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As a former golf professional and instructor, I have always had a passion for teaching others the game of golf. When I was teaching, I spent a lot of time teaching young kids the game. I really enjoyed teach kids because unlike adults, they rarely had bad tendencies engrained from years of swinging a club incorrectly. Kids can easily be molded into solid swingers with the right clubs, and the right instruction. For my lessons, I always liked to start to on the putting green. This is where the game ends for most people, but when you’re learning the game, this should be where it begins. The putting stroke is a fundamental element of the game that if taught correctly can then translating into a solid chipping stroke, then up to the full swing.

In this post we’ll walk through a putting lesson plan for kids, and more or less how it should be run. I advise all you parents out there to use this to help get your kids into the game.

Orientation

Try to keep this part short, but overall it’s nice to give your kids a fuller understanding of the game. Tell them things like:

- Golf was invented in Scotland 300 years ago, and is played around the world.
- The game is played on a golf course with golf clubs and golf balls.
- In the game you hit longer shots in the air, and roll shorter ones into a cup.
- the object of the game is to get the ball in the hole in as few hits as possible.

Etiquette

Again, another thing to keep short, but it really is one of the most important parts of your lesson as it will help set expectations for behaviour on the course:
- Golf is a quiet game, there should be no loud noises.
- Never Run.
- Never swing a club when others are near you.
- Never hit balls at other people.
- When putting, the putter never goes higher than your waist.

Putters

The best putters for kids, are ones that are built for kids. Cutting down an old full-size putter is okay, but they are usually way to heavy. They make specialized lightweight putters for kids that should be considered, especially if your kids get serious into the game. Another thing you have to consider (and not just assume) is what hand your kids may be. An easier way to find out is ask them to swing the club like a baseball bat, and it likely that will tell you. Kids who’ve played hockey will often swing a golf club from a different hand than their hockey stick, so keep that in mind (yes, I’m Canadian, and this is often an issue).

The Grip

Like most things with kids, you have to keep it simple. The grip is one of the most important parts of the game, however when teaching it try not to get overly-technical (unless you enjoy watching your kids eyes glaze over). The easiest way to teach kids the grip is such:

- Tell them to rest the putter flat on the ground and “clap” the grip, with both palms facing flat.
- Then explain that one hand is always lower than the other, right hand low for right-handers and vice-versa for lefties.
- Finally, tell them to grab the grip from this position – thats it.

Don’t both with interlocking or overlapping grips. You know your kids attention span is about as long as that of a squirrel, so don’t push it.

The Stance

This is likely the simplest part. Just tell the kids to lightly stop their feet in place before they putt. This will almost always ensure their feet are close to shoulder width apart. Some kids may lock their knees, or bend them too much. You may just need to tell them to lock their knees, and simply unlock them.

The Stroke

Here comes the best part. Without a ball, and in their proper stance. Stick a tee in the ground some 5 feet from your child. Now get them to try an “aim” their stroke so if they hit a ball, it would go towards the tee. Then, paint this mental picture (while demonstrating) – “imagine your arms like the pendulum on a grandfather clock – moving back and forth, back and forth”. Ask them to mimic the movement while you watch. Next, grab some balls, and get putting. A little competition is always fun – see if they can ‘beat mom or dad’.

During this time you’ll likely have to re-inforce some of the etiquette you taught them at the beginning of the lesson, and thats to be expected. Over time they will understand. If you can try to ensure you make the game as fun as possible. Once they get the hang of it, setup a mini-golf course if you can, or take them to a real mini golf course, and ask them to employ the things they’ve learned.

I hope this lesson plan helps cover the basics of putting and teaching kids, we’ll be covering the basics up to the full swing over the next few days.

Pic: http://natchezdemocrat.com.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/070213_Golf_JDS1_MAIN.gif

neck-roation

Today we are going to cover the 5th and final issue killing golfers over 50: poor neck rotation flexibility. If you have a stiff neck, it is impossible to take a powerful backswing without the head moving a lot. The more the head moves in the backswing, the more difficult it will be to make clean contact with the golf ball consistently.

