AT the end of every season, when he was at his peak, Jack Nicklaus would visit his long-time mentor Jack Grout.

Every year, Nicklaus said the same thing: "Jack, teach me how to play golf."

This may sound a strange request for arguably the greatest golfer in the history of the game, but he realised that after a full season playing, faults would have inevitably crept into his technique. The time to fox them was the end of the season.

I aim to help you all, regardless of handicap, ago or gender, get back to basics.

Trying to change your technique while playing every week is impossible. To make even the slightest change on the course results in poor golf.

Firstly, you must practise the change at home and on the range until it is comfortable. Then take it to the course. By then you will be more confident and, more importantly, relaxed.

These articles are good guidelines, but ideally you should undertake any major changes with the help of your local PGA professional.

Every golfer wants to hit the ball as far as possible and this usually leads to a much longer backswing than is necessary. This in turn resultsin a loss of control either of the clubhead or balance.

Most golfers think a full swing is when the club shaft is parallel to the ground like above. This is not true. The length of your backswing depends on your build and your flexibility.

The secret to finding your own position is to turn your shoulders under your chin while resisting with your legs and hips. Watch Tiger Woods. His backswing looks three-quarters but the power generated is awesome. Work on controling your backswing and you will see a big improvement in both your distance and accuracy.

Andy Stevenson can be contacted at Mersey Valley Golf Club on 0151 424 6060.