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Watch First Golf Lesson from Mike Malaska

When it comes to the golf swing, the first and most important thing is the club face. We join Mike Malaska for this first golf swing lesson in his series to help you improve.  The other lessons are available at Golf Life On Demand It’s how the club face runs into the ball. Because all we’re trying to do is get the club on a certain path with the face in a certain position to make the ball go where you want it to go. That’s really the game.

Understanding the Club Face

A club face basically fits in your hand like this. So, if you’re looking at a ball on the ground and you want to hit a ball lower than this club’s designed to hit it… all you have to do is take some loft off the face. Keep in mind, you’re not doing anything with your hips or shoulders. You just take loft off the face.

If you want to add loft, simply add loft with the hands. Also, the clubhead fits in my left hand like this. Same thing low, high, left, right. If I put both hands, low, high, left, right.

How Golf Shaft Reacts to Clubface

Mike Malaska Hand Position 1

Now if I take this club and I were to hold it in my left hand, it’s the same thing. I want you to watch what the shaft is going to do and this is something for you to practice at home. If I’ve got the club face in my hand, I say okay I want to hit the ball low. Where’d the shaft just go? Lean forward. So that’s lower. I want to hit it a little higher that adds loft I want to curve it left. I want to curve it right. So you see where the shaft is aiming, with what I do with my hands.

So basically, we’re learning how to aim that shaft, which is going to make the ball curve different directions. So all of a sudden hit a low draw. Hit a low fade. Hit a high hook. So the shaft is showing me what I’m doing to the face. So you’re getting a you’re getting a feeling in your hands for what you’re doing with the face.


Here’s the deal, with the club we haven’t talked about grip. We’re going to talk about that next. But first what I want you to do the first week is you go out. You get your clubs. You set up, same grip every time and all you’re going to do is now when you’re hitting these shots, you’re no longer holding a club. You’re not holding a round grip. See when I play golf when I set up to it, I’m holding that club face in my hands.


So, here’s what we’re going to do first week. We’re going to spend time practicing just hitting shots… not big swings.

All we’re doing is setting up and we’re using our hands to control the face to make the ball curve and do different things.

I want you to make this first ball curve to the left. Use your hands so the ball is curving to the left.

I want you to make this ball curve to the right. Use your hands so that one’s curving to the right.

Hit the next one low. Hit the next one as high as you can hit it.

We’re not making big full swings. We’re getting setup and using your hands to control the face to make the ball curve. We’re not worried about our body. You’re not worried about your stance. All your doing is connecting your hands with that face and making the ball curve.

You can see more short game lessons here.


This is one of the most important parts of the game and you should learn this first. How to control the face with your hands. No face control with your hands, no game.

Most people cannot do this. Every tour player I’ve ever been around, if I have them stand there, they can do anything I want them to do with that club face. So their hands are educated relative to the face. That’s why they can do a lot of the things they do with their body and still play.

So, when you go out there, you got to call the shot and make it curve. Big curves are better. Anything you can do to curve the ball. Hit it high, hit it low. You start to feel a connection with the club face in your hands. That’s step number one. Week one.

Good luck and have fun on the course!