Beginners Guide!

And so it begins!... My beginners guide to golf!

Starting to work at Newark Golf Club seemed like the perfect opportunity to “get into golf”....however as a newbie to the golfing world it did seem a little daunting!... With this in mind I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to guide other beginners through the process... taking baby steps, one step at a time!

The stigma attached to golf clubs seems to be quite elitist, stuffy, formal & unwelcoming however my experience so far could not be further from the truth!

As you approach Newark Golf Club down the long tree lined drive way you feel completely removed from the world outside....1st step to relaxation achieved!... you then come to electronic gates, do not be put off, they open as soon as you approach (don’t forget to get an exit code from the golf shop as you leave).

A warm welcome awaits in the Golf Shop (see video)– this is where you go to meet Paul (Paul Bagshaw, the clubs PGA Professional).

Time to get measured up for my practice club....(photo).

Note from the Pro!

“When starting coaching establishing the correct fit of the golf club is important.

We are more than aware that everybody is different and finding the right length of club for example will help in the development of that person’s technique.

A person’s height is the obvious influence but it is not just your height, it relates to your arm length so we take a measurement from your fingertips to the floor and it is from that reading we can advise on the correct length of club.

We use an iron in the initial lesson, typically a 7 iron as this is a club that has enough loft to help get the ball elevated and create an amount of distance.”

Dress Code

When practicing, the dress code for the course does not apply...so no need to panic about not having all the gear... just sturdy trainers and leggings are fine...basically something comfortable and flexible.

Now we venture to the practice range!

Please see video – this is me! Taking my very first swing of a club...before any guidance, before any tutoring...this is so Paul could see what he was dealing with... shockingly and luckily, I managed to actually hit the ball...but I have a lot to learn!...as the coaching goes on I will post comparison videos to show progress (hopefully progress), although I fear some weeks it may be two steps forward 5 steps back!

Synopsis from Paul on The First Lesson....

The first session becomes a great learning curve for both the coach and the “athlete” as it establishes an early relationship and how to structure of the lesson.

Fundamentals is the order of play making sure the aim of the club and grip are correct.

Club aim - making sure the ball is positioned in the middle of the club face and the face is aligned to the target.

Grip - the position you place your hands on the club in my opinion is without doubt the most important element of a good technique.

You are trying to put your hands in a place that feels comfortable "neutral", if you were to stand naturally and let your arms hang by your side you will notice that the palms of your hands face towards your pockets, so mimicking this shape is what we are looking for.

The routine is to place one hand at a time and this changes if you are left or right handed, so for the purpose of Rebecca's blog we shall explain as a right handed golfer.

Left hand first - placing the grip of the club diagonally across the finger line so as the hand folds onto the club the thumb sits right of centre. The classic check point is that you can clearly see the first two knuckles of the left hand (excluding the thumb knuckle) so that between the thumb and forefinger a V shape is created which if you were to draw an imaginary line should point at the right shoulder.

Right hand - this effectively becomes an extension of the left hand and acts as what I describe as a marriage. Again the grip to run through the fingers and the thumb now to be left of centre and you will see another V shape and this runs parallel to the V of the left hand. There are options of how to join the hands at the back of the grip but that becomes more about how that individual feels once they are explained. 

The other elements to Rebecca's first session was a basis understanding of how to build a stance in preparation to take a swing.

We set the feel at shoulder width apart, as the shoulders are the widest part of the body it helps with stability and balance. “

At the end of the session Paul did another video....and I was amazed by just making a few adjustments, coached by Paul, the difference it made (see second video) – the technology used is fantastic as it allows you to see what he sees, where you need to improve and how much you have improved!

It is still very obvious that I have a long, long, long way to go, but I’ve taken the first step and I am enthused for the next time!

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