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With Jonathan Yarwood, renowned teacher to the world’s best players and now, GP’s very own personal coach.
Adopting the right grip, posture and swing are critical to breaking 100.
It’s essential to nail the basics early on as your grip controls the clubface which gets the ball in the air. Here’s a routine to make sure you’re holding the club correctly.
- Hang your left arm down by your side and let the club fall into your hand. Make sure the club rests in your fingers with the heel pad on top of the butt of the club.
- Bring your arm around to the front of your body and lift the clubface – it should be straight ahead of you at 12 o’clock.
- Slide the right hand up the grip to join the left hand with your left thumb pointing down the shaft and the right thumb across it. The Vs that are created by your thumbs and index fingers should both point up to between your right ear and right shoulder.
- It’s your choice whether you interlock, overlap or hold your hands close together in a baseball grip, as long as they feel united. I’d go for the baseball grip as the best option for kids.
- Club in palm of left hand.
- Clubface square.
- Right hand below the left.
- Thumb of left hand down the shaft, thumb of right hand across the shaft.
- Align your Vs between your right ear and right shoulder – then check the clubface again.
- Practise the grip drill regularly as you can slip back into bad habits over time.
POSTURE AND STANCE
This is a very complicated tuition area, so we’ll try to keep things plain and simple at this stage. All you need to worry about is getting your body into an athletic position – a bit like a goalkeeper.
Here’s another straightforward drill to get your body parts aligned and the ball in the right place. Don’t pay attention to myths like, “push your hands forward” and “keep your back rigid”. They’ll only cloud your mind and harm your swing at this stage.
- Go through the grip drill and make sure the clubface is square.
- Stand upright with your feet shoulder width apart and with the ball slightly left of centre between your feet.
- Bend your knees until you can’t see your shoelaces.
- Drop your arms down onto your chest, keeping the left arm comfortably straight and the right arm bent.
- Move your chest down and forward until the club reaches the floor. You’ll feel your knees straighten slightly.
- Rock back onto your heels then forward to your toes and settle inbetween on the balls of your feet.
- Your spine should be straight but also feel relaxed, with your belt pointing down slightly.
- You’re ready to go.
Think elephant’s trunk when you’re ready to swing. Move your arms smoothly to the side, up your chest and mirror that on the follow-through. The club simply hinges on its way back to form a right angle – or an L-shape – a movement which is repeated on the follow-through. If you get the club moving from L to L, you’ll have created a swing with the perfect speed and correct plane. You’ll find golf clubs are designed to swing on a relatively consistent and acceptable plane if you allow them to do their own job. It’s all too easy to start manhandling the club and stop it swinging and creating its own speed, resulting in overuse of the body.
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