Like the other 4 issues that we have covered, it is difficult to keep the mobility in your neck needed for a good golf swing. Aside from checking your blind spots while changing lanes on the road, people rarely rotate their head to the side as much as is needed in order to keep it stable during the backswing. You can get away with this when you are younger. However, as people enter midlife and beyond, you will begin to lose the range in motion in you joints if you are not regularly using it.

Now days, pro golfers are so flexible that they can keep their head still enough to keep their eye on the ball looking over their left shoulder.
Screen Shot 2013-04-10 at 10.01.41 AM

Since you are over 50, we probably will not be able to get the neck rotation that Dustin Johnson gets. But you can improve your neck rotation with a a few simple exercises. The least amount of neck rotation that you need to perform a solid golf swing is 75 degrees. This is approximately the range of motion you need to be able to lie down on your stomach with your head turned to the side.

If you are unable to rotate your neck enough, 2 things will happen:

Either you will have to shorten up your backswing so that you can continue to make consistent, quality contact with the golf ball or you can keep your backswing the same by allowing your head to move a lot. In the latter case, you will keep power by sacrificing good contact. Unfortunately, when you sacrifice good contact you tend to miss the sweet spot on the golf club and end up losing power anyway.

How to Keep or Regain Neck Mobility
The best way to stretch the neck is to lie down on your stomach in bed with your head turned to the side. However, may people find this position painful or too intense. If this is the case, you can try these exercises:

Turn your head to the right as far as you can rotate it.  Take your right arm and reach across your chest.  Use your left arm to pull the right arm further for a good stretch.

Turn your head to the right as far as you can rotate it. Take your right arm and reach across your chest. Use your left arm to pull the right arm further for a good stretch.

Or this one…

Rotate your head. Use your had to apply overpressure for a good stretch.  Hold for 30 seconds.

Rotate your head. Use your had to apply overpressure for a good stretch. Hold for 30 seconds.

Thanks for Reading!

About the Author. Dr. Ryan York is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Certified Golf Performance Specialist. He Co-created Age Defying Golf which serves men and women golfers between the ages of 50-75 years young. Visit us at www.agedefyinggolf.com.

golf-ball-position

Ball position is one of the simplest and most underestimated factors affecting golf swings of most amateur players. It not only can have an effect on contact, but it can also affect your swing path into the ball.  In the video below we walk through the basics behind ball position and where it should be located in your stance in relation to your front foot.  When testing out your own ball position, we strongly recommend using a shaft rod or club to mark the center of your stance before comparing your ball positions to this video.  You’d be surprised to find that your ball position isn’t always where you think it is.  This video should be used as a guideline, and generally would be prefect advice for 99% of golfers out there.

In a nutshell, here’s where the ball should be positioned in your stance:

Driver – 1 inch inside your lead heel. Stance is larger than shoulder width apart.

5-Iron – 3 inches inside your lead heel. Stance is shoulder width apart.

PW – 3 inches insider you lead heel. Stance is 75-50% of shoulder width apart.

But just as this video states, this should only be used for flat ground with a good lie.  In this post we’re going to look a little closer into particular changes you make in your ball position as your lies change, and also explain how ball position can begin to affect swing path.

Swing Path

Let’s start here, when you place the ball either too far back or too far forward in your stance it becomes very easy to start shifting your weight improperly in the backswing and downswing in attempts to make solid contact.  If you play the ball too far back in your stance, one of two things will happen.  First, if you make a solid weight transfer, you’re likely to attack the ball way from the inside resulting in a push that often hooks back.  Second, and far more common, your ball position will encourage a reverse weight shift and an over-the-top move into the ball.  Conversely if you play the ball too far forward, one of two things can happen.  First, if your weight is trying to shift to your front foot,and you “slide your hips”, you are likely to see a big push slice produced by an open clubface at impact, coupled with an in to out swing.  Or second, if you lunge at the ball at impact, an over-the-top steep swing that will send the ball left of the target.

Deep Rough Lie

For lies in deep rough, it’s always recommended to place the ball further back in your stance to help encourage a downward blow into impact to help pop the ball up.  Another note on this as well, loft if your friend in situations like this, so don’t be afraid to up-club.

