Tips from the Golf Pro

Jay Wilson

As a longtime golf teacher here at Robson Ranch, I’ve seen hundreds of golfers that are new to the game. Many of these students get frustrated and quit the game before they create a love for the game. In most cases it is expectations that are too high that prove to be too hard to overcome. Building a solid swing takes time and patience; not only are we building a physical swing, but also the mental side of the game also. The number one goal of a person learning golf is to have fun!

Starting this month I will be putting Tips from the Pro in the Views to help you start to build your golf knowledge, we will start with the basic set up and work our way through different types of shots in the coming months. Here are a few pointers to get you started down the path to the great game of golf.

Create a Solid Stance—You build your golf swing from the ground up. Start with your feet shoulder width apart; make sure your stance is solid, stable, balanced, and athletic.

Develop Perfect Posture—When setting up to hit a golf ball we bend at the hips not the waist to achieve perfect posture. Bowing from the hips allows you to keep your back straight and still be able to reach the golf ball. Keeping your posture during the swing will help avoid hitting shots fat or thin.

Take Dead Aim—As golfers, we need to be sure of our alignment when making golf shots. If we’re not aimed properly then we have to make compensations in our swings. Make sure that not just your feet are aligned properly but your knees, hips, shoulders, and especially your club face. Check your alignment every practice session to make sure you’re taking dead aim on the course!

Relax, relax, relax—The key to the golf swing is relaxing, it’s impossible to swing fluidly with tension in your arms and hands.

Start your downswing with your hips—Most down swing faults are due to starting the swing with the upper body rather than “bumping the hips.” Envision when you throw a baseball and how the lower body starts the movement with the upper body following.

Use Plenty of Loft—Practicing with a short, lofted club encourages better posture and cleaner ball striking. Everyone gains confidence in seeing the nice high ball flight, too little loft encourages new golfers to develop a scooping or lifting action to get the ball upwards.

Perfection in golf—When out on the practice range giving lessons, one of the things I run into is people thinking they can perfect the golf swing, thinking they can be perfect on every swing. If the golf professionals can’t be perfect on every swing then we shouldn’t stress ourselves to attain perfection. I have single digit handicappers who spend hours on the range trying to improve their swing because it’s still not good enough, seeking perfection. As you watch a professional tour event on TV, you’ll notice that they also miss shots; the difference between professionals and amateurs is the degree of miss. What I mean by degree of miss is how far off line the ball goes in relation to your target while taking into account the distance of the shot. If you miss a shot by 20 yards on a 100 yard shot, then you have a 20 degree miss where the pros might miss by five yards, giving a 5 degree miss. Then you see them slam their club or cuss and you’re wondering cause you say, “That was a great shot, why are they complaining,” it is all relative. So in an effort to improve your game, worry about narrowing your misses and not being perfect.

Next month we’ll start working on your putting skills and build your swing from there.