>> December 13, 2009
This winter, Golf is Hard TV is spreading it's wings a little and is inviting golf bloggers from around the world to contribute to the conversation. If you are interested in blogging on Golf is Hard TV (or videoblogging), please drop us a line and let us know who you are, and what you want to talk about.
I'm thrilled to present Mikael Rieck who is a passionate golf enthusiast from Europe. He is the lead contributor at Golfandcarts.com.
With that, here's Mikael's post, reiterating much of what you may have heard Coach Dave talk about during this past season of Golf is Hard TV!
#1 Golf Tip for Beginners
Are you looking to get into the sport of golf? If so, you’re about to make one of the greatest decisions of your life. Why do you think so many people play golf? It’s because once they start playing, it’s very difficult for them to stop. Golf is unlike any other sport in many ways. First of all, unless you’re constantly playing the same course, you’re always going to see new challenges and scenery. It’s not like a basketball court or a baseball field, where the dimensions always remain the same. Secondly, if you fail, you only have yourself to blame. This can be a good thing, as it keeps the challenge alive and constantly makes you want to get better. Thirdly, it’s one of the few sports where you can actually relax and have a good time while playing. It’s not a high-intensity sport. People who play high-intensity sports eventually burn out. Not only will you avoid that with golf, but it’s also a lifetime sport. All that said, if you’re going to play golf, you’re obviously going to want to do it well. Several golf training tips can be found below, as well as one super tip.
The first thing you need to do prior to approaching that first tee is grip the club. If you’re a beginner, then you’re probably going to want to grip the club tight. This will make you feel as though you have more control, but what you’re actually doing is reducing control and club head speed. Without control and power, you’re not going to have much success. Therefore, there is a good tip to remember, and it’s a tip that even many professionals use. The rule is to imagine you’re holding a baby bird when you grip the golf club. You don’t want to let it get away, but you don’t want to choke it, either.
When it comes to grips, there are three options. These are the overlapping grip, the interlocking grip and the baseball grip. Many people will say that the baseball grip is the best for beginners, but what happens if you begin using the baseball grip? You get used to it and never change it. This is bad because it’s not the most effective grip. It’s only a good option if you have weak wrists. Otherwise, you should use the overlapping grip. It offers the most potential for distance and control. To use the overlapping grip, point the club away from you at a 45 degree angle (with right hand). Place your left hand on the club with your thumb pointing up. Then place your right fingers over your left hand. Place right thumb up but slightly to left. Of course, this will be easier to understand by looking at a picture of watching a video. Just do a search for ‘overlapping grip’ and follow the instructions provided. The important thing is to use the correct grip from the beginning.
Stance is also going to be a key. There are a lot of golfers who have a great swing, but their aim is always off. The funny thing is that they’re often in denial about it, so they keep hitting the same poor shots over and over again. It’s important you don’t become one of those people. As far as aim goes, always make sure your weight is equally distributed. For drives, place inside of front foot slightly ahead of the ball. When hitting irons, make sure ball is centered in your stance. Either way, make sure your feet and body are aligned with the target. Equally important to aim is relaxation. If you’re not relaxed, your body cannot perform at its peak level. If you are relaxed, you will have a more fluid motion. As far as bending at the knees or not, it’s often a good idea, but it really depends on what you’re comfortable with. One universal rule is to keep your weight on the balls of your feet, not your toes or heels.
Backswing and downswing are very important. For your backswing, remember to turn your chest away from your target. This will keep you focused on your target and not on your arms. Also remember that speed on your backswing means nothing. It’s all about tempo. For more power, remember to cock your wrists. This will increase club head speed. For a successful downswing, try to turn your midsection (not your arms) toward your target.
Sometimes you can read so much about golf fundamentals and tips that it can make your head spin. All it does is confuse you. These tips were meant to be generalized and easy to understand so a beginner will actually be able to benefit from them. These tips, along with quality golf equipment, will allow you to reach your highest current potential. But before we end this tip sheet, it’s time for your super tip. The super tip will help you with consistency for straight golf shots. Here is your super tip: Always remember to begin your downswing prior to completing your backswing. While you might sacrifice a little power, it will keep you from using your arms, which will in turn lead to straighter shots, and make you a consistent golfer.