Inspired by the Masters? Here’s how to up – or start – your own golf game
This paid piece is sponsored by GreatLIFE Golf & Fitness.
Did your weekend viewing include a bit – or a lot – of golf?
It was a history-making Masters tournament as Hideki Matsuyama became the first Japanese man to win a golf major.
And if it left you thinking about your own golf game – or maybe how to improve it – you’re not alone.
“It seems like after the Masters it’s the time of year when golf always gets really going up here,” GreatLIFE vice president of golf Jason Sudenga said.
“I’ve tried to have a Masters tournament the last three years, but the weather hasn’t been conducive. This year, we were able to do it, and our tournaments at both Rocky Run and Willow Run filled up so fast. It was amazing. This is when spring hits the air, and golfers really get going.”
GreatLIFE has seen a “a lot of interest” in golf clubs with the early spring, he added.
“It’s a good time of year to get new clubs, and we have all kinds of fitting options available. And for those that want instruction, this is a good time to get your golf game off on the right foot with a PGA professional.”
This year, GreatLIFE’s newly opened Golf Academy at Willow Run is ready, waiting and perfect to help you improve your game no matter what your stage of the sport.
“The start of the academy has been fantastic, and the feedback has been extremely positive,” said Drew Trautman, PGA professional and director of player development.
“We had to start programming a little early and add classes because the response has been so great.”
Here’s your guide to what’s available.
You’re just starting or in need of brushing up your game
For the golfer who watched the Masters and is thinking about picking up the sport – or at least learning how to swing a club – there’s Project Start.
In this clinic-based program, you’ll be part of a group of up to eight golfers at about the same stage of your game.
“It’s a great introductory course to get you more comfortable and teach you about golf, getting you comfortable to go on the course,” Trautman said. “For new golfers, that can be intimidating. Where do you check in? What is a tee? What is a tee box? How do you swing? So this covers the full spectrum of getting started.”
It’s a five-week course at Willow Run covering a different topic each week, and the plan is getting you ready to be out playing golf.
If you know your game could use some work on the basics, it’s also a good idea to try Project Start.
“Project Start is good for all types of golfers because it’s a clinic-based format. We work on all parts of the game,” Sudenga said. “We’re working on fundamentals, and you’ll always learn something. Even golfers on the PGA Tour have times they go back to basic fundamentals to help their game and get back on track.”
You know your way around a golf course – but you know your game has room to improve
Maybe watching the Masters encouraged you to make this the year you put some real effort into your golf game?
Consider Project Par at the GreatLIFE Golf Academy.
“That’s designed for the recreational golfer, weekend warrior striving to shoot par,” Trautman said.
“It’s a monthly membership-based program that is a blend of group and individual instruction and includes designated open lab times – think of it like open gym – so you come in, reserve a spot and utilize that for whatever you need to work on.”
You’ll also receive three 30-minute individual sessions with Trautman “to give the drills and instruction you need specially tailored for you to get better,” he said.
Project Par can be done on a month-to-month basis with no commitment.
You’re in fine-tuning mode
Maybe you watch the Masters and see a little – just a little – of your own game? Or what it could be? There’s a program at the Golf Academy for you too.
“If it’s someone who continually is trying to make a hard effort to improve long term, Project Par is a great option,” Trautman said.
“And we always have private individual instruction with myself or Jason.”
You’ve decided this is the year to golf as a family
Maybe the kids watched the Masters with you and are asking to golf? Or you’ve decided as a couple this is the year you golf together?
There are programs for that too.
“We have a Golf for Women clinic tailored a little more for the ladies and getting them comfortable on the course,” Trautman said. “And I always recommend the free family clinics we have at all our golf courses that start in May. It’s a great time to come out with the family, learn the basics, and with each clinic, they have a chance to go on the course and play as a family.”
GreatLIFE also has added Project Start Kids, “essentially the introductory course tailored for children,” Trautman said.
The first clinic is underway, and new ones will be held every month during golf season. They’re four weeks on Saturday mornings, “and they’re all about the basic fundamentals, getting them introduced to the golf club, what clubs are used where, getting them swinging and used to rules and etiquette,” he said.
From there, GreatLIFE Junior golf camps run for four-day sessions and are longer and more immersive as a next step after Project Start.
Not sure which approach is right for you and your family’s game? Contact Drew Trautman at firstname.lastname@example.org, and he’ll take it from there!