The Basic Steps to Perfect Golf
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Address Position. (Changed - 15/10/2016)


The first two important items to get you on the way to playing very good golf is to address the ball in the correct manner and also to set the correct golf grip.

Some say the golf grip should be first, but nevertheless I will start with the address position and cover the golf grip later in this section.

(Have a look at a VIDEO that I found on YouTube, let the video run and then look at the set up of Ernie Els)

 

THE ADDRESS POSITION.

At the address position, you must concentrate on holding the arms so that the elbows remain as close together as  is physically possible. -- This  forces  the arms  to be totally passive to the movements of the shoulders.

Begin the set up by standing tall and erect, with the feet at least shoulder width apart and parallel to the target line. ( If your stance is too narrow, the lower part of your body will sway too easily.)


Your right foot should be slightly angled to the right at about five degrees from the straight position.
However the left foot should be angled to the left at approximately forty five degrees.


From this position introduce a very slight bend in the legs and simultaneously allow the upper body to lean slightly forward.

( Just stand tall, with a very slight bend at the knees - you must not bend over too much.)

Once you have completed this action, you must then form the muscles of the lower body into a taut condition thus creating a solid base on which to rotate the upper body unit.

The next important step is to set the sideways angle of the upper body so that it is slightly tilted to the right, thus ensuring that the right shoulder is lower than the left shoulder. (This allows the right hand to comfortably grip the club whilst still maintaining a slight bend in the right arm.)

This slight tilt of the upper body will also assist in setting the head so that the left eye is well behind the ball position.

However once these upper body angles have been set, which includes the sideway tilt, these upper body angles must be maintained throughout the complete golf swing movement.

 

Next, allow the shoulders to slump before pulling the arms close together then make the chest, the shoulders and the upper back muscles into a taut condition, thus forming a very compact upper body unit. (See "Formation of Upper Body Unit" below)

Next, pull the elbows tight against the body and make the muscles of the forearms into a firm condition.

(To set the arms in the correct position, allow the elbows to move slightly away from the body but still keeping the upper arms touching the chest cavity.)
( Holding the forearms in a very firm condition will ensure that the shoulders, the arms and the golf club move away from the address position as a complete one piece unit.)


Finally, the hands must be set slightly to the left of the centre of your body. so that when you look at the ball the club head and the hands are to the left of the centre of your body.

( The hands must remain in this forward position, relative to the club head, throughout the down swing/follow through movement.
This will ensure that the hands pull the club head through the contact whilst the club face is held square to the target line.)

Place the club head behind the ball whilst ensuring that your left eye behind the ball.

To hit the ball straight, set the feet, hips, shoulders and the head Parallel to the target line and with the face of the club square to the target line.

If you are addressing the ball correctly it will feel as if you have adopted a slightly open stance, you have not but that it how it should feel.

 

Tip.

If you dropped a plumb line from the left eye directly to the ground, the point where the indicator touches the ground should be just behind the ball position.

You will also note that the hands and the club head are also to the left of the position where the plumb bob is directly over.

Therefore during the down swing movement you must keep the head firmly held in this position so that the left eye remains just behind the ball position, and importantly whilst the head is firmly held in this position -- you must allow the hands to pass the original address position before the ball is struck.


Formation of the Upper Body Unit

After you have set the upper body at the correct angles, the elbows must drawn as close together as is physically possible and the muscles of the chest, the shoulder and the upper back must be formed into a taut condition.
(Once the upper body has been set in this compact condition, it is absolutely vital that the upper body unit remains in this very compact condition throughout the complete golf swing movement.)

Holding the upper body unit in this compact condition is very difficult to achieve at first, especially as the club head is about to strike the ball, but with concentration the upper body unit can be held in this condition throughout the complete golf swing movement.

When you have completed the set up routine, you must then focus on keeping the right shoulder/right upper arm as the focal point, so that as the compact upper body unit rotate into the back swing movement the golf club is pulled to the end of the back swing movement.


Head Position.

It is absolutely vital that the head does not move away from the position it is set at the address position at any point in the golf swing movement -- you have to learn how to transfer the weight of your body first of all onto the right foot as you perform the back swing, and then onto the left foot as you perform the down swing movement without allowing the head to sway away from the original address position.

It can be done, you simply have to concentrate on the task.


Alignment of the Forearms

It is vital that the forearms are set in the correct position at the address position, because this is the position that the forearms will automatically return as you perform the down swing movement.

To set the correct position is a simple task.

The important thing is that when you grip the golf club, you must ensure that both palms are square to the target line - or to explain it another way, the right palm is squarely facing the target point and the back of the left hand is also squarely facing the target point -- This ensures that both forearms are in a neutral position -i.e., square to target line.

For example, at the address position, if you were holding the golf club with a strong grip, both forearms would be partially rotated in a clockwise motion prior to beginning the back swing movement.

Similarly, at the address position, if you were holding the golf club with a weak grip, both forearms would be partially rotated in an anti-clockwise motion prior to beginning the back swing movement.

Therefore because the forearms automatically return to the neutral position at the point of contact, by setting the forearms in a neutral position at the address position you will dramatically increase your chances of hitting the ball in the direction that you are aiming.


Golf Grip.

It is important to have the correct grip, so either before you set the upper body position or after, a correct grip must be seen a priority to playing good golf therefore you have to find the correct balance between a strong grip and a weak grip -- anything extreme with the gripping of the golf club will create their own problems.

Strong Grip

Although you can get by with a strong grip, when you come under pressure to hit a straight shot, it will inevitably cause you to hook the ball.

 

Weak Grip

Similarly if you have a weak grip, although most of the time you can get away with a weak grip, when you come under pressure to hit a straight shot, it will inevitably cause you to slice the ball.

Therefore you have to find a compromise between the two extreme positions.


Set up of the lower body.

The muscles of the legs, the thighs and the buttocks must held in a firm condition and the right leg must remain in a permanently rigid but slightly bent condition during the back swing movement and in addition, the heels of both feet must remain firmly on the ground throughout the back swing movement and finally, the hips will rotate away from the frontal facing position but they must not sway away from the original address position at all.

Stand with the buttocks sticking out to the rear, and with the back straight, but the legs must remain slightly bent.

These actions will ensure that the lower part of the body puts up the maximum resistance to the rotational movement of the shoulders as the back swing movement is performed.

 


Alignment of the Feet

It order to set up the feet so that the toes are Parallel to the Target Line, place a golf club on the ground so that the golf club is running parallel to the target line and then simply use the golf club on the ground as a guide to the feet placement but the angle of each foot is different.
Your left foot should be slightly angled to the right at about five degrees from the straight position, however the left foot should be angled to the left at approximately forty five degrees from the straight position.


Alignment of the club face.

1) Place the club on the ground behind the ball and adjust the club face so that it is square to the target area.

2) Leaving the club in the same place, align the shoulders, hips, the feet and the head in accordance with my instructions.

3) Forget totally about which direction that the ball will go and concentrate solely on hitting the ball in accordance with my instructions.


Position of the ball.

When playing the driver, the ball must always be positioned adjacent to the left heel so that the ball is positioned at the bottom of the swing arc.

With all of the other clubs, the ball gradual move back in the stance in very small steps.


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