New Golfers, How To Use The Target Line Effectively

Golf and the Target Line

New golfers need to know how to use the target line effectively, even more experienced golfers don't consider the target line enough. They fail to realize that the target line can be used for more than just lining up your shot.

Most new golfers stand behind the golf ball and line up the direction they want the ball to go, if this is on the tee, then it is usually in a very general way and direction. They aim for the direction of the flag and fail to pick out the exact spot on the fairway that they want the ball to land. I will get more into picking a specific target later, for now I'll concentrate on the various ways that the target line can be used to help the new golfer.

How to pick a target line

The target line in golf is an imaginary line drawn through the golf ball all the way to the target, on the tee this becomes a very long line. When you are addressing the golf ball, the target line relies on your peripheral vision to be able to concentrate on it and line up your stance and shot effectively. The way round this is to pick out a spot that is on the target line but much closer to you, this can be anything, from a leaf to a dark spot on the grass, anything at all, it does not matter as long as you pick out something.

Now that you have your spot picked out, at address, you will be able to be more aware of it while you are looking at the golf ball. Because you can now visualize the target line easier, you can use it in various ways and new golfers can learn how to use the target line effectively.

Lining up your stance

You want to line your body up parallel to the target line, however, most golf instruction seems to be that you line your feet up parallel to the target line, and miss the most important bit of all. New golfers take note, it is your shoulders that are important to line up with the target line, not your feet, concentrate much more on your shoulders. Have a look at How To Hit The Golf Ball Straight for a deeper explanation.

The golf club face

While at address, you can use the target line to make sure that the face of the golf club is square to this line, unless the club face is square to this line at impact, the golf ball will not fly in a straight line.

Straight golf shot

You can use the target line to ensure that your golf swing is going to give you a straight shot, and it is simply this. if, during the downswing, the club head crosses over the target line, you will not get a straight shot. If the club head crosses over the line before impact, you will get a fade or golf slice. If, on the other hand, the club head crosses over the target line after impact you will get a draw or golf hook. This, of course, is presuming that the club head is square to the target line at impact.

Specific targets

The need to pick out a specific target to aim for, especially on the tee box, seems to be ignored and badly understood by new golfers. If you just pick out a general direction that you want the golf ball to travel, you severely restrict how much progress you will make at the game of golf.

The more precise you are when choosing a target to aim for, the less room for error you are allowing yourself. The advantages are that you will be less likely to have wayward shots if you are aiming for a smaller target, your mind concentrates more and your subconscious is more likely to ignore any hazards that would normally put you off. By being more precise, you also become more accurate overall in your golf shots, you will be more critical of yourself when you miss your target. Your drive may very well be straight, but if it lands 30 yards longer or shorter than the target you were aiming for, then you will be less likely to accept it as being a good shot.

If you are trying to correct a golf slice, then learn to use the target line effectively.

To sum up, new golfers need to learn how to use the target line effectively and to be more precise when choosing where they want their golf ball to land.

Golf and the Axis of Power

Power in Golf

To understand where the power is generated in golf, you first have to understand the golf swing you are using. There are a number of different golf swings used by golfers today, for instance, new golfers tend to use their arms and hands to generate power, it is also a common method with high handicappers too. Playing this way will just leave you having to correct a golf slice problem.


The initial power is to be found in the rotation of the body. If you were to strike the golf ball along a straight line, the golf club head would not be able to travel very far, a couple of feet before and after the ball, if you wanted to keep the club moving along a straight line and increase the distance the club head traveled, you would have to physically move yourself and your club head along this line, either by walking or running. The only other way to increase the distance that the club head travels without moving your position is to rotate the golf club head around your body. This increased distance allows the club head to build up more speed. Power in golf is the speed of the club head moving through the impact zone, it is not like hitting something with a hammer, purely speed.

Arms and Hands

New golfers fail to understand the physics of the golf swing and, in an effort to get the golf ball to travel further, they try and supplement the rotational speed, which is not very fast, by using their arms and hands to supply more power at impact. This throws their whole golf swing out of balance and produces uncontrolled and inconsistent golf shots, a very bad golf slice is usually the result. There are some golfers with this swing, who use a short back swing to try and gain more control and consistency, and in doing so, their attempt cuts down the amount of rotation, and therefore speed, and they end up using their arms and hands even more. However, golfers that have powerful forearms seem to manage reasonably well with this technique.

Golf and the Axis

The axis should be centered round the spine, this is the basis for all golf swings, it gives stability and, if performed correctly, it also gives consistency and accuracy in the golf swing. I'm talking here about the accuracy of your club head hitting the ball, not the accuracy of your shot, if you have a stable axis of rotation and good balance, then the club head will be in a good position to strike the golf ball. Because of the 'coiling' motion of the backswing around the axis, a centrifugal force is exerted on the club head during the downswing.

Golf and the Centrifugal Effect

The modern golf swing that the tour pros use, relies heavily on the force that throws things out from a rotating body, the centrifugal effect. Golfers can use the extra force exerted by the centrifugal effect to increase the speed of the club head through the impact zone. When you are at address, the club head is at it's fullest distance from the axis of rotation (your spine), at the top of the backswing the club head is much closer to this axis. New golfers, and high handicap golfers, generally start the down swing with the club head moving outward from the axis, and by the time their left arm (for righty's) is parallel with the ground, the club head is almost at it's fullest extent. In other words, most of the centrifugal effect has already taken place, well before the impact zone.

Modern Golf Swing

The wrist hinge is where the centrifugal effect is controlled, the more the wrists are hinged at the top of the backswing, the greater this effect will be, if executed correctly. The longer you can maintain the wrist hinge during the downswing the longer the club head will stay close to the axis of rotation. The wrist hinge should be intact, at least, until the left arm is parallel with the ground, centrifugal effect will naturally start the club head on its outward path without consciously unhinging (uncocking) your wrists. This will keep the club head accelerating through the impact zone, the tour pros, and other long hitters, give an extra 'hit' at impact by using their hands and wrists at the last moment.

Golf Swing

There is a lot more to the golf swing than just generating power, and a thorough knowledge of the basic golf swing is a must for new golfers, or any golfer that is experiencing problems with their swing, you can read more of the golf basics here - "Why The Golf Basics Are So Important". If you are aware of what is happening during your swing, and what you are trying to achieve with it, then you will have a much better understanding of the control that is needed in the game of golf, it will also help you in another part of golf, the part they call the mind game.

What Golf Clubs Should I Use

Golf Club Choices

New golfers have a tough time ahead of them, and not just in learning the game of golf, but also in choosing their golf equipment. Golf is a game that has been played for centuries, so it should come as no surprise that all areas of golf have evolved in that time. Everything, from the golf course, golf shoes, golf apparel, golf balls, even golf gadgets have changed and none more so than the golf clubs we use to send the golf ball on it's way to being sunk in the hole. Arguably, a golf course, golf shoes, golf balls and golf clubs are all that is necessary in order to play golf, our focus here will be on the golf equipment, specifically, the golf clubs themselves.

