My simple 4-step checklist will improve your golf swing fundamentals

March 19, 2020

If there is one thing the Covid-19 Pandemic has taught us it is that things can spread easily and events can change in an instant.

There is something every golfer, regardless of skill level can learn from this fact. Your golf game, and certainly your golf swing, can sometimes go viral and develop in the same way.

Because of the athletic nature of the golf swing, and thanks to all of the many moving parts, one small adjustment, indeed any small adjustment, can and most likely will, have a knock-on effect throughout the swing or the movement.

These minor modifications oftentimes appear inconsequential yet they can have far-reaching effects. Indeed, more often than not, I encounter elements like an altered (unknowingly) ball-position or a grip change that results in a knock-on effect throughout the swing or the movement. Eventually, often within a very short space of time, the golfer is making all manner of compensations to deliver the club back through the ball in the desired manner. The regretful end of the journey is the proliferation of bad habits and a lot of hard work to restore order in the golf-swing and the golfer’s confidence.

Do realize also that course conditions and weather patterns demand, and as a result force, the golfer to make athletic compensations to achieve a desired ball-flight. As a former full-time instructor on the PGA and European Tours I would spend a lot of time helping golfers back to their “neutral” after they had played in windy or bad conditions.

It is with that understood that you should, at least once a week, do a periodic and complete check of your fundamentals and match-ups. A sound place to start your check-up would be to go with the age-old favorite: G.A.S.P.

GASP is an acronym for:

1. Grip

The manner in which your hands fit on and interact with the club.

2. Alignment

Clubface alignment at address and throughout the swing

3. Stance

Body aim and alignment for your desired shot pattern

4. Posture

The way you set up to the golf ball, including ball-position

How to get a balanced, centered setup position to start your golf swing

Further, I would also recommend that you monitor and take care of the “tip of your spear” – that being the grip and your wrist and forearm alignments, and your “foundation” – your spine angles (in terms of forward, backward and side-to-side).

Spend time drilling in front of a mirror as this will highlight and confirm your “feels”; video your positions for more feedback or go to your PGA Professional, or your instructor for periodic check-ups, but ensure that you check on these important elements before you get into any golf-swing work or construction.

Good Luck and Good Golf.