Enjoy fun on the golf course this season.
By Doug Weaver, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort
Summer is a great time to play golf. It’s also the best time to experience the exhilaration of striking a golf ball correctly.
When you’re on Hilton Head Island, there’s always a golf course near you where you can practice and play. Understanding the fundamentals can help you know how to hit a banana ball or a hook.
This season, there are a few fundamentals to keep in mind:
S – Swing the club correctly with the help of a Palmetto Dunes golf professional. Proper technique will enable you to have longer and straighter shots. Many new golfers cannot believe that the sensation of effortless power made the ball fly so beautifully.
U – Use what you have physically and enhance your skills with equipment. Golf is not about who is the strongest, tallest or most athletic. It’s about attitude and technique. You can borrow equipment from the facility. All golf courses will provide the equipment to encourage you to play. Dress for the weather, and wear a hat and sunscreen. Tennis shoes are fine to get started. Golf clothes are athletic in both appearance and feel. Call (843) 785-1138 to learn about the dress code and when classes are scheduled.
M – Master a shot and your confidence will grow, as your enthusiasm blossoms into
mastering another shot. Remember the 5 Ps of performance: prior preparation prevents poor performance. Learn the game properly from the start. The frustrated golfer’s technique can be fixed quickly with the skill of an experienced coach.
M – Movement in a golf swing is fluid. Yes, the hands are soft, leading to relaxed arms, shoulders and neck. The golf swing is built from the ground up, meaning the energy comes from the proper use of feet, knees, hips and then the core, shoulders, arms and club. Most people do it in reverse, and they cannot relate to many of the wonderful benefits of golf. When your golf swing starts from the hands and works to the feet, rather than vice versa, the swing is laborious and you will get fatigued and frustrated fast.
E – Energy restored. Golf is a recreational sport that rebuilds your spirit, mind and body when played correctly. Walking through the natural outdoor environment—enjoying the birds, deer and flowers—will lift your spirit. Your mind is refreshed when you casually approach the game with low expectations, celebrating victory with your partners. Your relaxed body is stretched and contracted over and over, expelling all your tensions, resulting in a massage-like experience. Golf has been proven to be an effective deterrent to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, as well as arthritis and many other ailments.
R – Remember to bring a friend or two to divide the burden and double the pleasure. The summer is an ideal time to try something new or to rediscover your love of the game. Golf is truly a game for a lifetime. My neighbors who are 60 years and older love to be around children and experience the youthful energy, which is contagious. The newly retired person in their late 50s and 60s can look forward to 20 years of golf. Do it right the first time!
Make the most of every moment on the course this summer. I hope to see you for a golf lesson and out on the green!
A former PGA Tour pro and member of the local Golf Hall of Fame, Doug Weaver is the Director of Instruction at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy. He conducts “Where Does the Power Come From?,” a free clinic and demonstration, every Monday at 4 p.m. (843) 785-1138, (800) 827-3006 or palmettodunes.com.