Good from the get-go
By T.J. TOMASI
My work with countless students has shown that up to 60 percent of all error in the full swing is the result of a lack of attention to the details in setup fundamentals. The foundations of a solid swing, aka the fundamental building blocks, are your grip, stance, posture, ball position, aim and alignment.
When you’re learning fundamentals, don’t pay any attention to the ball flight. Instead, judge your learning effectiveness by how well you match the model of what you’re trying to learn and how consistent you are at remembering to check each element. If you’re learning the setup, find a book that shows a picture of a good address position and repeat it until you can match the model every time. Then go on to the next task.
When you’re working on your fundamentals, it’s an excellent idea to set up a workout station. Use three clubs and lay them on the ground as follows:
Put one club just outside your target line (so that the ball will sit on the ground on the inside of the club in relation to your body). The second club goes parallel to the first club, lying just along the tips of your toes. Place the third club perpendicular to the first club along the point where you want to position the ball in your stance.
Use the first club to check your relation to the target line and the aim of your clubface. Use the second club to check the alignment of your feet, parallel to the target line. Use the third club to ensure consistent positioning of the ball.
You should also hit every shot off a tee while you’re learning, even with your irons. By doing this, your mind is free to focus on what your body is doing, not worrying about getting the ball airborne.
Fundamentals include all pre-swing mechanics, and with enough attention you should be able to set up perfectly since these fundamentals don’t involve actually swinging the club. Your focus should be on the “feel” of the position, not ball flight.