Charlie Sifford: The Man Who Never Quit
One all-time champion pauses to recognize the incredible courage in another.
One all-time champion pauses to recognize the incredible courage in another.
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Join Our PGA Jr. League Team!
Parents and families,
We’re excited to offer PGA Jr. League this season! You can sign up now for the PGA Jr. League at Timber Banks GC & Marina. Register early as we have limited spots available.
You and your kids will share in this awesome opportunity to learn and play golf in a relaxed team environment. PGA Jr. League is all about fun!
The program fee for the PGA Jr. League at Timber Banks is $300. Each PGA Jr. League golfer will receive:
Two high-quality team jerseys; one orange and one blue (for home and away games). Jerseys are available in boys and girls sizes and customizable with our team name and player’s chosen jersey number!
Hat (new design), bag tag (new design), silicone bracelet (new), stickers and drawstring bag (new color)
At least 6 team practices
If you have any questions, please contact Brittany Siechen, PGA Associate, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-657-8383. You can also visit PGAJrLeague.com and follow @pgajrleague on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn more.
Register by May 15th
We look forward to a fun PGA Jr. League
season at Timber Banks!
Editor’s Note: Baden Schaff has been a PGA teaching professional for 17 years and is the co-founder of Skillest, a digital platform that connects golf students with golf coaches across the world for online lessons. To learn more about Skillest and to book a lesson of your own with Baden or with Andreas Kali.
The grip causes eternal fascination for golfers. It’s often the first thing I get asked during a lesson. Why is it that the aspect of the swing that creates the most intrigue has nothing to do with the swing itself?
The commonly rolled out line is “because it’s the only part of the body that is connected to the club”. This might well be true, but I think it’s more likely because it’s the only part of the golf swing you can see without videoing it. Your grip is staring you in the face every time you look down at that ball. But why, then, do students still have so much trouble getting it right?
Because they try and fix it in isolation.
Whenever I see a tip regarding the grip it is always a close up of how the two hands are sitting on the club, cut off above the wrists. But what if there is something else at play? What if your grip was influenced by more than just the way your hands are holding the club. Well, there is and it’s got everything to do with your body posture and the way your arms hang at setup. Trying to get your grip right without getting your set up right will drive you mad.
Let’s look at two of the best players in the world. Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau. Dustin has an incredibly strong grip and subsequently shuts the club on the takeaway. Bryson on the other hand is the opposite. He has an incredibly weak grip, particularly evident in the left hand, and has a much more neutral face during the golf swing.
Now are these two grips diametrically opposed because they just hold it differently? No, it’s also because DJ generally starts with the body more over the ball and an almost straight down arm hang. This creates more “radial deviation” and gives the left wrist an exaggerated “extension” or cupping. This is what makes it look so strong.
Bryson is the exact opposite. He plays golf with a more upright posture and has much higher hands, almost like the heel of his club is off the ground. This is why Bryson has his clubs lie angles so upright. This setup creates ulnar deviation and less extension in the left wrist and gives it a look of being incredibly weak. It’s not so much the way their hands sit on the club as much as their posture and their arm hang. This is why you can get your grip looking perfect when you hold the club up in front of you but looks completely wrong when the club is down at address.
Grips cannot be fixed in isolation, they are part of a much broader picture.
A great way to test this for yourself is by taking your usual set up. Then, if you want to see your grip weaken without moving your hands on the club, stand slightly closer to the ball, raise your hands so that it feels like the heel of the club is off the ground, just like Bryson.
If you want to see your grip strengthen, push your hands towards the ground and watch the toe of the club come off the ground. You will notice that your left wrist will cup or extend more making it look stronger. When it is set like DJ you will notice that you can see three of four knuckles while setting up like Bryson will show you only one or two knuckles.
Personally, I prefer Bryson’s style, but let’s not detract from the larger point: Your grip can be changed and influenced without ever moving the hands on the club, because it’s affected by your body position. Like always, any change to your swing must be made with a broader context in mind. Nothing ever works independently. Your challenge is finding a coach that understands cause and effect well enough to work with your motion as a whole.
