All golfers are looking to improve their scores when they play golf, but many people spend too much time hitting balls at the driving range, reading books to help their swings, buying countless swing aids, etc. when it is a well known fact that the easiest way to shave strokes off your score is to strengthen your short game. The short game in golf refers to anything inside of 80 yards to the green. This includes short wedge shots, pitching, chipping, bunker play, and putting.
Chipping is probably one of the most important elements of golf and is also one of the most overlooked parts. A chip shot is a shot that is taken from rough, fairway, or fringe around the green in which you want the ball to pop up into the air and then roll the majority of the way to the hole—hopefully close enough for you to make the next shot.
A chip shot can be taken with almost any club in the bag. Clubs that can be used for a chip shot range from a hybrid to a 60-degree wedge. The amount of green you have to work with and how much rough, fairway, or fringe you have to carry will directly dictate which club you use for a chip shot. If your ball is sitting on the fringe, for example, and you have a lot of green to work with, you can chip with a 7 iron, which will fly in the air just a little and roll the majority of the way. On the other hand, if you are in the rough and have only about 15 feet of green to work with, a wedge would be a proper choice. Always remember to assess the shot you have before selecting a club to chip with.
Thinking about a simple acronym, BLT, can help most people improve their chipping strokes. BLT does not stand for Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato (although these sandwiches are quite tasty!).
B – Ball in the (B)ack of the stance: After figuring out your aiming point, gather your stance over the ball and make sure that the golf ball is placed off of the back foot. Placing the ball off of your back foot will ensure that the club takes a downward path approaching the ball at impact.
L – (L)ean forward to your front foot (left foot for right-handed players, right foot for left-handed players). After positioning the ball off the back foot, position 90 percent of your weight on the foot closest to the target and leave it there (no weight shift during a chip shot). Putting your weight on your forward foot creates a stable position over the ball that will allow you to stay consistent through the shot.
T – Tilt the shaft toward your target: Tilt the shaft toward the target to take some of the loft off of the face of the club; this will allow you to hit the ball in the air for a short period of time before the ball will roll out the rest of the way.
Once you have achieved your BLT setup, you are ready to hit the chip shot. A chip shot motion is closest to that of a putt (no wrist break, and back swing distance = follow-through distance). Remember: If you are about to chip the ball to the target, your next shot needs to be a putt.
For more golf tips, or to set up a lesson with me or another Garden of the Gods Club golf professional, please contact our Golf Shop at 719.636.2520. Have a great season!
Golf is an ever-evolving sport, and it’s not just for men looking to get away from doing chores and yard work. As we make our way into the 2013 season here at Garden of the Gods Club’s Kissing Camels Golf Course, we’re noticing that more and more women and children are getting involved in the sport. If you’re a lady who has not yet given golf a try, or a female golfer who has been away from the game for a while, then I encourage you to read on! As an assistant golf professional, I’ve been able to observe the benefits of golf firsthand, and today I’d like to highlight just a few of the reasons why women should consider picking up golf or returning to the game after a hiatus.
- Golf is a social game. Golf is different from many other sports in that you can gather one, two, three, or more of your friends and head to the course to play a non-competitive round of golf. Golf is a great way to spend a couple of hours with your best friend in the beautiful outdoors and then move into the clubhouse and have a cocktail, all while catching up, talking about the latest news, or gossiping.
- Golf is a fashionable sport. Fashion has made its way into golf with a loud and thunderous bang, to the extent that how you look on the course has almost become more important than how well you play. I cannot even keep track of how many times a week I overhear ladies talking about what they are wearing or where they purchased something—or how many times ladies approach me on the range or in the pro shop to describe an outfit that they saw on television or a cute shirt and skort spotted on the course last weekend. Our merchandise manager, Jeanne, or any of us in the Golf Shop are committed to helping you look your best whether or not your game is up to par. Remember, when all else fails, we must look the part!
- Golf can be great exercise. Health and fitness experts have agreed that walking is among the best forms of exercise available. Walking the holes of a golf course can be a great way to get back into exercising or to get a quick walk in before the day gets away from you. Not only does golf get you the exercise you need, but it also allows you to do this outside while playing a sport with your friends or loved ones.
- Golf can strengthen family bonds. There are few things more important to women than their families, and golf is a perfect way to strengthen family relationships. Golf is a game of all ages and skill levels, and it can be played after work or on the weekends when it’s most convenient for a busy working family. Golf can be an excellent way to stay close with your significant other. My wife Becca and I often play a round together to escape from our troubles and simply go chase a little white ball around for a few hours.
Here at Kissing Camels Golf Course, we offer a variety of events designed to appeal to women golfers. This summer, for example, we will be offering a convenient, affordable group lesson series for women called “Get Golf Ready.” Priced at just $99, each series includes five 90-minute lessons in a comfortable, non-intimidating environment. No golf clubs yet? No problem! We’ll have golf equipment available for participants to use during lessons. This particular lesson series is available to both Members and non-Members, though space is limited. For scheduling details or to sign up, please call the Golf Shop at 719.636.2520.
For Golf Members, Garden of the Gods Club offers both 9-hole and 18-hole ladies’ leagues that meet on Thursday mornings. In addition, we will be hosting a ladies-only twilight event on Friday, June 7, 2013. Golf will begin at 4:30 pm with appetizers to follow at 6:30 pm. The registration fee of $30 per golfer includes a tee gift, appetizers, and prizes. The format is a four-lady scramble, and participation will be limited to the first 15 teams to sign up.
So let go of any excuses, and make the summer of 2013 truly memorable by making it the season you first gave golf a try. You won’t regret it!Read More
Golf does not only teach about swing mechanics or distance control, but it teaches valuable life lessons as well. Here are some of the skills and qualities that I have acquired by playing the game of golf:
Integrity: Golf teaches honesty, behavior, and etiquette through playing with people with whom we are not familiar, competing in tournaments that involve consequences for cheating, and learning respect for the game’s rules and other players. All of these values easily transfer to off-course settings.
Math Skills: It seems simple, but in order to play golf, one needs to know how to add their scorecard. Too many times in the course of playing, people do not add their cards correctly. This applies mainly to junior golfers, but it can’t be ignored by adults.
Work Ethic: Golf, as we all know, is a very difficult sport in which the only way to get better is by practice. As with any other kind of practice, there cannot be any shortcuts taken, as these will only surface later when it counts. By learning a good strong work ethic through golf, players are better equipped to handle everyday chores and work situations off the course.
For these reasons and more, golf is a great sport to encourage children to try! This summer, Garden of the Gods Club will offer a variety of junior golf programs designed to introduce both Member and non-Member kids to the game of golf in an affordable, comfortable group setting. Read on for details!
Get Tour Ready
This will be year two of our Get Tour Ready (GTR) program for kids ages eight to 16. GTR offers nine clinics and three course play sessions. Each clinic will cover a different part of the game, as well as etiquette, rules, and life lessons. Last year, 20 junior golfers participated, and we are expecting more children to join us this year! The registration fee is $250 for Member children and $300 for non-Member children.
PGA Sports Academy
We also will be holding two sessions of our Junior Sports Academy, one in June and one in July, lasting three days each from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. These classes are for kids ages eight to 14, and they much more intense than our other junior golf programs. Each academy is limited to the first 20 children to sign up, and the registration fee is $150 per child.
PGA Sports Academy Clinics
On various Thursdays throughout the summer, we will be offering complimentary half-hour group clinics for Member children ages seven and under. Each clinic will focus on different golf clubs and will be limited to the first 12 children to RSVP.
For more information on junior golf programs at Garden of the Gods Club, please visit www.gardenofthegodsclub.com.Read More