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Learning in the Dirt (A Blog for Golf Beginners)

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Step 4 - Striking the Ball


For a beginning golfer there can be a lot of anxiety.  You're out there with your buddies, your lie is weird, you are hitting to a target you don't understand that well across some hazards you don't want to hit into.  An extremely comforting feeling comes from understanding how to make the ball fly.


Golf is a game of opposites.  The ball reacts to the club.  This has implications which at times seem counterintuitive.  An upward strike results in a downward ball.  A downward strike results in an upward ball.  A strike to the right results in an leftward ball and predictably a leftward strike results in a rightward ball.  The ball goes the opposite way of the club.  To the beginning golfer, this is somehow difficult to understand fully but it must be understood in order to make progress.


The best part of golf is making the ball fly.  Scoring is cool, but there's nothing better than telling your buddies to "watch this" and then deliver a sweet shot.  What I am about to say is not rocket science, it is common knowledge to all regular golfers but it is not always discussed:  For the love of all that is good and pure in this world, you must hit the golf ball first in order to make it fly.  Hitting "fat" is a result of hitting the ground first instead of the ball.  This leads to devastatingly embarassing shots.  Learn to hit the ball first and you will never again be intimidated by some bogus stream over which you must hit your shot.


All of Elk's lessons in the Video Vault focus on setting up your body to hit the ball first during the full swing.  He has three series which seem to be ongoing:  1 - The Dilfer series;  2 - The Female Dirter series;  3 - The Silicon Valley executive clinic.  All of his discussion of the address position and the sequence of movements to strike the ball are invaluable instruction towards making the ball fly.


When you understand how to make the ball fly, you can play golf forever.  I've only recently begun to strike the ball properly most of the time.  It took me three years but if I had studied the information on the Dirt, I would have been there sooner.