Posts tagged: golf lessons

I Am A Scratch Golfer……………On The Driving Range!

And I bet alot of you are too!  I asked Kevin Tanner, our wonderful contact at Golftec to give us some good advice on how to take our FABULOUS driving range game to the course.  AND, notice *WOMEN ON COURSE members, June is FREE LADIES GOLF LESSON MONTH @ GolfTEC-North Bethesda.  If you are interested in a FREE 30 Minute Lesson please contact us at 240-715-0291.

How to Take Your Range Game to the Course – Better Practice Habits by Kevin Tanner, PGA

If I had a dollar for every time that I heard someone tell me that their “range game” was better than their “golf course game” I would be a rich man.  In this BLOG I will cover a few tips that will help you take your game on the range to the course.

 In recent years there have been some great studies published about how individuals learn and acquire new skills.  The overall consensus is in order to learn a new skill faster you must RANDOM practice.  To keep things simple there are two main ways to train someone a new skill.  You can BLOCK practice; this is repeating the same technique over and over until the new skill is acquired.   Or, you can RANDOM practice; this is constantly changing the stimulus while trying to learn the new skill.  Let me explain a few examples.

In golfing terms, a form of BLOCK practice would be hitting a 7-iron at one target over and over trying to produce one specific result.  While, RANDOM practice would be never hitting the same club more and one time at any one target.  Here is an example of RANDOM practice, hit one shot with a 7-iron at the 130 yard target…switch clubs, hit a 9-iron at the 100 yard target…switch clubs, hit Driver and try to have it land in between two targets imagining that you are hitting it into a fairway…switch clubs hit a short pitch shot…etc., you get the idea.  It takes a great deal of patience and diligence to do this while practicing and if you can make it through a few RANDOM practice sessions you will quickly see a change in your consistency. 

Now there is definitely a place for both forms of training in the game of golf.  BLOCK practice is great when trying to understand a certain movement or understand the feeling you must have to accomplish a certain skill.  However, after you have the feeling it is time to start RANDOM practice!

So if you want to take your “range game” to the course, try RANDOM practice for a few weeks to start hitting the ball better and more consistent. 

 To round out the post today I will leave you with a few great quotes I have heard along the way, I don’t remember who said them but they have always resonated with me.           

 “Always practice with a purpose. “

  “Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.”

GolfTEC Certified Personal Coach
GolfTEC – North Bethesda
5056A Nicholson Lane
North Bethesda, MD 20876

Kevin is a PGA Teaching Professional at GolfTEC – North Bethesda , in Maryland.  For more information on lessons or club fitting contact Kevin at or call the Improvement Center (240) 277-3150.

Also check us out on Facebook –

Keep Those Arms Straight … and other tips we can ignore!

Written by Women on Course member, Margaret Ferry.

“Keep your head down!” “Don’t bend your elbow!” “Loosen your grip!”  Tiffany Faucette, Co-Director of the Golf Academy at 1757 Golf Club, dispelled those and many other “tips” we’ve heard for years and replaced them with practical, “made-for-us-girls” tidbits at a Women on Course Play Day event this past Friday evening.

A group of five intermediate level golfers (we play, but not consistently, know the rules and etiquette of the game, but are having a hard time executing) came together for a “back to basics” ladies golf refresher.  While we took in the spectacular view from the private upstairs facility at the Club’s Golf Academy, Tiffany asked us each what we hoped to accomplish and then led us through a two hour session that ended with each of us realizing that we CAN play this game!  Having our swings videotaped was a real eye opener (frankly, the flaws in our hips were more troubling than the flaws in our swings!)

Over a glass of wine in the Clubhouse, we all agreed that we loved each other’s company and got so much out of our session with Tiffany that we plan to schedule several more in the coming weeks. Check out the Women on Course calendar if you’d like to join us.  Kudos to our fabulous Women on Course VP, Lee Van Giezen for setting this up and please let her know if you’d like to join us for the next session ( – she’s also very happy to set up golf clinics in your area!

And meantime, don’t worry so much about keeping that left arm straight. Cheers.  :)

Women on Course member Margaret A. Ferry owns an international communications consulting practice based in Washington, D.C. She can be reached at

Just Say No! (This is not a blog about Tiger Woods)


No Advice Zone

Jeri Cartwright is the founder/owner of  the Salt Lake City PR firm Cartwright Communications.  She has dabbled with golf on and off for 18 years.  She sent me the following on men giving women (unsolicited) advice on the golf course. 

