Swing the golf club like you throw a ball

My first question with a new golf student is to ask if they are naturally right-handed or left-handed. If they throw a ball the direction they swing the golf club, I know I can use baseball, softball or football to teach them.

Most every person has thrown a ball at one time or another, and the direction your body moves in this throwing motion is the same direction that your body should move in a golf swing. A right-handed person throwing a ball or swinging a golf club must end the motion with the majority of their body (95 percent) of their weight on their left foot at the end of the motion.

Have you ever seen a baseball player – especially a pitcher – move backward after they throw the ball? But if you watch your friends swing a golf club, you will see them fall backward from the target or maybe even take a step backward at the end of their swing. This happens because the arms only are swinging the club, and the body is not turning, rotating, moving or whatever term you want to use. Why does this happen? Because we can swing our arms at a much faster speed (speed muscles) than we can turn our body (core strength muscles), and we try to use only our shoulder, chest and arm strength to make the club hit the ball.

Throw a golf ball with the effort it takes to throw a ball from second to first base. Hold your finish position. Place a golf club in your hands, and you will most likely be very close to the finish position you should be in when you swing a golf club.

One note: This does not work so well with soccer players, as they all learn to thrown a ball with both hands over their head!

– Randy Hernly is the PGA Professional at the Arnold Palmer Course at Stonewall Resort.

Upcoming Tournaments

  • Canaan Valley Resort hosts its weekly Wednesday Night Scrambles, a nine-hole, mixed golf event. Register at the pro shop by 4:45. The format varies each week. Entry fee is $22 per person. For more information, call 304-866-4121, extension 92632.
  • The Christian Golfers Association of North Central West Virginia will hold a Par-3 tournament at the Riverbend Golf Course in Buckhannon at 5 p.m., Thursday, July 11. It will be a two-person, scramble format, and closest to the pin prizes will be awarded on each of the nine holes. Anyone getting a hole-in-1 will win all nine prizes. For more information, call 304-472-4047.
  • The Doddridge County Humane Society will hold a four-person scramble tournament at the Lake Floyd Golf Course near Salem at 10 a.m., Saturday, July 13. The entry is $45 per person, and includes golf, cart and food. For more information, call 304-873-2495 or 304-629-5410.
  • The Lake Floyd Open will hold its qualifying round between July 15-20 and its flighted rounds at 1 p.m., July 21. Entry fee is $35. For more information, call 304-782-1577.
  • The Tygart Lake Open will be held July 19-21 at the Tygart Lake Golf Course near Grafton. The $120 entry fee includes three rounds of golf, appetizers after Friday’s round and a steak dinner Saturday. There is also a $13 daily cart rental fee.
  • The Christian Golfers Association of North Central West Virginia will hold outings at 8 a.m., July 13 at the Riverbend Golf Course, at 5 p.m., July 25 at the Riverbend Golf Course, and at 2 p.m., July 25 at Stonewall Resort. Call 304-472-4047 for more information.

Hole of the Week

The sixth hole at the Elks Country Club in Elkins plays between 379 yards and 485 yards, and it can be a par-4 or 5 depending on the tee location. The fairway doglegs to the left, following a creek hidden behind trees that continue on around behind the green. There is ample landing area in the fairway and to the right, which offers a wide-open approach shot to the green.

Universal Golf Law

If someone in your group cancels, the starter will always put another in your group that talks non-stop for the entire round.