Golf Tips from T Shot Ranch

janie-c-farina

“Doo Bee” a better golfer

By Janie C. Farina
mail@floridanewsline.com

“Doo Bee Doo Bee Doo …you make me feel so happy”… Aka Snuggle Bunny/Schnuffel

Growing up on the golf course, hitting balls was a challenge, since Nick Stoner Golf Course was minus a driving range. Summers we lived in an apartment above the pro shop.

My dad, the pro, would take us beside the green of the par 5, 18th hole at the crack of dawn, and hit towards the tee box until we saw golfers approaching.

Timing was important so we could “shag” the balls before the group came down the fairway to hit their second shots.

Dad would say “You made me feel so happy when I can throw a blanket over what we hit,” not only because they were good target shots, but then we could “shag” the balls in record time and not scavenge around looking to pick them up.

So what does it take to “Doo” all the right things and become a “Doo Bee” golfer that can lay a blanket over the balls you hit?

There are two ball flight laws we have to conquer to avoid that scavenger hunt for your golf balls: Path and Clubface.

Path is the road the club takes to the ball.

Imagine playing darts from the side, instead of face on, and hitting the bullseye? That’s basically what golfers are required to do. Since golf is played from the side, not face on, our perception to the target is compromised by eye dominance. Therefore it’s critical to look at the desired target with both eyes, while lining up your shot, as in darts. Only then place the club, plant your feet, and settle before each swing to be on the proper path. (Taking a practice swing may be done before we make our final lineup to keep the target fresh in our mind’s eye.) Alignment sticks, videos, and partners are all great resources to keep in check with proper alignment, and target awareness.  

In addition to Path, “Better Doo Bee Players” make sure the Clubface is perpendicular to the desired target.  

If a player has a great golf swing, proper path, and a crooked clubface, the ball will not go to the intended target. Be aware: grip (how we place our hands on the handle of the club) and lie angle (the angle of the shaft and the head off the club to the ground) are important factors that contribute to making contact on the sweet spot of the clubface, and subsequently getting the ball to the desired target. (Proper club fitting with a good instructor will facilitate a player into the right grip, posture, and set up to the ball).

Just as “Doo Bee Doo Bee Doo” Snuggle Bunny sings, when we put the two ball flight laws into effect, “feeling happy” happens with good timing, like setting words to music.

So “Don’t Bee a Don’t Bee” and make the same mistakes over and over again, hunting for balls like Easter eggs; be a “Doo Bee Doo Bee Doo” and put all your eggs in one basket.

Stay feeling happy in golf!

Janie C. Farina is a 26-year teaching professional recently who relocated to the St. Johns area. She is now available for golf instruction at two local golf courses. Email her at hitthedirt2@gmail.com with comments or questions.