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By Matt Keel

You made it through the holidays.  You made it through the winter months.  Now spring is upon us and it’s time to get outdoors, get active and enjoy the great weather.  It’s time to start golfing again.  Rather than just going out to play and try to “knock the rust off your clubs,” take some steps to start off on the right foot.  If you have been playing continuously all year, try taking a step back to get on the right track.  It’s time to rededicate yourself to your
golf game.

Begin by evaluating your equipment.  Is your equipment set up to give you the best chance to play your best?  First, check your grips.  Are your grips worn or slick?  If your grips are slick, try scrubbing them with soap and water and wiping them down.  If your grips are worn beyond they point of cleaning, then have them replaced.  Second, have your loft and lie angles checked if you haven’t had them checked in the past.  Adjusting your loft and lie angles to fit your swing is a simple way to increase your consistency.  Last, evaluate your clubs.  Do you have any clubs that are worn or outdated?  Often times, upgrading to clubs that are in new condition or have newer technology can give you better performance from your equipment.

Next, start to practice again before you go play.  Simply spending a little time to practice can help you get back into the groove again.  Instead of just going out to hit some balls, start practicing with a plan.  A common expression in golf is that “the first thing to go is your putting.”  Start your practice with putting.  Begin practicing short putts and gradually move to longer putts.  By starting with short putts first, you will begin to develop your touch and feel again.  Next, practice your chipping and pitching.  By practicing your chipping and pitching, you make small swings and get a feel for correct impact with your irons.  Finally, move to the driving range and practice your full swing.  By starting out small you’re giving yourself a chance to play your best again.

Lastly, get some help if you need it.  As a golf instructor, students are always telling me how good they used to play or how far they used to hit the ball.  Sometimes diminished success in an area is due to new physical limitations, but often golfers just get off track or develop some new bad habits.  Seek help at the beginning or take a step back to get some help for increased long term success.  Most of the time, golfers either do not know what is happening in their swing or they simply can’t see what is happening.  Another set of eyes or a new perspective from an instructor will get you down the road to enjoying golf again.

Whether you are just getting back into golf or you need to take a step back, start off on the right track.  By rededicating yourself to golf, you will be getting a fresh start and increasing your success.  Whatever your goals may be, a fresh start will result in enjoying golf once again.

Matt Keel is the Lead Golf Instructor at Wildfire Golf Club located at the JW Marriott at Desert Ridge. For any questions or information about golf lessons email Matt at Mattkeel@pga.com or visit the website www.Mattkeelgolf.com.