Sitting Up in The Rough Lie

For lies like this, it’s usually recommended to place the ball slightly up in your stance and play your shot much like you would hit an iron from the tee.  Expect the ball to fly a little further than normal, on a higher trajectory.

Uphill Lie

Much like a lie sitting up in the rough, it is recommended to play this ball slightly ahead of your normal placement to ensure you’re hitting the ball slightly on the upswing.  These shots are very easy to hit fat, so ball first contact is your primary focus.

Downhill lie

Since the slope you’re swinging on is sloping away from your swing, you need to get the club to the ball slightly quicker than normal with this type of shot, and it’s recommended to play the ball back in your stance slightly.

Ball Above your Feet / Ball Below your Feet

In general for this situation, you’ll play the ball in it’s normal position, but you will compensate for the slope with your back angle and grip position on the club (choking up or down).

For Severe Slopes

For severe slopes where you’re struggling to make a stance in the first place, we recommend that once you are balanced and your club is set behind the ball (where ever the ball is placed in your stance), simply focus on limiting your lower body movement, and swinging with only your arms.  Ball contact is your only focus here, and by limiting your lower body movement you can give yourself the best chance of returning the club to the ball at impact.

Give it a try!

 

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Putting Fundamentals

putting
The simple task of rolling a golf ball to a hole a certain distance away, would be considered by most to be the easiest skill to learn in golf. On the other hand, it tends to be one of the least practiced parts of the game, and therefore one of the biggest contributors to additional strokes on the scorecard. It’s a fact, over fifty percent of your shots are taken from the putting surface… it seem illogical not to practice it. Meanwhile Joe Schmoe hits his driver a maximum of fourteen times a round, but practices it 70 percent of the time. Something doesn’t add up.

If you want to lower your scores, improve your putting, it’s as simple as that. A good putter will beat a good driver of the ball any day.

Learn the putting basics, practice your stroke and lower your scores.

Author’s Note: Putting is the most individual and unique part of golf. Every player is different in the way they grip, stroke and putt the golf ball. These putting stroke fundamentals are very general basics and will not work for everyone. Use these tips as a basis, find what is most comfortable for you and stick with it.

Mindset
Be positive! Getting discouraged about your poor putting is most likely the cause of your crummy putting in the first place. By having doubt and indecision over the ball, you are basically giving your brain permission to interfere in your ‘perfect’ fundamentals. Your brain tries to fix something, usually resulting in a ‘steering’ of your putt. You miss, and you get more discouraged. It’s a negative spiral… be positive, and watch the putts drop.

Putting Stance
Stability is very important during your putting stroke, as such, a shoulder width stance is the much preferred method of addressing the ball. Both are square (facing straight ahead) and are aimed parallel to the target line. Your body weight should be centered 50/50 and you should feel relaxed and comfortable over the ball.

Putting Ball Position
I. Depending on the speed of the greens many players like the move the ball forward and back in there stance. For slower greens the ball tends to be more centered in the stance, and more towards the lead foot on faster greens. Letting the ball position creep back of center is usually frowned upon as it cause a descending blow into impact and helps to make the ball jump and skip during a putt.

II. Despite the many alterations and different styles of putting, one fundamental of ball position is quite universal. Your eyes should be directly over the ball at address. A great test is to get in your setup position and either hang a string from the bridge of your nose or drop a ball to determine exactly where your eyes are positioned over the ball. This helps to ensure proper alignment as your eyes are directly over the target line.

Putting Body Position
I. To properly get your eyes over the ball, you must bend over at hips (effectively sticking your butt out), and your arms should be able to hang naturally. This should give your arms enough space to swing back in forth without any influence or interruption for your stomach or chest. It should be an uninhibited motion.

II. Try to reduce head, eye and body movement. Any movements besides that of your arms and shoulders is counter- productive during putting. It tends to produce many miss-putts and a tendency to ‘steer’ the ball. Head and eye movement is also the number one cause of the ‘yips’. Try to keep your eyes on the space between the ball and your putter head long after the ball has left the clubface, before looking up.

Putting Grip
I. I won’t even begin to talk about the hundreds of different style grips there is out there. I do have one comment though; grip the putter lightly, about a 2-3 on a 1-10 scale of grip pressure. This will ensure that there is no resistance in your hands from tight muscles that will influence the direction of your putt.

