Golf column: Getting back to basics

Hi Everyone,

I hope everyone has gone out and played some golf this last month because the weather was been outstanding.

Our golf course and my lesson calendar have been real busy so it was nice to see many people wanting to get better. This brings me to writing this column.

I’ve had a recurring theme to many of my lessons and it’s simply getting back to basics. I don’t know if it’s a summer full of bad habits getting worse or bad advice from playing partners but getting students on the right track with their setup seems to be helping.

So I’ve decided to write this article on the five keys to your golf setup.


Light grip pressure (grip your club like you are holding a tube of toothpaste and you don’t want any to come out.) Also, grip the club more in your fingers versus the palm of your hand. And lastly, you should be able to see two to three knuckles on your left hand.


Feet should be shoulder width apart. Slight knee bend and bend at your hips not your waist.


Keeping your head still during the takeaway seems to be key with posture. Also maintaining your spine angle doesn’t hurt either.


Feet, knees, hips and shoulders should all be parallel to your target line. Laying a club down really helps when practicing.

Ball position

For a standard golf shot, I believe the ball should be placed somewhere forward of center – maybe one or two balls forward of center.

If the ball is placed too far back you tend to hang back and conversely if the ball is too far forward you tend to slide forward.

It was amazing and rewarding to witness how fixing one or two things in setup made all the difference in the world.

Hopefully this helps you the rest of the summer. If not, there are many good local golf professionals in the area that can help you.

Have a great rest of the golf season and I hope to see you out playing your favorite local golf course.

And always remember to play the ball where it lies.

Dave Perna is assistant golf professional at Rum River Hills Golf Course, Ramsey