Sunday, April 14, 2013

Golf Tips from the Pro 2

Most of us have got back onto the golf course by this stage - even if we are currently sitting in front of the TV watching the Masters. The winter hibernation is over and the sunlight on Augusta's dazzling array of colours makes golf seem beautiful again...

... I say this after being half drowned on the golf course yesterday and shrinking two shoe sizes.

Ivan putting at Mount Juliet. Wouldn't you just love to know that you're always
going to two-putt - at most - from this range!
What targets have you set for your season? Have you set any at all? Here's some advice from PGA Pro, John Dooley:

If you have not thought about what you can do to improve your game for 2013, I have a number of great ideas you should consider:

  • Take your clubs to your local PGA pro for a health check:
    • You should ask for your clubs' lofts and lies to be rechecked.
    • Check the clubs' grips. Are they too worn out?
  • Set out some specific golf goals for the coming season:
    • Reduce your handicap by a couple of shots
    • Make one or more of your golf club’s teams
    • Win a club or an open competition
    • Win a local Golf Club's Scratch cup.
    • Reduce the total putts per round and become a better putter.
    • Just perhaps enjoy the game more?
  • You could take a series of golf lessons from your local PGA golf Professional.
    • If you have taken a winter’s break from playing golf, it is quite difficult to pick up where you left off from your last game of golf. To avoid starting down the road of creating bad habits in your golf swing and then trying to second guess a swing fix, I suggest you should arrange a series of three to five lessons to look at your swing and golf game with your local PGA Golf Professional.
  • Also please take some time to work on your flexibility. If you can improve your general flexibility, you can hit the ball further and make more consistent golf swings.
    • May I suggest that you could make an appointment with a recommended physical therapist and ask him/her to test your body’s flexibility? If you do, please ask for two stretching programmes. One for a daily general stretch to prevent unwanted injuries. The second stretching plan can be directed at increasing your range of motion in specific areas of your body that help your golf swing.

Most of all, enjoy the game!

I can tell you this - my flexibility is shocking. From my neck to my toes I have days when everything is as stiff as a board. Swinging a club is uncomfortable and difficult, and by the time I have warmed up I'm usually deep into the back nine. A bit pointless at that stage.

As an alternative to going to a physical therapist, as John suggests, or a physio, take yourself to the pool and start swimming first. It is low impact and provides a full body workout that improves strength, stamina, flexibility and your waistline. A physical therapist can then build on this, until you really are handling a round of golf more comfortably and hitting the ball further. I know 20-something year olds aren't going to be worrying about flexibility or power, but some of us older golfers have to squeeze out every advantage we can get.

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