Golf pro Paul Leahy answers your golf-related questions.
I tend to leave the majority of my putts short, and if I do get one to the hole it goes way past. How can I improve my lag putting?
George T., Lake Ozark
I talk to my students about pace a lot and how important the pace of your putt is especially on longer ones. I believe pace is more important than the line for any putt over about 20 feet. If you are changing the pace of your stroke from putt to putt it is very difficult to control the distance. First look at your grip pressure and make sure you are holding the putter lightly as you need feel and touch to be a great putter. The goal is to hit each putt with the same tempo, and more importantly, the correct tempo. A good way to check your tempo is to count to yourself “one, two, three, four,” taking your putter back on three and swinging through on four. Watch your grip pressure and work on the pace of your stroke, and you will begin to control distances much better.
What advice would you give a senior golfer to help them enjoy the game more?
Jim P., Montreal
As we age we lose distance, club head speed and the ability to elevate the ball like we once did. The first thing I would do is take an honest assessment of your game and know when to move up to a different tee. A lot of times it’s a pride thing but if you find yourself hitting woods into greens or not able to reach some holes in regulation, the game will become frustrating. We all would like to hit it as far and play the game the way we know we once could, but life happens. Move up a tee and enjoy hitting scoring clubs into the greens again and making some birdies. Another key element is to keep your body in golf shape. When we were younger we were more active and more flexible. Most of us will never be as flexible as we were in our 20s but doing some stretches or yoga a few times a week will keep you in golf shape and enjoying the game for years to come.
I’ve heard about the PGA Junior League on the golf television broadcasts. Is the program offered here at the Lake and how do I get my grandchildren involved?
Grace R., Osage Beach
The PGA Junior League is offered in the Lake area at the Eldon Golf Club and at Lake Valley Country Club. PGA Junior League is a flagship program of the PGA of America and most teams play between March 1 to July 31. The program is for boys and girls 13 and under. They compete in a team format versus individual competition similar to a youth baseball or soccer team play. Some programs have expanded to include youth 17 and younger in certain locations. The program focuses on fun, recreation, good health and sportsmanship. For additional information, visit www.pgajrleague.com or contact Eldon Golf Club or Lake Valley Country Club.
Paul Leahy is a PGA Golf Professional and the Director of Golf at the Oaks at Margaritaville Lake Resort.