Stretching Routine Before Practice/Playing

Here are some good stretches to do before you go out to play golf. You can do these at home or right on the driving range. When you are stretching you want to concentrate on your bigger muscles of the golf swing. I usually start with my upper body, shoulders specifically. Then work down to my legs and ankles. Then finish up with a good back stretch to finish!

Included in the stretches are:

  • Small and Large Circles targeting your shoulders
  • Shoulder stretching/reaching
  • Pulling foot up behind you to concentrate on thigh stretch
  • Ankle Circles
  • Stretching your back by rotating around your hips

Each stretch can be performed in groups of 5-8 times or counting to 12. Remember stretching is pushing your limits a little bit is good to get that full stretch and make you even mor flexible over time. No bouncing is needed just holding the stretch is best.

There are many more stretches out there that you can do, but I do feel these are some easy stretches that help you instantly warm your body up for the golf swing!

Check out the video to see them done properly!

How to Grip a Golf Club

Happy 2022! I thought we would start at the very beginning: The Golf Grip. It is important to understand how to grip the club. At first, yes, it can be very awkward but once you repeat the process, I promise it will become more comfortable. With this proper grip, the club face will have a higher percentage of not rotating a lot during your swing. Therefore producing a square club face that will impact the ball.

First, take your front hand (right handed players this is left hand. Left handed players this is your right hand). Put Your fingers together and wrap your fingers around the club. The grip should be in your fingers and not your palms. It is very similar to holding a grocery bag at your side. Your fingers will be holding the club like a hook. Then take your front hand’s thumb and place it directly on top of the club so the thumb is pointing straight down the shaft. Now that your front hand is in place on top end of the club, take your back hand and do the same thing below the front hand. Your grip should then look like the picture in the middle. This is called a beginner/baseball golf grip. Most beginners like to start with this grip because it is the most natural position. Try to relax your fingers so you are not squeezing the club to death. This is hard and we will go over this concept in a future blog.

Now that you have the basic grip, lets try the other two grips.

Overlap Grip: Look at the picture to the right. Start with the baseball grip and take your bottom hand’s pinky off the grip. Slide your hand up towards your top hand making sure there are no gaps. Overlap your pinky to your forefinger. What does this grip feel like?

Interlock Grip: Look at the picture to the right. Start with the baseball grip and take your pinky finger of your bottom hand off. Plus take your pointer finger of your top hand off. Slide your hands together and interlock those two fingers. What does this one feel like?

Try them all and see which one feels the best to you. They are all great grips. In the beginning it is a personal preference of which one feels the best. Then after practice and playing for awhile sometimes a grip change can be necessary to help the right parts of your body be active so your club face isn’t rotating. Yes, your grip can be very important this way. After all it is what makes the connection from the club to your body!

Check out the video –

What to do when you have a TROUBLE SHOT!

Here in the lowcountry, hills are hard to come by unless…. you are at the Ocean Course and missed the fairway! I was talking with a student about the concept of a Trouble Shot and realized ya’ll are trying to memorize what to do in this situation instead of thinking what I should change in my swing to get me out of this trouble. Therefore this article was born!

A trouble shot is a shot that affects you from taking a normal golf swing. The four major trouble shots are categorized as Up Hill, Down Hill, Ball Above Feet and Ball Below Feet. I went ahead and made a chart explaining what you need to do and WHY! I want these trouble shots to make sense why you change your swing. If it makes sense hopefully you don’t have to memorize it, you will instead just do it!

Remember, a trouble shot means you are in a bit of trouble. Don’t try to be a hero and go for it. This usually puts you back in trouble. Instead, check your situation out and think what is the best thing to do so you can get out trouble. Sometimes taking a small swing to get you back in the fairway can save you and put you at an advantage in your next shot to finish the hole strong.

Here is the Chart to download to have, print, and study! If you are having trouble downloading please email me and I can send you a copy through email too!

2022 Kiawah Women’s Golf Workshops 

Just posted on Kiawah Island Golf Resort website under Golf Packages!

These workshops are designed to improve your golf game, fast! 

Beginner Class:
Friday, February 18 – Saturday, February 19, 2022

This Class introduces the basic fundamentals of the game and is ideal for the golfer who is beginning to learn the game, or the golfer that wants to review the basics to improve on their journey to intermediate golfer.

Sample Itinerary:
Friday, February 18
9am – 11:45am: Driving range instruction focusing on short game
Lunch
1pm: 9-hole playing lesson with instructor, bringing what was learned on the range into practice on the course. Players may choose to play back 9 holes on their own.
Happy Hour: at Golf Learning Center after 9 holes

Saturday, February 19
9am – 11:45am: Driving Range Instruction rotations on full swing, short game review, and etiquette
Lunch
1:00: 9-hole playing lesson with instructor, bringing what was learned on the range into practice on the course. Players may choose to play back 9 holes on their own.
6pm: Dinner at The Ocean Room at The Sanctuary

No handicap is required for beginners.

Intermediate Class:
Friday, February 25 – Saturday, February 26, 2022

The Intermediate Class takes a more comprehensive approach to all aspects of the golf game, and helps the golfer bring her game to the next level. Full swing, short game, bunker, mental game and video swing analysis will all be covered.

