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Golf Swing Basics for New and Intermediate Golfers

Proper Golf Swing Basics for New Golfers

When addressing proper golf swing basics for new golfers, the idea is keep things simple and not try emulating the pros. They are past simple golf swing basics in their games, as their golf swings are so far advanced to ours that it would only cause more frustration than this great game of golf already has. What I would like to propose to the new golfer is to get very simple in their swing basics, and once that is in place build from that foundation.

Start with the Short Game

1. Work on the short game first. I suppose because we start a hole from the tee, people learning the game think that is where their training should begin. I believe swing basics begin with chipping the ball, then moving up, ending with the driver. The object of any swing is what happens at ball contact, and the rest of the swing is only in support of ball contact. The closer you get to the hole, the greater number of times you will use a particular club. Then doesn’t it stand to reason the more time you use a particular club during a round of golf, the more time you should put into practicing with it?

Hook shot

Clubface at Impact

It is natural for the new golfer to walk onto the driving range, pull out the driver, and hit half a bucket of balls with it and work on his long game. But how many times do you hit a driver during a round of golf?   Fourteen at most, and some of those swings with the driver another club would have been the better choice. Give the driver a rest.

2. Work on contact, not club speed. Controlled contact will serve your game much better than working to generate club speed for distance. This is why we start with the chip around the green, as it has the shortest length in the swing, and therefore is the most controlled of any club. When the new golfer practices this shot, he should always here a crisp “click” on the ball at contact. Also, practice eliminating any side-spin which on the longer clubs will cause a slice or hook.  Personally I have found hybrid clubs to help in hitting a straighter ball than with the long irons.

3. Be under control.  As you move up from the chip when developing proper golf swing basics, think “smooth and under control” rather than “fast and aggressive”.  Swinging the club harder might send the ball further, but only if you strike it solidly. But even if you strike it solidly but impart a great deal of side-spin, the ball will be in worse position than if you hit it 50 or 100 yards less, but with more control.

4. Get in reasonable shape.  It would be very difficult for the new golfer, or that matter any golfer, to maintain proper swing basics without being in decent physical shape. Muscles used for a proper golf swing are not used on a regular basis, so they should be maintained with an off-course program.

This is just a primer course in proper golf swing basics. The new golfer should always be patient in his progress and above all try to maintain a correct rhythm and tempo. But above all, have fun, and understand that playing this game better is a journey, not a destination.


Three-way tie for lead in John Deere Classic -
Three-way tie for lead in John Deere ClassicChron.comBrian Harman, right, walks off the course with replacement caddie Jay Hatch during the first round of the 2014 John Deere Classic golf tournament at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill., Thursday, July 10, 2014. Hatch replaced Harman's caddie Scott Tway, the ...and more »
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