What do you think?” Marcus said.
My reply was, “Let’s start with the basic fundamentals.”
Q: Marcus wanted to know what I meant by the basic fundamentals.
A: The set-up (how we prepare to hit a golf shot): A proper set-up is the most important thing that you need to know when playing golf. There is no movement or strength involved, but it puts you in the best athletic position so that your swing can produce the best and most consistent results.
The set-up consists of four fundamental parts: grip, posture, alignment and ball position. If your grip on the club is poor, it is difficult to square the club face at impact. If your posture is poor, it is difficult to achieve the most athletic response from your body. If you are aiming in the wrong direction, it is difficult to hit your target. If you place the ball in your stance too far back or forward, you likely will have difficulty in transferring your weight properly from your back foot to your front foot.
Tip of the Day: Most amateur golfers have a problem with one or more of these set-up fundamentals. Many struggle with swing changes when a basic set-up fundamental is the problem. When you practice, know what a good grip looks like and check it before most of your shots. The same for posture (look in a mirror). Use an alignment rod or club and experiment with different ball positions to see which one produces the best results with the easiest swing. Most full shots should have a ball position forward of the center of your stance.
As always, have fun playing and practicing the game of golf. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions on the above or other subjects.