By Duane Borcherding, PGA Professional & Director of Golf, White Hawk Country Club

The golf season for Northwest Indiana and the greater Chicagoland area is just about here.  To help you get off to a good start this golf season, here are some of my tips to help you with your game.

Solid Foundation

The better your golf fundamentals are, the more potential you will have to lower your scores.

  • Grip, posture, alignment, aim, and balance, are all golf fundamentals that are extremely important and cannot be over looked.
  • All top-level players have learned the proper fundamentals for their swing type and they monitor these fundamentals EVERYDAY.
  • The fundamentals that are individual and specific to you, actually determine the type of swing you have. So, if you want to change your swing, adjust your fundamentals.
  • A proper set up is always the #1 priority. Use a mirror to monitor your set-up positions.  Lay clubs on the ground to help build a solid set-up.  Use a Polaroid camera or video.

The Need For Speed

Looking for a couple extra yards? (I’m waiting for someone to say no.)  Add speed and quickness.

  • When trying to hit the ball farther we tend to associate distance with effort. Try harder and give more effort.  My definition of distance has the words speed and quickness in it.
  • Your set-up combined with your athletic ability will determine other important swing positions. The end of your back swing is the #2 position and your balanced finish position is your #3 point.
  • How quickly can you move from your #2 position to your #3 position while maintaining balance? This sounds simple enough, but not so simple because as we advance in age, or when we come out of a long winter hibernation, we tend to lose some quickness, or gracefulness.
  • Weighted clubs are great for maintaining flexibility and keeping the golf muscles in shape. But remember to do speed drills to keep or even increase the speed in your swing.  Shadow swing, concentrating on swinging from your position #2 to your position #3 as quickly as possible with balance.  Swing a small towel, turn your club around and swing the grip making a loud whoosh noise, swing a weight on a string or a two-foot long club, or think of a new creative way to add speed to your swing.

Healthy Golf

Early season injuries are common due to the winter layoff.  Avoid a setback injury by stretching properly before you work on your 1 – 2 – 3’s.

  • The shoulder area, which includes the rotator cuff, is a key area and plays a big part in determining the range of motion in your swing. Hold a club with both hands separated wide, raise the club over your head and slide the club down the back of your neck.  Nice and easy, the farther your can move the club down your neck and down your back, the more flexibility you will have in your swing.
  • The back also takes a beating in the golf swing and is an area that needs to be warmed-up and exercised on an everyday basis. The lower back is an injury prone area.   Poor swing mechanics, weak stomach muscles, and not warming up are all aggravating situations for the back.  Improve your footwork in your golf swing and you will have a healthier back.  When you swing flatfooted you are anchoring your lowed body to the ground and limiting movement in your swing.  When your lower body is anchored and your upper body is turning, you create a lot of torque, tension, and unnecessary compaction in the lower back area.  Proper footwork will allow the lower body to work with the upper body and your spine will stay more in line and less stress will occur.

For more tips, or to schedule a golf lesson, please contact me at White Hawk Country Club, 219-661-2323.   I am happy to help!