One of my favorite activities here at Kiawah Island Golf Resort is called The Family Tee Program.
Family Tee Program:
– Tees markers are setup on the golf course half way down the hole (no more than 180 yards)
– All members of the family must play from these tee markers. Kids are FREE and adults pay half the normal rate
– Starts everyday at 4:30-6pm. Tee Times are 10 minutes apart.
– Offered the week before Easter and week after Easter, Memorial Day-Labor Day, week of Thanksgiving and Christmas
This program is all about FAMILY!!! The holes are 180 yards….parents this is a great time to grab three clubs: putter, SW, PW. It is time to work on your short game!!! Kids, it is time to out drive your parents and hit the ball far with all your clubs. Yes, this time is not about us, it is time to be about the kids. Parents should be out there to support your kids and show them how much fun the game is! Play a scramble together, play partners, play match play, the options are endless! The best part is everybody around you on the golf course is there also because of their family!
Now, I understand that your golf course might not have this program and you can’t just hop on a plane to come to Kiawah but……you can do this on your own. Take your scorecard cut the holes in half and play from that yardage on each hole. Maybe make a suggestion to your golf pro about possibly adding this program to your course. Let the kids play well! This is just another way to make it fun for you and your kids. As they improve back the tees up a little bit. Before you know it, you and your family will be playing from your tee box and beating you!!!
This checkpoint can be a little difficult to determine. This is why I have grabbed a badminton racquet with a small shaft extender on it. Now I understand you might not have one of these in your garage, but you may also want to use a tennis racquet or just a bandminton without an extension on it is great too. Swing back and check where the face of the racquet is pointing. In the picture you can see the whole face of the racquet: this is good. If the face of the racquet is pointing up or down you are changing the club face. Therefore on the downswing you will need some maneuvering of the club to get it back to square for good impact.
After you have confirmed a square club face try to focus on the feel in your arms, wrists and hands. If the clubface is not square at the top, first look at your wrists. Figure out good wrists and bad wrists. Using the big racquet will help you feel and see this position easier. After a little practice, go back to your club and check it out.
Oh the Winter!
Whether you are in the North or South, golf takes a little break for all of us. This is my all time favorite excercise to help your body stay active anytime anywhere.
Take a ball, any ball. My favorite is a medicine ball because it turns into not only a golf drill but a great excercise for your core. Set up like a golfer holding the ball between your hands, just like holding a club. Swing back about halfway then turn your hips forward and throw the ball towards your target. If your body moved properly the ball should go towards your target. If it didn’t move properly the ball is not going towards your target and you should feel like your arms/wrists/hands interfered.
You can do this drill 10-20 times in a row. If you are using a medicine ball your core should feel a great workout….not your arms and hands!
Let’s start first with what is loft. Loft is the angle of your club face. This angle determines how high your ball flies therefore helps provide how far your golf ball will go. If it was up to me, all the golf clubs would have the degree of loft on the top of the clubs and not a number. The number of the clubs really does not have a purpose. The loft is the most important.
As a golfer, you should first start by writing down the clubs you have in your bag. Then go online and look up your manufacturer’s specifications. Write down the lofts shown in the specifications that correspond to the club in your bag. Make sure you are looking up the brand and model of your club as some manufacturers use different lofts. Next, look to see what or if you have any gaps in your lofts or possibly the duplications. This will help determine if you need to start looking at purchasing a club to fill a gap or eliminate a club.
Christmas is right around the corner, so I thought we could discuss how to purchase a child a set of golf clubs. This process is realitively simple but very important. You want your child to have the right size clubs so they have a better chance of hitting the ball correctly. It is important to check your child’s clubs every year, especially since the kids tend to grow every month it seems.
If you look at the chart above, you will notice it is based on height and not age. This is extremely important because a child at the age of 8 might not be the same height as another child at the age of 8. U.S. Kids does a very good job at sizing every child properly. They have simplified the process by applying a color code to a range in height. For example if your child is 45 inches tall he would be in the blue clubs. If your child is 49 inches he/she would be in the orange clubs. Now, if they are in the color orange, this doesn’t mean you think your child is still growing and should buy purple the next color up. You want the child to be in the correct set, and this means you should buy the orange set. But if you are on the border, look at your child and his/her abilities.
Another great option for a child just beginning or thinking of beginning is going out to buy individual clubs. My suggestion is purchase at least a putter and 8 iron. These two clubs can get them started. If you choose to buy a third a hybrid is a great choice. The hybrid can be used to hit off the tee box and also to hit off the fairway and is generally an easier club to hit longer shots with. These three clubs any kid can take to the course.
When you play a golf course it is always good to know how they mark the yardage’s on the golf courses. Players have chosen for helping determine a holes yardage’s. Some golf courses uses stones to mark 100, 150, 200 etc. Other golf courses just mark 150 yards with a stick. While others go and mark the sprinkler heads. Another option is using a range finder or gps. When you know how the golf courses are marked then you can start to determine where you are on each hole and what club to choose.
Now, depending on the type of player you are the yardage can mean different things. If you look at the picture above, I marked an X where the ball has landed and written the yardage to the hole: 50 yards. Most of us would take out our 50 yard shot and hit the ball. But what we are not accounting for is including the yardage of the ball after it hits the ground. When I am teaching a player on the golf course, I am noticing the students are hitting a 50 yard shot but when the ball lands it will roll more and either roll to far past the hole or even over the green. Then they look at me and said I hit the right shot but it didn’t work. While, they are not accounting for the extra distance when the ball lands. Therefore, if they took a PW and hit a 50 yard shot, the ball will roll at least 10-20 more feet if not more. Therefore they should be landing the ball either in the front of the green or the middle of the green. Therefore the player should be landing the ball at 30 or 40 yards and letting the ball roll to the hole. Each player has to determine their own yardage by including these three factors: the performance of the club, how the ball will react, and the condition of the golf course.
As a teacher we begin to check our student’s swing through grip and setup. The first major checkpoint is the location of club face as the student transition to the backswing. This position can effect your entire golf swing. If the club face is not setting properly it is very hard to get the club face back to square at impact.
I took a picture of the correct positioning. Look at the club face (flat part of the head) is facing forward. The toe of the club (the top of the head) is pointing up and the heel (the bottom part of the head) is pointing down. This starts the club face properly, which ensures you are using your shoulders to swing back and not your hands and wrists. Therefore, you are starting with a club face that can now get set for a good backswing and hopefully a better club face at impact.