The major focus of beginning golf is on form and building confidence, so the drills should complement this direction versus working against it. The fundamental building blocks are then added to later with more technical guidance, muscle training, and practice. However, the foundational form and knowledge has to be in place correctly or it will dramatically affect a player’s game and be very hard to change later on.
Focus on the Feet
Keeping a beginning player’s feet together is one of the key factors to a good swing. Players often migrate quickly into a baseball batter’s stance or some other sport they have already played because that’s what they are used to. So apply correct form early is the fastest way to correct this issue as they are just starting to learn golf.
The Feet Together Drill provides both proper form and building confidence in swinging. The exercise also helps build up proper timing, limiting the annoying body sway, and improves golf mechanics in the player. The drills starts with practicing hitting the ball with feet together.
Feet should be 1 to 2 inches distance from each other at most. The first swing should be slow and deliberate. The player should be working on contacting the ball. The form should be practiced until the player is consistently hitting the ball without error. The same exercise works as an easy warm-up later on as well.
The Sound Drill
The focus of this drill is to make as loud a “whoosh” as possible when swinging the club. The louder the noise, the harder and faster the club is being swung, which is the goal. The player should start with the club reversed, i.e. holding the club end versus the handle right on the neck above the club. Use a normal grip and swing. Each swing will create a “whoosh”, louder ones for faster swings. Eventually a player and guide should be able to hear which angle and swing is making the loudest “whoosh.” That’s the best power angle for the player. However, the sound should be generating at the bottom of the swing, not the top. If it’s starting at the top, the player is twisting the wrists too fast. Refocus effort and power at the bottom of the swing. Repeat until the sound is consistent at the right time.
A proper swing is a must in golf. Start the player off standing straight and arms crossed. Weight should be evenly spread on both feet, no leaning on one leg. Move the right foot back with just the toe connecting to the ground. Weight should distribute to the left foot when doing so. Lean forward slightly and rotate the body as if swinging a golf club. Start slowly to maintain balance and then increase speed with confidence and practice. As the swing progresses the weight should shift to the right foot and come off the left foot while going through the full swing. This exercise provides muscle memory for a good swing which ensures proper form later on. It can be practiced anywhere, on the course or off.
Chip the Ball
Chipping is an undervalued game-changing skill. If a new player can master chipping it can offset all sorts of bad hits and save scores to par or less. Either a sand wedge or an approach wedge will work. The focus here is for the player to develop muscle memory and comfort chipping consistently. Ideally, chipping in grass works the best but in-house plastic balls can work as well. Chipping should also be part of a hitting regimen any time one is at the driving range.