Golf Instruction or Destruction?

By: John Culotta

When it comes to getting some golf instruction, we sometimes can be overwhelmed and feel like it's doing more damage then good (that's the destruction part which I'll cover in a moment). In this article I'd like to speak to the beginners and those with handicaps that have a lot to be desired.

Golf instruction for those of us who have extremely challenging games, should always cover the fundamentals of the game. In particular, 2 areas. Fundamentals are the foundation of golf and should never be overlooked. Many pro's go back to the fundamentals when things start getting out of control. If they do it, then we should also.

Here are two primary golf instruction fundamentals:

1 - Your Equipment - Grip, stance, posture, and swing will all be affected by the kind of equipment you use. Yes, some equipment is better then others, but we should always do our best with what we have until it's time to upgrade.

Clubs that are too heavy will be difficult to control. Club's that are too long or too short will throw off your stance and your swing. In addition to length, clubs have flex and torque ratings which you should understand.

Learn about your clubs as best as you can until Christmas comes around and you can upgrade to those high end clubs that your golf instructor keeps telling you to get.

Let's look at your shoes for a moment. If they don't stick, you won't stick it. Meaning, you'll tend to move so much that you'll miss that sweet spot most of the time. Notice Tiger when he swings, his left foot is a permanent fixture.

When buying shoes with spikes (not allowed at all courses!), make sure there's no spike directly beneath the ball of your foot. That tends to produce sesamoiditis, which is a pain in the ball of the foot and very common among golfers who play regularly. When it comes to shoes (or any of your golf equipment) you get what you pay for. If you go cheap, you'll get cheap and have to deal with the consequences. If you can afford to get top professional quality equipment, then go for it.

2 - Your Body - Exercise or stretching out before a round of golf should never be overlooked. This is really an important part of golf instruction for amateurs and pro's alike.

Putting requires relaxed concentration, driving mandates strength and limber joints. Therefore, we should always warm-up with some simple exercises that will cause us to be limber, loose and relaxed.

If you've ever pulled a muscle or through out your back while teeing off, then you'll know what I'm talking about. Keep all angles and extensions age appropriate.

If you've played golf for any long period of time, then you'll fully understand that the parts of the body which are mostly affected are the lower back, forearms, knees, hips, neck and hamstring. It's wise to be physically fit before teeing off.

In this article I've chosen to discuss two important, yet overlooked, fundamentals of golf instruction. I know you probably expected something different, but these area's are vital to remember and they can pull you out of many jams (and avoid many) if you keep them in mind before setting up to tee-off at hole one. Sure it's good to learn the greatest and latest techniques, but remember the two areas of golf instruction that we have looked at today are the roots that will keep you firmly planted during the game and for many more years to come.

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