Watching instructors on the Golf Channel and then trying the swing tweak of the day will not guarantee improvement in your play, and it might just compound your difficulties.
Peninsula State Park Golf Course general manager and pro Jason Daubner said that instead of trying what they see on TV, beginning golfers and those who aspire to better scores might benefit more from getting a club fitting, choosing the right ball for their swing and club speed, and, better yet, taking a lesson.
Longtime golf instructor and PGA of America professional Matt Stottern will soon return to Peninsula to give lessons. Although the price of a lesson might sound expensive, golfers will have more fun if they can stop bouncing worm-burners up the fairway and losing balls in the woods and ponds.
And did you know that Peninsula State Park Golf Course – which is operated by a nonprofit organization whose mission is all about the course and the golfers – allows up to four people to share a lesson for $100 per session or $360 per “four-pack”? Youth lessons cost less, and the course also has several youth programs. (Learn more at peninsulagolf.org.)
Many other courses, such as Idlewild at Sturgeon Bay, offer lessons – just inquire at the clubhouse. Horseshoe Bay has five instructors and two interns who give lessons, but head professional Jamie Christiansen said the private course limits those time slots to members or golfers who are hosted by a member.
In addition, PGA-certified instructors such as Randy Meyer, who currently maintains the grounds and grooms the par-three course at Little Sweden, can set up a time and place to give a lesson. Meyer also provides weekly group lessons just for visitors and guests at the resort south of Fish Creek. Meyer said those lessons provide an additional activity for people who stay at Little Sweden and want to play the hilly, scenic nine-hole course.
Back to That Club Fitting
Golfers who want to improve might consider getting a club fitting after playing a few rounds this summer. Yours truly had a club fitting around Christmas one year, and that didn’t go well. The reason? If you get fitted for clubs when you have not swung a club for two months, you’re likely to move more slowly than normal and end up buying club shafts that are not suited to your midseason, full-speed swing. Also, if you drive past a driving range that’s hosting a golf-club demonstration day, stop to check it out.
A Tip on Golf Balls
For average or better-than-average players, what’s more important than filling your golf bag with the same type of ball your favorite professional plays, whether that’s an inexpensive, two-piece ball or a $5 top-shelf product? The thing is, different brands and types of balls perform differently, so switching among brands during the same round or the same week – or switching to a ball with more or less spin, or harder or softer compression – will contribute to inconsistency in your play.
Things keep getting back to normal at the Alpine Golf Course on the south side of Egg Harbor. The buyer of the century-old resort and 96-year-old course has hired back the course-grounds staff, the clubhouse and bar crew, and a cook from the resort, and contractors worked to prepare the clubhouse’s kitchen to reopen this month. If you stop in at the Golf Chalet, you’ll see some familiar faces. You’ll also find a course that has quickly returned to playability after a one-year closure.