Joyce Wilcox explains how you should learn the game backwards:Begin with Putting
: A pendulum motion, short stroke with very little body motion and no wrist action. (Putting is done on the green).
: An 'Extension of Putting', a pendulum motion just a little longer swing motion than the putting and uses little to no wrist action. (Chipping is done from just off the green up to 15 to 20 yards away from the green depending on skill and strength.)
: The first stroke that begins to rotate the core body. It is often considered a partial full swing. The pitching stroke will begin its motion in the putting position, move into the chip zone and continue into the new pitching area utilizing various lengths of stroke depending upon the length of shot needed.
: With a wood or iron, this is the stroke that completes a full arc swing using the rotation and coil of the core body. This is an easy transition after learning the shorter stroke.
Beginners will see results immediately. Putting the ball into the cup during a putting session brings early pleasure and excitement. Visually, the ball disappears and the sound of hitting the bottom of the cup is so pleasing to your ears.
Although chipping is a harder stroke to learn for many beginners, it is the stroke that most closely imitates the moment of impact with a full swing (weight is forward, hands have passed the ball prior to the club making contact, and the ball gets slightly airborne). This is pure joy for the student. Often many students chip the ball into the cup during this class.
After learning putting and chipping, I take the students to the course and have them play several holes from 20 yards off the green using what they have learned. This is a lot of fun for beginners; for some, it is the first time on the course.
Then they learn the pitching stroke and then back to the course from 50 yards and in. Then the full swing and so on. This lesson of learning not only teaches strokes but introduces the student to the golf course quicker so they feel more comfortable to play.
Joyce Wilcox has been a Class A LPGA member since 1996. She has been nominated Southeast Section Teacher of the Year and Professional of the Year
and served as National Evaluator and Advisor for the LPGA. Her goal is for each student to have a fun, informative and fulfilling golf experience with each lesson.