Throughout golf’s history, no two players have swung the club or played the game exactly the same way. As proof, look at two of the players I’ve been fortunate to work with: Jack Nicklaus and Tom Lehman. Almost every time Tom strikes the ball the result is a right-to-left draw, while just down the driving range, Jack is hitting high fades.
This contrast is proof of something I’ve known for years: Teaching golf is an art, not a science, and what might be good medicine for some is poison to others. However, all good players — even ones as different as Jack and Tom — share a common knowledge of the fundamentals. They are the foundation that allows each player to find what works best for his or her game, while factoring in variables like strength, agility, emotional characteristics, and strategic approach.
On the following pages are these essentials — what I call the “Golden Rules” — as I have interpreted them. Though they span the game’s various aspects, they all adhere to golf’s most important objective: Put the ball in the hole in the fewest strokes possible.