All golf clubs have the same basic make-up, a tapering shaft with a grip fitted on the fat end and a head fitted to the thin end, and there, the sameness of golf clubs end. Apart from the putter which has a flat face, all other golf clubs have a lofted face on the head of the club, the amount of loft changes with each subsequent club in the golf club set. So what golf clubs should I use?

Today, a standard set of golf clubs normally consist of:

1 x 1 wood normally referred to as the "driver"
1 x 3 wood
1 x 5 wood
7 x irons (numbered 3 to 9)
1 x pitching wedge
1 x putter

The Rules of Golf dictate a maximum of 14 golf clubs in your golf bag, the other two clubs, if carried at all, is a personal choice with every golfer having their own favorites. By the way, the above list is of course optional, you can carry whatever range of golf clubs that you prefer, and as few, there is no requirement to carry all of them, the only rule is a maximum of 14 clubs, there is no minimum.

The higher the number of the golf club, the more lofted the face is. Loft is the angle of the face of the golf club, the bigger the loft, the higher the golf ball will fly and the less distance it will travel. A driver will produce a lower flight trajectory than a 3 or 5 wood and the same is true for the irons.

Not all drivers have the same degree of loft and new golfers would be well advised to use a driver with a minimum of 10 degrees, they would be far better using a 12 degree driver. The reason is that the more loft there is in a golf club the more forgiving that club is when a less than perfect swing is used. For example, it is far more common and easier to produce a golf slice using a 10 (or less) degree driver than a 12 (or more) degree driver. New golfers might well leave their driver at home until they have built a solid and consistent golf swing using the easier, more lofted, golf clubs.

As a general guide, for distance of 200 yards and less, the irons would be used and for distances over 200 yards, the woods would be used. The driver is generally only used from the tee box, it is not an easy club to use from the fairway, the 3 or 5 wood would be used in preference. Have a look at How To Hit The Golf Ball Straight.

The choice of which iron to use for any particular distance comes down to experience, some golfers get great distance from their irons and others find it more difficult to get the same length of shot, so it is important that you get to know what distance you can expect each of your irons to reach, but regardless, the closer you get to the green, the higher numbered club you would normally use. This is not a hard and fast rule though, for instance, a 7 iron is often used to produce what they call a 'bump and run' shot from fairly close to the green, this would obviously have to be played much gentler than a full shot with a 7 iron normally would.

A pitching wedge is more lofted than the 9 iron, the ball will fly higher and will run less when it lands, it is often used to get the ball up in the air to fly over hazards like sand bunkers (also known as sand traps). There are other more lofted clubs not mentioned so far, the sand wedge for instance, is more lofted than the than the pitching wedge and has a thinner blade to help the club cut through the sand when you have landed in a bunker. There are various lob wedges that are more lofted still and some golfers carry an assortment of wedges with them in favor of other clubs that they seldom use.

There is another point that is probably worth making and that has to do with your budget for buying golf equipment. As you know, playing golf is expensive and the costs just start with buying the right golf equipment. In addition, golf course charges or green fees are high and accumulate over time. Plus, you need appropriate clothing, a golf bag, golf balls, and golf shoes. The list goes on. However, there is one beginner mistake that many new golfers make, and that is to go out and buy a complete set of new golf clubs, before they really understand the game and their strengths and weaknesses. From this website, you should have learned that success in golf is largely the result of the technique and has much less to do with the quality or expensiveness of your golf equipment. Therefore, a modest suggestion is that you could buy some Used Golf Clubs when you start out and are learning the game. Once you know what you are doing, you can then buy a full and brand new set of golf clubs that is appropriate to your needs. At that point you could either resell your used golf clubs, or you could give them to someone else who is starting out with golf. They could learn with your used golf clubs, before they, in turn, buy a set of new golf clubs.

I hope that this has gone some way in answering your question, "what golf clubs should I use?" There is a huge choice of different makes of golf clubs, although the Rules of Golf place restrictions on golf club design, the makers of golf clubs have their own designs within the rules and you also have a choice of shaft length and flexibility, weight, grips, etc., and trying them out and getting unbiased advice when you are buying your clubs is highly recommended.

Classic Golf Swing, Why

Classic Golf Swing

Just about every golfer you have ever seen, on the TV, on the golf course, at the driving range where ever you see them, they are using the classic golf swing. The big question is, do they need to? An even better question might be, are they justified in even attempting to use the classic golf swing?

If you take the point of view that the classic golf swing is only for the pros, especially the tour pros, then certain things begin to make more sense. For instance, 90 percent of golfers never break 100, around 80 percent of golfers have a golf slice problem, tour pros have golf swing coaches and back injuries are a common problem with a lot of golfers, even the pros can suffer from back problems. All these things put into question the general use of the classic golf swing.

The problem with the classic golf swing is that it is a very complicated series of movements that rely very heavily on timing as well as an understanding of the whole golf swing that, quite frankly, the vast majority of golfers have only a vague idea of. There is simply too much to go wrong, almost any single part of the golf swing, if done incorrectly, can make a huge difference to the outcome.

Most golfers just don't have the time and energy, or money, to put into learning and maintaining the classic golf swing. Try to correct a golf slice problem using the classic swing and you'll understand. Have a look at How To Hit The Golf Ball Straight.

Furthermore, the full range of movement, using the correct technique, having a good rhythm, solid golf swing consistency, accurate timing and correct posture all call for a dedicated concentration that few golfers have, not because they don't possess the ability, it's just that life gets in the way. The pros have mental coaches to help with the mental game of golf, concentration and motivation, they have learned techniques that allow them to control the classic golf swing.

It is not just a case of finding a natural and comfortable swing that you can repeat over and over again, if it was, we would all be good golfers and a golf slice or golf hook would be a thing of the past. The truth is that most golfers already have a golf swing that they do repeat time and time again. It just happens to be an incorrect swing with faults that keep giving them the same problems, and most of it is because they are trying to emulate the classic golf swing.

If you fall into this category then stop beating yourself up about not improving and do something about it. Stop using the classic golf swing and try something else instead. You can get your golf handicap into single figures quickly and easily by using your head and a much less "professional" golf swing, try this article Can I Cure My Golf Slice for some more information about an alternative golf swing.

Can I Cure My Golf Slice?

The Golf Slice Problem

This is a very often asked question, especially from new golfers, a golf slice is the most common fault in the game of golf. Golfers with this fault very often suffer from it for years, if not their whole golfing lives and their long term successes in curing it are few and far between. There are many other faults in golf, some of them contribute to producing a golf slice. Here's a quote from "The Gist Of Golf" by Harry Vardon:

"All the good shots in the game (all, at any rate,
except the putt, which is a thing apart) are founded
on the principle of the body turning on a pivot
instead of swaying back and then lunging forward
at the ball. ' That pivot is the waist. ' No
doubt everybody who has made the slightest study
of golf appreciates this piece of orthodoxy, but
the number of people who disregard it, even though
they realise its importance, constitute about half the
golfing world. Why do they fail to observe the first
law of the true swing?"

