Below are my core fundamentals. They are the foundation of my golf game and can be the foundation of your game. I post about these fundamentals more in depth on my blog.
Because of planned practice, I have been able to improve steadily. I have a purpose for every practice ball I hit. Before I go out to practice, I know the number of balls I am going to hit, the fundamentals I am going to work on, and my goal for that particular practice day.
I use a 3-step process with every shot I hit:
1.) Plan: Before the shot I plan how my shot should feel.
2.) Commit: During the shot, I stay committed to my plan.
3.) Evaluate: After the shot, I ask myself if I stayed committed to my plan and if it was the correct plan.
The focus I put into my practice carries over to my play on the golf course. Because I have a purpose for every practice ball I hit, I am able to go through my routine and focus on every shot in a tournament. This approach frees me to play my best golf without worrying about results. If I plan each shot, commit to each shot, and then unemotionally evaluate what happened after each shot, success will come.
I have studied many of the world’s greatest golfers and golf psychologists including Paul Runyan, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus and Dr. Bob Rotella. I have adopted parts of their fundamentals which I have made my own.
Paul Runyan was one of the greatest putters and short game players of all time. I use some of his fundamentals for putting. When I putt, I stand hunched with my eyes directly over the ball. The nape of my neck stays absolutely still and my palms oppose on the grip of the putter. I stroke putts with a rocking motion of my shoulders which enables me to roll the ball with a firm-wristed stroke.
My study of Ben Hogan has had the greatest impact on my golf swing. During my full swing, I keep my arms close together and drive my hips and right elbow at the start of the downswing. Like Hogan, I use my lower body to create leverage for my golf swing. Also, the use of my lower body keeps my swing on plane which makes for a very consistent path through the ball.
Jack Nicklaus stresses the importance of a steady head during the golf swing. Keeping my head steady during my backswing and downswing is one of my core fundamentals that allows me to have a repeatable golf swing. Also, like Nicklaus, I prefer to aim left of my target and work the golf ball from left to right. When Nicklaus was in his prime, he would aim ten feet left of his target and hit a fade from left to right.
Dr. Bob Rotella’s writings have had a major influence on my golf game, especially my putting. I use his concept of gaining control by giving up control. This means that I let go of the possibilities of golf which I cannot control, and instead focus on my pre-shot routine and commitment to each shot. When I choose to let the ball fly freely at my target without trying to guide it, I play to the best of my ability.
I have developed my key fundamentals of how I swing, how I putt, how I play the game and how I think on the golf course. Because of what I have gone through to arrive at these fundamentals, I am very committed to them. No missed shot or missed cut will make me waver from how I play golf. If something needs to be fixed I am open to change, but will only change after a long period of study and practice.
I have committed to cultivating an even temperament that does not get overly upset over a bad shot or score. I am convinced the way I approach golf gives me the greatest chance of shooting a low score, no matter if it is a mini-tour event or a PGA Tour event.