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Issue 4March 2009

  • Bring a Buddy, Save Some Bucks
  • TEE TIME LPGA PRO DIXIE ECKES: Finishing the Swing
  • TEE TIME PRO BOB E. SMITH: Club's Position in Backswing is Key

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As the days get warmer and longer, our thoughts drift more often to golf. It's the season to get ready at Tee Time! We're open until dusk, so come out and sharpen your game. The hours spent at Tee Time are sure to give any golfer who's interested in playing better the competitive advantage they need. So come by, come often, and bring a buddy!
Practice hard,
Blake Johnson

When Tee Time Owner Blake Johnson rang in the New Year, he made a resolution he promises to keep. "I went on the radio promising to lower rates to all clients who bring a friend along with them, all year long," Blake says. The popular offer allows both guests to play for $8 each-for a savings of $4 per person.

Blake says he came up with the idea in response to the slumping economy and his belief in the Tee Time experience. "I believe that most people who try our facility will want to come back. Visiting for the first time is easier when they're accompanied by a friend. The reduced 'Buddy Rate' is my way of rewarding existing clients and their newcomer friends from making the effort."

Recent rains have greened-up the range, and the hitting area has remained in great shape due to Tee Time's professional drainage system. "We've rarely had to stay closed after a rain," Blake says. The hitting area is superb and the putting green has never been better."

Rain or shine, it's a great year to introduce a friend to Tee Time.


Dixie Eckes is Tee Time's LPGA teaching professional. She is active player on the ladies' mini tours, State Opens, and LPGA Teaching & Club Professional events. Dixie became a teaching professional in 2001 and has enjoyed teaching several golfers throughout the years. She is happy to answer questions and arrange lessons at 805.708.0836.
I like to observe golfers on the driving range. One of the common flaws I've noticed is that many never finish the swing.Their arms are pulled in to their side, their right foot is not responding or they finish with the club across their chest. Maybe they don't know where the club is supposed to go once they make contact to the ball.
I have my students swing the club over their shoulder on the backswing and finish with it over their shoulder on the forward swing in balance and hold that position for at least three seconds. It sounds simple and basic, but try it!
Since the swing is symmetrical, what happens on the backward motion should be the same on the forward motion. But too many golfers are concerned more about the ball than the club. So when we put a ball down, it seems to change everything. Pay more attention to swinging the club and not hitting ball. Remember that the ball is just a result of what we do with the swing. For consistency, practice this drill.
Place a tee in the ground so it's above the grass and your club is able to clip it.  Take your set up with the ball position in the middle of your stance. Using an eight or seven iron, swing the club back over your shoulder and then forward over your shoulder in a continuous motion backwards and forwards. It is important to do this slowly for seven to ten times without stopping. See if you can brush the tee or the same spot of grass going forward and backward. You will need to let the right heel respond on the forward swing just like it does naturally in a throwing motion. If you are able to brush the tee in both directions, you will then create a swing that is symmetrical, balanced, and rhythmic-resulting in better shots.

Most players are so conscious of what their hands are doing during the swing that they do not concern themselves with the proper club position on the backswing. At waist high and when the club is parallel to the ground, the butt of the club should be pointing at the target.

It makes no difference if you are chipping or making a full swing, nothing good can happen when the club is pointing to the right of the target. From that position, the club will continue to be inside and behind your target. Your hands may also be overactive because the club is stuck behind you.

How do you fix the problem? Take a practice swing. Set the club parallel to the ground with the butt of the club pointing to the target. Your club face should be square, not pointing to the ground closed. Now continue the backswing and hit. The result should surprise you. Stick to the basics and work on being in the proper positions. If you do, you should find yourself hitting better golf shots.

Questions? Call (805) 566-9948
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