There’s nothing quite like a day spent on the links with your children or grandchildren, passing down the fundamentals of the sport you love. But while you may love the game, teaching others how to address the ball and carry it down the course may be another matter. Here are a few tried and true tips for beginners that might be handy to have tucked into your bag.
Pick a target
Align not just your feet but also knees, hips, shoulders and club face. Most right-handed golfers aim right but this doesn’t always mean the ball will go right. To achieve proper alignment, position your club face so that it is pointed directly at your target. For a right-handed golfer, your feet should be placed along a line that is parallel-left of the target line. When learning this technique, it may help to use alignment sticks, or a pair of clubs, strategically set at the tee to create target and stance lines. Practice makes perfect. Check your alignment every practice session for the rest of your life!
Check your stance
You want your stance to be wide, solid, stable and balanced. Your knees, hips and shoulders should be in line with, or parallel to, your feet. Tilt at your hips and not at your waist.
Get a grip
There are several schools of thought on what makes a great grip, but essentially, you want to:
Hold the club in your left hand with the shaft of the club at 12 o’clock. Now, place your left thumb so it points to 1 o’clock. Next, position your right hand so that the pad of your right thumb rests over your left thumb. Rest the club diagonally across your fingers, not your palm. Finally, place your right thumb at 11 o’clock.
Practice holding the club in the correct position even when you are not playing golf. Take a club into the house and every time you walk past it, hold it for 30 seconds and soon your hands will be married to the club correctly.
Learn to pitch before you drive
While you will eventually want to master every club in your bag, it’s wise to start with the shorter, more manageable ones – like your trusty pitching wedge. In fact, many golfers would be wise to avoid the driver for at least the first 18 months of playing.
Keep it fun
Don’t head to the most challenging course in town right out of the gate. Instead, develop your skills and confidence on some of the area’s fine nine-hole, par-3 courses. The shorter, simpler course will mean that beginners spend less time looking for golf balls and begin to master those all-important short-game skills.