From Tee To Green: Perfect Putting - Part 3

Now that we have the putter clubhead style that suits your putting stoke as well as it adjusted to a more appropriate length, we can now look at some of the fundamentals of putting that you can practice to help you improve your scores this season.

Grip – have you noticed that all of the clubs in your bag have round grips, but your putter grip has a flat front? This is because while all other clubs should he gripped at the base of your fingers, the putter works best when held in the palms of your hands with your thumbs on the front (flat part of the grip)

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You may have also noticed that there are also larger grips on putters these days. A larger (thicker) grip will minimize the amount of hand action in your putting stroke which reduces the chance of the club being twisted during the stroke and thus sending the ball offline. Golfers who are a bit twitchy with their nerves, or have some arthritis or other hand pain, will benefit from these larger grips. However, if the grip is too large, you will have less ‘feel’ and may find it more difficult to gauge the distance of your putts as the putter will be begin to feel unwieldy. Experiment with different grip sizes to find one you are most comfortable with.

Aim – even the best putting stroke in the world won’t help if you are aimed in the wrong direction. Visualize that you are pouring a bucket of water on the green. Where does the water flow? Obviously, it will run off from the highest point to the lowest point. You should also take the time to walk from the spot of your ball to the hole and look at the line of your putt from the opposite side. This achieves two things. First, you will note any uphill or downhill portions of the putt that you won’t see by just looking at it from behind your ball. Second, by double checking your first impression of ‘where the water will flow’ will remove any doubt from your mind and now you can commit to the aiming point of where you want to putt your ball towards (which isn’t always directly at the hole!)

Commitment – now that you have the aiming point decided and confirmed, all you need to do is put the ball in the hole. Remember, the ball does not have a mind of its own and will only do what your putterhead commands! Always take a few practice strokes to program your brain into the length of putting stroke required to achieve your goal. A good drill to practice is to stand with a ball in your hand and underhand throw a ball to the hole. Note how far your arm swings back and through. This will give you a sense into how far back and through you should swing your putter. Remember that the putting motion is a gentle stroking motion, not a violent hitting motion.

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You’ve taken the time to aim your putt properly and now have taken a few practice strokes to gauge the feel. Now all you have to do is COMMIT to the putt. What this means is to replicate you practice strokes as best you can and please FOLLOW THROUGH (your putter head should swing through the ball and not just stop at the point of contact) - this is the only way to guarantee that your putterhead will propel the ball toward the intended target. All of your preparation is wasted if you do not commit to your goal and give the ball its command to GO IN THE HOLE!

Remember that not even the best golf professionals make every putt, all you can do is prepare properly and commit to the best of your ability. Once the ball leaves the ball leaves your putterface everything is out of your hands, but if you do your best on every putt your putting will certainly improve!

KOKANEE SPRINGS: THEN & NOW

Remember When?

Often referred to as the “Flagship Golf Course of the Kootenays”, Kokanee Springs Resort opened in 1968, and now a half-century later, we’re extremely proud to be celebrating our 50th Anniversary Season! In doing so, we’d like to share some of our storied past with you.

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Below is small excerpt from “Remember When: Celebrating 100 Years of Crawford Bay on Kootenay Lake, British Columbia”. This book was put together by Susan Hulland and Terry Turner, who are still residents of the area to this day. This fantastic publication is available at the Gray Creek Store; we encourage you to pick up a copy and enjoy the rich history and stories of our magical home.

“First part of the multi-million dollar shot in the arm is an 18- hole golf course. And it is the machinery creating it which has changed the shape of this peaceful area. Machinery estimated at nearly one million dollars-worth has been working in the dust of construction.

The colossal job of earthmoving is undertaken by Cranbrook Construction and Dominion Landscaping of Vancouver is directing where the earth should be moved to and from. Golf Course architects are Norman H. Woods and Associates.

But as well as the rumble of the machinery, there is additional tangible evidence that proves Kokanee Development’s determination to stay in Crawford Bay. A tent and trailer park has been in full swing during the summer. Over 60 campsites connected by winding forest roads through old cedars were carved out of the forest early this year.”

Kokanee Springs Resort: The First Tee:

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“Golf course architect Norman Woods built a spectacular #1 tee. Its location on top of a hill required extra work and expense. In this picture the rock walls, which now hold spectacular flower gardens, are under construction. The long-raised log ramp, which was used for many years to get golf carts down the steep hill, was torn out in the early 1980’s and replace by a road.”

*Photo courtesy of George McLeod

Join us in celebration of our 50th Anniversary Season, with legendary golf, epic adventures and unforgettable experiences.

Kokanee Springs Resort – British Columbia’s Legend.

FROM TEE TO GREEN

Last time, I asked you to visualize the following:

Picture yourself standing on the center of a giant clockface and move your putter back and forth as you would when putting. Does it feel like the putterhead flows in a straight line from the 3 to 9 consistently, or swings more in an arc from the 4 to 8? Neither way is wrong, but very important to deciding the right tool for the job!

