Lesson 4 of 4 with PGA Professional Jamie Smith
Today's lesson at lunch started as per the norm now, Jamie picking me up in the Bow Creek parking lot, before I can take a step away from the car. No jokes today, actually a little jab from Jamie, who is about to receive his Taylor Made Super Deep Driver in the next few days. He's on staff with Taylor Made, Adams Golf, Cobra Golf, Callaway Golf, Bag Boy, and Titleist Golf, meaning he has demo clubs coming at him left and right, and he knows I want to hit the Super Deep. Before we dive into the lesson, just thought I would point out that Jamie can fit you for all these brand clubs, and he does so for free, hoping you become a lesson customer for life!(do we ever really need to stop taking lessons?)
Off we go to the Chipping Green for today's lesson, after Jamie gives me a vote of confidence on my iron and wood play. He has me take my Sand, Pitching Wedge and 8 Iron out, and hit 3 balls each with them, aiming for a hole near the back of the green. Like an agile Mongoose, he jumps upon my short game, finding holes in the swing and finish. Lesson 1 of the Day is applied, a Decending Blow for chipping. I have not used that term to much in my reviews, but he sure has in the lessons, and I can not stress it enough. In his first lesson, he diagnosed me as a "Scooper" of the ball, trying to hit it clean and lift it, when I need to hit down on the ball and "pop" it into the air.
A short, 1 Lever Swing, hands holding postion through out the swing, and not breaking or releasing. Lesson 2 comes through me just seeing my practice balls, the flater the club, the more control running it up to the hole I have. My hands are more forward in my stance, and I keep my head down, and I hold the follow through, all this is applied while hitting down on the ball to make it pop up. So running it up to green looks to be addressed, just need to practice my distances.
But what if there is a hazard between you and the flag? Good questions, next comes Lesson 3 and 4 of the day. I put 75% of my weight on the front foot, to help with the decending blow, put the ball back in my stance, and employ a 2 Level Swing. To get the ball up and over the hazard, or to get it higher and work more spin on it, in my back swing, I go to the 2nd level, I release my hands then back to the 1st level on the swing forward and contact and hold the finish. This helps me again, hit down on the ball with an even more decending blow, to pop the ball up much higher and over the hazards, and stop the ball better.
Now, by no means is my game perfect now, but my confidence is at an all time high, along with my mental approach to the game and the course, and what I should be doing on the course. I have to give Jamie a lot of credit for keeping the lessons easy to understand, lite, funny, but full of him evauluating me, finding the weaknesses and attacking them. I am little biased, Jamie is a new friend (for life) but the guy really knows what he is doing, and he is doing the weekly group From Tee to Green Series for 15.00 a man, which includes range balls and an hour and a half of instruction. A great, inexpensive deal, you will come away with a better game and a better understanding of The Game.
I give him a 98 out of a 100 for his lessons. (subtracting 2 points because his height, or lack there of!!!)