On this edition of Tee It Up Grand Strand we take a short trip up the coast to Wilmington, NC to see our friend Blake Valand at Cape Fear National. This scenic layout located in Brunswick Forest offers a variety of practice facilities for each area of the game. Golfers can practice their skills before or after play on the driving range with target greens, an expansive putting green, or a variety of short game and chipping areas. This is where we find 1st Assistant Pro, Blake Valand. He has a training aid he wants to tell us about.
Most golfers are probably familiar with the “Orange Whip” training aid. They have created a short game trainer that has many principles of the Orange Whip. It has the same basic design except instead of the orange ball at the end it has a wedge head on it. This club will hit the ball 25 yards. It is most definitely a short game training tool only. It allows golfers to use the club head more effectively. Chip shots are just as much about the body rotating through the shot as it is about hand and wrist position. This training aid really works towards that.
First thing Blake suggests golfers do on a chip shot is to take a few practice swings to see where the club head is hitting the ground. This allows us to set the ball position to make sure we playing the ball in the correct part of our stance. During the swing we want to make sure the club head stays out in front of the swing. We need to let the club head rotate out in front of our body after impact on the follow through. This lends to hitting a solid and more accurate chip shot. We do not want to press our hands out ahead of the club head. That will produce some pretty awful results as far as chips shots go. Practice the proper follow through so that we have confidence when we need to hit the shot during the round.
Blake is available to give lessons. Visit the website at www.capefearnational.com or call the golf shop at 910.383.3283 to schedule some time with Blake. Tee times call also be made via the website or by calling the golf shop. Any of the staff will be glad to help in anyway they can when calling in.