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Swing Principle #1: Address Position

The Address Position is one of the two static principles that you need to understand before you begin to swing. For our purposes, we will define the address position as a good athletic position which allows you to consistently make a powerful swing.

The address position starts with the feet, which are the most important body parts in terms of the swing. Begin by spreading your feet until the inside of your heels are shoulder width apart. This stance feels wide to most golfers, so let's examine why it's important.

Let's take a look at other athletes. Pete Sampras positions himself with his feet far apart and bent forward in preparation to receive a serve. Michael Jordan has his feet far apart when he guards a player on the basketball court. A shortstop has his feet spread when a batter is at the plate. Why do these athletes have their feet spread far apart? Simply to position themselves so they can move right or left very quickly if necessary. With their feet spread far apart, they can use their legs to move the body quickly.

Athletes move their bodies with the inside front part of their feet. The pitcher uses the front inside part of the back foot to propel his body forward very quickly so that the arm will be dragged forward quickly. The feet are the fuel of the engine; the engine is the right leg. Keep your feet far enough apart that they can do their job efficiently and effectively.

Now, simply flex your knees and pull them slightly together and the legs are ready to work.

Next, hold the club out in front of you with the head of the club slightly above the handle. Relax your arms and bend them at the elbows. With the bottom line of the club perpendicular to the target line, put your hands on the grip of the club. Put your hands on the grip any way you want, any way that seems right to you. There is no "right" way you "must" hold the club. You can overlap, interlock, use a baseball grip or hold the club cross-handed. Cross-handed? Yes, I played with Charlie Owens on the Tour and he played cross-handed and could hit it long and score low. It sounds blasphemous to be treating the grip so lightly when most teachers spend a great deal of time on getting your hand on the club exactly "right."

The grip is not a fundamental. It is different for every golfer. It must be different for every golfer. The grip must fit your swing, not someone else's idea of the perfect grip. Hogan's grip worked for Hogan. Couples' grip is very strong and works for him; Miller's grip is weak and works for him. There is no single grip configuration that works for all golfers.

Hold the club gently firm, and that's that. Not too tight, not too loose. On a grip pressure scale of 1-10, 10 being tight, yours should be a 7. That's all you need to know about the grip.

Next, bend forward without tucking your chin into your chest. Keep your chin up. As you do this, let your arms unfold and set the club on the ground. It will touch the ground in exactly the right spot. It will measure the distance from the body that the ball should be placed in relation to your feet. You will find that the ball will be positioned just slightly closer to the left foot than the right foot for all clubs most of the time. It's that simple, so don't complicate it or try to make it scientific.

You are now in a strong athletic position. From this position you can make an athletic motion that will be simple, effective, and consistent. This position allows your legs to be in charge of your body and swing. Your arms can relax and you can hit the ball as far as possible. This is one of the five swing principles of Concept Golf. Do it well.

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