Earlier this week, I had the honor of attending a golf clinic hosted by the PGA Tour Canada for the Canadian Military. Only a day before they were to compete, eight young golfing phenoms spent 1.5 hours sharing their considerable knowledge with Canadian soldiers. For the fifth time this year, the PGA Tour Canada hosted serving members to teach them how to putt, chip and drive a golf ball. It was a day to remember for most of us golfing enthusiasts!
The Wildfire Golf Club is currently hosting a PGA Tour Canada event. Prior to the start on Thursday, Devin Daniels, Wills Smith, Drew Evans, Steve Carney, Adam Cornelson, Greg Machtaler, Peter Campbell and Daniel McCarthy stopped preparing for their professional event to help golfing wannabees improve their game!
Our 1.5 hours was broken into three 30 minute segments. Each segment consisted of putting, iron play and driving. Two of the pros, Drew Evans and Peter Campbell shared their expertise on the putting green. The rest was spread throughout the driving range. The most exciting aspect of the entire event was the close and personal attention each pro gave the player.
I was fortunate to have Drew Evans provide some putting tips. As he watched me putt, he indicated that I had a very good putting stroke. He emphasized the importance of keeping my triangle while putting. When I asked about my view of following through twice as far as the back swing, he indicated that it was a good drill for mid to high handicap players, but for lower handicappers, a smoother even putting stroke is preferred. Lastly, he suggested that I move my hands out from my body about 2 inches to keep my shoulders, wrists and putter head in a straight line…man did that make a positive difference! Thanks Drew I appreciate the help. Here are some other tips by Drew and Peter.
My next station was the driving range. I started with my 7 iron and both Adam Cornelson and Steve Carney liked what I was doing. My follow through was excellent and my contact consistent. The only thing they suggested was that I slow my back swing down to produce a smoother tempo throughout the entire swing. This will have to happen at the range as changing my tempo with my 7 iron will be difficult. I was encouraged to hear that my 7 iron was in pretty good shape.
Moving on to my driver was a slightly different story. I hit my driver 240 yards straight, 7 times out of 10. Of course, being a golfing freak, I asked how to gain 20 more yards. Drew Evans looked at my swing and told me what I already knew…no power was generated from the lower part of my body. To date I have been unable to correct this problem. Drew suggested I widen my stance. At first it felt very uncomfortable, but the results were unmistakable. I immediately gained some distance on my driver with the same consistency.
After hitting about 20 drives, Devin Daniels approached me and suggested I should slow my back swing down. He noticed that when I was trying to hit the ball hard, everything sped up and became out of sync. Additionally, he reminded me that less is more. Something I have said over and over. Swinging at 80% strength is the key to have the ball go farther! Of course it worked and now I have two things to work on at the range.
The entire day was incredible. Everyone who attended the golf clinic was very impressed by the Wildfire Golf Club, the pros knowledge and infinite patience while answering questions and the PGA Tour Canada for continuing to host the Canadian Military! After talking to the PGA Tour Canada staff, I found out that there are opportunities to caddy next year and I think I am going to give it a go!
Thank you PGA Tour Canada for continuing to support the Canadian Armed Forces!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!