10 Tips for Better Golf

golf

Perfect your game this summer on Hilton Head Island.

August is a great month to work on your golf swing and to refine your approach toward this challenging, rewarding sport. Here are 10 things to keep in mind to help you make the most of your game:

1. Golf is a leisure sport.

Be leisurely and take your time.  Relaxed muscles move faster than slow muscles. When do we play golf?  When we need to relax after a busy week, or on weekends and trips to Hilton Head Island.

2. The golf swing is a fluid motion that propels the ball into the air.

Just as water flows peacefully and powerfully down the river, so too does the golf swing combine fluidity and power. When golfers trust this motion, they are amazed how far the ball goes.

3. When you swing slow, the ball goes fast.

How does this work? When all the parts of the body work correctly and in sequence, the sensation is of slow, graceful motion. The end result is incredible clubhead speed from centrifugal force and other physics principles.

4. Big muscles, not little muscles, are key.

Golf is life and lifting. When you lift a heavy object, you use your legs and core. As a result, the heavy object will feel light. Lift the same object with only your arms, and it will feel heavy. The same idea applies to the golf swing.

5. The lower body leads the way.

The golf swing is much like pickleball, tennis and baseball. Move your feet first in the athletic motion, and the upper body will not be strained or vulnerable to injury.

6. Let gravity help you.

Gravity is powerful and invisible. Do this test: stand tall, extend your arms relaxed to waist height and let them free fall to the sides of your legs. How much force do you feel? Now, lift your arms above your shoulders and let them free fall to the sides of your legs. Is there more force?

7. Build your game from the hole to the tee to find victory.

Golf legend Jack Nicklaus made this statement famous: If you learn to putt correctly, then chipping is easy. Then, chipping correctly makes pitching easy. Excellent pitching makes the full swing easy to learn.

8. Less is more.

This principle is hard to learn, but it applies to every area of golf and life. When the golfer lets physics do the work, the golf swing is similar to breathing. Yes, you can learn to do this. It will allow you to play golf for life.

9. Golf is a game for a lifetime.

Therefore, learn the fundamentals. Musician Elton John arrived at college an excellent self-taught pianist. He played several classics that impressed his professors. However, he was required to learn the fundamentals of posture, finger position and footwork. This expanded his playing abilities, which ultimately set him free to go on to the mastery of the piano.

10. Focus on the action, not the end result.

Mark McGwire, the homerun hitter, shared with me that many of the 583 home runs he hit he did not, in fact, try to hit. His goal was to hit it solid. When the ball met the sweet spot, he found extraordinary distance.

Enjoy every moment on the golf course this month. I hope to see you out on the green!

By Doug Weaver, Director of Instruction, Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy

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 www.palmettodunes.com.