The basics of how to play golf are easy to learn but hard to master. It is not as physically demanding as other popular sports, but golf allows players to focus almost exclusively on technique. It is also for this reason that golf is popular at all ages. Peak physical fitness is not as much of a requirement, and so the older generations can enjoy the game just as much as the younger generations. This article will be your introductory guide to some basic techniques on how to play golf.
The first thing you should work on in your golf game is your grip. An effective grip is an important way to maintain control through your swing. Think of it as the foundation of your entire golf game. Without it, you won’t be able to progress. There are three primary types of golf grips. The first is the interlocking grip. Holding the golf club vertically, place your right hand over your left. Then, you should link the smallest finger on your right hand with the index finger on your left hand. This is a style popularized by Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus.
The second grip is the Vardon grip. Position your right hand over your left hand. Your small finger on your right hand should sit between your index finger and your middle finger. The third grip is ideal for young golfers. It’s called the baseball grip. The hands are side by side without crossing them. This grip is not favored amongst pros, as it is easy to break your grip during a swing. Each person has an instinctive grip, and it’s important to select one of the aforementioned grips that mimic your instinctual grip the closest. The closer it is, the easier it will be for you to develop.
The next major thing is the swing. Like a basketball player shooting free throws, it’s important for a golfer to have a pre shot routine. This provides some stability and muscle memory. You want to visualize the shot you’re about to make as you’re approaching the ball and applying your grip. The actual swing is broken up into a few parts. First, position your feet shoulder width apart. As you grip your club, your hands should be a bit ahead of the ball. Keep your head down low, as you turn your shoulders back to initiate your backswing.
Keep your knees bent throughout the backswing. The right knee should be planted solidly as your shoulders twist, keeping your lower body stable. As you begin your downswing, make sure to turn your left knee towards your intended target (the fairway, presumably). As the club makes contact with the ball, your left arm should be in a straight line with the club. At this point the entirety of your weight should be shifted to your left side. Make sure to follow through well by having your chest face your target and lifting the heel of your back foot up. It's important to remember that, if you have a good swing, then you will have a good follow through.