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.