Teeing off before snow flies

With the days getting shorter and the chill in the air, golfing season is coming to a close, but there will still be time to get a few more rounds in before the snow flies.

With that in mind I ask you to get back to basics the last few rounds of the year.

Use common sense when playing in the fall, the fairways are hard, the ball doesn’t travel as far in the air, it doesn’t hold on the green as well. If you know your conditions and play them it will make you a better golfer.

When it comes to basics in the golf game it comes down to set up and alignment. The average golfer can set up to the target and align one’s body correctly just like a tour professional, the problem is they don’t.

The most basic thing you are setting up is the golf club – make sure you align this correctly to the target. If your target is the flag, line it up to the flag. If you play a fade or draw, line it up accordingly.

The second is your hands. Align your back hand (right hand for right-handed golfers) to the grip and step into the stance. When stepping in place, the other hand on the club is a neutral position.

Realize that your hands have to roll open and shut so make sure the club rests more in the fingers and less in the palms.

Make sure that your feet, hips and shoulders are aligned with the target line.

When you are practicing on the range it’s nice to have some alignment help on the ground facing your target to make it easier on you visually. Once we are aligned properly all we have to do is make a full swing.

After you are done with the swing, hold your finish. Make sure your hips are facing your target, make sure your back shoulder comes all the way through and make sure your hands are finishing by your ears so you know you are making a full golf swing.


Analyzing the results 

After you make your swing you have an option of analyzing how you did and what to improve, just by watching the ball flight and the divot pattern of the golf shot you just hit.

After you have a correct set-up and alignment, the next logical move is to try and figure out why the ball is moving the direction it’s moving and what you can do differently to affect the ball’s direction.

If my hands start the down swing first what does my divot look like? What if my hips start the down swing first, and then what does my divot look like?

Experiment with your golf swing – it’s the perfect time of year.

Josh Breen is head pro at the Links at Northfork in Ramsey.