My 10-Minute Free Lesson

May 22, 2009
Play Golf America

Play Golf America

The greatest downfall of my golf game has always been the part where I swing the club. Sure I could narrow it down to my grip, back swing speed or stance, but what’s the point? From my perspective, they are all wrong. How do I know that? Because nothing can be right if I start jumping up and down celebrating when I break 100.

Fortunately for me, on the grounds at the 70th Senior PGA Championship, Play Golf America has set up two practice nets, and with the help of the Northern Ohio PGA Section, is giving free 10 minutes lessons.

I signed up and minutes later met with the unfortunate PGA professional who was going to have his hands full. He asked what was the biggest issue with my golf game. I sorted through the virtuously endless list of deficiencies, choosing to focus on consistency.

He was ready; obviously I was not the first to come to him with this problem.  The first thing he did was walk me through the five things I need to keep in mind every time I address the ball.

Grip – First, he demonstrated how I should overlap my hands, and use my right thumb to pinch the forefinger against the middle finger.

Stance – Next, he explained why it is important to put the ball at the absolute bottom of my swing, which if my weight is centered is usually is in the middle of your stance. Setting the ball in the center of your stance makes sure the club face hits the ball in the center, instead of with the bottom edge of the club.

Line – His next tip was to place my feet parallel to the line I want the ball to travel. That’s an obvious one … now.

Posture – After that, he told me to get in an athletic stance, feet shoulder-width apart with my weight on the balls of my feet to ensure I was well balanced.

The First 12 Inches – Finally, he showed me why it is important to keep my wrists stiff as I begin to bring the club back. It’s that first 12 inches that dictates the path of your back swing, which if not done correctly will result in the club face not striking the ball square to the target.

Using their special foam golf balls that over exaggerates a regular ball’s spin, I began to put this new found wisdom to use. After one more final tweak, something about actually watching the ball when I swing, I was hitting them right into the middle of the net, consistently.

Now I need to go put this lesson to the test on the course. Unfortunately, it is currently reserved for those over 50.