Printed in 1922, Harry Vardon was referring to the late 1800's and early 1900's, it can be seen that the faults today are pretty much the same and just as widespread as they were in those times.

Most golfers, including new golfers, who are struggling to correct a golf slice problem, are only doing a couple of things wrong and, mostly, they are simple things to correct. There is no need for new golfers, or indeed even more experienced golfers, to struggle with a slice problem, it is correctable, why they find it so difficult to cure is because of faulty expectations of what they should be able to achieve with their present swing.

You can see amateur golfers every day on the golf course making essentially the same mistakes. They have seen their peers making 250 yard to 350 yard drives and expect to be able to do the same. They try and accomplish this by utilizing the full golf swing that they see every other golfer making, even if they do not yet have the skill to perform the full swing correctly, they also assume that they have to hit the ball harder to make it go further. Have a look at How To Hit The Golf Ball Straight.

The longer the backswing, the more room there is to go out of line and get the golf swing plane all wrong. The same is true when we try and hit the ball hard, the harder we swing at the ball, the more out of line our swing gets, using a full swing coupled with hitting the ball hard only produces wild and erratic shots and total inconsistency.

A half back swing is more than enough to get the golf ball to travel over 200 yards with a driver if done correctly, and, as a bonus, will lead to excellent golf swing consistency. You should address the ball with both hands parallel, the back of the left hand facing the flag and the back of the right hand facing in the opposite direction, the left wrist should remain flat (forearm and back of hand should form a straight line) throughout the backswing until impact is made.

Make the backswing by turning your shoulders until your left arm is parallel to the ground with the butt (grip end) of the driver pointing directly at the golf ball, this puts you in the correct swing plane. Initiate the down swing by, again, turning your shoulders, the acceleration should gradually build up through impact and delay un-cocking your wrists. The follow through should end up with your right arm parallel to the ground, try and avoid a full follow through at this stage, this should prevent you from trying to hit the golf ball hard.

You can practice this half swing without a ball, just swinging back and forward concentrating on the left arm parallel to the ground at the top of the back swing and the right arm parallel to the ground at the top of the follow through, remembering that the butt of the club should point at the golf ball at the top of the (shortened) back swing and un-cock the wrists as late as possible. This should ingrain the feeling of the swing into your muscle memory, an important thing to accomplish.

When you have this done correctly, you can proceed a stage further. When your left arm is parallel to the ground during the backswing, instead of having the butt end of the club point to the ball, cock your wrists a little more and have the butt point further back on the target line, try straight across from your back foot. Try and keep the tempo the same on the downswing. This will increase the arc distance that the club head will travel and will allow a greater speed for the club head through the impact zone.

If you continue in this way, working systematically towards a fuller swing, you will find, quite easily, how far you can go before your golf swing breaks down. Once you lose that straight predictable shot, you will know that you have gone too far, simply return to the swing where everything worked well and practice that a bit longer. Don't rush this process, allow it to happen naturally over a number of weeks, or even months.

To answer the question at the top of this article, "Can I cure my golf slice?" Yes, you can, and if you follow the above method it should get rid of all the little faults that combine to give you the golf slice in the first place, practice it for a while and your whole swing will begin to fall into place. Once you have confidence and consistency, you can try lengthening your swing very gradually, but get the basic golf swing right first.

How To Hit The Golf Ball Straight

Hitting a straight Golf Shot

How to hit the golf ball straight is probably the most sought after skill in the game of golf, especially for new golfers. Everything from an unintentional draw or fade to a wicked hook or slice, is caused by only one thing. The face of the golf club is not square at impact. This causes side spin on the ball and a curved shot to the left or right, depending on which direction the side spin is, will be the result. If your club head is traveling along the target line at impact, and the club face is square to the target line, then you will hit a straight shot in the direction of the target line. That's all there is to it.

I've written before on how to cure a golf slice or golf hook, but some golfers, especially new golfers, get a bit confused. Sometimes their golf swing produces shots that go way to the left or right without any curvature on the shot, they are really good straight shots that end up in the rough or the trees and not in the middle of the fairway, and they wonder why this should happen. They are used to producing the dreaded golf slice or hook and can't figure why one should go straight but fly off left or right with no curvature in the shot.

I'll be talking about right-handed golfers from here on, sorry lefties but I'm sure you are used to sorting this out by now. If you take an imaginary straight line from the spot you are aiming at, through the ball, and all the way back to the horizon on your right, we will just call this the "target line".

When "out-to-in" and "in-to-out" swing paths are discussed, new golfers in particular tend to get a bit lost, Ill try my best to explain this as it is a really crucial concept in the game of golf to get right. During the downswing, if the club head crosses over the target line, it will produce an out-to-in swing path, if the club head does not cross the line until after impact with the ball then an in-to-out swing path is being used. The club head should never fully cross the "target line", at any point, in the normal golf swing.

When you are at address, the golf club head is square to the golf ball along the target line, as we draw the club back during the backswing, the club head never fully crosses this line, it comes back on the inside and at the top of the backswing it is well inside this target line. During the downswing, the club head should return to the address position with the club face square to the ball at impact without fully crossing over the target line. This will give a straight shot down the target line towards the spot you were aiming at.

If, during the downswing, the head of the club crosses over the target line this will produce an out-to-in swing path. Now, the squareness of the club head is all important, if it remains square to the target line, the club head will come across the ball and will not make square contact, this will impart side spin on the golf ball and a golf slice will result. If the club face is square to the out-to-in swing path, then the club head will make square contact with the ball and a straight shot will result, but not in the direction of the target line, it will be a straight shot off to the left in the direction of the out-to-in swing path.

An in-to-out swing path follows the same logic, if the club face is square to the "target line" at impact, it is moving across the ball and will produce a hook or draw. If the club face is square to the in-to-out swing path it will produce a straight shot off to the right in the direction of the in-to-out swing path.

I hope this clears up a few things about swing paths and straight shots for new golfers. The important thing about the golf swing here is the squareness of the club head at impact, if the club head makes square contact with the golf ball, you will get a straight shot, it's that simple and is how to hit the golf ball straight. So now you should have no more problems trying to correct a golf slice.

An Instant Golf Slice Cure!

When To Practice The Golf Swing

Practicing Golf

What new golfers need when they are starting out, more than anything else, is good quality golf lessons on golf, some basic advice, especially of the golf swing. The next essential element is quality practice. The game of golf is as much a mental game as it is a physical one, and both of these can be served well by practice, but only if it is done correctly. Instead of improving your golf swing, ineffective or incorrect practicing can ingrain faults into your swing and make your overall skill worse off.

