October 12, 2021
by Byron Casper

Build That Foundation!

More and more people every year get bitten by the golf bug. Golf’s popularity continues to rise year after year. With more and more people becoming interested in golf, more and more people are taking their first steps to learning how to play the game.

And the great thing is – it is people of all age groups, genders, races, and social strata. I have enjoyed working with every type of golfer.

The first aspect of the game of golf that I talk about about a person or group of people who are just beginning to take up the game is that learning to play golf will take some time and much patience. The patience part never goes away in this great game!

The second aspect (or at least real close to it) that I speak with beginning golfers about is practice, and the amount you spend with quality practice time will get you to the point in your game you want to be.

Everyone has different ambitions and expectations as to how far they want to take their game. Whether it’s just a spouse who wants to learn enough of the game and the golf swing to enjoy an afternoon with their significant other or someone who one day wishes to play competitively, the game of golf can accommodate anyone. It’s fundamentals and practice that will get you to your goal.

At its core, the game of golf is all about swing. Your golf swing. How you start out learning the mechanics of the golf swing is crucial. Don’t skip the basics! Learn some fundamentals before you even begin to tackle the swing.

The grip, stance, set up to the ball, and posture are the foundation from which you must learn the golf swing. If you don’t spend the time early on ingraining these aspects into your physical psyche, you will not (if ever) consistently strike the golf ball. So, make sure when you are working with your instructor, you don’t just start whacking at balls. Instead, build that proper foundation with the elements mentioned above.

When you progress to swinging the club, I like to have people start with mid-iron (usually a 6 or 7 iron). In my opinion, the middle iron is the best club to begin learning the golf swing. With a six-iron, for example, the ball placement is in the middle of your stance. This means that as you progress to higher and lower irons, you will have a benchmark to work from. Also, down the road, if your swing begins to trouble you, I usually suggest that you get back to your primary neutral position club of the six iron and get your rhythm and timing back.

If you are beginning, you must understand that the longer the shaft on the club, the longer it will take you to consistently and accurately hit the golf ball. It’s just physics. I see way too many beginners want to rush, and they never learn the proper swing. Always remember, tune, and groove your swing with a middle iron. Then work to keep that mindset as you climb the ladder of your clubs.

From your middle iron placement, your longer shafted clubs will find your ball placement more toward your front foot’s instep, while your shorter irons will have the ball work more toward the back foot’s instep.

But before you do any of this, make sure you start with your foundation. When you speak with your teaching professional, let them know that you want to spend time understanding the concepts of grip, stance, alignment, and posture. This will ensure that you don’t build a house of cards with your golf swing that will always be tumbling apart.

Once you get past your first couple of lessons of working on the foundations, don’t forget them. Always be mindful of your grip, stance, alignment, and posture, even as you begin developing your golf swing. Be sure to incorporate a quick check of these before you engage your swing.

And finally, we come full circle. Be patient with yourself and spend time practicing. If you do, you’ll reap the rewards that the game of golf offers.


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