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The ABC's of a Golf Swing and a Golf Operation

Greetings Golfers,

As you know, during the off-season, I’ve been trying to improve my golf swing - mostly in search of some of the distance I’ve lost over the years.

However, I’ve come to realize that I need to look at my process for hitting golf shots … and go back to the basics:

  • Grip
  • Set-up

  • Backswing

  • Downswing

  • Finish


And … I’m getting things ready to open the golf course. April 4 has been the “normal” date to open.

Like my golf swing … the golf course operation cannot be on auto-pilot … it always needs attention. Unlike my golf swing, Deer Run GC has improved with age.

So, while thinking about my need to go over the steps to hitting a golf shot … I realized it’s analogous to going over the steps to running a golf course.

The off-season is the perfect time to do both. So … here I go with the comparisons. I haven’t really thought this through … so I’ll be learning as I write:

1.) Grip. This is how you feel and control the club. I’m a fingers and soft-hands guy. A squeezed club held in the palms eliminates shot-making. Feel is the focus.

1.) Grip. This is your hands-on to every part of the operation. This is how you feel and control the operation. I’m a fingers and soft-hands guy. A squeezed operation cannot adjust as the season goes on. Feel is the focus.

2.) Set-up. This is how you position yourself so that you can wind up and then hit the ball squarely at the target. A bad set-up makes golf difficult and inconsistent.

2.) Set-up. This is how you position the operation before the season starts. Staffing is the biggest piece. Making sure the other pieces are ready - mowers, carts, F&B service, Pro Shop, range, marketing, booked events. A bad set-up causes a chaotic season.

3.) Backswing. No matter how good your set-up is … if you can’t properly wind-up on your backswing … you’re going to have a tough time hitting good shots. Your body needs to turn and shift weight as you bring the club to the top of the backswing. You need to know where you should to be at the top … otherwise you’re lost. It takes balance, rhythm, control and knowledge.

3.) Backswing. That’s how we start every day. The maintenance staff has to get the course ready. The Pro Shop and desk need to be ready to check-in the golfers. The Pub needs to be ready to nourish the players. The carts have to be charged and lined-up. The range needs to be open and stocked with balls. We need to know what that looks like. And we have to do it. As smoothly as possible.

4.) Downswing. The downswing cannot be rushed. A good backswing puts you in position for a good downswing … but it’s not automatic. A great drill is to stop at the top of your backswing … and feel where you are … then, shift your weight and swing the club into your follow through. A rushed downswing will lead to bad shots of all types. Focus on rhythm.

4.) Downswing. Now we’re playing. Golfers are arriving and playing golf, driving carts, hitting range balls, drinking and eating, and admiring our amazing Pro Shop (I had to say it). This is all about rhythm. We cannot be uptight and hurried. We need to be happy and relaxed and into it. Focus on rhythm.

5.) Finish. The finish doesn’t lie. A bad follow-through indicates a bad swing. A good follow-through is complete and balanced - you could stand there all day. It feels good. You want to savor it

5.) Finish. The finish of a day doesn’t lie. Does it feel good? Did we deal with everything that came our way and make it work? Are we proud of how things went? If we had a good day … it feels great. I want to savor the feel before I lock the doors and go home.

Well that was fun. Hope you enjoyed it half as much as I did. I’ve had a great off-season … can’t wait to try out my new swing at Deer Run GC.

But, I especially can’t wait to come back and open up the golf course. There’s still a lot of work to do … but we have a good process to get there.


Tom Abts
GM/Head PGA Professional
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Deer Run Golf Club
8661 Deer Run Drive
Victoria, MN 55386
(952) 443-2351

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