Power Drive for Golfers


01 Why The Basics Are So Important

Golf is one of those games that we need to understand its basic simplicity before we can get to grips with the more complex side of it that the pros use. Most golfers seem to bypass the basics altogether and jump right into trying to emulate their peers and, as a result, they have nothing to fall back on when things go wrong.

Practice is also something that is in short supply for most golfers and, because of this, they never get the correct swing ingrained into their muscle memory. This leaves them in an awkward position of having to relearn their swing every time they go out for a round of golf.

Humans, being what they are, get round this by settling into a natural and comfortable stance and swing and in their own mind they think, falsely, it is the same one that the pros use. After a few outings, or perhaps a lot of outings, this natural and comfortable way of playing becomes the normal, even though it does not work for them. One of the biggest problems is that it seems to work some of the time, so they think they are on the right track and just need to practice more.

This "up and down" way of playing golf encourages the golfer to try changes in their swing to try and get the "secret" that will give them a straight and reliable shot on a consistent basis. But, having failed to learn the basics in the first place, the consistency they are looking for is almost impossible to achieve.

What happens next is a common experience for most golfers, not just those that are starting out, they begin reading magazines, buying books, watching the televised tournaments, taking lessons from their local pro and, generally, trying to make up for the lack of simple basic knowledge and experience that, once learned, can always be returned to in times of need.

The problem with these means of correction is that they give you the advice to achieve the "professional" swing and not the basics. The tournament pros know the basics better than anybody, but they no longer use the basic swing, they have adapted the swing in order to optimize their performance and put them in a different league than the rest of us, and this is the reason why trying to learn the "professional" swing is so wrong for us.

The "professional" swing is balanced on a knife edge, it is optimized so much that it is very difficult to maintain it and has to constantly be tweaked with very slight and subtle changes in order to keep it working. The tour pros have swing coaches to help them with this, they also practice a lot more than we do, up to 5 or 6 hours most days. Do you realize now why the professional swing is not the one that most golfers should be striving for?

The basic swing, when learned correctly, has far fewer moving parts to it, it produces a straight shot with a reasonable distance for each club. It is also far more forgiving when we get our stance, or our grip, or direction a little wrong. Most importantly, it gives us that consistency that we need, a method that we can return to in order to sort out the problems we have introduced when we try the various optimizations that we can't help trying.

Knowing the basics will give you less frustration, a lot more fun, and will give you something tangible to tweek and adjust and play around with without destroying your game in any way. I know a couple of golfers who don't try and optimize their swing at all, they play with the basics and, along with good course management and a good mental approach, their handicaps are in single figures.

I'm in the middle of writing some articles to explain the basics thoroughly, I'll put them up on my New Golfers website as soon as I've finished them, I'll probably post them here as well. In the meantime, if you want to cure your slice this should get you going. Remember, above all else, golf is a game and is supposed to be fun as well as challenging, when you are having fun you are relaxed and positive... the perfect way to play golf.