Jay Golden: Hi! I am PGA member, Jay Golden and the purpose of this series is to teach parents how to get their children to enjoy golf. This first segment is on the full swing. In terms of the full swing, lets start with the grip.
One of the biggest pitfalls is that parents will try to teach a grip that they think is correct, with one hand here and here, and overlap or interlock, and different positions and so on. Nine times out of ten, the child will be very uncomfortable. Comfort is so important, especially in the beginning. If you give a 2 year old a stick and say, hit that beach ball, they are going to grab it and in a comfortable way and they are going to hit it. In my opinion, that's the way that they should grip a club. Any way that's comfortable to them in the beginning. There is only one thing that I would say and that is, for a right-handed golfer, their left hand should be on the top and the right hand on the bottom. For a lefty, the right hand is on top and the left hand is on the bottom, but other than that, comfort is the key. Next is the back swing. The back swing is taking the club away from the ball. But looking at the history of golf, there is so many different types of back swings. Ben Hogan, really low; Jack Nicklaus, really high; Tiger Woods, somewhere in between; Jim Furyk, with a little wiggle in it. Let them bring the club back in a natural way, just the way they want to. Next is the down swing. Thats from the top of the back swing, down to to the ball. Once again, natural instincts. If a child has a stick and they see a rock and they want to try to hit that rock, its going to be a natural movement. I am not saying they are going to hit the rock. If its too small, they are going to miss. If its big, they are going to hit it. But its going to be natural. Its going to be within their their own comfort zone, which is so important. Trust me; if you start teaching them a delayed wrist hand, or a certain swing, or something along those lines, you are going to turn them off. Its not going to work. They are not going to get better. They are actually going to get worse. You are going to get more frustrated, they are going to get more frustrated. They are going to quit golf, natural. When they are at the top of their back swing, just let them try to hit the object. Impact, the ball knows all. The only thing the ball knows is impact, the hit. Its the most important part of the swing. Everything could look crazy in this and that, the other thing boom. If you are good at impact, you are going to hit a good golf shot. For a child to have good impact, that involves mostly hand-eye coordination, practice to hit a ball. If there was a beach ball impact, believe me, a beach ball impact would be perfect. Every time, boom, boom. You would say, its greatest golfer in the world but then you put a marble down there, a little ball, it makes it a lot more difficult. Practice, the way to improve impact is practice, because the ball knows all. The only thing the ball knows is impact.
The follow through should be a natural extension of the swing. If that swing has some force, your body is going to turn. You are going to get power with your body, your arms and your hands and the follow through is quite natural. There is one point about the follow through though that I stress and that is, that the child should end up on the tip of their back toe. So if they are righty, they are going to end up on the tip of their right toe. If they are lefty, they are going end up on the tip of their left toe. Watch any professional on TV. PGA tour, LPGA tour, Champions Tour, they will all end on their toe. That's one thing that I stress with the follow through, end on your back toe. Those are tips on the full swing. Right now, we are going to talk about chipping.