By Bill Abrams, PGA at Balmoral Woods, Crete, IL
Chicagoland Golfing Friends, now is the time to prepare for the upcoming (hopefully sooner than later) 2020 golf season. I would like to suggest a checklist of things to consider so you maybe ready once the weather breaks and we get out to play. Being prepared will certainly have a positive effect on your game and you better enjoying golf.
Check yourself – be sure you are in good shape and any injuries or twinges are healed and ready to go. Once we are good there, let’s check your set up. Balance is the biggest factor to keep you having a consistent set up. Simply use a mirror to be sure you are “centered” up – weight and pressure even side to side and front to back in your stance. Your head and spine should be “centered” in your stance. If not, it will create compensations during the swing to help adjust your balance, thus causing inconsistent strikes and potential injuries. To double check if you are “centered” simply assume your stance and close your eyes. You will quickly realize if your balance is correct and stable. You may go one more step and take a few rehearsal swings with your eyes closed to ensure dynamic balance throughout your entire swing sequence. I also suggest getting a lesson early in the season to double check your set up, swing, and equipment.
Check Your Equipment – clubs, golf balls, and shoes all need attention prior to the season.
Shoes – if you wear shoes with spikes, be sure to determine if they are worn. If so, replace them prior to playing. Poor engagement with the ground causes more poor shots than you may realize. Also, double check the size and condition of your current shoes. Poor fit and poor condition can cause other issues like blisters and poor comfort. Be sure to check your size prior to purchasing new shoes as styles and brands tend to have slightly different fits. Shoes and golf balls are the only pieces of equipment you use during every single shot, so the fit and condition is pretty important to how you play.
Golf Ball – the other piece of equipment you use with every shot. Consider the following prior to selecting your model. Often, players want the golf ball that goes the furthest, which is not all bad but may hinder your ability to score. If you hit less than 9 greens in regulation per round, the most important shot for you to score well is generally your third shot. If the ball has properties that allow it to stop quicker, this will allow you to stop the ball closer to your target. If you have huge trouble with curve on your tee shots causing penalties, a model that boasts less spin with the driver may suit you best. The best thing to do is consider which shot is most important to your scoring then select a model that best matches your needs. When you can, get a couple models and try them on the course and on the practice green. This will explain a lot to assist your decision.
Golf Clubs – you need to always be sure your largest investment is in good shape and will work best for your game. I suggest that you check your grips for wear and for correct size. Poor condition and incorrect size will cause inconsistent shots. There are several options available for repair namely being the PGA Professional at the club where you play. I also recommend J&M Golf and White Mountain Golf Shop if your club does not offer repair services. These resources will direct you properly and be sure your grips are adequate to play well. I also suggest a clubfittinng every two years even if you do not plan to purchase. A competent fitter will provide you input to be sure your clubs fit your game. Please get all clubs fit from driver to putter. Wedge and putter fitting is often overlooked, but has an extremely large impact on your scoring ability, I’m hoping this helps you get your season off to a tremendous start. As always, please reach out to me with any questions or to help your game.
Here’s to a fantastic 2020 golf season. Play your best!