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Golf Academy

The Importance of Club Fittings to Your Golf Game

Hilton Head golf club fittingsAccording to Palmetto Dunes professional club fitter Rod Thompson, going through a club fitting is a “no brainer.”“It’s like a custom suit,” he says.  “A $1,000 suit from Brooks Brothers will fit different than a $100 suit off the rack from Joseph A. Banks.” 

Thompson is actually one of an elite group of Plane Truth instructors throughout the nation, meaning that he had to serve an apprenticeship under Jim Hardy of the Plane Truth Golf Institute in Houston, Texas. Thompson has been certified for 10 years and he’s up to a level 2 out of 3. 

 “I do the fitting and always start with the irons because the ground is going to give me a lot of information,” says Thompson. “Also my eyes will show me the ball flight and my ears are going to tell me how it sounds. A lot of information comes out of a club fitting.”

 Thompson feels it’s better to get a person’s swing a little oriented before starting a fitting. He also prefers doing it outside where true ball flight analysis can be calculated. “The tall and short golfers are very likely going to need something,” he says. “Golf clubs right off the rack probably won’t work for them because their bodies aren’t normal in proportion, regardless of their swing shape.” 

Thompson, a native of Orchard Lake, Mich., turned professional at the age of 18 and eventually became a head pro at Burning Tree Country Club in Michigan. He started making golf clubs in 1986 while at Kenwood Country Club in Maryland, which is where he honed in on ball flight. 

“If I saw that a swing was working but the ball flight told me something different, then that threw up a red flag,” Thompson says. “That’s what got me into fitting. Golf clubs are expensive so it’s important that they fit. I like to say, ‘clubs that fit better hit better,’ and they really do. Women, juniors and seniors in particular usually need fittings and I do the fitting complimentary.”

According to Thompson, it’s all about ball flight and impact. “It’s fun for me,” he says.  “But I also know it’s especially fun when you are the person who is getting properly fit!”

Palmetto Dunes offers free club fittings based on availability at the Robert Trent Jones Hilton Head golf course. To schedule your fitting with Thompson or for more information, call 866-650-4130.

Good at Baseball or Tennis? Try Golf!

Hilton Head golf lessonsOn first glance, it may not look like the sports of baseball or tennis have much in common with golf – aside from hitting a ball – but according to Palmetto Dunes’ Director of Golf Instruction Doug Weaver, the sports actually do have several things in common.

After attending an Atlanta Braves baseball game recently, Weaver noticed that the way a baseball player hits the ball with the bat is not so different than the impact of a golfer hitting a ball on the PGA tour.

In imitation of baseball players, he offers these tips to keep in mind for hitting a golf ball effectively:

  1. An outside observer can see the belt buckle moving to the target, creating centrifugal force.
  2. Centrifugal force straightens and extends your left arm.
  3. A good 80% of your weight is on your left foot.
  4. Your head remains to the right of the ball.
  5. The right heel is coming off the ground.
  6. The right knee is pivoting toward the target.



Weaver also says that tennis players tend to make great golfers, because tennis players develop the same muscles stroking a forehand that are required for a proper golf swing. These are the oblique muscles, the same ones used for laughing and coughing.

Says Weaver, tennis superstar Rafael Nadal emphasized building his obliques to increase his racket speed. He also notes that other tennis greats who’ve pursued golf include Ivan Lendl, Leyton Hewitt and Stan Smith. Golfer Jack Nicklaus was also known for playing tennis and even built a tennis court in his backyard. Weaver has seen plenty of visitors to Palmetto Dunes play one sport in the morning and the other in the afternoon.

Says Weaver, “the bottom line is you’ll play better tennis if you play golf and vice versa.” So we invite golfers to give tennis a try and tennis players to give golf a try. In fact, wouldn’t that make a great New Year’s resolution?

Here at Palmetto Dunes, we have outstanding facilities for both, making it easy to enjoy both sports on your Hilton Head vacation. Let us know if we can help you select the right golf or tennis clinic to help you get started or if we can set you up with private lessons at the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center or with Doug Weaver at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy.