At a first glance, golf might not look like a difficult sport. You grab a club, take a swing and hit the ball. Right? Well, there is a bit more to it than that. Golf is, for instance, the only sport where you have to hit a static object from the ground with an explosive movement produced out of a static stance. As you will soon find out, it requires coordination, strength, power and feeling. The basic golf swing however contains the following elements: grip, stance, backswing, downswing, impact, release and finish. Let’s have a closer look!
GRIP AND STANCE
Starting out, it is recommended that you use a short or mid iron, something between a pitching wedge and a 7 iron. If you are right handed, first grip the club with your left hand – use your fingers, not the palm. Then, place your right hand below the left, but so that the right palm covers your left thumb – again, use your fingers to grip the club. Last, place your right thumb on top of the club and form a hook with you index finger. This grip will remain the same for most of the shots and clubs.
All right, now take a stance that is about shoulder width. First stand straight up and extend your arms outward, holding the club at a 90 degree angle. Bend your knees slightly, hinge forward and keep the balance in the middle of your feet. Your hips and your butt should travel back and your torso move towards the ground, while your back stays straight at all times. Finally, relax the hands as if they were freely hanging from your shoulders and place the club on the ground.
Once you have achieved a good setup the actual work can begin. Swing the club back so that your arms travel around your body and upward, while turning your shoulders as much as possible. Keep your head still and maintain a centered balance. Rhythmically start the downswing and don’t focus on mechanics. Just try to keep your eyes on the ball, turn the body forward and swing the club with your arms. Don’t stop or slow down, you need to accelerate through impact. Focus on turning the body toward the target and extending the arms forward. After impact, move your balance onto the left foot. Straighten your body and let your arms and the club travel behind your head and back. The finish has to be very stable, you should not fall over or lose your balance.
The golf swing might seem very complicated at the beginning. The motion can feel unnatural and deliberate. But the truth is, after you learn the basics there is a steep learning curve. It gets easier to hit different shots, experiment with short game and explore putting. Just remember to keep your eyes on the ball!