We had 16 girls out today-Our biggest class yet, and our first contest was the Snake Course-We set up a snake course that involves putting but also involves strategy, planning ahead, looking at the course, and discussing plans with your partner. The concept is to putt through cones that snake around the putting green and trying to miss various hazards designated by circles; putts must go through the cones to continue your turn. First pair to putt out at the end to the red flag wins-We did a blind draw for partners : Sonia/Chloe, Georgia/Annika, Cayton/Katy, Briit/Madison, Skyler/Laney, Jessica/Sophie. Ali/Jacqueline and Emme/Scarlett. At first the girls were all being very tentative and their only objective was to try to putt through the cones-Gradually they started to figure out “laying up” , putting harder to get through hazards, and discussing strategy together and we had some break from the pack! Sonia and Chloe made the first break followed by Ali/Jacqueline- Sonia and Chloe lost their turn in a hazard and Ali/Jacqueline made a run of the course and won! Snake is very much like golf-You get lucky bounces, get unlucky bounces, sometimes you are forced to lay-up, and sometimes aggressive shots win the match!
We moved to the driving range and grouped the girls in 3 groups for club toss- We had three target zones with hoops, we used our own old clubs so none of their clubs get dented, and we had each girl throw 3 clubs to the target with a chipping backswing. The object was to feel the letting go of the club and soft hands. The girls who have done this before found this task quite easy-Some of our newer girls first held on so tight the club went flying! We did 3 rounds of club tossing and gradually all 16 girls tossed some great clubs at the target and were very accurate. We had them line up 3 balls on the mat, and each girl hit 3 shots, letting go of the club at impact.
Dan called the girls over and asked them what it felt like to just let go? What if great golf shots were about figuring out how and when to let go? There is no greater saboteur of the golf swing than Tension! We went over to the putting green and we set up 5 chipping stations. Each girl hit 2 shots from each station-Some shots were downhill, uphill, long chips, short chips, thick grass and short grass. The first round we saw chips that were short, some were long, and overall tense shots from the girls. As we moved one rotation, we saw a change come over every single girl-The chipping became more accurate, less balls went haywire, and more balls came to rest inside the circle. By the time we ended the 5th location, all chips were right next to or inside the circle. They used their free and letting go chipping stroke rather than tight and controlled.
Our final contest was a chipping contest for points. Each girl got to chip two balls and see how many points they could get from inside the circles. Top point winner was Scarlett Kim who chipped 2 perfect shots and secured 6 points, 2nd place was Skyler Wood who also chipped 2 great chips and secured 4 points. Ali West, Brittany Seidemann, and Georgia Shevitt all had 1 point and went to a chip off-Ali chipped to 3 points each chip, Brittany to a 3 point and 1 point, and Georgia to 3 points-it was great to see none of those 3 girls showed tension! The winner was Ali West and she secured 3rd place.
Finally, I also gave out a prize to Cayton Coburn who changed her entire chipping swing by the end of class-Cayton went from tense and controlled, to free and easy and it showed in her swing! Great job Cayton!
We meet next Saturday for Class #5-Please bring water bottles for the girls as it was hot today and they all got thirsty! The course has not been placing water in the cooler there!! next week is supposed to be warm!
Dan, Mary, and Debbie