Spring Tune-Up
As we come out of the nastiest winter I ever remember, my golf game is suffering seriously. Many of you haven’t even touched a club in months, so my self-pity is not garnering any sympathy, I’m sure, but the idea of today’s column is that golf isn’t much fun when you are playing poorly. The good news is that you don’t have to settle for that.

In my case, it all started around Christmas/New Year’s, when I stepped in a hole in the pavement and ended up with a light low sprain in my left ankle. I shook it off, “rubbed some dirt on it” as the Peyton Manning commercial says, and played that afternoon. Later I realized that I was really favoring it in my swing, leaving way too much weight back on my right foot through impact. So that caused me to over-engage the upper body and hands, and I ended up with this weak “hand slap”, over the top, across the line move through impact. My alignment was way right of the target line, which then had the ball too far forward so it would look right. I was totally screwed up and couldn’t see it “from here”. Sheesh, I haven’t hit shots this ugly since . . . .well, ever.

So, I did what any self-respecting golf club designer, blog author and “expert” would do – I got an ankle brace and tried to fix it all myself. Hmmmmmm. Guess how that’s been working out? Finally, after one more round of brilliant shots intermixed (way too seldom) with things I couldn’t identify as mine, I put on my ankle brace and got my golf pro to go to the range with me for a “Spring Tune-Up”. We started with grip, then to set-up and posture, then to the take-away, and through the swing in pieces. In less than an hour I was hitting like I am accustomed. Wonderful!!! Golf can be fun again.

I highly recommend this to anyone, especially those of you who haven’t been playing. A one hour session with any good teaching pro is the best investment you’ll make this season. Just tell him or her that you want a spring tune-up, just to make sure that all is right as you begin playing, or playing more. No swing overhauls, no major changes, just to get you back to the basics, where you were when winter came along and pushed you off the golf course. A good one hour session with a golf pro costs about the same or less than a round of golf, drinks and lunch. And it will make your golf so much more enjoyable, you won’t believe it.

I’ve read that only 8% of all golfers have EVER taken a lesson from a golf professional! That’s absurd, as goofy for this game as we all are. Time with a golf pro is the best investment you can make in your game (well, next to new EIDOLON wedges that is!) Golf professionals have a trained eye and the tools they need to get you “right” for the season. Whether your 2010 goals are to break 100 for the first time, get consistently in the 90s, 80s or 70s, or to shoot your first round of par, a little help from your golf professional will get you there much more quickly and surely than all the magazines and books, videos and TV shows you could ever absorb.

Just corner your golf professional where you play, or go to one of the “retail teaching centers” run by GolfTEC or others, and tell them you want some help. Not a swing overhaul, but a spring tune-up to get things right to start the season. And if you are serious about 2010 being your best year ever, talk to your pro about a series of lessons to get you there.

One last word – all golf professionals are not equal. Some are better communicators than others, and some will mesh with your personality style better than others. If you go to one and don’t get a good value from the experience, try another until you find one that you click with. Then stick with that one, and that one only.

Hope the weather is giving you all a break this weekend. See you Tuesday with another reader question and EIDOLON wedge winner.

photo source
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.

[ comments ]
mjaber says:
My local range/golf shop offers a 3-pack of lessons they call a "swing tune-up" for $140. I did it last year about mid-season, and it helped considerably. Luckily, my swing (at least at the range) hasn't suffered from the 3 month layoff. Just got back from the range, and I'm hitting the ball as well as I was last year. I'm even starting to get the hang of my 3 wood!!!!
JDoughMO says:
Today = 60 and partly cloudy. Tomorrow = 32 and 3-6 inches of snow. So much for the break. Oddly enough I've been able to play a couple rounds over the last couple weeks and played some of my best golf. I guess it is more of mental thing with me. I don't have any great expectations the first couple rounds out and play relaxed. A tune-up with a pro is a great idea though, especially for those like me who have never had a lesson.
Banker85 says:
I think i am coming over the top and having the weak hand slap problem. My drives usually are around 240+ and yesterday (first time out since winter) i could barely get anything to the 210 mark. Ya the fairways played like quicksand but i never had 40 yards of roll anyways. Did hit some good wedge shots though, i need to go to the range first , i was too eager to get on the course and pick up where i left off last season.
phraynck says:
I tried to fix my swing myself for 5 years. I had never taken a lesson either. I have been taking lessons now for the past 9 months. I wasted 5 years of my golfing life getting worse. Don't be me
Century1 says:
Last year after many years away from golf, I did it the hard way and tried to learn by watching better golfers I played with. I did drop about 10 shots from begining to year end but was no where near my 1990s game. This year I will take a couple early season, then mid season tuneup lessons. I think I might even surprise some of my playing partners.
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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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