We have two different types of memory, one where we consciously remember things in our brains and the other which is simply muscle memory, and like every other sport, golf relies heavily on muscle memory. Repetition is the key to muscle memory, the more often we do something physical the more automatic it becomes, our muscles begin to remember the precise movements we have been repeating. This is normally advantageous to us, learning to play a musical instrument would be impossible without it, those intricate fluid movements that are learned over time would, instead, be like our first attempts - all the time.

Muscle memory, however, causes as many problems as it solves. As far as the golf swing goes, it is a very technical series of physical movements, as easy as it looks, it is not easy to get right, the golf swing is difficult to master. If we practice when our golf swing is not producing the correct results then we are feeding our muscle memory the wrong information, our muscles don't know any better, they simply remember movements that we repeat over and over again. The correct way to practice the golf swing is to repeat the swing when it is right, when we have a good swing. If you are trying to correct a golf slice, then don't take another practice swing just after producing a slice or any other swing fault.

You often see too many golfers who, when they have played a bad shot, immediately take a practice swing or two, just think about that for a minute. What do you think is the outcome of practicing a bad shot? The more we repeat it the more our muscles remember it. It is clearly the wrong time to practice, the repetition of practice should be kept for when we have produced a good shot and not a bad one. Remember this one, it's really important, especially if you want to improve your golf swing.

Take your bad shots philosophically and just shrug them off, the more importance you give a bad shot in your mind, the more likely you are to produce one, repetition comes in all shapes and sizes, and worrying about a bad shot can be very repetitive, so try not to over-emphasize a bad shot in your mind and certainly, never practice one, it is a huge mistake and one that is easily avoided. Remember the old saying, "Be careful what you wish for?" Well, worrying about producing any particular swing fault is much the same as wishing for it to happen, your mind has a habit of trying to give you what you want.

There is a time to practice and a time to leave well alone, recognizing which is which is the key to understanding when practicing will be helpful and when it will be detrimental. It seems natural to practice a bad shot because we think that extra swing or two is correcting the swing fault, but this is the opposite to what is happening in reality. When we take those extra swings, invariably they are identical to the one that produced the bad shot in the first place.

So, when you have a good shot, practice what you did to achieve it, as often as you like and remember, if you have a bad shot, walk away from it, practicing then would be wrong. Also, bear in mind, this is just as true for more experienced golfers as it is for new golfers, keep your muscle memory for the good shots.

Why The Golf Swing Basics Are So Important

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.

Golf, Some Basic Swing Advice

Basic Golf Swing Advice

Golf, some basic advice is essential, especially for new golfers, if they don't get the golf swing basics right they will struggle for a long time, maybe even for years. The game of golf is a bit like chess, you have to constantly analyze your moves and your position, in the case of golf, that means, in a general sense, analyzing your golf swing and your course management skills.

This, believe it or not, is one of the many enjoyable parts of our favorite game, too many golfers get their enjoyment only from a good result which leads them to feeling frustrated most of the time.

The pros, at least the top pros, all have help from a lot of different sources, eg. swing coach, mental coach, golf coarse analysts, and of course not forgetting their caddy who does a lot more than just carry their golf equipment for them.

Most of us, however, have to rely on nothing more than ourselves and maybe a few lessons from the local golf pro now and again, so getting to know our own swing and adapting what we have is imperative and a good golf professional will help us achieve this when we do get a golf lesson.

Our local pro is not with us when we are on the golf course playing golf, so his advice on correcting our golf swing faults is not available when we most need it. This is why we have to be able to analyze our own golf swing and get to know each and every part of it, especially if you are trying to correct a golf slice or hook.

As far as our golf swing goes, it's the basics that we struggle to get right, if we don't know the fundamentals then we have nothing to rely on when things go wrong, that fundamental method that we know works every time and gives us a straight shot, no heroics, no great distance, but something that we know will produce a certain outcome.

In order to get the golf basics right, we have to be aware of our golf swing, the path it is taking, and whether the golf club face is square at impact. Getting our stance right is less important, an open or closed stance should not matter if the swing trajectory and club face is right, it is still possible to produce an accurate and straight shot, the only part of our stance we need to get right is what they call the athletic stance, straight back, chin up, bend from the hips. Apart from these, it's your own personal golf swing that you have to work with.

When most golfers are preparing for a shot, they take a couple of practice swings and concentrate on... what?

Usually, a lot of things like, are they lined up right, is the club head just skimming the grass at the right spot, is their left arm straight..., and a whole collection of other things. What they should be concentrating on is their golf swing, they should be aware of what the golf club is doing during it's complete journey from being at rest all the way through the back swing until it returns to the impact zone. Not just the trajectory of the golf club, but also what is happening to the golf club face.

Once we stand up to the ball, get our balance right and take a look at the green, trust in your own natural ability that you will be lined up correctly, you really don't have to worry about that, our brains are well capable of doing this automatically.

So next time your on the golf course or at the driving range, trust your mind to control the things it can and concentrate instead on what your golf swing is doing, once you get proficient at that, the basics will become obvious and, more to the point, you will understand them and be able to return to them whenever you need to, and remember that with golf, some basic advice and the fundamentals of the game of golf is what is really important for new golfers too.

Golf Swing Advice, The Golf Draw

Draw v Slice

In the game of golf a draw is the result of imparting top-right-hand spin on the golf ball, it is the tee shot that the long hitters aim for because it tends to travel further. Thanks to the top spin it will fly further and when the ball lands it should bounce and roll forward. If you're serious about improving your golf swing, the ability to hit a draw shot is essential.

Compare this with a fade or golf slice that puts bottom-left-hand spin on the ball, it does not fly as far nor does it bounce and roll as far either.

If you suffer from the dreaded slice, then producing a golf draw will clearly correct your golf slice as well as add distance to your shots. Have a look at How To Hit The Golf Ball Straight.

The Draw

So how do we go about imparting top-right-hand spin on the golf ball? It's not as intuitive or as natural as producing a golf slice, all you have to do for a slice is get the club head to come across the ball at impact, an out-to-in swing plane will accomplish this, so also will letting your body get ahead of your hands in the downswing.

That would mean that an in-to-out swing plane at impact should give the desired results, if, and only if, your body does not get ahead of your hands.

To stop this happening, you have to keep the relationship and position of your hands, arms (left arm for right-handers), and shoulders intact throughout the swing until impact is made with the golf ball. The triangle made with your hands and shoulders should be maintained, this is, of course, basic to a good golf swing anyway.

The best results are obtained when you concentrate on turning your shoulders during the back swing, and not your golf club or arms and hands, this is also true of the downswing.

Too upright a back swing must also be avoided as this tends to produce an out-to-in swing plane. Think of the swing plane for your driver as being flatter, more around your body.

Having the club head slightly closed at impact should also produce a draw, be careful to not overdo it though, a hook is never a nice shot, it is just as disastrous as a slice.

