June 13, 2018 by
Having to grow up on a farm, I started learning golf by hitting rocks with my father’s old golf clubs which I found hanging on the garage wall. From the age of ten, my dream has been to play on tour so, I practiced diligently trying to improve my swing in order to become a powerful and consistent ball striker. The game did not come that easy for me; I tried many different swinging methods. Like many before me and many more to come, swinging methods’ search will never end. It is and will be a life long journey. For all these years, I have been searching, not only for my benefit as a player, but also for students’ benefits.
My philosophy for how to swing
Different golf instructors promote a philosophy called ‘working with your swing’. Who would want to change their swing or start over to re-build it? What about the time and dedication to doing all that? What if your swing is the one that causes a badly played game? What if re-building ones swing does not take that much time. What if the new swing would help one hit the ball further and better? Not everyone needs to start over but sometimes one needs little adjustments for better results. The first step for beginning golfers is learning and mastering the fundamentals. These are the elements that all the good swings have in common.
In almost all the sports that involve swinging as an implement, a hockey stick, a racquet or a bat, the object to be stuck is moving unlike in golf where the ball is always stationary. Similar to a baseball swing, the golf swing is a circular motion around the body. However, the difference is that in baseball, the ball is ideally around waist high when it is stuck, and in golf, ball is on the ground.
The golf swing has two different phrases, pre-swing and in-swing. In pre-swing, there is a preparation that occurs before the game. A pre-shot routine and address of the ball is done. The in-swing motion is the actual swinging of the golf club and should be completed in one smooth motion. The entire swing is then broken into different components which include address, position, alignment, takeaway, downswing, back-swing and finish (Brian, 2013).
Address Position
In creating balance, it is important to have a good stance. Balance throughout the golf swing is important and should be maintained. First, stand up to the ball with the ankle joints settled under your shoulders. The weight should be distributed evenly between the balls of the feet and heels and also between the left and right foot.
As described above, one must have a proper stance to make sure the upper body is well positioned. Make sure the hips lay back, tilt forward until the sternum points at the ball. The left shoulder should be lower than the target shoulder.
Body alignment
It is important to align the body and club-face correctly in relation to the target. If one makes a good swing but not aimed correctly, the ball will be hit in the wrong direction. In order to aim correctly;
- Stand about three feet away from the golf ball and in less than a foot from the ball; select a spot on the target line. The target line is just an imaginary line that connects the ball to your target.
- After selecting the spot, head towards the ball with eyes fixed at that spot. Facing the spot and the target, place the clubface behind the golf ball.
- Keep looking at the target, set your feet at the right width and then take the proper address position.
It is one of the key fundamentals to a good golf game. Without a good grip, it is difficult to get the best of your golf game.
- Stand up straight, have the club up in front of your body at around 45 degree angle with your trail hand on the shaft then place the grip of the club diagonally.
- Slide the hand down the shaft of the golf club in such a way that, the target hand thumb fits into the lifeline of the other hand and then hold the golf club tightly.
Start the downswing smoothly taking the club back. As the golf club comes down, the weight moves from the right foot to the left foot. The ball should be hit through, not at it or on it. .
To have good shots, the first few feet of the back-swing are very important. The shoulders and hands should be back as one unit with the club’s shaft remaining in line with the left hand. In back-swing, the left shoulder goes under your left chin, coiling the large muscles of the upper body against the lower body. Do not sway going back. Keep the right knee braced and one should not strain at the top of the back-swing.
How should golf be taught
To be a successful golf instructor, one has to understand the golf swing, communicate to the student about swing mechanics and also, be observant on the characteristics of the swing so that errors are noticed and strategies to improve. Make sure all the necessary items are ready; golf balls, golf clubs, tees and other teaching aids.
Step one
Interview the students by asking how long they have played golf, what type of golf instructions they have had and if they have any physical limitations.
Step two
With the help of the students, find out the main goals of the lesson. Ask what they hope to accomplish in the lesson and of course, for their golf game. Help them set goals.
Let the students know the task to be performed, show them how to perform it and provide the necessary skills to allow them feel the new technique. Guide them through as they perform the task. Finally, give them time to practice what they have learned, give positive feedback and offer corrections where necessary.
Roles as a teacher
Guide the students through the techniques, give feedback and correct them. After identifying a swing error, decide whether it is the cause of the problem and solve it. Focus on the pre-swing fundamentals such as aim, posture and alignment. Do not overload the student by presenting more than three key points. Always stand at a safe distance from a student. Only those who have received proper training and fully understand teaching and golf swing mechanics can teach.
There is nothing simpler and complex at the same time than the golf swing. Over years of practice, learning and re-learning, teaching, and watching a lot of golf swings, having to go through injuries from them, all one has to do is just hold on to simple fundamentals, and good timing. The body muscles change every day. They react differently to different conditions of the environment. If one has strong fundamentals, there is a good chance of a decent game.
Another variable is a practice. The more one practices good fundamentals, the more chance of repeating them. Similarly, practicing faculty fundamentals leads to more swing faults and with time, these faults magnify themselves. The more the years come to pass, the greater your adjustment in the game needs to be.
About the author: Amanda Evans is a freelance writer and an administrator of the website In her spare time she visits new places and goes in for sports.
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