This article attempts to answer the question: "What are the fundamentals of golf?" If an alien landed from space, had zero knowledge of golf and wanted to learn, what would a professional teach them?
- Body turn
If you get your body moving correctly, the club will follow. The club should work around your body on every shot whether that is a putt, a chip, or a drive.
- Set up correctly
How you grip the club, how you stand to the ball, the ball position in relation to your feet, your posture, etc. These are the fundamentals and where 90% of mistakes in golf come from. You don't need to be athletically gifted to get these right so there is no excuse.
- Soft hands
This applies to all shots - whether you are putting, chipping or hitting an iron. You must be able to feel the weight of the club at the bottom of the shaft and not have any white knuckles on the club
- Accelerate at the bottom
Your swing must gather in speed and the most speed needs to be at the bottom. Speed only counts as you approach the ball and having a fast club head at any other point of the swing is wasted power.
- Spine and legs need to be solid
When you see a good swing from a player like Ernie Els or Louis Oosthuizen
, you will see that their spine angle and legs remain very quiet. This is what makes their swings smooth and with economy of motion. Focus on turning your shoulders around a steady head, spine and legs and you will be on the way to having a swing that others compliment.
- Leverage the earth
You must use the ground to create power. As you swing back you are pressing into the turf and then exploding off the turf to create power as you come through impact. Make sure that you have good golf shoes with fresh spikes so you can grip the turf to the maximum.
- Technique produces power
Many of the longest-hitters in the professional game are not tall and muscular. Players who hit booming drives like Rory Mcilroy and Sergio Garcia, do it with technique rather than brute force. Remember these small, flexible players when you are trying the hit the ball longer and focus on creating with clubhead speed rather than effort.