Golf, The Effortless Way

Play Golf With Little Effort

I'm going to show you that playing golf the effortless way, is not only the way to get the most fun out of golf, but also the best way of getting results. None of you reading this article is a pro, much less one of the top pros, you're probably not even a low handicapper, maybe even a new golfer so lets get things into perspective first. Have a look at Golfers Biggest Mistake.

If you are like the other 80% of golfers, and certainly most new golfers, and play once a week or less during the season and aspire to get your golf handicap into single figures or maybe even just break 100, then you are going to have to stop trying to emulate the tournament pros. They play a different game from the rest of us, they practice daily and have coaches for every facet of their game, so, if you want to improve your golf swing technique, leave them alone and stop analyzing their swing and every other part of their game.

It is more important to have a straight shot and know where the ball is going to land than to be able to hit the ball the maximum distance for each club you use, it's also important to conserve energy so that you can finish the round comfortably without any strain or undue tiredness. Playing golf the effortless way, or put the other way, playing golf with too much effort is the most overlooked fault that most golfers have.

If you are always trying to hit the golf ball as if it was fired from a canon, then you are using far too much energy, your accuracy will be off and possibly end up trying to correct a golf slice or hook, your distance will be off as sometimes you will get it just right and hit it long and, more often than not you wont hit it right and get much less distance from your shot, or worse, just flunk the shot entirely.

The pros have spent a long time, and put a lot of effort, into optimizing their swing. The point is that they had a solid swing to build on, they had all the golf swing basics working and ingrained in their muscle memory before they built it up to the professional swing they have today. It's those basic principles that we have to concentrate on first and the most important of them is to get rid of all the variable bits of the golf swing that can cause problems.

The first thing you have to do is play a short backswing, the longer the backswing the more room there is for your swing to be on the wrong plane and the easier it is for you to go out of balance. There is no need for a full backswing, that would come under the heading of optimizing, at this stage a full follow through would be more beneficial than a full back swing.

Secondly, speed. There is a great tendency for high handicappers to swing too quickly, both the back swing and the forward swing. Again, there is no need for any great speed and the faster you swing the more your timing will be out and your balance will be affected.

Finally, power. Hitting the golf ball hard is never a good golf shot, golf just does not work that way. Power is produced by the speed of the club head as it passes through the impact zone and not by how hard you hit the ball, and speed is something that can best be worked on once the basic golf swing is mastered.

To sum up, concentrate on two things, balance and taking an easy effortless swing. You'll be surprised just how straight, far and consistently you hit the ball by paying attention to just these two elements of your game. With this new found consistency comes a confidence and real enjoyment, once you can predict where the ball will land, you can bring course management into your play and make a real difference to your score.

So, go on, give it a try, play golf the effortless way.

New Golfers Beware

The New Golfer

New golfers really should beware, golf is one of the most addictive sports on the planet, it is also one of the most infuriating. You will never master golf, even the tour pros, good as they are, have not mastered it, they have golf swing coaches and golf mental coaches, they have to constantly practice and hone their golf skills, and are always trying to improve their golf swing.

Apart from your annual golf fees, playing golf can be quite expensive, there is always some new piece of golf equipment that you will need:

a new golf driver
a new golf putter
new golf wedges
a new golf bag
new golf waterproofs
new golf balls
new golf shoes
new set of golf clubs

If you can think of a piece of golf equipment, at some point you will want to buy it or replace it.

Then there are the golf lessons, golf tuition is necessary if you want to gain a consistent golf swing, for new golfers, golf lessons are indispensable, especially in the very beginning. The golf tour pros make it look too easy, you have to remember, golf is their livelihood, they have spent a lot of time and money to make it look this easy.

Golf is not just expensive, it is extremely time consuming as well, you won't get much change out of five hours just for one round of golf and often it will be even more. By the time you get to the golf course, get ready to play, even if there is no queue at the first tee, play the game, get showered and changed, then get home again (presuming there is no social interaction after the game), five hours is quite conservative.

Having said all that, golf is a game that can last you a lifetime, well into your retirement years. New golfers can start as early as five or six years old.

Players of vastly different capabilities can play together and still manage to compete.

The fact that you will never master golf is one of the game's many charms, it will always be challenging, even you are playing alone, speaking of which, it is one of the few games you can play on your own.

Golf is a sociable game, there is plenty of time to get to know the people you are playing with, they may, on occasions, be strangers at the start of the game, but by the end, they no longer will be, and if they are already your friends, what could be better?

Fresh air and exercise surrounded by nature and pleasant landscapes and views, enjoyable company and, arguably, the greatest game on Earth. So as I said above, let new golfers beware.

If you haven't already, you might want to read this article "New Golfers - Start Here", or have a look at Golfers Biggest Mistake.

To your golfing enjoyment.

Golf Swing Advice, Power in Golf 2

The Power in The Golf Swing

The Golf Swing

As I hinted at in "Power in Golf", there is no need to to take a full swing in order to generate clubhead speed in golf. New golfers have difficulty with this and throw all their power into the shot, especially when using the driver off the tee.

If you haven't already, you may want to read Improve Your Golf Swing.

Most golfers, in their attempt to increase distance in their golf shots, apply more power, and when they see little improvement, apply even more power until their golf swing breaks down and they start having wild shots, probably a bad golf slice, and most golfers find trying to correct a golf slice one of the hardest things to do.

The golf swing should always be controlled, it should have a nice easy tempo, it is technique that adds distance to the golf shot, never power. The idea of powerful shots producing greater distance seems to be one of the more intuitive, but false, beliefs that are so common in golf. It is easy for the golfer, especially the new golfer, to believe this, after all, it is logical, hit the ball harder and it will go further. Depending on the golf equipment you have, getting some better golf equipment may be beneficial and help you get increased distance, but that all depends on the golf equipment you are already using.

Technique is far more important than physical strength in the golf swing, if the face of the golf club connects correctly with the golf ball, a good shot is the result, that is what golf clubs are designed for. To produce more distance the clubhead has to move through the impact zone faster. It is all to do with accuracy and speed. New golfers should concentrate on making good accurate contact with the ball and forget about distance. Have a look at Golf and the Axis of Power.

Accuracy is required to produce a well flighted golf shot and increased speed to produce greater distance. The confusion seems to be in the method of increasing the speed of the clubhead through the impact zone. It is not done by using a more powerful swing, it is the speed of uncoiling the body and uncocking of the wrists. This has to be done in a controlled fashion. The downswing is started slowly and initiated by turning the shoulders, the arms and hands just follow along, concentrate on moving your shoulders, and accelerating the turning of the body, this will return the club head to the ball. Uncocking the wrists should be left until the last second, the later this is done, the more speed will be produced.

A common fault by old and new golfers is uncocking the wrists way too early in the downswing, this is known as casting, a bad golf swing fault, if you uncock your wrists at the start of the backswing (the worst scenario) there will little speed in the clubhead as it passes through the impact zone, and there will be no acceleration.

