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How to Teach a Beginner to Swing a Golf Club

by Brian Hill

    Although the best way to learn golf is to take lessons from a PGA professional, some beginners prefer to have a parent or friend teach them the basic fundamentals of the game. Responsibility comes with teaching golf, because if the student does not have a pleasant experience with the lessons, there is a possibility he will give up on learning the game and miss out on potentially many years of fun.

    Items you will need

    • Golf clubs
    • Golf balls

    Step 1

    Go to a driving range at a local course or to a practice facility with the beginning golfer. Purchase a bucket of balls and proceed to the practice area. Show the beginning golfer how to do some light stretching to loosen the back, shoulder and leg muscles before the practice session.

    Step 2

    Demonstrate each step of the golf swing. Don't just tell the student what to do. You learn the game more quickly by emulating someone else's technique.

    Step 3

    Start with a sound grip. Show the student how to grasp the club first with the left hand, almost like he is shaking hands with it, then wrap the right hand around the club with the little finger of the right hand placed snugly into the space between the index and middle fingers of the left hand. This is the popular Vardon grip.

    Step 4

    Introduce the correct stance and posture. Demonstrate alignment by placing a club on the ground pointed at the target and a second club parallel to the first to align the feet. Have her place his feet along this line and square her hips parallel to the target line. Tell her to address the ball by bending forward from the hips, with knees slightly flexed and her feet shoulder width apart. Make sure her back in flat and that she is not slouching or reaching for the ball with the club.

    Step 5

    Start with short swings at first, one-quarter of the way back. Pick clubs that are easier to hit, such as a 9-iron rather than a 5-iron or driver. Let him swing without a ball at first, so he gets the feel of the swing. Then have your student just work on making contact with the ball. This will build his confidence. Let him gradually lengthen his swing to a half swing and then three-quarters. Make sure he does not overswing in an attempt to hit the ball as far as you do.

    Step 6

    Introduce the concept of weight shift. Show him how the weight shifts from the left side to the right side on the backswing, and reverses on the downswing. Watch to see that he does not sway outside the edge of the right foot.

    Step 7

    Spend time on the practice green during each lesson. Let him get the reinforcement of hitting a chip shot close to the hole and sinking a putt.

    Step 8

    Make the first time on the course as stress free as possible. Tee off on the first hole by yourself and let him take his first shot from the fairway. This will eliminate first tee jitters he might have. If he's having a particularly bad hole, let him pick his ball up and start fresh on the next hole.

    Tips

    • Beginners can get extremely nervous hitting a golf ball in front of strangers. Try to go to the practice range at times when it is not busy. If possible, go to one of the far sides of the range where no one except you will be looking at him.

    Warnings

    • Patience is a key virtue for a golf instructor. Anyone learning the difficult game of golf, particularly a youngster, needs lots of praise when he first starts. Don't become frustrated if he doesn't progress as quickly as you hoped, or as quickly as he hoped.

    References

    • Golf My Way; Jack Nicklaus
    • My Golden Lessons; Jack Nicklaus

    About the Author

    Brian Hill is the author of four popular business and finance books: "The Making of a Bestseller," "Inside Secrets to Venture Capital," "Attracting Capital from Angels" and his latest book, published in 2013, "The Pocket Small Business Owner's Guide to Business Plans."

    Photo Credits

    • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images