A Golfer’s New Year’s Resolution

John Stahlschmidt
PGA Director of Instruction
JW Marriott Camelback Golf Club
Scottsdale, AZ

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Isn’t the beginning of every year simply fabulous? It is a time in which we set resolutions for all those good intentions. Hopefully, a better golf game is on your short list but how will you obtain this? Simply wishing for it will not be enough. There needs to be a plan in place in order to achieve a better golf game for 2017. Follow what I propose below and your dreams of playing better will become a reality.

1. Dedicate 2 hours a week to practice. This practice time must be separate from playing days. Practice one hour on full swing and one hour on short game. Make sure your practice time is structured. Set a goal for each session before you start and then assess how well you accomplished that goal once finished.

2. Decide how you want your ball to curve. At the beginning of every lesson, I ask a new client how they would like their ball to fly– straight, right to left or left to right? Have you ever thought about this before?  Try committing to a specific ball flight and work towards hitting that shot on a consistent basis.

3. Learn to hit the ball first and the ground second. This seems easier said than done but we all know at times we have hit that dreaded fat shot. A fundamental to playing golf well is to consistently hit the ball before the ground.

4. Take a golf lesson. If you don’t consistently take golf lessons for whatever reason give one a try. Seek out your local PGA Professional for help. This game is very difficult and impossible to excel at by yourself. There is a reason why the best players in the world have coaches. When you take a lesson it is important to always ask, “Does what I am working on support the ball flight I have committed to hitting?” If you can answer with an astounding yes, you have found a good instructor.

5. Enjoy the walk. Keep in mind one of the reasons you are out there is to enjoy the experience. Some golfers like the social aspect while others like the competition. Whatever it is for you, enjoy the experience.

John Stahlschmidt is the PGA Director of Instruction at the JW Marriott Camelback Golf Club in Scottsdale, AZ. John is currently ranked as the 12th best instructor in the state of Arizona by Golf Digest. To comment or to schedule a lesson, visit John’s new website at jjsgolf.org or email jjs.golf@hotmail.com