My early golfing years were painful.  For some reason men couldn’t wait to give me unsolicited advice, even if I was outplaying them.  Once given, such advice can mess with your mind, and it did mine.  I didn’t really enjoy golf until I learned to “just say no.”

 The last straw came in Phoenix, AZ.  I was playing with a friend and her new husband.  As a rookie golfer, I was having a lucky day and playing better than I deserved.  I was even outplaying her husband, who yelled at my friend every time she hit the ball. I could tell she was close to tears.

 The new husband sauntered over to my cart and said, “would you mind if I gave you a piece of advice?”  “Please don’t,” I said kindly.  He was shocked.  He sputtered, he spat, he was incredulous.  “Just one little piece of advice?”  Again, with a soft smile, I responded: “Please…I only take advice from my golf instructor during golf lessons.”  The shock on his face was only the beginning.  “Well!” he said.  “You’re wasting your money because you can’t play worth crap!”

A week later, back  home in Salt Lake City, I had a golf lesson with my pro, Marsha.  Marsha paid her way through college by daring guys to bet against her on the course.  She would bait them by playing badly, and then once the money was on the table she nailed her best game.  I told her my Phoenix story.  I was clearly upset and wondered what I could do with future unwanted advice.   Wasn’t this supposed to be an enjoyable sport?

 Marsha’s eyes twinkled with wisdom.  Whenever a guy offers Marsha advice, she makes sure she gives it right back.  After all, if a man messes up your game with suggestions, you can do the same with him.  She shared several suggestions:

 1.       Wait for the guy to hit the ball, then ask, “tell me, do you inhale or exhale at the top of your swing?”

2.       Again, after the guy hits the ball, give him this compliment: “Wow, you hit the ball quite well, despite the way you loop your driver!”

3.       Marsha also liked to ask the guy to put some sunscreen on the back of her neck, oiling up his hand and affecting his club grip.

I know these sound merciless, but how many of us silently suffer as the guys proceed to tell us the right way to golf?  In fact, how many of us wish our female friends would stop the advice?

 Tell me what your strategy is, if you have one.  My personal one is when a man asks if he can give me advice – or even starts to, I ask him if he is a golf professional. When he says no, I say No Thanks!

P.S.  I’d like to give Jeri’s friend some advice on her husband’s golf behavior too!

Golf Lessons for the President?

Lessons for the Pres?

Back when the weather was good – oh, so very long ago- President Obama was criticized for not playing golf with any women during his Sunday rounds. I can attest to this because Obama played several times at my golf club, Ft. Belvoir , and I saw the First Golfer at the club, hitting range balls and teeing off on several Sundays. And, yes, he was always with male staffers.

Well, part of the problem was that there weren’t any women golfers at the White House and it appeared that Obama just wanted to hit the links with normal people – no big names, no celebrities or Heads of States.

Well, that is about to change with the incoming social secretary Julianna Smoot.  Julianna’s father is Ed Smoot, a retired golf pro who became friendly with Obama during the campaign and the two have talked golf on several occasions. As a club pro in Clinton, N.C., Smoot taught his three daughters to play the game — although Julianna, the oldest, doesn’t golf as well as her two younger sisters, this might be the perfect time for her dad to give her a few golf lessons and get her game in shape for the Presidential foursome. Better yet, how about a foursome of Obama and the three Smoot Sisters?! That would awesome and maybe it would encourage other women in the Administration to take up the sport. Cuz, for some reason, I don’t think I’m going to be extended an invitation.

Daddy Smoot, 67, said he has been reading about Obama’s game and admits he could probably pass on a few tips — but only if asked. “He’s got big hands, so I don’t know if he has oversized grips or not. I’m real big on grip: If it’s not right, you’re not going to get a good shot.”

37, And Single!

Lee stepping in!

Lee stepping in!

Last Thursday night I attended yet another amazing Women on Course Happy Hour Event in Washington, DC hosted by the ever gracious City Club at Franklin Square.  Even though Donna Hoffman (President and Founder of WOC) was sick and in bed with some dehumanizing flu, Lee Van Giezen (Donna’s right and left arm) was our Madam of Ceremonies, making sure everything flowed as nicely as the wine.