Sample Itinerary:
Friday, February 25
9am – 11:45am: Driving range instruction focusing on short game
Lunch
1pm: 9-hole playing lesson with instructor, bringing what was learned on the range into practice on the course. Players may choose to play back 9 holes on their own.
Happy Hour: at Golf Learning Center after 9 holes
 
Saturday, February 26
9am – 11:45am: Driving Range Instruction rotations on full swing, short game review, and etiquette
Lunch
1pm: 9-hole playing lesson with instructor, bringing what was learned on the range into practice on the course. Players may choose to play back 9 holes on their own.
6pm: Dinner at The Ocean Course at The Sanctuary

Handicap Index Below 30.

Please contact Abby Welch at abby_welch@kiawahresort.com for additional information and to reserve your spot. Accommodations are not included, but a discounted rate will be provided if booking through the resort.

Understanding your Path/Plane of your Golf Swing

A golfer’s swing path is a very different feeling compared to the path of a tennis or baseball player. Most people are used to swinging horizontally around their bodies to hit a ball. In golf, the ball is stationary on the ground. Therefore a golfer has to learn to swing more vertically to make the club go up so that the club comes down on the ball. Then to remember after hitting the ball to continue to go out and then up instead of going around horizontally again. When you have the correct swing plane it will ensure that your club will be hitting down properly on the golf ball and the club face will square up to compress the ball properly. Students sometimes will have a good backswing plane and then reroute the swing on a different path through the ball. It is always good to check your backswing plane first because this can effect the downswing and follow through. After a good backswing plane, then check the downswing plane, and then the follow through plane.

The video and picture is of our Explanar at the Learning Center. This shows the correct plane for a golfer. It is a great way to visual what your plane looks like and also lets you feel the path that your club should go on. Hopefully you can come to the Learning Center one day at Kiawah Island Golf Resort and check it out yourself!

Also check out my previous blog called: Ensure Your Swing is Starting on Plane. This blog will teach you how to use a wall to help you with your swing plane too.

Finding Your Front Shoulder Connection

If you have ever been taught by me, you will understand how important I believe your front shoulder a major key to making more consistent contact with your golf ball. This blog is here to help you make sure you are using your front shoulder. Lots of us believe that we are utilizing our shoulder correctly but when it comes down to it most of us are not. If you are having some inconsistencies this is a good place to start. Most students are relying on their forearms and wrists to swing their golf club, which can cause your club face to twist and turn too much and lead to inconsistencies.

First take your club and setup to a golf ball. Then stand up from your posture and lift the club up only using your front arm. Your front arm from your hand to your shoulder should be in line with each other. If you do this properly you should feel the strength of you shoulder holding the club up. If you do not feel this check the alignment of your arm. Are there any breaks in your arm? How does your grip strength feel? Too Tight? RELAX!!!

Once you have found that amazing connection, set up to your golf ball again and feel the connection you have with your golf club and your body! Doesn’t it feel stronger and more connected! Congrats – welcome to a new stronger setup!

How to Survive the Ocean Course by Abby Welch!!!

The 2021 PGA Championship at Ocean Course has begun on Kiawah Island Golf Resort. It is so exciting to be a part of another PGA Championship on the resort. Along with this Championship came a wonderful experience for myself that I wanted to share with everyone. Golf Digest Magazine reached out to me to write some tips for their outstanding article: “Anatomy of a Difficult Course” My column is called “How to Survive the Ocean Course” by Abby Welch (with an amazing writer Matthew Rudy)! It was so much fun to discuss all the difficult moments we all go through playing the Ocean Course as amateurs. Please check out the May 2021 edition of Golf Digest. I hope you all enjoy and learn how to navigate the course better on your next trip to Kiawah!

Alligator Adventures on Kiawah

Covid has been quite an adventure here in South Carolina! My family and I have managed to get through this crazy time safe and healthy so far 🤞🏻. We are hoping you all are too! Golf has been a wonderful safe sport to play during this time. Therefore, I have become quite busy helping everyone improve their golf swings. I am loving every minute of it but therefore my blog has unfortunately taken a back seat. I promise I will continue to blog in the future, so please stay tuned. But in the mean time I wanted to share a couple crazy alligator moments from my playing lessons on Turtle Point Golf Course! Thank you to all my students who helped capture these amazing moments. This is one of many reasons I love working on Kiawah!

PS: The third video is a little shocking and we weren’t sure what exactly happened but my husband believes the alligator is protecting the baby from us. Which I believe is a great way of making this incredible video a little more positive!

Down Hill Lies

This blog we are going to concentrate on: Down Hill Lies. This means that the hill you are standing on your back foot is higher than your front foot. Therefore the ball will be traveling down the hill. These are things I look at:

Ball Flight: The ball will go lower because you are swinging down the hill therefore the actual loft of the club may decrease.

Club Selection: Possibly a more lofted club. When you are swinging down hill the tendency might be to not stay down long enough so you will hit the leading edge of the club instead of the face. Adding a lofted club would help us get more loft. When we take a more lofted club we might lose distances. It is better to increase your loft so the ball will have a chance to get height to fly farther than in most cases just dribbling the ball down the hill.

Swing Decisions: How big is the hill and how is it going to effect my swing. The bigger the hill the harder it will be to stay down the hill long enough without losing our balance. But the good thing is the hill will help transfer my weight towards the target because the hill is helping us move forward. The smaller the hill the less my swing will be effected therefore the ball flight will not be effected as much. As the hill increases I will need to take a smaller swing and trying to position myself to execute my next shot might be the best solution. 

In Swing Thoughts: Remember to always swing with the hill. How you do this is when you set up to your hill your shoulders will match the hill (front shoulder is lower than back shoulder) and it will feel like you are following through down the hill. My last thought before I swing is transfer my weight as much as possible and stay “down the hill” so my shot will be the best it can be!