#11 Keep your composure

Published on   2023-02-23 by Kai

Every golfer knows the struggle to maintain composure. When the third shot in a row doesn't go the way you want it to, the urge to throw the club after the ball and let out a loud, audible frustration is sometimes almost impossible to overcome.

Etiquette is the key word here, but that's not what we're talking about here. The topic is rather a fundamentally different one: This text deals with the correct stance, i.e. the correct stance in the golf swing.

More than "just stand

If you're picking up a golf club for the first time and standing up to hit your first ball, you'll quickly realize that simply standing up and "off you go" is not the way to go.

If the ball is hit reasonably well this way, it is uncontrollable and flies everywhere - except straight and far.

Strange to artificial

It takes a little more to successfully propel the cue ball. And like everything else about a good golf swing, it needs to be practiced.

Admittedly, for anyone who has never seen a golfer hit the ball, it all looks very strange at first, even artificial. Aiming, setting up, addressing the ball - all of this is an art in itself before the swing (and thus the most difficult and at the same time most important movement in the sport) even occurs.

Four important points

Standardized (and everyone who has been reading these pages for a while knows that there is no real standard that applies equally to all golfers), the correct stance, the correct posture during the swing looks like this:

  • Shoulder width stance. This means that the feet are about as far apart as the shoulders of the golfer. The background here is safety. The golfer must not lose balance during the swing, which requires a shift of weight from one foot to the other.

  • Slight buckling of the knees. If you push through your knees, you will never be able to hit the ball cleanly. Beginners in particular are familiar with this problem: the ball is topped, i.e. hit too far up, and thus pushed forward towards the ground. Charged with swing energy, it only bounces a few meters.

  • Bend forward slightly at the hips, keeping the back straight.

  • Now simply (is it really?) let the arms "fall" vertically free in front of the body following gravity.

All this sounds complicated at first. And it is, especially for new golfers. Because one of these points is always neglected, especially in the beginning.

Try it out in front of the mirror

If you have never been on the course before, but would like to try out the stance feeling, take a walking stick and stand in front of a mirror, of course preferably sideways.

If in the described posture the buttocks seem to stick out a little backwards and this position feels unfamiliar to strange, then it is probably correct.

It won't work without practice

Unfortunately, this stance, this correct stance position is as much a matter of practice as anything else in golf. You may have understood it in your head, practiced it several times with your coach by your side, and received a sympathetic nod from the pro.

But "I can do it now," the shortest golf joke often quoted on these pages, is unfortunately out of the question.

Not even half the battle

Unfortunately, this is not even half the battle for a good and long shot. Because it remains complicated. Among other things, of course, the correct distance to the ball must be observed. Many beginners are also close to despair when it comes to the "grip", i.e. the correct grasping of the club.

This also has a great influence on whether the shot is successful or whether the ball lands somewhere, just not in the targeted and hoped-for zone. There is already a separate article on this topic. Another one will follow, because you can't deal with the grip enough.

The last building block

The same goes for the swing, which is now the last building block of a successful golf swing (and thus also of a successful golfer) and about which there will still be much to say or write. All this will follow in the next few weeks.

Previous article in the series: How to Golf 10: The slice - come to stay

Next article in the series: How to Golf 12: Your friend, the putting green - Part 1

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How to Golf