The objective is to have the clubhead accelerating through the impact zone, this is important, the clubhead should be accelerating as it hits the ball.

New golfers should not be using a full golf swing, a short backswing and a full follow-through is much better, it is easier to control, the swing plane has less of an effect if it is not quite right, and it will assist in returning the clubface to the golf ball correctly. It also makes it easier to achieve the late uncocking of the wrists and helps to reduce the possibility of casting.

The basic golf swing in golf is the one with the least moving parts in it and has little to do with power in golf. The less movement, the less there is to go wrong.

When we introduce more movement into the golf swing there is a greater chance for things to go out of control, that's when we start to see all the golf swing faults appear. This is so true for new golfers.

Related Posts

Golf Swing Advice, Power in Golf
Golf And The Axis Of Power Swing Advice
To your golfing success and enjoyment.

To your golf enjoyment!

The Mental Game Of Golf

Golf, The Game Of Two Heads

The mental game of golf is a game of two heads, the golf club head and your own head, and it's the link between these two heads that is the real game of golf. What is more important is that golf can be a game of two minds, the one you imagine you are playing and the one you are actually playing. Seldom are they the same.

Even worse is the indecision that can happen in your own mind, you can start your golf swing with one plan in mind and just after you start the downswing your plan suddenly changes, this is done without the desire to change your mind, it happens in an instant and there is nothing you can do to about it, and it is too late to stop the shot.

A simple thing like a hazard can instigate this change in thinking, you suddenly become more aware of it, or doubt your ability to avoid it. A sudden stray thought or a loss in confidence can cause it too, whatever the cause, the outcome is usually the same, the result is normally a bad shot.

It's also a hard one to deal with, it doesn't happen all the time. It's intermittent nature means that you are seldom prepared for it, it's not your golf swing or stance that you can change to cure it, and it's not your golf equipment either, it's a mental thing and one that you have to practice hard to stop it. Routine is a great way to avoid these moments, repeating the same things before we initiate our golf swing has the tendency to boost our confidence.

The golf professionals call it a pre-shot routine, and each pro will advise you to follow a different one depending on what their favorite one is. The truth is that whatever one you use does not really matter, what matters most is that you find a pre-shot routine that suits you and you use it before every shot.

Another helpful routine to lessen the occurrence is to have the same golf swing thoughts for every shot. Again, it does not matter what these swing thoughts are, the important bit is to have them. Concentrating on having a smooth, rhythmical, controlled and precise golf swing will leave less room for these changes of mind to take place, just remember to always do it.

There is an awful lot more to the mental game of golf, entire books have been written on the subject, and they don't all agree with each other, however, in my experience, having a pre-shot routine and having the same golf swing thoughts for every shot eliminates a lot of the faults caused by the mind aspect of the game.

Have a look at Golf and the Axis of Power.

Golf Swing Advice, The Golf Slice

Golf Swing Fault Advice

When we're talking about golf and swing faults, there is one fault that stands head and shoulders above all the rest, although technically it's not a swing fault but the result of a swing fault, we won't go splitting hairs about it, it makes it a bit easier to explain this way. A golf slice is easily the most common swing fault in golf, all golfers, and new golfers in particular, will, at some time, have to deal with it. Most commonly, it happens on the tee with a driver, but almost any golf club (except the putter) can produce a golf slice, if this sounds like you then you need to improve your golf swing.

There are many ways to produce a golf slice, I'll explain how to do it here just in case you want to experience one, just kidding, although a slice has a baby brother called a fade shot in golf which is a very useful shot to have in your armoury. The first way of producing a slice is by getting the golf club on the wrong swing plane during the downswing. The tendency is to take a backswing using the correct swing plane but getting out of line during the downswing and getting into an outside-to-in swing plane. This causes the club to come across the golf ball at impact and impart a lot of side spin.

The second way to produce a golf slice is for the club to impact the ball with the clubface in an open position (the toe of the club is behind the shaft or heal of the club), this has the same effect as an out-to-in swing plane, it imparts side spin on the ball. Have a look at How To Hit The Golf Ball Straight.

I said there are many ways to produce a slice but I've only named two. That's true, these are the two causes of a slice, but there are many ways to produce these two golf swing faults, either singly or both at the same time which gives a really bad golf slice, most golfers find trying to correct a golf slice very difficult and can spend years without getting to the root cause of it.

If your swing plane is too upright, and everything else is correct, then the club will follow an out-to-in swing plane on the downswing. This is an easy one to correct, it is usually a fault that occurs only with the driver and happens because the shaft of the driver is longer than the other woods. You need to stand a little further from the ball and make the swing more around yourself, it follows a little shallower path than the other woods.

Your grip can cause you to slice, a strong grip is when your hands are behind the club, a week grip is when your hands are, surprise surprise, when your hands are in front of the club, it's the week grip that can cause the problem, during the down swing your hands re-align to the perpendicular, this opens the face of the club and, hey presto, a golf slice. Various other combinations can cause this as well, a week left hand grip and a strong right hand grip can cause all sorts of problems, mainly because most of us have one hand stronger (in actual strength) than the other and when your hands are badly aligned the stronger hand tends to take over.

The best way to grip the golf club is with your hands parallel to each other, that is, with your palms exactly facing each other and both of them perpendicular to the ground. This helps your hands to work together, and the centrifugal effect of the down swing encourages your stronger hand into the perpendicular position anyway, so it is generally better to start off this way.

The most common cause of the golf slice is over hitting the ball, or trying to hit too hard. On the golf course it is precision and balance that is required, not power. Speed of the club head through the impact zone determines distance, again, not power. New golfers seem to have trouble with this concept.

When you hit too hard it causes your body to get ahead of your hands during the downswing. It also causes you to slide your hips forward, it puts your club in an out-to-in swing plane. Put all this together and your body in front of your hands causes the face of the club to open, a slice. The out-to-in swing plane causes the club face to come across the ball, a slice. Both together, a wild golf slice.

The cure of the golf slice, in this case, is to have a controlled swing, accelerating the club head through the impact zone, concentrate on hitting the golf ball correctly and let the golf club do the work it was designed to do. If your driver is the only golf club causing your slice then perhaps your basic golf swing is not yet ready for the driver, keep it in your golf bag for a while and use your 3 wood, it will go further than the sliced shot will and it will, more than likely, produce a straighter shot. Also bear in mind that a 10.5 degree (or less) driver is a less forgiving club than a 12 degree driver, maybe just changing to a more lofted driver will help to cure your golf slice.

Concentrating on keeping your right elbow (right-handers) close to your body throughout the golf swing, especially the downswing, helps to promote an in-to-out swing path, and a slightly closed stance has also been known to help some players say goodbye to their golf slice problem.

An Instant Golf Slice Cure!