II. Tension in the arms is a killer as well, be relaxed over a putt… you need to have loose arms, wrists and hands to ensure a free-flowing stroke.

The Putting Stroke
I. For best results, work on making your stroke as smooth as possible, try to ‘roll’ the ball rather than ‘hit’ it. The smoother the stroke, the better the contact and the better the roll… work on making your stroke smooth and watch the putts drop. To do this, the best ‘swing thought’ is to rock your shoulder back and forth slowly, like the pendulum of a grandfather clock.

II. A huge killer in putting, especially is shorter putts is deceleration. A player will slow down into impact for many reasons, but most commonly its uncertainty or fear of missing. Make sure you accelerate into impact… slowing down will produce many missed putts and a larger fear of putting. I cannot stress this enough, make absolutely sure you accelerate through into impact.

III. The backswing should be about the same length as the follow through. A longer follow-through usually promotes deceleration and a short one promotes a ‘stabbing’ motion (short, abrupt putt).



Putting Summary:


Putting style is as individual as fingerprints. Using the fundamentals as a starting ground, work to find a stroke that works best for you and stick with it. Below are the fundamentals I think every great putter has; try to add these ‘Laws” to your current putting style.

Putting Laws
1. Have a stable stance and setup.
2. Keep your eyes, head and body still.
3. Be confident and sure of stroke.
4. Eyes over the ball.
5. Ball at or ahead of center of your stance.
6. Feet aligned parallel to the target line.
7. Grip the club lightly
8. Accelerate, Accelerate, Accelerate

Putting Myths
1)“Breaking my wrists in a putting stroke is a bad thing.”

This is not necessarily true; breaking your wrists slightly can help add the fluidity of the putting stroke. Many great players used to break their wrists during their putts, the best of them all Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. If your stroke is all arms, it tends to be too rigid, and doesn’t perform well on the course. Work to find the happy medium between the motion of your arms and wrists during your stroke.

2)“For longer putts, I must accelerate more into impact.”

The best putter’s in the world have close to the same tempo on every one of their putts, the only difference between their stroke on a five foot putt and a thirty foot putt is the length of their backswing. Use the length of your stroke to judge distance, not the speed of your stroke.

3)“I must keep my eyes on the ball.”

If you want to watch the ball miss the hole, please do keep your eyes on it. Otherwise, keep them focused on the ground well after you’ve hit the ball to make absolutely sure your head remains still through your whole stroke. Following the ball with your eyes during putting tends to cause head and eye movement before impact, which can negatively influence the outcome of your putt, so don’t do it.

Chipping Fundamentals

Ever been told you scoop your chips? Hit a lot of chip shots fat? I can tell you why.

One of the most interesting aspects of professional players around the greens is how simple they make even the toughest shots look. The truth is, chipping in on of the simplest shots in golf. Tiger’s chip-in on the 16th at Augusta; he made it look easy, and in actual fact it was. It involved using good technique, touch and a little imagination, and he got the job done. Working on your short game can send your golf game to the next level. Work on incorporating these fundamentals into your chipping, and watch those scores drop.

The Grip
In reference to grip style, I would recommend using the same grip you usually do for your full swing, or for your putter. A lot like putting, the grip in chipping is very individualized. Use whatever grip you are most comfortable with.

One of the absolute musts in chipping is to choke down on the club, almost to the steel shaft. This will give you added control, as it should help to reduce twisting at impact. It maximizes your feel and also encourages a more upright, descending swing.

Apart from the grip, another important aspect of chipping is to have firm hands and wrists. Ken Venturi was an advocate of firm wrists; he went so far as to place his hands and arms in casts to prove his point.

The Set-Up
Like putting, chipping is very particular; these set-up fundamentals however, will give you the best chance for success on your chip shots. Stand relatively tall over the ball; your eyes should be directly over the ball. Your arms should hang relaxed from your shoulders, and you should be far enough away from the ball so that your hands can swing freely beneath your shoulders.

