If you have seen my article entitled Beginners Golf Lessons you will have been left in no doubt that learning the basics properly is the right way to start learning about golf.
In this article I will try to tell you a little about the important fundamental skills necessary for the game of golf.
1. Driving: There is no doubt that driving is one of the very important skills you need to play golf properly. There are a few fundamentals to driving that you must master – gripping your club properly, addressing the ball correctly, holding your elbows close to your body, pivoting your body and the follow through which is probably the most important element of any shot including the putt.
2. Fairway shots: Depending on the length of the hole it is definite that you will use a variety of clubs. On all par 5s and on many par4s you will have to use a fairway wood. Again addressing the ball, pivoting and follow through are all very necessary ingredients for a good shot.
3. Keep your head down: Of course the old chestnut of keeping your head down is true of all shots. Keeping your head down really means keeping your eye on the ball until it has been struck. Then it is permissible to raise your head to follow the flight of your ball. Many beginners forget to watch the ball as they strike it. That is why they have so many bad shots. Keeping your head down also applies when putting.
4. Chipping: Assuming you are chipping from about 20 yards off the green, or less, it is probably advisable to use an 8 iron. People use 9 irons, wedges etc. but I have found over the years that with practice the 8 iron is probably the best. When you are chipping it is imperative not to flex your wrists. Think of your shot or chip almost as a putt. You don't break your wrists putting so don't do it when chipping off the green with the 8 iron. Another thing that is important is to keep your weight on your left foot (if you are right-handed) and keep your feet close together. If it is a short chip reduce the length of the back swing. And don't forget to follow through.
5. Bunker Shots: We all know that playing good bunker shots can really improve your chances of winning competitions. But this is such an important part of the game that I will have to deal with it in a separate article.
6. Putting: Everyone knows that good putting is the key to making a good score. Remember the old saying Gary Player had “I drive for show and I putt for dough”. Putting is so important that it deserves the full treatment in another article.
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