By BRUCE MEADOWS

 

 

JULY 2023

  Do you have a ‘go-to’ club ???

Most golfers have a favorite club, one they probably use more than their other clubs when appropriate . . .  maybe more than they should . . .

   For me, it’s my 7-iron.

   It’s got good loft but not too much . . . I use it to get out of bad situations, and before I discovered my chipper-putter – 7-iron loft with a putter grip and weight – I used it around the green to get me close to the pin.

   If you’ve never seen or tried a chipper-putter, check it out . . . it can be a real stroke-saver.

   For shots over hazards such as bunkers, the wedge is still the weapon of choice.

The 7-iron is my favorite probably because it was the club in which I have the most confidence. I have no technical reasons for liking it . . . I just feel comfortable with that stick in my hands.

   When playing a round, I often carry a left-handed 7-iron, which can be valuable when your ball is up against a tree, etc.

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       I recently came upon an online article that suggested the 7-iron might also be the best club to at least begin your routine on the driving range.

     “When I look down the range, I’m often stunned that so many golfers begin their so-called warm-up by hitting drivers first,” according to the golf instructor quoted in the article. “Not only is that a potentially dangerous practice, but you’ll also struggle to hit the ball straight enough to play, thereby lowering your confidence as you make your way to the first tee.

    “Rather than immediately grabbing your driver to practice pre-round, it is suggested trying a 7-iron instead. This will allow you to calibrate your shots, helping you hit all your shots more effectively.

     “Then start hitting your ball at 70 percent effort, using full swing shots to feel out the bottom of the swing arc (low point), and making sure that you strike the ground just after ball contact.”

    “The slower swings will help you feel the clubhead in your hands, allowing you to warm up your full range of motion. When doing this, always remember to brush the grass, focusing on turf interaction with each swing.

    “Once you’ve established a comfortable feel with your 7, it’s OK to take out the driver and give it a go before making your way to the first tee box.”

    Another article dealt with what clubs you should bring and practice at the range.

    “As a general rule, you should only bring one type of club to the range when practicing. Spending an entire range session working specifically on wedges, irons or longer clubs is how most golfers improve their games.

   “If you’re playing a round of golf then obviously it’s different, but many golf coaches suggest you should work on one area of your game at a time. Spend the majority of your time working on your short game and the least amount of time on your driver, fairway wood, and hybrid.

    “It was suggested the reason is that most people don’t go to the range with a clear strategy. They don’t work on something specific. Instead, they just hope that someday they’ll get better.

  “The article’s author said he didn’t really improve that much until he started working on specific areas of his game, noting that teaching guru  Butch Harmon emphasized how to practice the right way.

   “He basically said that you should go to the range and work on something specific. If you’re going to the range three times per week then your routine would look something like this: Monday: Wedges. Wednesday: Irons. Friday: Hybrids, fairway wood, driver.”

   I practice a little differently, using a technique given to me by a pro golfer friend a long time ago. 

    After warming up (10 minutes on the putting green is one idea), I pretend I am teeing off on a par-3 hole, so I take the appropriate club. I may “hit the green” – you should also always have a target for your shots – but sometimes I “miss” the green by a few yards, so I go to my bag and pull out a wedge then execute a short shot I feel it would take to get on the green.

   I sometimes get strange looks from other golfers . . . to wit, “what the hell are you doing?”

   I continue this approach but then “tee off” on a par-4 or a par-5.  This does several things that are important to me.  I hit a drive down the fairway on a par-4, then take the club I feel I would need to reach the green.

   This approach is definitely not good for everyone, but it has proven successful for me. I watch so many golfers get a bucket of balls and go through it in short order . . . my technique requires going back to my bag, grabbing a different club. 

  In other words, I take time between shots . . . and as I have heard (and said) many times, when you’re on the course you don’t – hopefully – have to hit one shot immediately after the other.

   If you have a favorite club, email me at bmeadows4sports@aol.com and tell me about it.

 

Coming Up . . .

At Valley of the Moon . . .

Phone: 707.539.0415

 

At Santa Rosa Golf & CC . . .

Summer Golf Clinics

July 27. Improvement Strategies #2.  Hybrids Vs. Fairway Woods, Distance Wedges (30-70 Yards), And Putting Direction. 2.5 Hours. $150.

 

At Foxtail GC . . .

 

SATURDAY, JULY 22, 2023 AT 9 A.M.

The Foxtail Open

Open to the public  

The Foxtail Open – 2 Person Scramble Championship
9:00 a.m. Shotgun Start 


$120 Entry per person includes: $120 Gift Card to purchase Asics Golf Shoes PLUS 1 Dozen Q-Star Golf Balls (Value $150). Prizes awarded to Low Gross Team and Low Net Team. Blind Bogey Handicap for Low Net. Foxtail South 9am Shotgun. Loyalty Club and Members receive discounts – please sign-up directly with Golf Shop.

General Entry: $120
Player’s Club: $110
Limited Members: $100
South and Unlimited Members: $90

 

At Foxtail, Valley of the Moon . . .

 Sonoma County Team Championship

Two days, Aug. 26-27. 

$380 Per Team NCGA Point Event.

4 Flights: Men’s Flight; Men’s Senior Flight (55+); Men’s Super Senior Flight (65+); Women’s Flight
Aug. 26 – Valley of the Moon
Aug. 27 – Foxtail North
Includes: Green Fees, Cart Fees, Range Balls, Tee Gift, Prizes and Lunch on Aug. 27
FORMAT: 2-Person Better Ball

Discounts provided to Loyalty and Unlimited Members – must call golf shop at 707-584-7766

 

At Bennett Valley . . .

 

Golf and dinner? Yes please. Join us for our first of 8 Wednesday feature.. Sign up at bennettvalleygolf.com/online-store/. Register for Wednesday no later than the Sunday prior.

 

At Foxtail GC . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We want to hear from you . . .

  Thanks for your comments, questions and suggestions. I appreciate them and would like to get as many as possible. If you have information about anything golf-related, including upcoming clinics, activities, tournaments or sales, let me know.

   And if you have questions, complaints or compliments about golf in our area, let me know and I’ll make some inquiries. Email me at bmeadows4sports@aol.com