Don’t Overlook the Fundamentals to Play Your Best

As a PGA Tour player, I would often take time off at the end of the year and then when I was getting ready to go compete again I would start working with the fundamentals immediately. You should to-to play your best.

I would see my teacher as soon as I could get in to see him to make sure my fundamentals were good-grip, stance, posture, alignment, ball position, etc. I also would read Ben Hogan’s 5 Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf to help remind me of the finer points of my set up and golf swing. Whether you are getting ready for your golf season or in the sun belt getting ready for your spring and summer tournaments, it is always a good idea to go review the fundamentals with your teacher.

Here are a couple of items for you to really make sure you get right. This is a general overview of the fundamentals.

(Lefties please turn left and right around).


1. GRIP Get your hands on the club correctly-v’s (between thumb & forefinger) in your left and right hands should point to your right shoulder (better players might want to get the v’s between your chin and your rt shoulder). Pressure in hands should be about 6 out of 10 with the pressure points in the last three fingers of the left hand and middle two of the right hand.

2. STANCE Width of stance should be-inside of feet=outside of shoulders for a full swing with a 6 iron-slightly wider for a driver.

3. POSTURE You want to tilt from your hips to the ball with the arms hanging from the shoulders, rear-end out, and the knees only slightly flexed. Chin should be up and spine straight-your head and back should form close to a straight line.

4. ALIGNMENT Ideally, you want your feet, knees, hips and shoulders all parallel to the target line. With short irons, you can have your feet slightly open or aiming slightly left of the target. Put balls and clubs down to help you with your alignment-balls on the target line-one in front and one in back. Clubs parallel to the target line.

5. Ball Position A good rule of thumb would be the pitching wedge in the middle of your stance, 6 iron-1/2 way between the middle and your left heel and your driver off the inside of the left heel.


You want to feel like your left hand, arm, shoulder, knee all go back together in a one piece takeaway.

The left arm is extended going back with my left shoulder getting behind the ball at the completion of the backswing. Right knee should be slightly flexed in this point and weight should be in the middle of your right foot-not too far outside nor too much inside.


Just before you get to the top of your backswing, drive your right foot and knee to the target and turn your hips smoothly back to the target. Your hands should come directly down from the top-not out toward the ball which causes an outside-in club path. You want the club coming from inside the target-line thru the ball to the target with your head staying behind the ball at impact.


Smoothly accelerate thru the ball with your arms both extending past impact and well into your finish. Hips and right thigh should be facing the target.

I would highly recommend that you get regular help from your PGA teaching professional, spend as much time on the practice tee as you can after you see him/her. Swing the club in your living room, backyard, in front of the patio window and watch yourself swing as often as you can. When start feeling more comfortable with the improvements you are making, then you can go on the course when it is not busy and play a few holes at the end of the day-early in the day off the back 9 (or when your course is slow) and hit extra shots off the tee, into the greens, pitch shots, sand shots, etc. Those of you up north-get into the domes as much as you can.

As always, it is our hope this tip will help you enjoy this great game of golf even more! Call us today to make sure your fundamentals are correct so you can play your best golf and have more fun on the “links”, not to mention enjoy our fantastic Arizona weather.
NOTE We have a Players Junior Camp coming up March 25-27, 2015 with a couple of spots still open, our Over the Top weekly and monthly class for those juniors and college players with playing lessons included, our Golf Academy 2-4 day schools, Fill-in-the-Gap discounted last-minute private lessons, and our Spring Playing Lesson schools (1-5 days) being offered the next 2 months.
Call us today for more information, (602) 314-5950

Paul Purtzer, PGA

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
John Wooden

(602) 314-5950
Paul Purtzer, PGA
Director of Instruction/President
Purtzer Golf Academy
Stonecreek Golf Club
Scottsdale, AZ (602) 314-5950

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