Let me know when and where you will tee off Tuesday and I’ll try to be there to observe. I won’t be able to speak with you while you are on the course because that’s the rule…only your high school coach can speak with you…however, I can speak with him and suggest things if I see something that might help you and he can relay that to you.
How has your practice been going? Are you getting the ball more airborne now?
Stay positive and I look forward to seeing you soon!
Today I joined you for 5 holes during your qualifying round with your teammates. As you well know, your swing was off more than usual. Was it because I was there observing? Was it because you had a lesson the day before? Was it something else? We don't know for sure, but the good news is that it gave me an opportunity to observe you on the course playing golf. Because of this, I knew we would have some things to work on after the round...I appreciate your staying for the practice session. If you get thrown from a horse, you have to get back on ASAP. It's an ancient saying, but it's just as true in golf.
Now for my observations on the course. There are two primary reasons for topping the ball and another reason [#3] for a higher score:
- Lifting your club instead of letting it rise naturally in front of you with the turning of your shoulders around your spine. To cure this, don't lift the club with your hands and arms only...the shoulders have to be involved from the very beginning of your backswing.
- Raising up your body in the impact zone...just before your club reaches your golf ball. This is a major reason for topping the ball, because you change the distance between your head, shoulders, spine, and hips, to the golf ball. To correct this, please help train yourself to stay down through the ball and allow your head to turn toward the target line with the turning of your shoulders. Your head shouldn't lift...it should turn toward the target line.
- Too many putts today. Seems like being off in your swing also affected your putting strokes. There were too many shorter putts that led to 3 putts—several could have been stressed related and we'll work on that together. Always take your time so that you don't rush your putts. Be sure you read the greens to know the slope and grade—up or down hill. And be sure you miss your first putt by 18 inches past the hole IF THE BALL FAILS TO HOLE OUT. Be sure to practice putting every time you practice golf. Good putting is critical and deserves a lot of practice attention.
Just as side notes for the golf course:
Be sure to keep your golf bag with you at all times when on the course. You never want to walk all the way back to get your left behind bag while other golfers are waiting to hit. You may want to consider buying a cart similar to the one Kaylee has. I think I may know where there is a good used one...I'll check on it.
Play it safe. If you're hitting mostly grounders like today please don't attempt to hit over hazards of any kind. The penalties are not worth it when you go in one.
Never ground your club in a hazard of any kind, sand bunker, water hazard, etc. You didn't do this today, but as I shared with you who did and she did it twice. Each time is a 1 stroke penalty. Since this wasn't an official tournament I did not call these penalties on her, but I did advise her why they are considered penalties and she said she had not been made aware of the grounding rule. It's another reason why it's so important to learn the rules of golf.
Always be mindful of the pace of play so that others behind you are not delayed. When the team behind you are on their tee box, you and your team should be on the green putting out, or already walking off the green. That's the correct pace of play. Tournaments are notorious for delays...but they are to be avoided if possible. If your group is consistently slow and other teams are behind waiting, the marshals can call a penalty on everyone in your group.
A minor point here. I noticed you crossing a green caring your clubs. It's okay to walk on the green when you are putting, but not okay if you're carrying clubs are pushing a cart. You need to walk around the green. And I assume you know to always walk around other player's balls so that you don't step on their line to the cup.
Going forward I would like to quiz you on the Official Rules of Golf if we can carve out some time to do it. It is very valuable for you to know and understand them to avoid mistakes that can cost you penalty strokes are even disqualify you from the tournament.
Keep that sweet chin up and I'll see you soon!