PGA Master Professional
What exactly does the term “Managing the Course” mean. It varies from golfer to golfer based on their ability level. When do we attempt to go over that menacing water hazard, when do we try to carry the bunker protecting
the front of the green and when do we challenge carrying the trees in front of us. As Kenny Rogers sang in his song The Gambler, “you need to know when to hold them and know when to fold them”.
One key is to know how far we carry each club, not how far
the ball may roll. If we have one hundred yards to the flagstick and need to keep the ball ninety yards in the
air to carry the bunker, unfortunately our one hundred yard club may not be the answer. The average player need to rely more on high lofted woods or higher lofted hybrids to launch the ball upward. Forget the three wood from the
fairway, use the five, seven or nine wood, and think of adding a five or six hybrid… remember loft is your friend.
Do not be ashamed to lay up a shot to the safe side of the
green to have a clear pitch shot into the green. In the long run this may save you strokes. Learn how to hit bunker shots… using the sand wedge properly is a real stroke saver and rarely is putting out of a bunker the proper choice.
Our tenth hole is a great hole to discuss managing your
game. Very few golfers can drive the ball far enough to consider hitting a shot over the trees to cut the dogleg,
and even if they do drive it far enough, hitting the ball that high and far over the trees is another obstacle. If you “layup” by playing your second or third shot straight to the corner, make sure you take plenty of club to get past the
corner of the dogleg. Plan the next shot toward the right side of the green avoiding the bunkers.
I hope these tips help our scores.
Jack Gale PGA Master Professional
What is the proper way to strike a golf ball…
should you hit down on the ball or should you hit up on the ball. Actually both answers are correct depending on what type of shot we are playing. In golf, most shots are played off the ground and in this case you should be hitting down on the ball. What exactly does this mean. Simply it means that you should hit the ball prior to hitting the turf. A divot is the piece of turf taken after striking the ball, not before. Divots are proper! I dislike it when I hear a golfer say “I didn’t get under that one or I didn’t lift it”. When you hit the ball first followed by the divot, you hit down on the ball. This action actually makes the ball carry higher and longer. The best players hit approximately five to eight degrees down on the ball… a decending blow. To make this happen the hands must lead the club head into the shot. When you are hitting a driver off an elevated tee the correct technique is to hit up on the ball about five degrees. Again, this does not mean to lift the ball, but that the driver is on a slight upward angle as we strike the ball. This swing plane will cause the ball to carry farther. farther producing longer drives. Next problem is how do you make this happen. Ball position and setup are two important factors. When hitting a ball off the ground the ball should be positioned between the middle of our stance forward to about an inch inside our left heel (for a right handed golfer). The short irons are played more in the middle and as the clubs lengthen the ball moves closer to the left foot. When hitting the driver off a tee, the ball should be opposite the left heel to make it easier to hit up on the ball. Also with the driver try to get your right shoulder slightly lower than your left. In both cases you need to shift our weight back to the left side on the downswing.
PGA Master Professional
Here are some quick ideas on how to keep our course in the
best possible shape.
Keep golf carts on the paths, I see way too many carts literally on the edge of greens. Too many areas get worn down near greens when carts leave the paths.
Rake bunkers… please take the time to make the bunkers in playable shape for those golfers behind you.
Fill in divots… most of our carts have sand fill on the carts, please use it and remember to under fill the divots, not over fill them.
Fix balls marks... please use a tee or ball mark fixer to lift up the marks which your golf ball makes when striking the green.
Please place your trash in receptacles provided on the course.
Speed of play: please keep up with the group in front of you, not just ahead of the group behind you.
Please help the course and all other golfers in observing
these few rules to make the course better and golf more fun.