PGA Pro Tips: How To Eliminate Mistakes (GASP) on the Golf Course
Sometimes the easiest way to lower your score isn't so much to make a better swing as it is to simply eliminate mistakes. Jack Nicklaus believed that 80% of your swing mistakes could be addresses in your set-up, and he makes a good case because changing your set-up is far easier than trying to change your swing. So if you want to avoid those blow-up holes it pays to pay attention to your set-up during your pre-shot routine.
To set up correctly to every time just remember GASP. GASP stands for Grip, Alignment, Stance, and Posture. Here are the checkpoints of GASP to include in your pre-shot routine:
Grip: There are the 3 key checkpoints for a good grip: Left thumb at 2 o'clock, Right Thumb at 10 o'clock, and the pad of your hand ON TOP of the grip. You'll know you have a good grip when you can easily make a 90 degree hinge with your left hand.
Alignment: Alignment is THE most common cause of mistakes on the course, not swing mechanics! Take special care to align your club face up with your target. Learn how to use the grooves on irons and the top line of your driver to line up the club face with the target. I spend more time aligning my clubface to my target than any other step of my pre shot routine. It is worth the effort to get this one right.
Stance: Take your stance square to your target line with your feet perpendicular to the grooves on your club. Your right foot should be square to the target line, not rotated to the right. You need a square right foot so you can push on the downswing. Your left foot should be rotated about 20 degrees open, towards the target. For irons your feet should be under your shoulders. For the driver you feet should be just outside your shoulder line. Your hips and shoulders should be square to your feet line.
Posture: Golf is a sport, and you want to get into as athletic a stance as you can. Keep your spine as straight as possible, bend from the hips (not the waist), and have a slight flex to your knees. The taller you can stand, the easier it will be for you to create an athletic move.
GASP – Grip, Alignment, Stance, Posture. Master these keys to the set up and you will eliminate half of your errors on the course and lower your scores.