Your stance should be quite narrow; your heels should be about six to eight inches apart. Shift your body weight so about eighty percent of it is on your front foot. This is very important, as it sets the stage for the descending blow into impact that you need for consistent chipping. Aim your body either directly square to the target, or slightly open, whatever feels most comfortable. Some players feel they can see the line better with an open stance, try it out, and make your decision. Either way it doesn’t affect your chipping proficiency.

Depending on the lie you have, you may not want to ground the club as it can get caught on grass during your take-away or possibly disturb the surrounding ground enough to move your ball, costing you strokes.

I strongly suggest using some form of a forward press as it also helps to promote more of a descending blow into impact. A forward press, is the term used to describe when a player purposely moves his hands ahead of the ball (effectively de-lofting the club) before a stroke, to promote a lower ball flight.

What club should I use? That’s entirely up to you and the type of shot you are trying to play. Obviously, the lower the loft on the club the lower the ball will travel and the farther it will roll. Dave Pelz, a renowned short game professional, has done many studies on this. He is a strong believer that the faster you get the ball rolling on the greens the more accurate your shot will be. When the ball gets airborne it hits and lands on the grass; its landing spot is never truly level, causing the ball to jump off line.

For the bump in run I would suggest using anything from an 8-iron to a 5-iron depending on how much rough you have to hit the ball over and how close the hole is. Use this basic guideline to determine average roll and carry distance of a shot.

8-iron: 1/3 air – 2/3 roll
7-iron: 1/4 air – 3/4 roll
6-iron: 1/4 air – 3/4 roll
5-iron: 1/5 air – 4/5 roll

For example, on a 20 foot chip with a 5-iron the ball should travel about 4 feet in the air and roll the other 16 feet.

The Stroke
Make sure the clubface is square at address, and do not fan it open or close it during your stroke. Dave Pelz has proved that changing the face angle promotes inconsistencies in ball flight, spin, and more importantly direction. Keep the clubface facing the target at all times when your chip.

The stroke for chipping is usually pretty rigid with very little movement from the hands and wrists. It is very much like putting in the sense that a rocking of the shoulders is the proper mental image.

Try not to rush the stroke, as it tends to becomes choppy and inconsistent. Instead work on creating a smooth chipping stroke that accelerates through to impact. Accelerating is key; if you don’t accelerate you are in for a whole world of trouble. I see it constantly, an extremely long backswing, then a short choppy follow-through that tends not to make it past knee height. I think it’s a result of the saying “hit down on the ball”, myself. Albeit hitting down on the ball is extremely important (it helps get the ball airborne and gives it spin for control), the follow-through is equally as important.

The follow through is your visual feedback to make sure you are accelerating, the club will rarely get caught up in the grass if you accelerate through it. Remember to finish each-shot, and you won’t have to worry about the dreaded ‘decel’.

Great chippers like Tom Watson & Seve Ballesteros all started with their hands ahead of the clubhead (forward press) and kept them there until after impact. They did this to help make a descending blow into impact, and to quiet the wrists.

 

play by play chipping stroke

 

The Strategy

The ultimate strategy is obviously put the ball in the hole, but being realistic is probably a better approach. Ideally, you want to get up and down, meaning you leave yourself with a short putt after your chip. The best way to get this done is to use a little imagination. Visualize the chip before you perform it, and try to pick a spot on the green where you want your ball to land. Using this area as a guide simply focus on hitting the ball hard enough to land in this spot, this helps you take your mind off ‘the hole’ and you can concentrate on a much larger and realistic target.

Chipping Laws
These fundamentals should be incorporated into your chipping routine:
1. Choke down on the club for control.
2. Get your weight on your front foot to ensure a descending blow.
3. Forward press.
4. Have the ball back in your stance.
5. Keep the clubface square to the target line at all time.
6. Try to keep your wrist from breaking.
7. Accelerate through the shot.
8. Keep your hands ahead of the clubhead through impact.
9. Follow-through to ensure consistent results.
10. Aim for large targets rather than smaller ones (the hole).

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Sand Fundamentals

Invented by Gene Sarazen, and first used in public at the 1932 British Open, the sand wedge has come along way since its beginning. It has become a must have for all players trying to get their ball out of those dreaded holes in the ground filled with sand. With technology nowadays professional golfer’s sometime aim for bunkers for a place to miss, as it gives them the best chance to get up and down. Use the fundamentals below, and become as confident as the pro’s from bunkers and lower that score.

