Beginner Golf Swing Instruction – MINDing Your Swing!

Most golfers in beginner golf swing instruction programs rush to practice swing patterns and mechanics on the tee without first having a full understanding of its workings in their mind.

Very few newbie golfers recognize the vital connection which exists between swing mechanics in the mind and successful swing mechanics on the course. The former is a necessary prerequisite for the latter!

The better beginner golf swing instructions programs stress this mind/body link and design their lessons to promote this understanding in the students.

In the book, “Golf Can Be an Easy Game” author Joe Novak further expands upon this concept. He also offers advice on getting more from your beginner golf swing instruction and tips for your practice sessions.

Novak writes;

“The game of golf is a perfectly natural one to play. Unfortunately, many people make golf difficult to learn, principally through their failure to understand the procedures used. Most often, the inability to succeed in golf stems from a lack of comprehension rather than from a lack of the proper physical equipment in the player. For example, people who excel in other sports do not always perform well on the golf course…

Perhaps the failure to understand golf can be blamed on the players, who may be unable to make the necessary effort to learn, or perhaps it can be that the game is presented to them in a confusing manner—but none of this will be discussed here. The author will simply try to clear away some of the cobwebs to help lead the reader to a more understandable and more enjoyable game.

Whenever it is possible or practical, I prefer to teach two people at the same time, with one pupil sitting on the bench and listening to what is being said. This gives each pupil a chance to work the pattern out thoroughly in his mind before trying to execute something he does not understand clearly. That is one of the problems encountered in teaching golf. People are out trying to do something before they know thoroughly what they are supposed to do. It is no wonder that they get all fouled up in their movements and develop so many bad habits that the game becomes difficult or unnatural. Practice is of no value unless the player understands what he is to do. A little guidance from a professional can be very help¬ful in this respect.

My advice to anyone who is a newcomer to golf is this: Don’t rush your way into the game. Golf is a game that you can play and enjoy all your life, but you must take a little time to learn the few things that one must know. There really is so little to learn that it’s a shame to miss the boat. Don’t get all bound up physically and wound up mentally, because golf is not that difficult.

How to Practice

After you have clearly acquired an understanding of what to do and how to do it, the next thing is to put what you have learned into practice. Therefore, the golfer should go to a practice area and start getting the form he has studied into effect. This should be done on a small scale at first, the player starting off with a #7 iron and playing short shots to a distance of from 30 to 50 yards.

When the weight shift, hand action, and body pivot can be executed successfully, longer shots may be at¬tempted. As the results obtained become consistent, the player should gradually work their way up the scale of clubs, practicing with a #5 iron, then a #3, and so on. In starting to work with the woods, they should be sure to start with the #4 wood, taking the #3 next, and gradually working up to the #1 wood, the driver.

The reason for starting with the more lofted clubs is that it gives the player a chance to perfect the footwork and weight shift operations first, then the body pivot, and finally the hand action. With the less lofted clubs, a #2 iron or a #1 wood, for example, the field of operation as far as the hands are concerned is very limited. What might produce a fair result with a more lofted club often results in a complete miss with the less lofted club. For this reason, it is wiser to use the more lofted clubs in learning. As satisfactory results are produced, confidence is developed and progress becomes faster.

On the tournament circuit, the professionals practice from one to two hours daily. They hit between 100 and 200 shots before actually going to the first tee to begin their game.”

Remember that a large part of a successful beginner golf swing instruction program is not the practice swings off the tee but the practice swings in your mind!

Next time you have a golf lesson take the time to fully understand what you need to do before you actually do it.

Check back soon for more posts and tips on beginner golf swing instruction!

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