The Beginners Guide to Golf
The Beginners Guide to Golf – Your Stance and Backswing If you start with a bad golf stance, you’ll probably follow with a bad golf back swing, a bad downswing, and a bad follow through. Not to worry though.
It’s just not that difficult! Your golf stance may not be perfect, but you can compensate by staying balanced and relaxed. Your weight should be equally distributed over your left and right leg. If you can pick either of your feet off the ground, you’re not balanced.
Start by placing the inside of your front foot just ahead of the ball. Since you’re going to be using a driver or 3 wood, the front and back feet should be shoulder width or slightly more than shoulder width apart.
Next, bend at the top of the legs (keep your back straight) and then bend slightly at the knees. The kneecaps will be directly above the balls of your feet. The angle of your back to the ground will be approximately 45 degrees. Your arms should be hanging straight down from your shoulders.
Good posture counts. Keep your back straight but don’t tense up. You might think of it as pushing your back pockets higher.
Your weight should be on the balls of your feet, not on the toes or heels. Likewise, your weight should be equally distributed between your front and back foot. Now you should be more comfortable and less tense. If you’re out of balance, you’re falling down. That’s no way to start a good golf swing.
A line drawn across the front of your feet should point to your target. You may want to check this by first placing your club up against the toes of your feet and then step back and see if the club is really pointing to your target. This is your target line and your knees, hips, and shoulders should also be parallel to this line.
One slight adjustment will be the position of your shoulders. When you assume the proper golf stance and grip, your club and left arm will form a straight line between your shoulder and the ball. For this to happen, your right shoulder will be slightly lower to the ground than the left, but a line through your shoulders should still be parallel to the target line.
Once you grip the club and take your stance at the ball, find a way to relax and loosen up before you start your swing. You may want to waggle – or shake your tush – just a little bit and to heck with those who might laugh at you. Once you hit that monster shot, they’ll stop. Now you’re ready to swing.
Essentially, the backswing is a rotation to the right, consisting of a shifting of the player’s body weight to the right side, a turning of the pelvis and shoulders, lifting of the arms and flexing of the elbows and wrists. At the end of the backswing the hands are above the right shoulder, with the club pointing more or less in the intended direction of ball flight.
The downswing is roughly a backswing reversed. After the ball is hit, the follow-through stage consists of a continued rotation to the left. At the end of the swing, the weight has shifted almost entirely to the left foot, the body is fully turned to the left and the hands are above the left shoulder with the club hanging down over the players’ back.
Instead of thinking about your arms and swinging your club backwards, try to think of your back swing as turning your back to the target. You’re not swinging the club up in the air; instead, you’re just putting the club behind your back. It’s like a winding a spring!
The back swing works from the top down. The back swing takeaway starts at the top with your arms and shoulder turning, and it works its way down to your hips and legs.
The back swing is all about coiling up your body and creating the muscle tension or torque needed to release a powerful downswing. More specifically, resistance is created between the greater turning of the upper body and shoulders and the lesser turning of the hips and lower body.
Don’t get in a hurry! A hurried back swing doesn’t make the downswing any faster. In fact, it may be just the opposite. You’ve got to remember that somewhere at the top of that back swing, you’ve got to change and go the exact opposite direction.
The speed of your back swing should be at a steady tempo, not really fast or really slow. The tendency is to go too fast. Any time your golf swing begins to break down; your first correction should usually be to slow down my back swing.
Turn your back toward the target or, maybe better, think of turning your chest away from the target. Pick the thought that produces the greater feeling of coiling or resistance. Don’t allow the back knee to fly outwards. Keep your weight towards the inside of that foot.
Your wrists should be completely cocked by the time your left arm is parallel to the ground. The golf club shaft should be at a 90-degree angle to your left arm.
Don’t focus on the club head during the backswing. Instead think of the arm as being hinged at the left shoulder. Then, like a gate that swings open from its hinges, the left arm hinges at the left shoulder and swings across the body until it approaches the right side at my right armpit. The left arm remains relatively straight, but could bend slightly.
Your shoulder and upper body begin to turn as the left arm reaches this position. As the arms go back, two things should happen:
1. The forearms will naturally rotate clockwise slightly until the golf club head points to the sky. Opening the club face more won’t seem right to you if you tend to slice, but don’t resist this very natural movement.
2. As your arms travel up and back and the golf club shaft approaches parallel to the ground, you will gradually begin cocking your wrists. Then by the time that your left arm is parallel to the ground, your wrists should be completely cocked at a 90-degree angle.
Cocking your wrists is a very important part of creating club head speed. This is often a big swing problem. You can get so concerned about “Taking the club straight back” at the beginning of your back swing that you don’t completely cock your wrists. Fixing this problem can straighten out several golf swing problems.
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