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Ballantrae at Birmingham Instructional Tips



Golf Tips for April 2018

From PGA Professional Jerry Applegate

This month we are going to talk about Driving the Golf Ball! This is an extremely important aspect of the game. We have to drive the ball 13-15 times a round (depending on the par of the golf course). It sets us up for good scores, or unfortunately for bad scores.With the driver there are a couple of changes in the set up. First, we want a slightly wider stance (with the feet at about the outside edges of the shoulders). Second, we want the ball positioned forward in the stance (just inside the front foot). This will allow you to launch the ball up in the air. Finally, we get to tee the ball up! Tee it up so about ½ of the ball is above the crown of the driver.With the swing we want to focus on creating a wider backswing and follow through. We want extension of the arms in the backswing and follow through. It is human nature to try and hit the ball harder with the driver and sometimes that makes for a quick, steep swing in which we don’t turn the hips and shoulders like we want to. Feel like you are reaching back with both arms in the backswing and reaching out to the target with both arms in the follow through. We want a wide arc.The driver is the longest club in the bag with the least amount of loft. It can be a difficult club to hit. It is a club that many people struggle with. You can even get the “yips” with the driver. That is why Ian Baker Finch is an announcer now instead of a player. He once missed the fairway on #18 at St. Andrews and hit his tee shot into the Firth. Incidentally, that fairway is about 300 yards wide!If your swing is steep that tends to deloft the club. With the low loft of the driver, sometimes it creates a loft that is unhittable. If you think that is your problem, try teeing off with a 3 wood. The 3 wood has around 15 degrees of loft. If you deloft it 3-5 degrees you have created driver loft. If you try this remember to tee the ball a little lower for the smaller head of the 3 wood.Another thing to keep in mind is the importance of launch angle. With the modern big headed drivers almost everyone needs more loft (12-14 degrees) with a shaft that is softer in the tip. I have been stubborn and reluctant to change, but last year I went to a more lofted driver with a softer shaft and have been driving it much better. If you are able to get on a launch monitor, give it a go and see what your swing speed and launch angle are. That will determine the shaft and loft that you need. Looks like the weather is getting a little better. I hope you all get out to Ballantrae and try out these tips!



Here is a list of the 2018 Golf CLinics

Beginning of the Season Golf Team Clinic    Saturday February 24th2:00-3:30pm$10 per student

Spring Get Golf Ready    March 17th, March 24th, March 31st, April 7th & April 14th (April 21st rain/make up date)Saturdays 1:00-2:00pm$80 per student (for all 5 sessions)

Spring Ladies Golf Clinics  Wednesday April 18th & 25th @ 8:30am*$10 per Lady per session

FREE Putting Clinic    Saturday May 5th  1:00-2:30pmOpen to Men and LadiesFREE!

Ballantrae Junior Golf Academy - $90 per Junior per session

Session 1:   Ages 7 to 9- June 5-8th  -8:00-10:30am

Session 2: Ages 10 to 12 -  June 12-15th -    8:00-10:30am    

Session 3: Ages 13 to 15 -  June 19-22nd -   8:00-10:30am    

Summer Get Golf Ready      June 23rd, June 30th, July 7th, July 14th & July 21st (July 28th rain/make up date)Saturdays 10:00-11:00am$80 per student (for all 5 sessions)

End of Summer Ladies Clinic   Sunday September 9th   -2:00-3:30pm$10 per Lady

Fall (Weekday) Get Golf Ready    September 13th, September 20th, September 27th, October 4th & October 11th(October 18th rain/make up date) Thursdays 5:30-6:30pm$80 per student (for all 5 sessions)






Golf Tip of the Month - April


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