Updated: Dec 2, 2021
General Principles of Golf
In this series of articles we will talk to you about some of Golf’s General Principles. We won’t be going on about techniques and swing fixes but will look at the thought, the approach, the attitude, the feeling and the effort that is needed to enjoy this great game. To get you started on the right track or if you have already started to provide some food for thought or to get you back on track.
Golf is a game that has many benefits and can be played by anyone and that brings us fun and enjoyment on many levels. Golf is intergenerational, a game where people of different ages and abilities can compete on an equal playing field because of a handicap system.
Some of the pleasures and benefits that we receive from playing golf include being in the great outdoors, opportunities to get close to nature and wildlife, to socialize and network. For others golf may be a personal quest, a passion, an almost zen like spiritual experience. For the ambitious there is the possibility to compete and perform. For all it is an opportunity to get some exercise relax and have some fun. Did you know that a 155 lb person that pushes or pulls their clubs around the course can burn 700 calories for a 2 hour period of activity.
Activity (1 hour)130lbs155lbs190lbs
Golf, carrying clubs 325 387 474
Golf, general 236 281 345
Golf, driving range 177 211 259
Golf, pulling clubs 295 352 431
Golf, using power cart 207 246 302
General Principle #1
There is no one swing that fits everybody; but everybody has a best swing for them.
Picture the golf swings of the following players: Tom Watson, Calvin Peete, Raymond Floyd, Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Billy Casper, Ben Hogan, Rory McElroy, Byron Nelson, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Sam Snead, all champions in different decades; all with highly individual swings. Il is pure folly to try and make your swing into a carbon copy of some star’s, particularly if your body characteristics are dissimilar. In the above group the heights varied from 5’6 `` to 6’2``; weights from 155 to 215 pounds; some hooked the ball, some faded; strong to weak grip, upright and flat swings; all winners. That should send you a message. Settle on basic fundamentals that produce consistent, acceptable results for you and become better than anyone else at doing them. If your technique does not precisely match that of last week’s champion, don’t let it bother you. Next week there will be another champion and another swing someone will suggest you should copy. Find a sound style, and practice sticking to it.
The important thing to do is to start with the proper fundamentals. To improve it is also important to have objectives, a plan and to practice.
Remember your local golf teaching professional is there to help you with these basic elements and adapt your swing to your body type and age.
Above all golf remains a game, so go out hit some balls and have some fun!
Adapted and translated with the permission
of the (CGTF) Canadian Golf Teachers Federation.
George Courvile M.Ed - McGill University
Professionnel de Golf Certifié (CGTF, USGTF)
Fédération Canadienne des Enseignants de Golf. (CGTF)
New Rules Golf Coach Certifié
Eyeline 4 Elements of Putting Certifié
International Golf Psychology Association