The Importance of the Basic Golf Swing
Golf is one of those games that we need to understand its basic simplicity before we can get to grips with the more complex side of it that the pros use. Most golfers, especially new golfers, seem to bypass the basics altogether and jump right into trying to emulate their peers and, as a result, they have nothing to fall back on when things go wrong, that is why the golf swing basics are so important.
Practice is also something that is in short supply for most golfers and, because of this, they never get the correct golf swing ingrained into their muscle memory. This leaves them in an awkward position of having to relearn their swing every time they go out for a round of golf.
Humans, being what they are, get round this by settling into a natural and comfortable stance and swing and in their own mind they think, falsely, it is the same one that the pros use. After a few outings, or perhaps a lot of outings, this natural and comfortable way of playing becomes the normal, even though it does not work for them. One of the biggest problems is that it seems to work some of the time, so they think they are on the right track and just need to practice more.
This "up and down" way of playing golf encourages the golfer to try changes in their golf swing to try and get the "secret" that will give them a straight and reliable shot on a consistent basis. But, having failed to learn the basics in the first place, the consistency in their golf swing that they are looking for is almost impossible to achieve.
What happens next is a common experience for most golfers, not just those that are new golfers and just starting out, they begin reading magazines, buying books, watching the televised tournaments, taking lessons from their local golf pro and, generally, trying to make up for the lack of simple basic knowledge and experience that, once learned, can always be returned to in times of need.
The problem with these means of correction is that they give you the advice to achieve the professional golf swing and not the basics. The tournament golf professionals know the basics better than anybody, but they no longer use the basic swing, they have adapted the golf swing in order to optimize their performance and put them in a different league than the rest of us, and this is the reason why trying to learn the "professional" golf swing is so wrong for us.
The "professional" golf swing is balanced on a knife edge, it is optimized so much that it is very difficult to maintain and it has to constantly be tweaked with very slight and subtle changes in order to keep it working. The tour pros have swing coaches to help them with this, they also practice a lot more than we do, up to 5 or 6 hours most days. Do you realize now why the professional golf swing is not the one that most golfers should be striving for?
The basic golf swing, when learned correctly, has far fewer moving parts to it, it produces a straight shot with a reasonable distance for each golf club. It is also far more forgiving when we get our stance, or our grip, or direction a little wrong. Most importantly, it gives us that consistency that we need, a method that we can return to in order to sort out the problems we have introduced when we try the various optimizations that we can't help trying. It also helps us correct a golf slice or hook.
Knowing the golf basics will give you less frustration, a lot more fun, and will give you something tangible to tweak and adjust and play around with without destroying your game in any way. I know a couple of golfers who don't try and optimize their swing at all, they play with the basics and, along with good golf course management and a good mental approach, their golf handicaps are in single figures.
I'm in the middle of writing some articles to thoroughly explain why the golf basics are so important, I'll put them up on New Golfers as soon as I've finished them. In the meantime, if you want to cure your golf slice this should get you going. Remember, above all else, golf is a game and is supposed to be fun as well as challenging, when you are having fun you are relaxed and
positive... the perfect way to play golf.