The ladies loved John!

The ladies loved John!

As with all of the Women on Course events – whether it is a Golf Experience event, Play Day or Happy Hour – the recipe is the same and ALWAYS a winner:  women, wine, golf, socializing, prizes, munchies and lots of good vibes – and  it really doesn’t get much better than that.  Unless, of course,

  • You are the featured speaker from GolfTEC,
  • You are the only male in the room with over 30 beautiful women and,
  • You are 37 and single.

Please, let me introduce: John Benkovic!

John gave an informative and helpful overview of what you can do during the winter months to keep yourself in shape and your golf swing active. However,  his personality was the star of the show!  John was funny and engaging…..and did I point out that he is 37 and single!  He didn’t bat an eye at the ever-challenging questions concerning what does a well-endowed woman do with her Ta-Ta’s during the golf swing.  His advice and knowledge was for women and I liked that that he obviously knew who his audience was!  And, (sing it with me now) he is 37 and single!

Jacque Barlow - Mass Mutual

Jacque Barlow - Mass Mutual

Let’s not forget  the Mirassou wine, Cabot cheese and the fabulous jewelry display brought in by Levina Kim of Stella and DotMass Mutual, Women On Course’s major sponsor, had the lovely Jacque Barlow on tap for the evening. Jacque is a wonderful Mass Mutual agent and dear friend of Women on Course.  She ALWAYS provides me with the best moment of the evening:  after she makes introductions, she mentions that Mass Mutual is the only insurance company that covers breast cancer survivors.  In the middle of all the networking, laughing, jewelry, socializing, wine and food, hearing that there is a company out there that cares about women’s issues makes the event all the more special!

Venus Golf Tip #3 – Chip Like a Champ

Venus demonstrating chip shot

Venus demonstrating chip shot

Debbie Keller, aka Venus,  competed on the LPGA tour for 11 years. She is ranked as a Top 50 Instructor by Golf for Women eight years in a row and is a popular speaker at Women on Course events.

Chip Like a Champ

The chipping stroke is a longer version of a putting stroke. Both are made with a putting grip, a pendulum stroke, and a sweeping tick tock rhythm that ends with a balanced finish at the end. If you practice your putting you are also practicing your chipping and conversely, if you practice your chipping you are also practicing your putting.


You want to mentally train yourself that your chip is actually your first putt, so study your chip very carefully. Read the break from all directions and factor in the speed. Imagine in your mind how you want the ball to roll on the green and commit to that image.

Square the Clubface

The first and most important alignment adjustment you can make is to square the clubface to the target line. Then, set your body up parallel to that target line and get into your V factor putting position with your elbows relaxed into the shape of a “V” that remains constant through out the stroke.

Keep the clubface square to the target line through out the stroke, without rotating the face open or shut. The clubface needs to return in a square position at impact if expect solid chips with good roll. Solid ball contact starts with a square clubface.

Club Path

Because you will be standing closer to the ball at address position, similar to a putting stance, your eyes will be positioned directly over the ball at address and parallel with the target line. This putting type set up position will make it easy for you to keep the club head swinging straight back and straight through on linear club path.

The Rhythm for Chipping

The “tick tock” sound of a clock, or “beep beep” sound of a metronome are both fine for the pendulum swinging motion of a chip. Then again if counting “1 – 2”, or making up you own two beat sound helps you to create a rhythm that helps build a consistent chipping stroke, then by all means do it. I have a friend that uses the two words, “go – in” as she strokes the ball! Find a rhythm that works for you.

Hold That Pose

Your finish position with a chip will be very similar to your finish position with a putt, with the exception that the club head will follow through longer and higher in the air.  Hold that finish position long enough to get valuable feedback.Be sure that you stay in your original “tilt” posture position you started out with. Don’t let your body straighten up as you stroke through the ball. Your head can and should swivel with your chipping motion. Your eyes will be “tracking the ball” as it travels toward it’s target.

Remember, chipping is merely a putt with loft, so you should look as though you have just stroked a long putt. By turning this simple chipping motion into a putting motion, you may find yourself holing out more chips than you ever thought possible!

For more Venus tips on DVD, check out Venus on the Fundamentals of Golf.

Home | About Us | Events | Join | Shop | Resources | Clubhouse | Contact | View a Golf Event

Copyright Women on Course 2014