GET INTO GOLF: Help me help you | TheUnion.com

GET INTO GOLF: Help me help you

John Renslow
Golf columnist

Get Into Golf has been part of the community for several years. Today, after hundreds of interesting topics and answers to your questions, let's take it back to the origin or our conversations.

Participants around the globe embrace the game of golf and come to the course for a host of good reasons. The game has a comfortable relationship with words like honor and integrity. There's no instant replay, no penalty box, and you won't find a referee with a whistle for the intemperate player. Professional players (with the most at stake) have been known to call a penalty on themselves. Bear in mind that each week a paycheck is not guaranteed, but earned, based on their performance.

Surrounded by beautiful backdrops, no two courses are the same. Cascading water breaks the silence at a cactus filled course in the desert, while ocean waves break against the edge of California's most famous golf landscape.

If it would do you good to get some exercise or take a long walk, a golf course may be the place. Joined by friends or a new acquaintance, 18 holes at the local course can add up to approximately six miles on your pedometer.

There are teachers, but there is no master. In fact, if we are willing, the game will teach us. Examples of proficiency abound, but the game is truly enjoyable and useful for players of all skill levels. Golf is local, it is relatively inexpensive, and equipment is produced to fit nearly any budget.

Today, the primary thing keeping us from a wonderful round of golf is in our mind. Are you concerned that you're not a skilled player? Could you be insecure about saying the wrong thing or making a bad impression? Don't have the right equipment? Need to play, because it means the next promotion or securing the next big deal?

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I am here to help. More than any other sport or game, protocol and decorum is at a premium. Is the sport "stuffy" and "elite" or is the game inclusive? When should we behave like we're in library and when should we be boisterous as a frat party? I'm sure that there are many misconceptions about the culture of the game and this may prevent or inhibit a certain number of people from playing the game.

This column is designed to be interactive. Shoot an e-mail over and ask a question about your game or about the game.

We'll discuss the things that will help you to get on your friend's speed-dial or favorite list. Many of these issues will be behavioral, but a good number of them will about today's global issues in the game. Is it possible that a teenage girl could compete with the best players in the world? Should the top players create a new "World Golf Tour?" When do I need lessons and, if so, from whom? Can I hit a sand wedge off the grass? How do I get a starting time at the Augusta National Golf Club?

We'll also talk about your golf swing. There is no hidden secret to developing a good golf swing. Yet, a great many players (both beginners and veterans) spend numerous hours or years waiting for a comment, suggestion, or tip that will change their game for the better.

However, good players rely on a foundation of tried and true principles. Both for mind and body, we can build and develop the motions and the mindset that will result in a game of golf that will be enjoyed for a lifetime.

So, help me help you. Send your question, comments, and opinions to me at jrenslow@yahoo.com. Then look for the answers or suggestions in this column week to week. Golf is the greatest game. No one knows exactly where or when it started, but we do know it has been played for hundreds of years. For over 20 years I have played this grand game and I look forward to lending my assistance. Because among what I have learned, I know this; a good game is much more than a good swing.

John Renslow is a PGA Professional, VP of Yugi Golf Management, and provides golf instruction at local courses.

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