Golf fundamentals are timeless. They last forever. Quick fixes are a different story. They only last for a round or two, and then disappear. Before you know it you’re back making the same mistakes you made before. If want to chop strokes off your golf handicap, mas-ter golf’s fundamentals, like squaring the clubface at impact, using the right grip pressure, and positioning the ball correctly. Doing so not only trains your body and your mind, it also breeds confidence and increases self-esteem.
The fundamentals put you in the best position to hit a golf ball solidly when you most need to do it—under pressure. And the best thing about golf’s fundamentals is that you can master them without ever swinging a club. That’s right. You can master them without ever swinging a club. You can also master them without even going to the practice range. All you need is some space in your house or apartment and the desire to improve your game. Below are golf tips on mastering five of the game’s most overlooked fundamen-tals:
1. Squaring The Clubface
Squaring the clubface at impact is among the most overlooked fundamental in golf, judg-ing from our golf instruction sessions. The key to squaring the clubface at impact is your grip. Your hands are the only part of your body that contacts the club so having the right grip is critical. Turn both hands 45 degrees to the right (left for left-handers) and you’ll have the perfect position for a square clubface. The “V” formed between your left hand’s thumb and forefinger will point to your chin. The right hand’s corresponding “V” will point to your right shoulder.
2. Making A Good Pivot
How well you pivot during your swing depends a lot on your posture—another funda-mental often overlooked by weekend golfers. We see so many golfers slouched over the ball at address during our golf lessons that it makes you wonder. You must be in a good athletic position to uncoil with great energy and force. But many weekend players don’t put themselves in that position. Keep your back flat when you first address the ball. Then bend over from the hips, so if you didn’t have the club in your hands your arms would hang freely from under your shoulders.
3. Making Solid Contact
Playing the ball too far forward or too far back prevents good contact. Hit a ball too far forward in your stance and the shot usually goes off to the left. Hit a ball too far back in your stance and you’ll probably see a weak dribbler or a pop up. How do you know where to position the ball? We tell students in our golf instructions sessions to lay a club down so its toe is against your left heel. The shaft will stick out two inches from your heel. That’s where you want to position the ball with the driver. Position the ball for the rest of your shots accordingly.
4. Achieve The Right Swing Path
To achieve a free-flowing swing you must align your body properly. When your body lines cross—the shoulders going one way, the hips going the other way, for example—you prohibit a smooth free-flowing swing. Anything can happen—and often does. We train students in our golf instruction sessions to pick out small intermediate targets on their target lines and then align their body and eyes parallel to that line. You’ll be sur-prised how well this simple trick works on the course.
5. Swing At A Good Tempo
You need the proper grip pressure to have any chance at achieving the right tempo for your swing. When you grip the club too tightly, the rest of your body also tightens, pre-venting you from achieving good tempo. You hands should be firm but relaxed, while your arms are relaxed. On a scale of 1 to 10, with one being the tightest, hold the club at about a 7. Anything tighter prevents you from swinging the club freely. Anything less than a 7 and you might just lose the club.
The fundamentals discussed above are timeless. They put your body and mind in position to make good contact so you can drive the ball. Practice these fundamentals at home whenever you can. Mastering them will help you improve your game and chop strokes off your golf handicap.