The reason this was asked is because it will help you to determine the type of putterhead you require to best suit your putting stroke. See the below graphic:

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If you have a straight line stroke (from the 3 to 9) then you should look for a mallet style putter. These have most of the weight in the face to keep the putter square throughout the stroke and naturally aid this type of stroke. If you have an arcing stroke (from the 4 to the 8) an Anser-style putter will benefit you because they are toe and heel weighted to provide a larger sweet spot while also aiding the natural in-to-out-to-in style of this putting stroke.

Once you have the right tool for the job, you can now have confidence that your putter fits you, rather than taking a random putter and hoping that it will be the right fit. And make no mistake, CONFIDENCE is the key to good putting!

Often, you will hear or know of someone who has a garage full of putters and when they putt poorly, they switch their putters and putt better the next time. Believe me when I say that very rarely is the putter (club) the difference – instead, it is the BELIEF of the golfer that they will do better, and that mindset translates into confidence and better results. When they start to putt poorly again, they switch putters and the process repeats. A better scenario for long term improvement is to actually select the best putter for your stroke, then practice knowing that you and the club work in harmony. Now the success and better results are based on science, dedication and good choices, versus random chance. Now your confidence will be permanent!

When you have the style of putterhead decided, the length of the putter is important to consider. Your arms should hang naturally and be relaxed, with your eyes over the ball when you address it. You will find that you most likely will need to have the putter shortened. The standard length of a putter is 35”, which is actually better suited for the average men’s PGA Tour player’s height (over 6 feet tall). I’m not sure why equipment manufacturers continue to make putters this long when a great portion of the market would benefit from a shorter length! Even taller players will still want their putter shortened to assure that their eyes are directly over the ball at address.

Once you have the correct tool, and then make an effort to practice your putting, you will need to focus on grip, aim, and commitment, which we will look at in our next article.

Dan Warwaruk,
Golf Operations Manager - Kokanee Springs Resort

FROM TEE TO GREEN

FROM TEE TO GREEN

In our previous article we mentioned the importance of course management. What does that mean? Simply, that using your brain and being realistic about your golf skills will help to limit the destructive and demoralizing effects of bad decision making and poor judgment. I think you will agree that it is more likely that improving your scores will result from eliminating the double and triple bogeys on your scorecard, rather than channeling your inner Tiger Woods and making 5 or 6 birdies in a row. So let’s look at these scenarios...

FROM TEE TO GREEN

FROM TEE TO GREEN

Let’s have a goal of making 2018 your best golf year yet. While it may be too cold outside to hit balls, you can plan ahead for the season right now by focusing on two often neglected areas: equipment and course management. If you think about how important these two categories are, you can improve your scores without hitting endless buckets of balls...

What a summer!

This has been without a doubt a summer to remember or forget for everyone here in British Columbia. The wildfire situation is unprecedented, the drought conditions and extreme heat has been relentless. At Kokanee Springs we have had one day of measurable rain (August 13th) in the last 75 days and temperatures have hovered in the low to mid 30’s just about every day! Our turf maintenance team led by Superintendent Colin has done an outstanding job keeping the playing surfaces in amazing condition.

We have been very fortunate up to this point in that we haven’t had a significant fire on the East Shore. Our hearts go out to our neighbours near and far who have not been so lucky. The efforts of fire fighters, first responders and volunteers has been nothing short of heroic and continues.

Fires continue to burn, the smoke comes and goes and through it all the people of British Columbia soldier on, resilient, optimistic and determined. This isn’t the first time we’ve been through this (although this wildfire season has been the worst on record) and it won’t be the last. We appreciate the encouraging words of our friends and clients and look forward to hosting all of you again soon!

 

                                                                                                                                

New Proposed Rules Could Make Golf More Fun!

In what most would consider a surprise move the USGA and R&A have proposed sweeping changes to the rules of golf. For these governing bodies who have so staunchly defended the traditions of the game forever it’s amazing to me that they could be so forward thinking.

Growing the game, one of the catch phrases used by industry types for the past decade has proven to be a more difficult task than one would think. Changes to the rules that loosen the strict playing conditions golf is known for can only help. People need to have fun when they play and eliminating penalties for things like soling your club in a bunker or inadvertently moving your ball as you prepare to hit it should result in a more relaxed, fun experience.

Golf must attract younger generations to thrive and although I’m sure the older traditional players will be leery of any changes it’s time. Music playing on carts, relaxed dress codes and now relaxed rules would certainly have Old Tom Morris turning in his grave but progressive thinking is what the game needs right now.

Canadians Flourishing on Tour!

Two different Canadian winners on the PGA Tour and it’s not even spring yet! Adam Hadwin joined MacKenzie Hughes as a tour champion by winning the Valspar Championships at Innisbrook Resort this past weekend. Adam dominated the rest of the field for most of the weekend playing near flawless golf until one bad swing almost derailed his efforts. Making double bogey on the 16th hole on Sunday erased his 2 shot lead and I think we all had visions of another blown opportunity but no, he composed himself beautifully and it was his playing competitor Patrick Cantlay who felt the pressure and hit 2 bad shots on 18 opening the door for Hadwin.

I talked in a previous post about how great it was going to be to have 2 Canadians to watch at Augusta, make that 3! It’s really impressive to watch these young players develop and we have to give credit to the RCGA long term development program initiated in the early 2000’s that now has young men and women playing and excelling on development tours and the big tours too!