The Setup
For the basic sand shot, a player needs a stable base of support, a stance about shoulder width apart is ideal. Dig your feet into the sand for added stability. The stance should be open to the target, along with the hips and shoulder. This is done to help promote an out to in swing path which helps get the ball up in the air… and ultimately out of the bunker. Furthermore, an open clubface aligns to the right of your target, so when you do open the clubface on the wedge… with your open stance, the clubface should aim at the target. With my students I prefer to see a square back foot and an open front foot, as I find it tends to help them complete their swing. The arms should be hanging naturally from the shoulders, and the hands should be in line with the ball or back of it (no forward press<), this is because, to open the clubface, it is necessary to have your hands back. The ball should be positioned up in your stance, anywhere from a little in front of the center to off your lead foot.

The Swing
To understand how to properly hit a sand shot, you need to first understand the physics of the actual shot. Watching in slow motion, what actually happens during a properly played sand shot is pretty cool. The clubhead never makes contact with the ball; however the sand propels the ball out of the bunker. To effectively do this you need to hit the sand first, not the ball. Have problems skulling it or hitting it thin out of the bunkers? It’s because you’re hitting the ball first. Remember this thought, and work on hitting the sand about 1-2 inches before the ball for the best results.

Use your normal swing, however make sure you accelerate through the shot and finish your swing. If you leave your club in the sand after a shot… the ball will be too.

Use the length of the swing or different clubs, to make the ball go different distances. Another effective way of making the ball carry further is to take less sand… this way is very difficult as it requires a lot of practice and control. Fiddle with this part of your game to figure out what works best for you.

The ideal path through impact is out to in, with an open clubface… this can be accomplished in many ways, the most common way being an open stance. You can also purposely make an out to in swing if you need to. Either way, you must try to hold the clubface open through impact and roll your wrists over later in the swing than normal. This ensures the clubface is open and it gives you the best chance to get the ball out of the bunker.

Laws of Sand Play
1. Play the ball forward in your stance.
2. Dig your feet in for support and stability.
3. Open your stance and aim your whole body to the left of your intended target.
4. Open the clubface of your wedge.
5. Hit the sand behind the ball (1-2 inches).
6. Accelerate through the shot.
7. Finish the swing.

Aim and Alignment
There is a common misconception about aiming towards your target by lining your feet up to it. If you sit back and think about alignment, the clubface hits the golf ball to the target, so shouldn’t that be aligned to the target, instead of your feet? The truth is your feet should be lined up parallel to your target not at it.

Mental Image
Think of standing in your setup position on a railway track, feet on one side, club head on the other. Your target is on the same side of the track as your club, but not your feet. So in actuality, your feet are always aligned to the left of your target, not directly at it.

Once your clubface and feet are aligned in the proper direction, you must be sure that your hips and shoulders are also aligned with your feet. To check that your body is properly aligned, you must set up in your address position and place a club parallel to your target line directly off your toes. Afterwards with an additional club place, it flat across your shoulders. Check to see if the shaft on the ground and the shaft across your shoulders are parallel. Once you have established this, check where your hips are aligned. If they are all parallel to each other, you are properly aimed at your target.

To Align Properly:

1) Align your clubface to your target.

2) Align your feet so they are parallel to your clubface.

3) Ensure your hips are parallel to your feet.

4) Ensure your shoulders are parallel to your feet.

1085-closed

 

Description of Swing Paths

Clubface Angles

There are three angles the clubface can be positioned at impact, closed, square and open.

Closed Clubface Square Clubface Open Clubface

1)Closed Clubface        2)Square Clubface      3)Open Clubface


Swing Paths

The clubhead can move through the ball on three different paths when coming into impact with the ball. First, it can travel along the target line (ideal swing path). Note: the ideal swing path technically comes from slightly inside to inside, as seen in the drawing. The pictures below will be able to help you visualize it better.

