People choose to take up the game of golf for a variety of reasons, from wanting to spend time with family and friends, to the desire to be outdoors, to looking for a sport that can be played for their entire lifetime.
Regardless of the reason, everyone has to start somewhere! And Jason Peterie, Head PGA Professional at Tecolote Canyon Golf Course in San Diego, is here to share his top three tips to help any beginning golfer get off to a solid start.
But first, his overall advice is to take lessons! “Golf is not a sport that can be learned by reading books and watching videos,” he says.
- The Grip: The first thing you have to do before hitting the golf ball is to properly grip the golf club. There are a few variations of the grip, including interlocking and overlapping, so it’s important to try each out to determine which is best for your swing.
Grip pressure is also important. It should feel like squeezing a new tube of toothpaste just enough to make the paste come up to the top of the tube.
- Your Posture and Set-Up: Your posture should mimic that of a basketball player guarding an opponent. The knees are slightly bent and torso slightly forward, bending at the hips with your back straight. Your arms hang naturally.
In the set-up, your knees, hips, and shoulders should be parallel to your ball line, your feet shoulder-width apart, and your shoulders slightly tilted with the back shoulder just lower than your front shoulder.
- Practicing Pitch Shots: When it comes to scoring, short-game skills are imperative. With pitch shots, start by sweeping your club head back with your arms and rotating your hips back 20 degrees. About a quarter of the way into your back swing, hinge your lead wrist up. Turn your shoulders halfway back so that your front shoulder is pointing at the ball. Then let your hands and arms start the club down, rotating your hips.
The club head at impact should be at a downward strike and finish halfway up in the follow-through.
Good luck out there!