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Learning Golf- The Seven Foundations

Foundation 1: Become a Consistent Ball Striker

by Dr. Ron Cruickshank

After many years of teaching people the game of golf, we have found that it is best to start by presenting the Fundamental Foundations which must be learned and mastered to competently play the game. By presenting these Foundations in sequential and manageable parts, the new golfer can set about the task of learning the game with confidence.

We teach these fundamentals as the SEVEN FOUNDATIONS of GOLF.  This article will just focus on Foundation 1.

Foundation 1 Become a Consistent Ball Striker – Develop a biomechanically sound and repeatable full swing that fits your natural style. We call this ‘releasing your swing’ and is the basic tenant of the A1K Natural Swing. This is the swing for hitting the ball straight with all the clubs in your bag.

By far the single biggest complaint for all golfers is their inability to hit the ball consistently straight on a day to day basis. This means they can’t depend on hitting the ball to a pre-determined area. Thus, they are always struggling with off-line shots and in a recovery mode.

Whether you are just learning the game or re-vamping, it is imperative that you learn to hit the ball straight with consistency. The following five insights will help you master Foundation 1.

  • Adopt a swing model that makes sense to you. Essentially you have the choice of a two-plane swing or a single plane swing. We recommend the single plane swing because it is easier to learn, has less moving parts and is biomechanically easier on the body. This is simply because you address the ball in the same plane as you will impact the ball.
    Figure 1 Address and Impact on the Same Plane
  • Find a teaching system that is systemic and has training aids to help you learn quickly. If the path to getting better is not clear, you should find a training system that is simple and proven to achieve good results. Most important are training aids that teach you’re the three most basic fundamentals of the full swing:  the grip, proper posture and alignment.
  • Make a commitment to constant feedback on your swing. Remember, your ‘feel’ will always lie. What you think you are doing is seldom what you are actually This is why relating to a feel is a poor learning strategy. We strongly recommend getting regular feedback. Start with a mirror, but in today’s world of smartphones, it is absolutely best to video yourself so you can compare yourself in slow motion to the model swing you’ve adopted.
  • Train in slow motion for learning swing positions. You are learning a new movement and do not have to hit balls to learn the swing.
  • Work on making incremental improvement every day. Research has demonstrated that you are better to practice swing movement for 12-15 minutes every day than hit a lot of balls. The reason is that long practice sessions causes one to practice till fatigue and it sends mixed messages to the brains learning centers for movement.

We have used Foundation 1 to guide thousands of students in getting started. If you wish to become good at the game, simply adopt these Foundations as a roadmap to your learning process. It will guide your introduction to golf and you will soon begin to improve.  In future articles, I will give you insights about the other six Foundations.

In the meantime, remember golf is a wonderful game. Learn the fundamentals and the game will reward you with a lifetime of benefits.

The Seven Foundations of Learning Golf: An Overview

Foundation 1 Become a Consistent Ball Striker

Foundation 2 Perfect your Short Game

Foundation 3 Become a Good Putter

Foundation 4 Have Clubs that FIT your body, swing and game

Foundation 5 Become Confident at Course Management Skills

Foundation 6 Practice with Purpose

Foundation 7 Learn to Manage Your Mind and Emotions on the Course