In Full Swing
The weather is finally beginning to warm and many Edmond residents are turning to the outdoors and hitting the green. This cold winter season may have caused a few golfers to get a little rusty and in need of some tips from the experts.
“The question I get asked most commonly is ‘Can you help me hit farther?’,” says Danny Cline, long time PGA professional and COO of Oak Tree National. “The answer depends on a few factors: equipment, golf swing, strength, range of motion and speed. In some cases, just changing the shaft or length of the equipment helps people hit further. Other golfers may need to work on range of motion through a stretching or strength program.”
Scott Smelser, Director of Golf at Coffee Creek Golf Club agrees and says lessons from a qualified PGA Golf Professional are a must. Smelser says he’s been playing golf since he was six years old and has always been an accomplished player. “I have been a member of the PGA of America since 1997, and entering my 16th year at Coffee Creek.”
When it comes to improving your swing, Smelser advises to “swing in balance at all times, accelerate through impact on all shots, and keep your body rotating towards your target.”
According to Cline, PGA golfer Davis Love’s father was one of the best instructors in history. He always told Love to hit golf balls by making a full swing using a short iron at a slow speed. “The swing has to be slow enough that you can feel every muscle and the weight of the club so when you start the down swing the golf ball gets struck in the middle of the club’s face. If you’re not making good contact, slow down even more. Once good contact is achieved on a consistent basis, increase the speed. As you feel more comfortable, go to a longer club. This drill develops hand-eye coordination and muscle memory.”
Custom club fitting and individual instruction will pay dividends tenfold, says Cline. If you’re new to the game, getting an educated start really helps. There are many qualified PGA professionals locally who can help. “We employ and train the very best staff members and we are fanatical about producing the very best golf course possible.”
Oak Tree will be hosting the 2014 US Senior Open and the 2012 Trans-Mississippi Amateur championship. According to Cline, Oak Tree has been mentioned as one of the top golf courses in the world. After their construction in 2009, it was rated the third hardest golf course in America by Golf Digest. Cline hopes to announce more major championships in the next year or so.
Smelser says he’s also excited about the Senior Open’s arrival into Edmond. Coffee Creek Golf is planning to begin the process of renovating their course sometime in 2011. “We offer a quiet, country club type atmosphere to the public golfer.”
No matter what your experience level is, there’s always something to learn in golf and Edmond courses are a great place to start. Oak Tree National is located at 1515 W. Oak Tree Drive. Coffee Creek Golf Club can be found at 4000 N. Kelly Ave.
Equipment that is hot on the market right now:
Golf products are very ability-specific now days and it all depends on your handicap. A fitting session with a professional will ensure a great fit. The key is getting the proper club head, loft, shaft, lie angle and grip for each individual based on their swing.
Drivers: The Taylor Made R9 Driver recently improved its moveable weight technology and added an adjustable shaft which provides the player with 24 options for ball flight.
Woods: Ping G15 woods have a lower center of gravity and a wide, yet low profile head design that makes it easier for golfers to get the ball airborne.
Hybrids: Callaway Diablo Edge offers a range of playability with exceptional weight and balance that result in a high launch with great feel.
Irons: Titleist recently improved the AP2 Irons. The simple, yet polished forged design combined with super-soft feel have made these irons idyllic for serious golfers.
Wedges: The new groove rule has had an impact on the innovation of wedge design making the Titleist Vokey Wedge a popular choice. The spin milled design, classic finishes and loft options from 48 to 64 degrees make the Vokey Wedge a golf staple.
Golf Balls: The Titleist PRO V1 continues to be the most used golf ball on the course. The TaylorMade Penta has five layers that provide exceptional feel, spin, control, launch and distance.
Source: Danny Cline, General Manager and COO of Oak Tree National.