Ideal Clubpath

Ideal Club Path
Plane Plane Plane
________________________________________________________________ Second, it can travel from inside to outside across the target line (in to out swing path). This swing is more common for hockey and baseball players, it tends to be accompanied with alot of lower body movement.

 

In to out

 

In to Out Swingpath

 

________________________________________________________________ Finally, it can travel from outside to inside across the target line (out to in swing path). This swing path is more commonly known for beginners and women, its nick name is “coming over the top”.

Out to In
Out to In Swingpath

________________________________________________________________

The Nine Ball Flight Laws

The direction your golf ball travels tells me alot about how you swing the golf club, so even without seeing your swing, but knowing your ball flight, I can teach you how to fix your game.

 

9 nine ball flight laws
 
9 ball flight laws

 

 

 

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Body Position Fundamentals

Proper body position, is an essential start to a good golf swing. It creates balance and support and is the framework that a good swing is built on.

 

Viewed From Down the Target Line

• You should be bent over at the hips (think about sticking your butt out to get into the proper position).

• Your back is straight, and your arms are hanging naturally from your shoulders.

• Your knees should be unlocked, but not bent.

• Your body weight should be located in the center of your feet, not on your heels or your toes.

• You should be able to move quickly in either direction; this is an athletic set up.

 

Down the line golf image

 

Viewed Front On

• Your lead shoulder should be above your trailing shoulder.

• From your lead shoulder through your lead arm to the club head, there should be close to a straight line.

• Your arms should be relaxed and not tense.

• Trailing foot should always be pointing perpendicular to your target line.

• Lead foot flared out towards your target slightly.

• I prefer to push in my trailing knee, to increase my tension on the backswing; increasing my power.

Front on golf image

A great way to get into a good address position, is by using the drill shown below. Don’t miss it!

The Perfect Address Position ~ Golf Tips

perfect address positioning

What exactly is the ideal address position? The simple answer is one that gives you the best chance for success during your golf swing. This simple drill I’m about to show you will get you into the proper address position for an average body type and build. The point here is to show the easiest way for you to incorporate the fundamentals of a good address position into your routine.

Step One

Stand up dead straight as shown in the picture. Stretch the club out in front of you. Your back and arms should be dead straight, and your knees should be locked. As seen in the first picture top left.

 

Step Two

Bend over, by sticking your butt out until the club hits the ground. Focus on keeping your back and arms straight. This move causes the most problems with my students, they have a tendency to curve their backs. Use a mirror to double check your position. Your knees should still be locked.

PErfect spine angle address position

Step Three

The final step is to unlock your knees. Do not bend them! Unlock them only. Finally, relax the rest of your body so you are no longer tense.

perfect address position

Your final position should be one where your arms hanging straight from your shoulders. They should be loose and relaxed. Your body weight should be centered on your feet, meaning not on your heels or toes. You should be bent over at the hips, with a straight back.

If you can get into this position at address, you will have a solid base in which to perform your swing on. Give it a try!

 

Stance Fundamentals

During your tee shots or with your woods, your stance should be a little wider than shoulder width (measured by the inside of your heels). I recommend turning your lead foot towards the target slightly, while keeping your trailing foot perpendicular to the target line. By keeping your trailing foot square to your target, you are reducing hip turn. A restricted hip turn coupled with a full shoulder turn, can create resistance that leads to more power.

By turning out your front foot, you will be helping to create a fuller finish, as it makes it easier for your hips to clear through impact. As the clubs get shorter, your stance should get progressively narrower. Do not narrow your stance anymore than slightly inside shoulder width for your short irons. If your stance gets too narrow, it can lead to off balance shots and/or extra body movements because your base of support, is no longer stable.Feet balanced distribution weight

In terms of weight distribution, your weight should be distributed 50/50 between your feet for almost every type of shot. On a knockdown shot however,  your weight should be a 60/40 split leaning on your front foot… chipping, a 70/30 split to the front foot.  You may want to fiddle with your stance to best fit your personal swing and style.

 

Lastly, your body weight should be distributed evenly between each of your feet, this means that your body weight at address shouldn't be leaning on your toes or on your heels, however resting on the balls of your feet as the image to the right shows. Furthermore, your weight shouldn't creeping the the right or left side of your feet either.