Golfers Biggest Mistake

Basic Golf Swing Mistakes

If you're trying to improve your golf swing then make sure you're not making the golfers biggest mistake, and it does not matter whether they are new golfers or they have been playing for years, it's hitting the golf ball too hard, they put so much effort into hitting the ball that numerous errors creep into their golf swing. This is caused, mainly, by lack of control, the harder they try and hit the ball, the less control there is in their swing.

Golf is a game of finesse, not brute force, and a lot of golfers forget this. They put too much emphasis on increasing the distance they can make the ball travel instead of concentrating on control and accuracy.

When they try to hit the golf ball hard they use their arms and hands to generate the power, this makes their swing unsynchronized, their body usually gets ahead of their hands and results in a wild shot, a golf slice. That is why it is experienced or new golfer's biggest mistake. Timing is crucial in golf, golf clubs are designed to to do the work for golfers, all they have to do is deliver the club head to the golf ball correctly. A good controlled and accurate strike produces far better shots and greater distance than an all out blast at the ball will ever achieve, and more than likely will save you from having to correct a golf slice fault.

The power in golf does not come from hitting the ball hard, it comes from club head speed through the impact zone. The correct way of thinking of generating distance in a golf shot is to concentrate on club head speed, NOT power. Further, it's the turning motion of the body and the un-cocking of the wrists that generate the speed of the club head, not the arms and hands. The speed of the club head should be an accelerating speed, not a sudden burst of energy, the downswing should start relatively slowly and continue to accelerate all the way through the impact zone. It should be initiated with the turning of the shoulders, not a downswing of the hands. This is really important.

Thighs, hips, abdominal and lower back muscles are the ones that contribute most to the unwinding of the body during the downswing, the triangle formed between both shoulders and the hands at the address should be the same when the club head strikes the ball, if they try to hit too hard, this relationship between hands and shoulders is difficult to maintain, it also makes the body sway slightly as it turns and changes the the swing plane from an inside-out plane to an outside-in plane, this also produces a slice.

There are just too many complications introduced (unnecessarily) when they try to pull off one these monstrous shots, every golfers biggest mistake, stay away from it, stay in control of your golf swing and the golf club and you will get results that keep improving. Be patient, calm, cool and collected and enjoy playing the greatest game on Earth.

An Instant Golf Slice Cure!

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New Golfers Golf Swing Advice for Power in Golf 2
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New Golfers are a Blast

New Golfers

When it comes to golf swing faults, no-one finds it harder to fix these faults than new golfers, This article attempts to shed some light on the subject and give some basic golf swing advice to help them.

New Golfers have a very varied experience of learning golf, some have a hard time of it, especially if they are young teenagers. They are full of enthusiasm and energy, they take that off to the golf course with them and expect to be good players after a few games. They watched the tour pros on the television and know exactly what to do. Maybe their father or older siblings have given them a few pointers in the back garden. Maybe they've gone to the driving range, perhaps even had a few golf lessons, but it's their energy and enthusiasm that really stands out.

Where ever they choose to play or practice golf, they'll fill their golf bag with their golf clubs of choice (especially including their driver), maybe a golf glove, a few tee pegs, some golf balls,their new golf shoes and off they go. The first thing they will do is whip out their driver and try and blast the ball as far as they can. They don't understand where the power in golf comes from.

If they are on the driving range, this full swing attack on the golf ball will continue, regardless of the club they are using, if they are lucky and have a good golf instructor with them, he will try and temper this full frontal assault and give them some form of control. Even if they have recourse to a teacher of any sort, as soon as the the teacher is gone it will be back to trying to murder that ball. Youthful enthusiasm and loads of energy, it's wonderful really, but it usually leaves them trying to correct a golf slice fault. Have a look at Golfers Biggest Mistake.

If the new golfer is a bit older, late teens or early twenties, we see a whole different approach to learning. There is thought and analysis going into it this time, a much more measured and controlled amount of energy, the enthusiasm will still be there, but it will no longer take over to the same extent. The need for golf instruction will be paramount and eagerly sought, these new golfers have something more than energy and enthusiasm, they have ambition.

They see themselves as potential tour pros, even if they don't have the burning desire to become one, they see their potential of becoming as good as one, and why not, their youthful confidence is colossal. These golfers will also have a love affair with their driver, it would seem that it's the most important club in their bag, it's wonderful really.

Then there is the new golfer that is a bit more mature, he, or she, decides to take up golf for different reasons, probably as a form of relaxation, a hobby, a way of getting some more exercise and fresh air, companionship, there are loads of different reasons. They know they are not going to become a tour pro (they've left it too late, and probably have no desire to become one either), so their approach is different again. They may, or may not, seek out a golf coach, if they do, they will probably only have few lessons to get the basics, then they will get on with just enjoying the game.

Improving will be a gradual and lengthy process, there is no rush, and unless extremely competitive by nature, there will be no real goal in site, just something to enjoy. Their love affair with the driver will be a short lived one, they will probably give up on it and use something like a three wood, three hundred yard drives won't even enter there heads, it's wonderful really.

At the end of the day, the game of golf isn't the most played sport in the world for nothing, people of all ages can play and enjoy it. If they are playing to their handicap, they can all compete with each other and have the same chance of winning. It takes a while for new golfers to realize this though, but when they do, their love affair with the driver ceases to be as important and they start playing golf, the real game, the one we play for enjoyment.

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Golf Swing Advice, Power in Golf

Basic Golf Swing

This article will try to give some golf swing advice about achieving power in golf by highlighting the basic golf swing, the fundamental golf swing that all the other golf swing styles are built on.

The basic golf swing in golf is the one with the least moving parts in it and has little to do with power in golf. The less movement, the less there is to go wrong. When we introduce more movement into the golf swing there is a greater chance for things to go out of control, that's when we start to:

sky shot
top the ball

or even miss it altogether, and generally get a lack of consistency so you need to improve your golf swing.

Most golfers try to hit the golf ball too hard. Believe me, a good golf swing has nothing to do with hitting the ball hard, everything goes wrong when you do this, including your balance, and the odd time you do manage to achieve a good shot, it's just luck. You must strive to hit the golf ball correctly, the club must always be in your control, try to think of it as a measured amount of power. If you don't, you will more than likely end up having to correct a golf slice fault. Have a look at Golf and the Axis of Power.

Golf Equipment

Trust in your golf equipment, golf clubs are designed to lift the ball into the air (excluding the putter) and make the ball travel an appropriate distance for the golf club in use. All it takes is for the club head to strike the golf ball correctly, nothing else. Yes, everyone will get different distances for the same club, but that depends solely on how fast the golf club head is moving through the impact zone. NOT how hard you have hit the ball.

Golf Power

That brings us to the reason for this post, where to get the power from. Bear in mind all that has been said above and remember that power must be measured, you don't just go for an all out blast, always stay in control.