In golf, tireless tinkerers are known as ‘range rats.’ But even rats have social norms. Which brings us to this week’s etiquette rundown: nine rules of thumb for the driving range.
1. Mind Your Divots
You’re here to practice, not to rototill the turf. Don’t tear up every patch of grass at your disposal. Keep your divots in a vertical line, without digging too deep in a single spot. The maintenance crew will thank you. So will any golfer who comes next.
2. Watch your Angles
While firing at different targets is fair game, this is not a free-for-all. In the interest of sanity — and everyone’s safety — avoid cross-country shots. If you’re stationed at a stall on the left side range, don’t take aim at a green on the far right. Ditto for the other way around.
3. The Bucket List
Don’t tip the bucket over unless you plan to hit every single shot. Only take the balls you need and leave the rest in the bucket for the next golfer, rather than scattering them all about.
4. Don’t Hog the Stall
Are you a masochist, bent on banging balls until your hands blister? Suit yourself. But also situate yourself in a tucked-away spot at the far end of the range, rather than in a prime location. Even then, if the range is packed, it’s not your right to go full Vijay. Finish your bucket then step aside and let another golfer take a turn.
5. Tame that Tune
We get it. You like yacht rock. Not everyone does. So if you insist on hitting to the rhythmic strains of‘Hotel California’, do it through your earbuds and spare the rest of us your outdated taste.
6. Stay in Inside the Ropes
Those boundaries are there for a reason: the turf beyond needs time to recover. What it doesn’t need is to take a pounding from someone who thinks he’s more important than everyone else.
7. Don’t Pelt the Range-Picker
We get it. It’s tempting, taking aim at the driver in the mesh-enclosed range-picker. But what may seem to you like harmless target practice is disrespectful of the very people who are trying to serve you. If juvenile shooting is what you’re after, try downloading video game.
8. Give Wide Berth
This should go without saying but we’ll say it anyway: getting hit with a golf club hurts. So don’t take chances. When you’re walking behind other golfers, give them ample leeway. Twice as much as you think you need.
9. Minimize the Questions and the Commentary
If you’re looking for a lesson, book a lesson. Don’t pester your fellow rangers for tips. Exchanging simple pleasantries is okay, but this is not a place for prolonged chatter. Same goes for the monologues. No one needs to hear your moaning or groaning, and no cares that you caught that last shot fat.
Golf’s best and brightest minds gathered at Pinehurst Resort for the GOLF Top 100 Teachers summit last fall. A distinguished collection of speakers shared new ideas and research with the nearly 200 coaches in attendance. Here’s what stood out:
1. Golden Scoring Rules
Scott Fawcett, whose innovative DECADE game management system and built-in mathematics helps golfers play smarter and shoot lower scores, highlighted Tiger Woods’ Five Golden Scoring Rules, which speak to the same principles as the DECADE system:
1.) No sixes on par 5s
2.) No double-bogeys
3.) No 3-putts
4.) No bogeys with a 9-iron or less
5.) No blown easy par saves.
Rules to live — and score — by.
2. Cautious Putting
GOLF columnist and Columbia University statistician Mark Broadie presented interesting evidence that can help players fine-tune how hard, or soft, they strike putts. Broadie found that pros, on average, leave four-foot putts about two and a half feet past the hole in the event of a miss. Better putters leave comebackers even farther past. When it comes to 10-footers, pros leave their putts short only 7 percent of the time. For 90s shooters, it’s almost double that.
3. The Putting Stroke Isn’t a Pendulum
Newly minted GOLF Top 100 Teacher David Orr, alongside co-presenter and True Spec Golf VP of Customer Experience Tim Briand, talked through the art and science of putter fitting, myth-busting along the way. At center stage was the notion that the putting stroke can’t be a pendulum, as it’s often described. “There’s no such thing as a straight-back, straight-through stroke,” says Orr. “Because the putter is set at an angle at address, it has to move up and inside, especially as the stroke gets longer.” In other words, don’t force it.
*weather and course conditions permitting
Timber Banks Golf Club
3536 Timber Banks Parkway
Baldwinsville, NY 13027