addressing the golf ball 5 things to think about

We all know that it is hard to post good golf scores when you have 20 unique thoughts in your head when you address the golf ball, and if you read about golf as much as I do, it isn’t that hard to have “mind clutter” when you get out on the course. In order to simplify things, I came up with a checklist of 5 things that I spot check myself on each and every time I stand over the golf ball.
1. Grip. You do not want to be squeezing the life out of your club. Think of your club as a tube of toothpaste. Squeeze tight enough so that you have control, but not so tight that the toothpaste would be oozing out.
2. Posture. You don’t want to be hunched over the ball, or standing erect. You want a slight knee bend, and a slight bend downwards towards the ball from your waist area with your weight distributed a bit more to the front of your feet. This will give you an athletic starting point. A good way to pulse check yourself on this is to ask yourself if you feel like you are in a stable position with your stance, and does it feel like an athletic position. If you are having trouble with this, ask your local pro to help, or even a friend that is a sound golfer if that is an option.
3. Visualize. Picture how you want your club to make impact with the ball. Is it going to be an outside-in swing, or an inside-out swing? Where do you want the ball to land? If you want to work the ball from right to left, for example, you will need to go with an inside-out swing to create a draw. If you are not at that stage where you feel confident in working the ball from right to left, or left to right, then just think about what your shot normally does, and the corrections you need to make to straighten it out. If you normally, hit a dramatic fade, or slice, then you need to concentrate on making more of an inside out swing.
4. Concentration. Focus on the back half of the ball when you start your swing, and that is where your focus should be throughout the swing. If you have any other thoughts in your head accept making solid contact with the ball once you start your swing, the end result will likely be that you do not make solid contact with the ball.
5. Tempo. I get a feel for the speed of my back swing, and forward swing when I take my 1 or 2 practice swings before addressing my ball and hitting it. Many people just take a practice swing because they see professional golfers do it on TV, and they do not get any real value out of it. For me, I use my practice swings to think about tempo. I don’t want to swing too hard and come out of shoes, but I have to swing hard enough to make the ball go the distance I want it to. Maybe I only have 100 yards to the green, and I want to hit a knockdown wedge at 75%. If that is the case, my practice swings will be consistent with that thought. Your normal full swing should only be about 80-90% of what you are capable of producing. This way you have a much better chance of controlling your swing. Very few amateurs or even pros for that matter can swing as hard as they are capable of swinging, and still maintain consistent control over their shots.