Whether you’re just learning to play golf or you’ve been teeing off for decades, it’s important to realize that golf is a sport that can take a lifetime to perfect. There are always new ways to refine your swing, practice your putt and improve your score. Fall’s refreshing weather encourages golf improvement.
As October temperatures cool on Hilton Head Island, this is an ideal time to refine your golf game and get “back to basics.” Here are a few of my top fall golf tips, to help you make the most of your game:
1. Don’t let the muscles in your hands, wrist and forearms provide the power for the swing. When you use those small muscles, your club and your swing get out of rhythm and sync. The body’s larger slow-twitch muscle fibers are more dependable under pressure. They provide the consistency you need to hit more shots with greater accuracy on the green and the fairway. When you swing slow, the ball goes fast. When you feel out of control, you are in control.
2. Stay relaxed. Encourage your body to stay relaxed and to allow the club to do its job. Respect the weight of the club, keep your body loose and keep your elbows close to your body. I recommend you stretch daily, starting with your hips, hamstrings and wrists. Frequently, in a lesson when the student becomes tense and performance deteriorates, I change the atmosphere by asking questions about other hobbies or vacation activities. This melts the tension away and performance improves.
3. Adjust your grip, depending upon the shot. For smaller shots, grip the club down low, put your weight on your left foot and use a modest backswing. For bigger shots, be sure to grip the club up high, widen your stance, use a long back swing and transfer your weight back and forward for more power. Let the club do the work. Fun-Da-Mentals make golf fun.
4. Don’t procrastinate. Your short game is where you have the greatest opportunity to reduce your score. I invite you to take my Shortgame 1 Class or a private lesson at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy, which will help you refine your skills. Most students say after the lesson, “Why didn’t I do this year ago?”
5. Think positive. So much of golf is mental and psychological. Feed relaxed, affirmative thoughts to your subconscious mind in order to maximize your swing. If you choose encouraging messages to guide you and apply solid fundamentals to your game, you’ll be able to succeed. Try our Mental Golf Workshop Class to make the most of your game.
October is one of my favorite months of the year on Hilton Head Island. It is not too hot or too cool. You still need to stay hydrated, wear a hat and apply high-SPF sunscreen.
Make the most of your time on the golf course. I’ll see you out on the course!
By Doug Weaver, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort
Ranked the #2 Instructor in South Carolina by Golf Digest and a former PGA Touring Pro, Doug Weaver is the Director of Instruction at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy and leads “Where Does the Power Come From?” a complementary golf clinic and exhibition on Mondays at 4 p.m. For details and reservations for golf clinics, classes, lessons and on-course instruction, call (888) 322-9091 or visit palmettodunes.com.