Golf: a game of precision, practice and patience. While there is no denying the sport’s enjoyment, beginners and amateurs alike know a round can be quickly soured by a wicked slice or dreaded three-putt. Home to 19 championship golf courses that boast distinguished lesson facilities and top-notch instruction, the Charleston area is the premier destination for players to swing away flaws and improve their game. From increasing distance to perfecting alignment, below are five tips from five of the Charleston area’s finest pros, to help golfers better their game from tee-to-green.
“Most golfers would love more power off the tee and many struggle with slicing the ball. One of the most common causes that I see is that they don’t make a proper weight shift to the ball. In order to see their power and accuracy increase, golfers should finish their swing fully balanced on the front foot with only the tip of the toe of their back foot on the ground.”-David Kite, The Links at Stono Ferry
The Links at Stono Ferry
With 18 holes hugging the Stono River, The Links at Stono Ferry was home to the revolutionary Battle of Stono Ferry in 1779, with its 14th hole resting on the site of the plantation’s original ferry landing. Son of former PGA Legend Tom Kite, the Links’ Director of Instruction David Kite is one of Charleston’s most acclaimed teaching professionals. Kite offers both private and group lessons at The Stono Ferry Golf Learning Center and uses the latest in K-VEST video analysis technology to capture and analyze player’s swings in real-time 3-D.
“The biggest mistake I see with the pitch shot is using your hands to lift or scoop the ball into the air, which results in a topped shot caused by finishing the swing falling backwards. When pitching, golfers should allow their body and arms to follow through towards the target and try to brush the ground behind the ball.”-Jeff Minton, Wild Dunes Resort
Nestled on the northern tip of the Isle of Palms about 30 minutes from downtown Charleston, Wild Dunes Resort boasts 36 holes of Tom Fazio designed golf on both the Harbor Course and Links Course. Wild Dunes Resort’s team of PGA Class A professionals provide instruction and host clinics at one of Charleston’s top golf schools, as well as offer private lessons for all ages and skill levels, complete with video swing analysis.
“When chipping, the most important alignment you maintain is keeping the grip in front of the club head upon impact. In addition to alignment, its best to focus on hitting the ball in the center of the club face in the sweet spot when practicing this shot.”-Brandon Ray, Patriots Point Links
Situated on the edge of the Charleston Harbor in Mount Pleasant, Patriots Point Links remains a favorite among locals and visitors alike, offering spectacular views of downtown and Fort Sumter. The perfect backdrop to improve one’s swing, the range and short game area at Patriots Point is a go-to spot for players traveling from Mount Pleasant or downtown. Head pro and expert in swing analysis, Brandon Ray, uses the latest in video technology during his instruction for clinics and private lessons.
#4) SAND SHOT
“If the sand is firm do not make the mistake of playing a normal sand bunker shot where you position the ball forward in your stance and let the sand wedge enter the sane behind the ball. Instead choose your gap or pitching wedge and use more of an arm and shoulder swing with very little lower body motion.” –Ronnie Miller, Kiawah Island Golf Resort
Home to five championship courses including Turtle Point, Osprey Point, Oak Point, Cougar Point and host site for the 2012 PGA Championship The Ocean Course, Kiawah Island Golf Resort claims 90 holes of competitive play. The Resort’s Tommy Cuthbert Golf Learning Center pairs the latest in video teaching technology with hands on instruction from PGA certified pros to help golfers of all skill levels better their game. The Center also offers a design-your-own golf school program which can be customized with variety of classes available from golf etiquette to green reading. A medley of women’s-only clinics are also hosted at the Center such as “golfing gals boot camp,” a one-day program designed for women looking for the fast track to success on the links.
“The best putters in the world have always looked like statues during their stroke with very few moving parts with exception of the natural rocking of their shoulders. One of the best drills to help get the feeling of staying still during the stroke is to listen for the ball to go in the hole, without letting your head or eyes follow the roll of the ball.” -Mike Benner, Coosaw Creek Country Club
This Arthur Hills design course winds its way through pristine tidal marshes and lagoons surrounded by immense oaks trees draped in Spanish Moss. Coosaw Creek Country Club is also home to a state-of-the-art, two-tiered practice facility equipped with a natural grass driving range, practice bunkers and chipping and putting greens. The Coosaw Creek Golf Academy and PGA pros offer a number of clinics, lessons and golf camps for new golfers and skilled players alike.
To arrange play or private/group instruction at any of Charleston’s premier golf courses, please visit www.charlestongolfguide.com or call 800-774-4444.
The Charleston Area Golf Experience
More than 200 years ago, Charleston was the site of America’s first golf club. This heritage of golfing excellence is evident today. Guests have convenient access to more than 19 championship courses, created by legendary architects including Arnold Palmer, Rees Jones, Gary Player, Arthur Hills, Tom Fazio, Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus and Robert Trent Jones, Sr. The area also offers plenty of year-round activity off the course. They range from historic tours and attractions to inshore and offshore fishing and award-winning dining, as well as a year-round calendar of festivals and events.
The mission of the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is to unify and lead the local travel industry in marketing the Charleston area as an individual, meeting, incentive and group destination to both the domestic and international markets. For more information, visit explorecharleston.com