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Spring Clean Your Mind
The golf season is finally here! The winters can drag on in Chicago, but sun and warmer temperatures have golfers returning to the course. You grab your clubs from storage, toss them in the trunk, and get ready to hit the course.
Perhaps you were able to sneak away from the frigid winter days and play a few rounds in the sun somewhere warm, or maybe you passed the cold months swinging a club inside and waiting to take your game to the first tee. Now, you might be looking for a tip that will give you a little edge or a boost as you return to the course. My season-starting tip does not involve swing mechanics. Instead, advise you to “spring clean your mind!”
On the course it’s easy to become obsessed with technique and stress over bad shots. I challenge you to declutter your thoughts and simply stay positive. Think of every shot as a new unique opportunity to do something great. Juggling too many swing thoughts won’t help. Take a deep breath and enjoy the moment. When you step out onto the first tee this season, remember the cold winter days and be joyful they’re gone.
According to White Pines golf professionals Bill Roper and Andrew Godfrey, “Keep your head down” is a common phrase used by many golfers to all their buddies. This is NOT what you want to do when swinging the golf club. Keeping your head down during your swing will restrict your finish and you will not be able to hit it as far. Instead, think about staying in your posture until you hit the ball. Maintaining your posture through your golf swing will help your body from “lifting up” which causes you to top the ball. After you make contact with the golf ball, think about your trail shoulder (for a right-handed golfer that will be your right shoulder) naturally lifting your head to follow where the golf ball goes. This should help you from topping the golf ball.
Golf 101: Dos and don’ts for beginners
- DO: Work with a professional to get a proper swing foundation. You can find a PGA at Twin Lakes Golf Club
- DO: Learn how to grip the club properly.
- DO: Bend from your hips.
- DO: Get your lead shoulder under your chin on the backswing and finish with your face, chest and hips and facing the target.
- DO: Concentrate on the short game by chipping and putting before focusing on long irons
- DON’T: Worry about anyone else at the course. Everyone there was once a beginner too
- DON’T: Bend from your knees.
- DON’T: Stay flat-footed through impact.