2 things that helped this beginner golfer get to a 4 handicap

Golf is hard, but with good instruction from the get-go, you can make huge strides in relatively short order.

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Anthony Trick had never played golf before — had never even picked up a golf club before. But once he got out of the military, he was looking for a new hobby to take seriously. He was strong and athletic guy, but didn’t know where to start.

1. Learning the fundamentals

The first step for Anthony — and any golfer picking up the game — was to get a good grounding in the fundamentals: Grip, posture, stance and alignment. When he walked into his local GOLFTEC in Massachusetts for his initial swing evaluation, that was where everything started.

Good fundamentals are so important, because if you don’t get them right early, your swing will start compensating around them. That can be a big problem, because these early days are your golf swing’s formative years. If you get off on the wrong foot, it’ll take a lot of hard work to come back.

2. Learning the ‘sequence’

But for as important as good fundamentals are, they can only take you so far. Anthony had a tendency to come over the top and hit slices. This is a common mistake among golfers who played baseball in high school: They lunge forward with their upper body, often because they don’t have enough shoulder tilt on the backswing, which throws off their golf swing sequence.

Anthony and his coach Ae Cahill worked on keeping his weight forward on the downswing with his arms extended towards the target. That would tilt his upper body back, putting his spine in extension and helping him swing from in-to-out. He’d practice that position by hitting full shots with an abbreviated finish, ending with his arms pointing towards his target.

Committing to lessons and a lot of hard work meant that by two years later, Anthony had got all the way to low single digits and made his first hole-in-one. He’s hitting draws now, and he’s got his eyes on an even bigger prize.

“He’s come such a long way from never holding a golf club,” his GOLFTEC Coach, Ae Cahill, said. “He’s a 4 index and wants to be scratch golfer.”

You can sign up for your own GOLFTEC swing evaluation right here:

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Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.