Golf Lesson #1 – Back to Fundamentals

The 2014 golf season has officially started in Calgary. Wait, what? Alright, there is still snow on the ground and it’s currently -11 degrees Celsius, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start getting your golf game ready. Beth and I were at the Calgary Golf and Country Club today to get our first of several golf lessons planned with our new coach, assistant golf professional Fred Teno. I’m very fortunate and thankful to be a member there this year and Beth and I are both excited to improve our games with the help of Fred this season.

I’ve never really had a coach before. Of course, my Dad got me started in the game with the basic fundamentals as a young lad, and the rest of my golf was played trying to copy what I saw on television. I dabbled in a few lessons last year with high hopes of a big year, but never really found a rhythm because of injuries. Now as a 30 year old wielding a 6-handicap, I’m ready to see what I’m capable of. I’ve always been an avid golfer, but I’m finally making the commitment to coaching and a proper practice routine.

We were both delighted with our sessions with Fred today. We kept it very fundamental and started from the ground up hitting a 9 iron only. We made a couple small adjustments to my setup. The first adjustment was addressing my tendency to lean too far forward at address, which would sometimes compromise my balance throughout the swing and  cause me to come into the ball from the outside rather than slightly inside. My big miss with my irons would be to really lean on them and hit a big cut. The second adjustment was ball position. My ball position, particularly with a short iron, had migrated too far forward which encouraged my miss even further. With these two very minor tweaks, I immediately started feeling more relaxed and comfortable and hit the ball flush more consistently.

It’s also very encouraging to hear a professional validate all the things you do well. He really liked my swing overall and broke down everything he liked about it which not only boosts the confidence, but eliminates the number of things you’re thinking about. The most fundamental things can be consistency killers and now that I’ve had someone point these things out so easily and quickly, I almost can’t stomach thinking about how many hours I’ve spent on the range in the past spinning my wheels. Can’t dwell on the past, but I’m happy I finally stopped being stubborn. I’m not sure of all the details of what Fred worked on with Beth, but I can report that her shots were sounding flush and her swing is looking very strong. I think she might really be gunning for me this season!

When we were talking about consistency I mentioned that sometimes on a given weekend I could shoot 74 on Saturday and 87 on Sunday, for example. He told me with a swing like mine I should never shoot 80 and can absolutely become a scratch golfer if I put the time in.  I am not placing that expectation on myself regarding score, it was just his way of telling me what kind of potential he thought I had. Whether he was just pumping my tires or not, it’s very encouraging to have someone believe in you that you can reach your goals.

I can’t wait to get some more practice in before the next golf lessons. The plan is to have one more lesson before heading to Palm Springs on February 19 to visit Beth’s parents for a week. With no shortage of golf in the Palm Springs area that will be a great chance to test what we’ve been working on in our lessons on the course. Can’t wait!

Happy golfing


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