As the spring season makes its way into many parts of the northern US and Canada, players that have been dreaming of playing golf on their favorite courses are now getting really excited about the 2013 golf season.,,   For those of us that live in the Sun Belt, we have been in full golf season for almost six months and are starting to see our winter friends leave for their homes in the north. A few weeks ago, I started my middle-school golf program and was thrilled to have almost 30 young players show up for golf from grades 3 to 8. As we started out training programs, we were spending a lot of time on the chipping and putting greens working on our short games. On one afternoon, as we made our way to the chipping green at our local public course, I noticed an older woman on the chipping green working on her short game. Now, what caught my attention is what she was doing. She had 10 balls and a 9-iron, and she was working her way around the chipping green hitting basically the same 25-foot chip from many different angles. She was terrific, chipping almost all of her shots to within a few feet of each hole. I watched her for about 5 to 10 minutes with the kids. I told all of them to watch what she was doing, and her fundamentals were outstanding. She had a simple setup, narrow stance, weight forward, and open feet with an open hip. Her hands held the club softly but firmly, and each shot had that perfect little “click” as she hit each short firmly with a descending blow. The result: A little loft, hop and roll right next to the hole. My lesson to the kids as we were watching this exhibition was that her fundamentals were outstanding and that her practice was simple and productive. I had to finally ask her about her game, and she was so gracious, said she had been a good player for a long time, over 60 years, and she has always practiced her short game with her 9-iron. She felt that the shot she was practicing was the shot that she faced the most when she played. You could tell she was very good at the shot – fundamentals always work!
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