Golf is the pride and joy sport of Southwest Florida, and Naples in particular. Golf enthusiasts know it’s essential to continuously work and practice to better and maintain your swing, and therefore, score.
We spoke to local Naples golf instructors Justin Ream and Bob Usher to provide you with the best advice on improving your golf game.
1. Practice with Purpose
“Golf is a game where consistent practice is imperative to maintain and continuously improve your game,” says Justin Ream, Senior Head Golf Professional at Naples Grande Golf Club. He admits that many golfers hold the misconception that they can take time off and not play for an extended period of time, but still expect to have the same skill and ability as they did in the past.
Practicing with purpose is just as important as consistency. Instead of aimlessly hitting a bucket at the driving range, know what you’re trying to accomplish before you swing. If you’re trying to better your form and improve your overall score, remember quality over quantity.
2. Find Your Rhythm
When asked the secret to a perfect swing, Ream responded, “there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ swing.” Instead, the key is to find out what works for you and continue to replicate that motion or feel to produce the most consistent shots.
Of course, every professional golfer has their own way of hitting the ball. So, letting the need for perfection go and finding your rhythm is best. Having fun and enjoying the game is also essential notes Ream. “I see many players as they age continue to play from yardages that they have always played. Therefore, making the game more difficult. There is nothing wrong with moving up to shorter yardages.”
3. Maintain Flexibility
As any devotee of the sport knows, flexibility is imperative. Without limber and mobile muscles and body movements, it’s hard to hit your small white target with precision. Flexibility helps with clubhead speed along with swing mechanics, so keeping your body in shape and loose is vital in maintaining your golf skills. Besides the gym and appropriate stretches, how do you achieve this? Programming.
4. Join a Program
“Programming is so important,” says Bob Usher, Director of Instruction at Grey Oaks Country Club. “[Players] need to be on a program with a fitness professional and a golf coach.” While the fitness coach will help with flexibility and staying in shape, the golf professional will review the player’s equipment to see if there is anything that is newer in terms of both gear and technology that can help maintain or increase distance.
For instance, Usher notes how he uses golf simulators in the summer months when it’s too hot or rainy; a unique way to practice outside of, well, being outside. A golf simulator may also be helpful in training with feedback, as it can provide personal metrics.
5. Train with Feedback
In such a detailed game, metrics and feedback are critical. Usher notes, “I always make sure I have a technique station - something that checks my alignment and posture, and an aid that helps with my swing path.”
He uses this method for his students too; “They practice productively because they practice with a teaching aid or technique station that I personally set up. Even something as simple as a pool noodle to support their golf movement.”
With enough practice and the right tools (and attitude) in place, hitting a hole in one is still possible, no matter your age. Usher says that, at the very least, all you need is strong arms; “Regardless of when your body starts to move slower, if you can still move your arms and hands, you can produce a good golf swing.”
Whether you’re looking to strengthen your short game on the chipping and putting greens, practice indoors on one of our TrackMan golf simulators or work with our personal trainers to build a customized fitness plan, Moorings Park offers many opportunities to improve your golf game.
Additionally, when you become a resident at Moorings Park at Grey Oaks, a sports membership to the Grey Oaks Country Club is included; you can train with Bob Usher or other golf specialists.