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aerial view of Golf Club of estrella golf course

21 January . 2016

Golf Tips from the PGA Pros at Golf Club of Estrella

Anytime you’re trying to improve your skills in a particular field, it’s really nice to have a bona fide professional give you some pointers. If you’re hoping to improve your golf game in 2016, we have the perfect solution for you — Golf Club of Estrella has two PGA pros, Head Golf Professional Trevor Finton and PGA Pro Doug Rikkers, available for personal instruction. In the meantime, we chatted with them and they gave us some great advice for lowering your handicap and improving your golf swing in 2016. Here are some of our favorite tips:


Slow Down Your Practice

Think about the last time you went out to practice your golf swing. How many balls would you say you hit in an hour? 50? 100? Trevor and Doug observed that people are so stressed for time that they often rush through things, like golf practice. The duo recommended slowing things down and focusing on the quality of practice shots, not the quantity. “You should be making more practice swings to work on your form than you are swinging to hit the ball,” said Trevor. “Don’t worry about hitting every last ball.”

Doug recommended you, “take some time and think about what you’re going to work on during your practice session and what you would like to achieve. On the practice tee you have unlimited mulligans, but on the golf course, you get none.”

The next time you go out for a practice session, the pair recommended the following to help you get your head in the game:

  1. Start with a plan — Know what you want to achieve before you start. Come up with a plan to meet those goals and a measurable way to track your improvement.
  2. Warm-up and stretch — This prevents injuries that could set back your game.
  3. Practice swinging before hitting — Practice your form before you attempt to hit a ball. This will help prime your body with the correct technique.
  4. Select a target spot — Even during practice sessions, make sure you’re still working on your aim and distance with a target spot.
  5. Step back and evaluate each shot — Your skills will get better as you evaluate your performance and change your approach.
  6. Think quality, not quantity — If you really want to improve, you need to focus on the quality of each shot you make. That’s how you make your practice sessions count.

Once you have refocused your practice sessions, Trevor and Doug next recommended working on your short game.


Rework Your Short Game

If you struggle with your chipping, frequently hitting chunked and skulled shots, you might be missing one of the key points to a great short game. Our PGA pros said players who struggle with inconsistent contact do so because they are often trying to help the ball in the air by scooping or hitting up on it. While it might seem to make sense, they said the problem with this approach is that it tends to move the bottom of the swing too far behind the ball. The result is that you either hit the ground first or raise the leading edge of the club into the middle of the ball, resulting in that ugly sculled shot that races across the green and into that bunker waiting for you on the other side.

Before you stress out, there’s good news! According to our PGA pros, with just a couple adjustments you can eliminate this problem and be on your way to making solid contact and lower scores.

First, Trevor and Doug recommended starting with your set-up, with these three tips:

  1. Place the ball in your stance so that it is closer to your back foot than your front.
  2. Keep 60% or your weight on your front leg
  3. Keep your hands forward (closer to your front leg) so that the shaft leans slightly towards the target

Once you have mastered this set-up, Trevor and Doug next recommended working on hitting the ball first and then the ground just out in front of the ball. You do this by keeping your weight left, hands still, and chest rotating towards the target. When done right, you’ll finish the stroke with the club head lower than your hands and fairly close to, but no more than a foot off the ground. By following these tips, our golf duo said you’d be well on your way to improving your short game.

If you’re ready to put these tips by our golf pros to the test, Golf Club of Estrella now offers daily range passes for only $15 per person, which allow you to hit unlimited balls all day and give you access to the chipping green. For more information on Golf Club of Estrella check out: http://www.estrella.com/Golf-Club.  Also, be sure to check out their newly remodeled dining patio for beautiful views and great food!

Do you love going out for breakfast? Because we sure do! Stay tuned for next week’s blog on the BEST breakfast spots in the West Valley.