How would you like to learn a new pastime this summer that you could play for the rest of your life? We’re talking about golf, which is a great sport for every member of your family.
We aren’t sure when the game of golf was started, but the Romans played a game where they struck feather-stuffed balls with club-shaped branches. There are pictures from the 15th century of the Dutch playing the game on frozen canals. We do know that Scotland is home to the oldest golf course, St. Andrews, which was used as early as the 16th century.
Now, let’s get started. Ask any golf pro and they will tell you that your setup is the most important ingredient to determine how good your swing, and your game, will be. The setup is the grip you have on your club, your posture, where you place the ball, your aim, your alignment. These things can make a world of difference in your game. It will take a lot of practice to feel comfortable with your grip, your stance, and your swing, but after time, it should feel more comfortable to you. The important thing to remember is, there has never been a good golfer with a bad setup–it’s impossible.
Once you get the hang of this, you will start to do it naturally. Just remember how important it is to have the correct grip.
Hold your club out in front of you and grip the club in your left hand with about a half-inch extending past your palm.
Now wrap the two middle fingers of your right hand around the handle and stick your pinkie out.
Slide your fingers down the shaft until your hand’s touch. Now close your right palm over your left thumb. Curl your right index finger around the club until it meets your thumb, and close your pinkie around the knuckle of your left index finger (reverse this if you are left-handed).
You will need to stand tall with your arms straight in front of you and your club horizontal to the ground. Let the head of your club drop to the ground while you bend forward from your hips. Bend your knees a little to help you get your balance, but don’t overdo it. Your knees should be over your shoelaces. Place your feet about shoulder-width apart. One helpful suggestion would be to do this in front of a mirror so you can check your alignment.
Now comes the fun part! You finally get to start swinging. It’s time to move outside. Remember to grip your club properly. Your left arm will swing across your chest until it begins to pull your left shoulder behind the ball, while your right hip turns over your right heel. Most of your weight should be on your right leg if you are right-handed.
While your left arm swings, it will pull your right arm away from your right side. As your hands reach hip level, you will cock your wrists so that your thumbs point at an angle to the sky. When you reach the top of your swing, your right elbow should form a right angle between your forearm and your upper arm.
Your downswing begins with two moves performed at the same time: led by your shoulder, your left arm falls back down your chest as your weight shifts from your right leg to your left. Your arms will move down your chest and back in front of you. As you swing through the ball, your arms and club whip past you and make contact with the ball. (This is when you yell “FORE!”) But wait. you aren’t finished.
You must not forget the follow-through. After you hit the ball, your body will rotate so that you will be looking under the ball as it flies away. A good player finishes with his head, chest, and hips facing the target. Nearly all your weight will now be on your left leg.
Hand-eye coordination is very important in the game of golf. One way to improve this skill is to throw golf balls at a basket from six feet away. When you have mastered this, step back a few steps and start over.
1. Practice makes perfect. The more you play, the more comfortable you will feel and the better you will be.
2. Golf balls are very hard. Make sure you practice where there is no danger of hitting anything or anyone. Or use practice golf balls.