Golf swing fundamentals lesson

Note: this illustrated golf instruction is just one golf pro’s advice. You will find that you can hardly get any two golf teachers to agree on anything with regard to what the proper swing is let alone how best to teach it. The following illustrated golf swing lesson can be a good starting point in your quest to create a good swing or if you are more advanced, may help you make that little tweak that can help you get to the next level. If you want to check out a new highly rated total swing system, my top recommendation is

Illustrated golf instruction for the basics of the swing by Joe Novak. Written for right handers.

In the making of every golf shot, there are two parts. First – Assuming the proper position to the ball – This means:

  1. Proper placement of the club to the ball
  2. Correct grip or correct hand positions on the club
  3. Correct placement of feet
  4. Proper position of body

Once this starting position is established, the second part of the golf shot consists of the actual stroke, that is, the actual swing of the club.

To each of the above two parts, there are four distinct moves, and if these moves are followed in the step-by-step procedure in which they are going to be presented, there will be no difficulty in learning and acquiring a perfectly natural, efficient golf swing in very short order.

Let’s learn the 8 moves (Double 4) that can create a perfect golf stroke.

The First 4 Steps of the Position for the golf swing

Step 1 instruction – Place the club behind the ball, using the left-hand only.(Illustrated below-D: strong left position, E: weak position)

If there is any one thing that is important in a golf shot, it is the way in which the left hand works. As a matter of fact, it will be learned that the left hand action is the very crux of every golf shot. Actually, the left hand has a triple duty in a golf shot:

  1. creating or determining the position of the club will be in during the swing.
  2. keeping the club in the desired position.
  3. bringing the club into and through the ball

The proper position of the left hand on the club is as follows: the hand is more or less on top of the shaft. When it is in the proper position, three knuckles of the left hand are in clear view when the player looks down at his hand and the left thumb is at a point more or less behind the shaft.

Step 2 – Place feet in position

The proper place to stand is in a position where the ball will be opposite the left heel. A line running from the ball to the inside part of the left heel will be at right angles to the line of the shot. The feet should be so placed that the toes of both feet are parallel to the line of the shot.

This position is to be assumed on all shots and with all clubs. (editor’s note: many golf instruction professionals advocate this for the driver and then moving the ball back as you graduate to more lofted clubs.)

The feet should never be wider apart than the width of the shoulders. In other words, always use a narrow, rather than wide stance because with the narrower stance it is easier to shift the weight to the right foot for the upswing and reshift it to the left foot for the downswing.

golf grip fundamentals Step 3 – Complete grip by bringing the right hand to the club.


When the right hand comes to the club it assumes a position on the club which is directly opposite the position of the left hand. Whereas the left hand is definitely on top of the club handle (illustrated far left), the right hand assumes a position more or less underneath the club. (editor’s note: this will help most beginning golfers avoid the typical slice, hookers might turn their hands more counterclockwise)

When placing the hands on the club be certain that there is no tenseness or tight grip. Any sense of holding or gripping the club should be confined to the front part of each hand, to the first two fingers and thumb. The thumb of the left hand fits naturally into the hollow of the right hand palm and in a perfectly natural way the overlapping grip is created.

See golf grip instruction page for more detail and tips

Step 4 – Turn or flip the right heel out slightly


In a normal foot position it is generally natural to stand with both toes turned out slightly (illustrated second from left). This fourth and final move is to flip or turn the right heel out slightly so that a pigeon-toed effect is created on the right foot. (illustrated far right, compare it with other right heel pictures above)

The purpose of this move is twofold: first, this outward flip of the right heel places the right foot in a much stronger position for the backswing, and also makes it easier to shift the weight to that foot. Secondly, when the backswing is made, that is, when the club is raised to the top of the swing with the right side, it will be found that because of this outward flip of the right heel, there is a greater freedom in the vicinity of the right hip and throughout the entire right side of the body. This makes it easier to raise the club naturally and to take it back on the inside.

Additional setup tip:

Good golfers all assume a sort of “sit-down” position, whereas many novices in golf act as though their club were too short and seem to bend forward from the waist as they prepare to make the shot. This bending forward straightens the knees and really locks them tightly so that any sense of footwork or shifting of weight is impossible. From the sit-down position the good golfer assumes his knees are easy and relaxed so that footwork and weight-shifting can be done easily. Learn to get the sit-down effect rather than the straight locked knee effect.

Fundamental golf instruction

The Four Moves that Make the Stroke

Step 1&2 – Create proper weight shift and balance starting with a forward press then reverse press


Do not walk up to a golf ball and plant both feet solidly on the ground with weight evenly divided, because you will be really locking up and thereby destroying all chance of an easy, natural swing. All good golfers change their weight from their left foot to the right foot with a distinctive one-two move, the forward press, also called a zigzag movement. The forward press is a slight forward motion, a slight forward bending of the right knee.

This forward kick with the right knee enables the player to do a “reverse press, ” a reversing of the knee positions, whereby the player can balance himself on his right foot and right leg, so that the upswing of the club can be made with the right side of the body. And I want to say emphatically that if there is any trick to making a good golf shot, it is exactly this trick of getting onto the right leg and right foot before the club is picked up on the back swing. From the forward press, there is an easy natural opportunity, a natural impetus to make move 2, which is to reverse the knee positions, and through this reversing of the knees, transfer or shift the weight to the right foot. (All during steps 1 and 2, the clubhead remains on the ground and so do the heels of both feet)

This Step 2 is actually the key move to good golf, because it opens up the way and makes it possible to raise the club to the top of the swing in an easy natural way.

Let me issue a warning. Do not let the importance of this lead you to any exaggeration because an overemphasis of these 2 first moves can produce a reverse effect; causing the weight to reverse back to the left foot. With good players, steps 1 and 2 are done with such nicety and finesse that, to an untrained eye, these moves can and do go by unnoticed.

Step 3 – The player raises the club to the top of the swing.