Learn Like A Junior!

How to master fundamentals like a beginner


One of my favorite things about teaching junior players is knowing that they don't have any preconceived notions about what they think the golf swing should look and feel like. They haven't spent hours in front of a TV watching Tour players, nor have they read lots of books and magazines with instruction telling them how the club should be swung. If anything, most of my juniors (at least the ones who are just starting at golf) come ready to learn with an open mind. I love that and wish more of my adult students did the same!

Being free of any ideas about what you think the golf swing should look and feel like opens the body and mind to swing the club as you would swing just about anything. For instance, in the opposite photo, I asked three of my junior students to heave some traffic cones over the photographer's head. I didn't tell them to make a golf swing, nor did I instruct them on any basic mechanics. The only thing I asked was that they swing and throw the cones at the same time. Now check out their finish positions. Not only are they looking like golfers already, they swing those cones in a way that's perfect for swinging a golf club!

If you're starting out new at golf, or you want to get back to basics, try this simple drill and heave something back and through. Traffic cones work well because they're both heavy and easy to throw, but you could use four- or six-pound medicine balls, or even medium-sized stones. Simply swing the cone back and forth, allowing it to gain some momentum while feeling the natural arc it wants to swing on. This exercise will help you feel the natural arc and how to coordinate your lower and upper body in an effective sequence for increased power and accuracy in your golf swing.

If you have space and an old club to spare, consider throwing an actual club! It's a fun way to develop a natural sequence of motion.


Starting new at golf is fun because it's a great time to experiment with different styles of grip. Today, the most popular grip is the interlock, but when I was a junior, more golfers leaned toward the Vardon grip, which you see in the middle. The baseball grip has gained some followers, too. No matter which grip style you choose, there really isn't a difference in how they help you swing the club.

Whatever grip style you prefer, you should hold the club in a manner that's natural for you. When you grip a club properly, you should get the club in your fingers. This allows for maximum wrist mobility and a hand position that allows the club to square naturally without excessive amounts of tension. If you keep the integrity of your natural arm hang when you grip, you're about 90% there on having an excellent grip.


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