15 Minute Golf Lesson

Who would have thought that a 15 minute golf lesson would shape the future of my 2015 golfing season. My recent excursion to the Toronto Golf and Travel Show, as you have read from the past two posts, was fun and educational. However, the highlight of my time at the golf show as the 15 minute golf lesson I received from James Hutchinson, an Associate Golf Professional at Blue Springs Golf Club.

At the start of the lesson, James asked me what I wanted to work on, how much I golfed, and where I played. My objective of the lesson was to hit the ball further off the tee and after a quick discussion, we were ready to start. We grabbed a 7-iron to warm up and a driver with a stiff shaft; it was almost exactly like my driver back home. As I warmed up, we continued to discuss my goals and he said something I thought was quite funny, yet extremely important.

I explained that by gaining the extra distance, it would equate to lower scores. I mentioned I was trying to consistently hit the ball about 260-270 yards off the tee instead of my normal 240-250. This would allow me to approach the green with an 8 or 9 iron instead of my usual 6 or 7 iron. Above all, I wanted to keep my accuracy. James suggested that I should practice putting and chipping more to lower my scores. Although he was tough and cheek at that time, this advice is excellent and should be heeded by everyone.

Golf lesson

Golden Tips

 

Ok, back to the lesson. After he watch me hit about 15 balls, he notice that my swing was smooth, but not generating the power I was looking for!  James explained that a swing has three distinct motions: the first movement of the lower body (he called the bump), the rotation of the chest to catch up with the hips, and the follow through of all body parts to the a high finish. Well this was profound for me. I understood the mechanics, but James suggestion of a bump first with the hips was the missing piece I was looking for to hit the ball farther.

Check out the video below to see what I mean:

So I am practicing the three distinct movements without a club. It does feel uncomfortable, but I think this is going to be my way forward to improve my game in the early part of the upcoming golf season.

Thanks James, I am grateful for the tip. Anyone looking for a lesson and you are in the Acton, Ontario area, James is your man.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

2015 Toronto Golf and Travel Show – Part Deux

The second installment of my review of the 2015 Toronto Golf and Travel Show will focus on the other aspects of the event….Golf! There were many opportunities to swing different clubs, win prizes, buy some new toys and see the newest technology at work. The moment my friend and I entered the pavilion, we knew exactly where to go – the demo section! This may have been a crazy plan since we had not swung a club in 4 months, but by beating the rush, we were able to take our time and demo any club we wanted.

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Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815

My first club was the new Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815. It had a stiff shaft and was nice to look at during set up. It may sound silly, but some clubs I will not use because they do not fit my eye while standing over the ball. As I swung the driver, it felt very comfortable and loved the feel of the ball off the head of the club. I hit about 10-15 balls and by the end felt very comfortable swinging the Callaway driver. I would consider buying this club in the future.

Next I tried the TaylorMade AeroBurner. It had a new design and it did not fit my eye very well. I guess I am not a fan of the colour white for a driver. Overall, I was not impressed with the club. It is not that it did not perform well, but it just did not fit my swing or comfort zone. I am not sure if the performance of this driver was mental or physical.

TaylorMade Driver

R15 Black Driver

Lastly, I hit the TaylorMade R15 460 TP Adjustable Driver. This was a very good club. It too had a stiff shaft. It was easily comparable to the Callaway driver. The dual sliders were set to the outer edges which made the club very forgiving. I liked everything about this club and might be a choice for me in future.

Next we went to the long drive contest. For $5, we received 4 balls. One for practice and three for the competition. We actually tried this twice and my longest drive was 279 yards. My friend, Jean, out drove me by 2 yards. I am sure I will hear about this in the summer when we hit links for real.

We passed the $10,000 hole-in-one competition, but did not try it. There was a long line and we decided to spend our money on a 15 minute lesson instead. I will be talk about that experience in my next article.

We walked by the putting contest. It was actually disappointing. The putt was extremely difficult and the prizes were not worth the $5 dollar fee to play. Many were trying it, however it did not peak our interest.

There were 4 different discount stores. They had a variety of old and new clubs, old and new clothes, and other accessories. The price on golf balls was disappointing compared to previous golf shows I attended. My overall impression was that there were deals to be had, but you needed to look. I bought a Drysack Stand Bag Poncho. It was only $5 dollars and worth the price. In all fairness, I was not looking for anything in particular, so the stores did not hold much interest for me.

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The TEE CLAW

I did, however, find something I was looking for! The TEE CLAW – “Practice Like You Play” kit was on sale for $13 dollars which included 3 TEE CLAWs, tees, and lanyards. This is something I had researched and was very happy to find them at the golf show! I am looking forward using them on the range this spring.

These above highlights were another small part of the sights I saw at the Toronto Golf & Travel Show. On a side note, I am not associated with any of the products mentioned above. My next post will be about the lesson I recieved that might make my journey to scratch that much easier. So stay tuned!

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

2015 Toronto Golf & Travel Show

Toronto Golf Show logoThe Toronto Golf & Travel Show did not disappoint. It was a mecca of golf for three days at the International Centre by Pearson International Airport! With 100s of booths, there was something for everyone. As I strategically walked my way through the maze of everything golf, it was easy to get swept up in the excitement of all the golfing possibilities.

There was something for everyone! If travel was your thing, well you could take trips to Central America and Mexico. Of course, the US was well represented. Of direct interest to me was the availability of golfing opportunities in the Northeastern US states. With only a few hours drive from my home, the opportunity to play some great courses for cheap is appealing. But, of all the travel locations, these three were my highlights:

Scotland. The two gents representing golf in Scotland were great. They chatted up the benefits of playing in the country that invented golf. Their bottom-line was, anything you want for golf, they could provide. They understood the value of providing all the transport and accommodations requirements associated with a golf trip and were well prepared. The fact that they gave out a bottle of scotch each day was not the deciding factor as to why I really enjoyed talking to these guys. They just love talking golf. Couple websites to check out are Golf East Lothian and Saltire Executive Golf.

PEI. The folks from PEI were awesome! We talked for about 15 minutes about PEI being an untapped golfing paradise. Within a short drive of Charlottetown, there are plenty of golf courses to satisfy all golfers. They talked about how PEI offers more than just golf, it is a fun family holiday destination. Also, the folks at the Golf PEI booth were giving out fresh oysters…..mmmmm. PEI is on my bucket list of places to golf. Check out Golf PEI if you want more info.

Cobble Beach Golf Course. Warren Thomas and his crew were outstanding! They had a state of the art golfing simulator that garnered plenty of attention. I tried three shots and came to with 8 feet on a 100 yard island green hole. It was very cool. If I only had $15,000 lying around, I could purchase a similar simulator and be set during the winter.  Cobble Beach Golf Course, located near Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada, looks like a great course to play. Additionally, they offer a free round of golf on your birthday. What a great deal! I am looking forward to playing Cobble Beach in the future.

An honourable mention goes out to the chaps at Willow Valley Golf Course. They were great to talk too and had a fun game where you drop a chip in the top of a board and watch it ricochet down to a prize. I won a hotdog and pop. I was pretty excited until they told me I had to come to the course to collect! Well, we all had a great laugh and I just might take them up on their offer!

These above highlights were only a small part of the sights I saw at the Toronto Golf & Travel Show. My next post will be about other aspects of the Toronto Golf and Travel Show that may peak your interest. So stay tuned!

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!