Octoberfest Member Day Weekend!

Join the Arizona Golf Association October 15-17th in Puerto Penasco, Mexico.  This event is open to all AGA, SNGA, and ACCESS AZgolf members. One non-member may also attend with each paying member.  Special room rates and VIP check-in available for all travelers. 
Entry Fee is only $99.00 which includes 2 rounds of golf, prize fund and admission to Saturday’s Fiesta from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. with Mexican finger foods, open bar with beer and well drinks and live music.  Room rates start at $89.00 for a Master Room and $99.00 for a Suite.
Contact Samantha Blake at [email protected] or +52-638-383-0400 ext. 4160 to make your room reservations today!  If you are planning on arriving early don’t forget to mention you will be attending the AGA Octoberfest Member Day weekend, and secure your special rate!
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3 steps to better practice

by Tina Tombs, golf instructor

Three steps to a more efficient practice time can make your tournament scores better. If you have the same pre-shot routine every time you practice, it will help you maintain a consistent rhythm and a comfortable state of mind to retain and use during tournament rounds. Here are a few things that I have found that have helped me and many of my students prepare themselves to compete in their tournaments.

Have a purpose for every shot
Every shot that you hit on the driving range should have a purpose. You should use your pre-shot routine, see the shot shape and target you want to hit at. I recommend that you practice your short game and shots from 70 yards and closer more than half of your practice time, and use your pre-shot routine as often as possible to ease the transition to the golf course.

Have a plan and set goals
Set goals and a plan for your practice time. Work on specific things like grip, posture and alignment. Or work on a specific swing mechanic. When you work on a swing mechanic it is best not to worry about where the ball is going. Hit a few balls (10) with a routine, a few (10) with a mechanical swing thought, and keep switching back and forth.

Staying focused on the task at hand is important for the most positive results and it is the easiest transition to the golf course and playing your best!

Set a time limit
Make your practice time efficient. Especially with heat in the summer, there will be a tendency to mentally and physically exhaust. If you achieve what you want to in a minimal amount of time, give yourself permission to move on to something else. You do not want to tire yourself. Your mind and body need to stay efficient and alert to be effective. Once your job is done congratulate yourself and know that you did your best.


Getting your swing back

by Tina Tombs, golf instructor

Golf is a fickle game, one day we play great and the next it can be gone. Our feel and rhythm vanishes without a trace, the club feels heavy and our distance is gone. If this sounds familiar, don’t worry! It’s a problem even the very best players can have. Anything can set it off from bad weather, rushing to the first tee, a bad night’s sleep, playing with a long hitter…anything.

You just have to realize that your golf swing will vary to some degree, from day to day and week to week. That’s what makes golf the great game that it is! What you need is an “emergency” checklist.

Start with your fundamentals
Check your grip, posture and alignment. Any problems there will affect your swing and feel.

Make the most of your past experiences
What did you work on the last time you lost your swing? Fall back on that information. Often old habits have a tendency to come back and haunt you.

Take your mind off of hitting the ball
Think of taking a fluid swing. Take practice swings with your eyes closed. Feel the weight of the club head and sense rhythm and balance.

Take an extra club on the golf course
Force yourself to take a 7-iron in a situation that you would normally take an 8-iron. Swing ¾ pace until you start to hit the ball solidly again.

Once you’ve recaptured your feel, remember to write down your most successful swing keys when you are playing well. Then you can refer back to them the next time your swing is off.


Pre-round warm up

by Tina Tombs, golf instructor

Here are two questions to ask yourself: Why is it important and what is it that you want to think about and do when you are getting ready to play? Remember, a warm up is exactly what it says, a “warm up”—get loose, tempo, rhythm, balance, timing and mentally ready to play your round.

First you want to allow yourself time to prepare for the golf course that you are playing. If you are coming from the office and you don’t have time, the two most important things to do are to stretch with two golf clubs and take golf swings and chip and putt to get the feel and pace of the greens. That way you can save some strokes with your short game and actually develop a feel for your golf swing.

In this golf tip I am going to focus on a routine that I used, as well as many other tour players use, to prepare for a round of golf. Allow yourself at least 1 hour to use this routine. Adjust if you do not have this much time.

Putt: you want to putt longer putts first. 20-, 30-, 40-footers. This gives you the feel and speed of the greens. You can putt to a tee or a hole, but the goal is to get the right distance and develop feel. At this time, you can also chip some to get the feel for your chipping.
Go to the range, start with pitching wedge, allow yourself 10 balls to loosen up, 7- or 6-iron, long iron or hybrid, fairway wood, then driver. This warm up time is to get loose, and find your rhythm and timing, hit solid shots, see the target, and be in balance. Incorporate your routine in your warm up to play with the same intensity and consistency you will use in your round of golf.
Then go putt some short putts, if you have time hit some bunker shots to test the sand on that golf course.

Now you have prepared yourself physically and mentally before your round and given yourself a great opportunity to play your best round of golf. Hit it high and let it fly!


Finding your backswing

by Rick Silva, Kinetic Performance Center president/director

Most golfers think the major factor in distance is club head speed. In reality, it’s quality of contact. This misunderstanding forces the golfer to swing the club back too far (past parallel) losing the all-important angle in the spine which is necessary to store energy. So, how far should your backswing go?

Unfortunately, there is not a finite answer. It changes for the individual based on body type, strength and flexibility. The trend on tour is to get backswings shorter and wider. Here is a simple drill that anyone can do to find out the proper length for his or her backswing.

Set up in your normal posture without a golf club. Face your palms inward or toward each other, then, place the left hand behind the right. Without altering your posture at any point, make a normal backswing until you run out of mobility.

Chances are that your arms will stop short of your old position. The shortened position is absolutely mind-blowing to most amateur golfers because it’s considerably shorter than anything they have ever experienced. The drill should be performed with an 8- or 9-iron swinging with 50 percent effort.

Keep in mind
Just because it feels weird or different doesn’t mean that it is wrong.