Junior Golf: Back to Basics

imageIn today’s Monday Mulligan we are going back, back to basics. In golf as in life, the basics are where everything starts. The greatest athletes in all sports will tell you that your son must master the basics if he is going to have success.

What are the basics for golf? There are different circumstances but let’s start at the very beginning, the setup. Now the setup has a bunch of factors including grip, stance, ball position and posture. As we have mentioned previously, the setup is critical because it is the only part of the swing routine where your son has 100% control. (photo jennleforge.com)

There is 1 more part of setup and this is the 1 that gives all golfers, including the pros, a fit. Alignment, yep getting your son’s body in position to start his shot on his desired path so the ball ends up where he wants it to be. This is so very basic and critical to hitting successful shots, yet Golf Channel announcer and World Golf Hall of Fame member, Lanny Wadkins, during his coverage of the Champions Tour event here at our beautiful TPC San Antonio Canyons Course this past weekend, said that “every professional golfer struggles with alignment at some point in his career”. Wow! Does that say something about how easy it is to set up incorrectly?

Another “basic” that Lanny brought up during Sunday’s final round was in regards to keeping the head still. S3 and I have discussed many times that the #1 helpful line that could be said to every amateur a million times is “keep your head still”. And this applies to every shot. Yes, there are some player’s heads moving on some driver swings, but a great rule of thumb for all shots in golf is less head movement means better results. So Lanny was talking about Michael Allen, who fell off the winning pace when he missed a short putt on #12 because he really moved his head a lot and this seemed to change his mood to a more negative state. Not good. Well, Michael Allen ended up 3rd or such, but put himself out of the running per the missed putt. (photo pgatour.com)image

For tee shots, approach shots, chips or putts, keep that head still. Video your son with your phone, give him a visual. This approach works. It makes it real.

Yes, the pros struggle with the basics just like the rest of us. They, however, spend hours on the range getting back to good basics. Something you and your son should keep in mind. When you suggest checking parts of his setup, you may get a response such as, “it’s fine” or “I checked that the other day”. Well, ask him to please check it again right now, particularly if his shots are off. There are times our kids just don’t want to revert back to basics, they just want to swing at all those range balls. Dad and Mom remember, practice without purpose is at best just a social event or at worse, a waste of time.

See you on #1 tee, basically… Sam

2 responses to this post.

  1. I have read your great blog here and you bring up some very good points to remember.



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