Power is the wrong word to use, speed is far more appropriate, club head speed to be more precise. The pros take a full swing with a full body turn, they use hips, thighs and abdominal muscles (NOT shoulders, arms and hands), to achieve maximum rotational speed of the body, this turning motion starts slowly and builds up to maximum as the body returns to the position it had at address (not exactly true but will do for the moment), the point being that it is a gradual acceleration, not a sudden burst. Club head speed is given a further boost by the un-cocking of the wrists through the impact zone. This late boost of speed is where the real power comes from in golf and should have an accelerating effect as well. The whole lot put together should result in the club head accelerating through the impact zone.

Enjoying Golf

That's the theory, putting it into practice is another story (or should I say, another post). It's also the reason why the tour pros make money playing golf whereas it costs us money to play the same game. Which brings me to the point, game is the operative word here, we play this game of golf for fun and enjoyment, too many golfers just find it frustrating too much of the time, the reason for this is simple, they've stopped treating it like a game and started looking on it as an achievement and, as a result, play outside their capabilities. This will always result in inconsistent play. Patience is what is required, learn the basic golf swing and improvement will happen, but a controlled improvement, there is no single magic bullet that will suddenly change you into a pro overnight, your techniques have to improve as a whole in order for you to stay in control.

Remember, golf is a game of the head as much as it is a physical game, confidence is everything, playing within your own limits is a confidence booster, anything else and doubts will creep in, your concentration will wander, your lack of consistency will feed the doubts and your confidence will disappear, and once it's gone... well, you'll struggle to get it back again... until you start playing within your limits and control your use of the power in golf.

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To your golfing success and enjoyment.

New Golfers - Start Here

New Golfers Golf Swing Advice

This is the first post, and therefore the first piece of advice on the New Golfers blog. This site is primarily for new golfers just starting out and also for more experienced golfers trying to learn about golf and about different ways of correcting golf swing faults and learning the basics of golf, the most wonderful game in the world.

I live in the West Coast of Ireland, but was born and raised in the West Coast of Scotland. I am not a professional golfer and never have been, just an enthusiastic amateur golfer who has been where you are now and struggled for years to understand the vagaries of playing golf.

Golf Advice

There are a lot of myths surrounding golf that has a tendency to confuse new golfers, and in particular, the cures for many of the various faults that new and experienced golfers alike pick up along the way. Everyone, it seems, has helpful advice for you. Whether the advice works or not is a moot point. If it works then isn't your friend a golfing genius? If it does not work, then, obviously, you are applying it wrong, or not trying hard enough, or some other mundane excuse. Whatever the reason, it's your fault, it's never the advice that's wrong.

The truth is, we are all different, different golf swings, different builds, different strengths and weaknesses, different golf equipment, we also think differently. It should be no surprise to find that our golf swing faults may require different solutions too.

Here's a strange thing I've noticed...

...most golfers describe their game in terms of their faults:

"I usually...
golf slice
golf hook
golf push shot
golf pull shot
golf fade
golf draw
golf lack of consistency
golf top the ball shot".

or "I have...

golf fat shots
golf thin shots
golf weak shots
golf shanks
golf sky shots
golf no distance.

Isn't this strange?

This, of course, is the wrong way to think of your game. Focusing on your faults tends to make them worse, Golf is a mental game more than anything else, our head is our greatest asset or our greatest enemy, doubts and concerns robs us of our ability to concentrate on our golf swing, ball flight, athletic golf stance, and a multitude of other things, the very things that we should be thinking of (at least, according to the pros.)

The real point is, whatever golf fault you have, try not to dwell on it, it never helps.

Happily, almost all golf faults are fairly easily cured, more on the cure later.

Sadly, this is not the impression you get when you ask for advice. How many times is golf equipment mentioned as well as your golf swing?

Golf Basics

Let me ask you a question. What do you think is the most common mistake that most golfers make?

You can argue with me all you want, most golfers do, but it doesn't change the fact that the vast majority of new golfers fail to do just one thing.

Learn the basics! Especially the basic golf swing.

Oh, I know, a lot of you started out by taking lessons from the local pro, or friend, or relative, whatever. I've yet to find anyone that was taught the simple basics of the golf swing.

The basic golf swing is the fundamental swing that works, it is not optimized in any way, it does not produce any astounding results and does not give you a professional looking golf swing or golf score. What it does give you, is confidence, a swing that you can always reproduce, one that gives you a straight, repeatable and consistent shot, a basic golf swing that

Every new golfer's swing, in fact everyone's swing, gets out of kilter at some time, even the tour pros have trouble at times (although, for different reasons than ours,) and being able to switch to our basic golf swing when we run into difficulties is a real confidence builder, remember golf is a head game and confidence is essential.

It's not difficult, and it's not rocket science either, but new golfers fail to get to grips with the basics and then wonder why they have no consistency, lack distance, mysteriously get a golf slice or hook, or any of the other golf swing faults mentioned above. Indeed, they go on to struggle for years, trying to get golf tips to fix their golf swing, buying the latest and greatest golf equipment, taking golf lessons, when all they need is a grounding in the basic golf swing. The basics, in anything, is what is used to build on, to improve and optimize, the golf swing is no different.

Golf Swing Faults

Most golf swing faults happen when we are trying to achieve something we are not yet ready for, the worst offender is trying to increase distance well beyond our current capabilities, but trying to reproduce the golf swing that our favorite tour pro has, probably Tiger Woods or Ernie Els, is a close second for wrecking our golf swing and we need something basic to return to when this happens, unfortunately, most of us just keep struggling on trying to tweak this new swing into something miraculous.

One of the problems, and it should never be underestimated, is that we don't have the golf swing we think we have. We imagine that we have the same swing as the pros, but the reality is that we don't come close to the pros, we don't even have the movements and coordination that we imagine we have. Don't feel too bad, even the pros have this failing, you can see that in action when they teach you to do something that they themselves do, but when you watch them, they clearly don't do what they teach.

Told you, it's a head game, and this is just another aspect of it.

Golf Swing Coach

This is also one of the reasons that the pros have golf swing coaches, they can't see themselves and need these coaches to help them achieve the desired swing. We don't have that luxury, so when someone tells us what we should be doing, we happily go off and try it, at least in our heads we imagine that is what we are doing. So even if the instruction is correct, the chance of following it as described is pretty slim. "How to correct my golf swing" is one of the most sought-after tutorials in golf, the very top one is "How to cure my golf slice." In most cases the fundamental cause is over-hitting, as simple as that.

The golf swing is about control, and not power.

It starts with a proper stance, and then the golf grip before you ever get to the golf swing itself, and that can be broken down into several different facets. Another often overlooked, but fundamental, problem is balance, you will never have a working golf swing without it and it can't be stressed enough.

Oops, this post is getting a bit long now, I'll get into more specific information for new golfers in the next post. Have a look at Golfers Biggest Mistake.

To your golfing success and enjoyment.