Joco Sports

April 8, 2014

Got the itch to play golf? Here’s some do’s and don’ts from the pros

Golf professionals offer tips for the upcoming summer season.

Spring will be here, one of these days.

We have nice days in the low 70s followed by highs in the 40s, but it will settle down to spring and then summer weather.

This is the best time of the year in this area for golfers.

Golf is likely the biggest participation sport in Johnson County with several public courses in the area along with a plethora of country clubs.

What do the people who make their living in the game of golf say about getting ready for the golf season?

After talking to three PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) Golf Professional, they all had pretty much the same ideas of what golfers need to do to be ready when the great weather finally arrives.

Jacque Madison is in her third season as the head golf professional at Meadowbrook Golf and Country Club.

She played golf at Kansas State and has been a member of the LPGA since 2007.

“Golfers should stretch as much as possible,” she said. “Range of motion decreases as people age.

“Decreased range of motion leads to decreased distance. Stretching helps to maintain range of motion for as long as possible."

She added that golfers should think about replacing grips on clubs that are more than a year old and to make sure the spikes in their shoes are fresh.

Brandon Marshall is in his second year as head golf professional at Ironhorse Golf Club.

He played high school golf at Saint Thomas Aquinas and Turner.

“In the spring,I think it’s important for golfers to always get a tune-up before getting into the full swing of the season,” he said. “Go out and hit balls a few times first to allow the muscles to get back into golf form.

“Make sure you are working on something that will allow you to get better as you start to go out and play more and more.”

Ryan Fitzpatrick is in his third season as the head golf professional at The Country Club of Leawood (formerly Leawood South Country Club).

“I suggest that players start the season with a lesson or series of lessons,” he said. “Be sure to have an end-goal in mind when starting lessons, so you can constantly measure your improvement.”

And the golf professionals have some items to avoid when getting ready for the season.

“I warn players to be cautious about heading straight to the driving range or golf course after a long layoff without stretching,” Fitzpatrick said.

Marshall said, “One of the biggest mistakes golfers make when working on their games is not staying focused on one or two things in their swing and letting that progress over time. When you have five, six or even seven different swing thoughts, there is basically zero chance you will ever gain consistency in your game.”

And Madison suggests, “Avoid spending hours on the range when you are not having success. That only serves to further ingrain a bad habit and makes it harder to change.”

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