Every golfer is looking for a way to become better and often ensuring the basics are done right not only helps simplify the game but also provides the peace of mind to stand over the ball and execute the shot you want.
You’ll often hear lots of professional golfers, coaches and even the average club golfer say to focus on the fundamentals. But what exactly are they and how can you incorporate them into your game to help produce lower scores.
Good golfers are often spotted a mile off, they all start with a pre-shot routine that allows them to get a feel for the shot ahead whilst also feeling comfortable over the ball. Each golfer’s routine is different and only you know what’s best for you.
The last thing you want to do over the ball is freeze, therefore taking a few swings, similar to that of the one you want to have when you hit the shot, will be key. Envisaging the shot you want to hit to can help you execute under pressure and lower your scores.
Like many things in golf the grip is something that changes from golfer to golfer. With some players choosing the 10 finger-grip or the interlock grip it often comes down to whatever makes you most comfortable when swinging the club.
One rule of thumb is that you often want to see the knuckles of your index and middle finger on your glove wearing hand when your stood at address. This ensures your grip isn’t too heavy handed and will allow the grip to sit along your fingers and not the palm.
You’ll often hear the saying your feet should be shoulder width apart and you should be positioned upright, which for the most part is true!
But if we break that down what does it mean. Everyone’s stance is different normally based on their height, a good wide base allows you to swing positively through the ball keeping up the speed you need to get the ball in the air and traveling towards your target.
Posture is also often a factor that’s determined by weight. You never want to be hunched over the ball as you’ll end up swinging aggressively around your body, meaning you may have difficulty controlling the ball. Imagine you have a club resting along your back, it should run down your spine touching the middle of your shoulder blades and coccyx.
Both stance and posture can change from shot to shot. If you’re looking to play a punch shot you may have a narrower stance, compared with a flop shot where your stance may be wider and your posture more upright.
The ball position is one of the fundamentals that is often the same for everyone. The aim of all shots is to get the ball up in the air, some clubs more than others!
The lower lofted the club (i.e driver or 4 iron) the further forward you want the ball to be in your stance, helping you elevate the ball and get the most distance out the clubs in your bag. However, with higher lofted clubs like your wedges it’s important they’re towards the back of your stance to ensure you can be aggressive with the shot you face….as well as not thinning the ball!
All of the above points contribute to a golfers swing but in order to get the ball to the hole there’s still a few swing thoughts you’ll need to have to in order to produce an effective shot (and tiger like finish).
The swing should be fluid and at a speed that allows you to control the club. You want to keep the club on plane, making sure that you can return the club head to the address position, a smooth takeaway will alleviate most of the pressure with this.
You also don’t want a swing that’s too slow or too quick, either can have a negative impact on the ball once it’s airborne. A quick swing could mean you knife the ball and too slow could mean you catch it fat. Find a speed that works and it’ll mean you can get the ball in the air and traveling at speed towards the hole.
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