As spring is ending and summer nears, many of you are dusting off your golf clubs for the first time. If this is the case for you, make your first few trips to the practice range more fun and beneficial by paying close attention to a few fundamentals known as PGA – Posture, Grip and Alignment.
Every year at the beginning of the season, Jack Nicklaus would visit his coach and spend some time fine-tuning his fundamentals. If the greatest player of all time did this, we all ought to consider this for ourselves.
Whether or not you have the option to see your local PGA Professional and get help with this, try some of the following tips.
Your grip is the most important factor in hitting a golf ball. Your grip determines where the clubface is pointing at impact, which, in turn, relates directly to the curvature of your ball flight. There is no one grip that is correct for everyone, so let your ball flight guide you to the proper correction. If your ball tends to curve right, turn both hands on the grip slightly to the right. If your ball tends to curve to the left, turn both hands on the grip slightly to the left.
Alignment is the next most important factor in a well-struck golf shot. Your alignment, in particular the shoulders and the forearms, determines your club path which relates to the direction your ball starts out. Use some alignment sticks every time you practice and focus on the proper alignment of your shoulders and forearms.
Posture is another very important factor in the swing. Your posture determines the angle of approach in your golf swing. If your posture is too upright, your swing will be very flat or rounded and you will most often hit the top of the ball. If your posture is too bent over, your swing will be very upright or steep and you will often hit the big ball (Earth) first. Find an athletic feeling posture that works for you.
Spend some time working on your PGA and you will get your season off to a great start.
Matt Stottern is Director of Instruction at Peninsula State Park Golf Course. He coached college golf for six seasons and has also coached Nike Junior Camps for six years. He has 12 years of experience as a Head Golf Professional.