These notes were taken last summer as I tried to get a firmer grip (pun intended) on golfing fundamentals. As usual they are from a recorded training show from one of the golf channels.
Raymond Floyd is known as the guy with no discernible flaws in his golf swing and is a 4 time Major champion.
Fundamental No.1 – the grip. How do you ‘take’ your club? His suggestion;
- Lay it down (as you address)
- Get your left hand in position
- Then marry your right hand to the left
Fundamental No.2 – Set-up – like just about everything else in golf, including practicing, it’s good to have a routine that you follow each time. He suggests;
- Start from behind the ball
- Pick a target (I’ve heard others say it’s important to be very precise about your target – not just a general area like a tree – pick a branch on the tree or a noticeable sub-part of a bush or something – the important thing is to be precise)
- Then pick/draw your target line
- Then address the ball (“Hi, you cute little simple little ball you – now let’s do this!” – SVG trying to be funny)
- Lastly, adjust your body by shuffling it to adjust to the club
I would add that you should make sure your club face is facing the target spot-on the target line. Sometimes it helps to find a near spot on your target line (just 10-15 feet in front of the ball to align to). For me, when I address the ball (this is a new routine I started after reading another blogger) I now make sure my club face is square on target while my two feet are together. I do so with my right hand on the club but maybe I should change that up. Anyway, then I move my left foot towards the target and then my right foot back to its position as I get set and assume the right posture. I think I need to make sure that my arms are truly hanging freely during the set-up process but I haven’t incorporated that just yet into my routine.
Anyway – I think Ray’s main point is that you let the club lie and club position dictate your body positioning versus the other way around – starting by getting set-up and THEN placing down the club. Too many chances for getting your alignment messed up if you do it backwards.
Fundamentals No.3 – Alignment and Related Issues
- Try to imagine right angles as you align yourself. Ray believes alignment is one of the biggest things amateurs fail to do correctly.
- Also – weight distribution is important. Try to get your weight sorta on the balls of your feet and then settling back thru to your heels. Feel like you’re planted.
Fundamentals No.4 – On Transition
There are 2 distinct pieces to the golf swing – Don’t Mix Them! First you get set then you go. [This resonates with other words of advice I’ve stumbled across. Many state that the first part of the backswing is really all about getting your club in place to swing forward – think more like getting ready before taking off in a sprint and putting your feet in the blocks and your fingers on the track and getting locked into take-off position….first you get your feet and body set and then your go…., or, more appropriately, like getting into position as a batter in baseball with the bat cocked behind you.. ONLY, you have to get the bat – or club in this case – from the ball-address position to the start position – that’s what the beginning of the swing is for, no more no less. The main point is that the beginning of the back swing is all about getting your club ready – it is NOT the real part of the swing.]
- Keys to remember: Get the shoulder rotated and pointed towards the ball (the left shoulder for you right-handers). Turn the right hip to point behind you.
A Practice Drill:
- Rotate hitting hooks, draws, punches and high shots – all at the same target. This is a useful drill for the driving range. Try and focus on your weakest of ball flight shapes.