Renslow: Rainy day golf tips
March 27, 2014
Certainly, the rain is much needed. Yet, for us golfers, gazing through window panes dripping with water, we yearn for a sunny day. Benefits from winter storms will be seen throughout the year, but do we have to live these days without golf? Let not your heart be troubled.
Once again, Get Into Golf is here to help. There are number of really fun things you can do indoors. You can even get your golf fix, or perhaps improve your game.
Consider an opportunity to help your short game. Heaven knows, none of us spend enough time chipping and putting. Depending on the size and design of your home, one or other might be more practical, hopefully you can do both.
Homes or rooms with short carpet are great for putting. Hit putts with a focus on the initial line. The goal is to send the ball down the target line; solid, accelerating strokes that move directly down the line.
You think your carpet is level, but it's probably not, and we don't want to get caught up in the break. We want to practice the putting motion. Later, after you feel you've been hitting them well, have some fun and make a golf course throughout your home. Invite a few friends over, tip a couple of cold ones and start a nassau.
Chipping is very beneficial, although you may want to remove anything breakable from the room (you know who you are). For those of you who are comfortable with chipping, get an 8-iron, pitching wedge, or sand wedge and use the same format as we did with the putter.
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Now, be honest…do you really hit most of your chips solid and straight? Most people don't. So, try this. First, take a chair with a soft cushion and flip it on its side. Take a few balls and your 8-iron. Then using a chipping motion, hit balls into the cushion.
Your stance should be narrow and open, weight favoring the left side/leg (for right handers), with minimal movement in your hands, as your shoulders, arms, and torso move the club head through the ball. The result should be crisp, centered shots that hit that cushion with a solid "thud."
Next, if you have the space, or just move to the hallway, use this motion to hit small, solid chips toward a target. And, a fun way to practice is to get a small trash can or "golf safe" bowl. Place the object about six feet in front of you and try to hit the chip so the ball flies into the can or bowl.
This will help you a lot on the golf course, because when a chip is hit onto the green, we're not hitting it at the hole, we're hitting it to a spot. From there it's up to the ball. Like a friend once said, "My only responsibility is to hit the ball. It's the ball's responsibility from there."
You gotta love it.
John Renslow is general manager and director of golf at Alta Sierra Country Club. Please contact John with your questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.