According 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.
On 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:
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.
When it comes to the PGA Championship this weekend at Oak Hill, all eyes may be on Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, but there’s something special that happened at this same course 14 years ago that left our own Director of Golf Instruction Doug Weaver with a record-setting moment in history.
Weaver, then 29, was one of four players at the 1989 US Open at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y., to hit a hole-in-one in less than two hours, a record for a PGA event. He was the first to hit the ace. It happened on the 156-yard sixth hole where Weaver used a 7-iron to make the shot. The ball went into a ridge to the right of the cup and then rolled back into the cup for the famous shot.
“The decibel level in the grandstand went up and up and up,” said Weaver at the time in the New York Times, and, he said, when the ball disappeared into the cup, “it sounded like a clap of lightning.”
Three subsequent players made a hole-in-one on the very same hole and using the same 7-iron club after Weaver. “The best part for me was that I was on the 12th tee, less than 100 yards from the sixth green when Mark got his hole-in-one,” Weaver said. “I was in the middle of the 13th fairway when I heard the roar for Jerry, and I was on the 14th hole when I heard the roar for Nick’s. I was able to relive it every time.”
According to the New York Times, the odds of such an event happening all on the same day are 332,000 to 1. Even for a professional to hit a hole-in-one on the PGA tour in any given round is calculated at 3,708 to 1.
Weaver has been featured in articles and several media outlets across the country as we head into the PGA Championship at the same New York course this weekend. Mentions of Weaver’s famous shot have run in the New York Times, Chicago Times, been discussed on the Golf Channel and more.
Should you hope for a hole-in-one at this year’s Championship? We’re not betting on it. The sixth hole has been changed since then and the slope softened. Of course maybe if Doug Weaver was there…
If you would like to take a lesson or clinic from our very own PGA pro, Weaver himself, give us a call at 866-744-7558. He offers instructional programs every day of the week at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy for players of every skill level.
We love kids here at Palmetto Dunes and we like to keep them busy with our many kid-friendly activities like surfing, tennis, kayaking, swimming and fishing. But golf is especially near and dear to our heart since we have three amazing and varied Hilton Head golf courses all inside our beautiful resort.
PGA America and the National Golf Course Owners’ Association have declared July Family Golf Month in an effort to promote golf as a fun, family recreational activity that lets you spend uninterrupted quality time together.
"Getting the family together for a round of golf, whether it’s nine or 18 holes, is a great outdoor activity that gives parents the opportunity to have uninterrupted conversations and quality time with their children," says PGA of America President Ted Bishop. "It's also a great way for the entire family to enjoy golf's health and wellness benefits while creating memories for a lifetime."
So how can your family enjoy golf at our South Carolina golf resort? Ah, let us count the ways!
Family Golf School
We offer three-day, two-hour private golf lessons designed specifically for your family at our Hilton Head Family Golf School. We’ll meet everyone at exactly their skill level and help them improve their game. We love this video showing a mom and her daughters during their Family Golf School lesson!
Kids Play Free
To encourage our golfers to teach the game to their kids, we let kids play free at the Robert Trent Jones Hilton Head golf course and the Arthur Hills golf course after 4 p.m. with an adult paying regular rate. This is a great opportunity to expose your kids to the game and enjoy some one-on-one time with each other!
We’ve also installed permanent junior tees on our Robert Trent Jones golf course, and the George Fazio course caters to juniors with markings of 150 yards or less. This makes it easier and more fun for junior golfers!
Junior Golf Lessons
We also have a variety of Hilton Head golf lessons for juniors, including our Little Swingers program designed for ages 3-7. Director of Instruction Doug Weaver teaches the game of golf while singing songs with the kids.
Our Junior Golf Clinics for ages 6-18 focus on golf fundamentals like golf shots, etiquette and rules. Weaver covers three different shots every day, and four-time attendees are rewarded with a Junior Golf School Manual.
Lastly, if you have a junior gofer who’s top of the class, enroll him or her in the Advanced Juniors Classes for ages 8-18. These kids get to play with a pro and get instruction as they go!
Make your love of golf a family affair at Palmetto Dunes! To sign up for any of the above golf lessons, schools or clinics or for any questions, please call us at 866-744-7558.
Looking to better your golf game this summer? We’ve got some tips from our very own Hilton Head golf pro and director of golf instruction Doug Weaver. From putting to your swing, he’s got some golf tips to make your summer of golf even better!
1) Sidehill lies are common and are rarely practiced. Here are some easy tips to remember: find a point in between your toes and heels where your balance feels like it is under your shoestrings, take multiple practice swings to allow your body to adjust to the feeling of that particular shot and ask your playing partner to watch where your ball goes so you can focus on making solid impact.
2) Improve your chip! Measure the distance between the shaft back to the face with your finger. This tells you the loft. Then, if you want to see what the loft will do for you, lay the pitching wedge down on the ground and step on the head. This will tell you the trajectory. Now, place the ball in the middle, lean on your left foot and use your putting stroke. Remember; let the club do the work!
3) When putting, use your shoulders, or big muscles, to allow your little muscles, or your hands, to stay soft. The result is a naturally smooth, unhurried and consistent putt. It's easy to work against yourself by guiding the club instead of letting it do the work for you.
4) Swing the golf club like you are swinging a baseball bat on your slice. The traditional batting stroke allows the forearms to rotate in both the backswing and the forward hit. The golf swing needs the same forearm rotation to allow the clubhead to be square at impact.
5) Remember to swing “Nice and easy when it’s breezy” than trying to hit the ball through the wind! But the harder the swing, the more spin on the ball, which is only exaggerated by the wind.
What area of your golf game do you most need to work on? For more help with your swing or other challenges on the green, try one of our Hilton Head golf schools or clinics. View the complete Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy schedule.
We also offer a variety of golf vacation packages that all you to improve your game while enjoying plenty of down time, as well. For example, with our Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy golf vacation package, you get two full days of instruction, resort villa accommodations, a free club fitting, video analysis and discounts on resort activities.
Here at Palmetto Dunes, we believe that improving your golf game often times starts in your head. Our Hilton Head golf school, the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy, offers a variety of classes that work on your mental golf game. Our head of golf instruction, Doug Weaver, is a big proponent of spending time on the mind in order to improve your skills.
“The average person is so busy, they don’t have time to master the perfect golf game. Plus, every golfer is restricted by the limits of his physical skill,” says Doug. “The one thing within our control, however, is how we approach an overall round, a specific hole or a given shot.”
We offer a Mental Golf Workshop weekly, as well as part of our three-day Hilton Head golf school. Before you even come to class, you’ll fill out a survey online, which takes about 15 minutes, that determines your golf personality. The result is a 24-page report that Doug uses to improve your game during the Hilton Head golf class. With the survey, you’ll get an analysis of your golf temperament, golf fitness tendencies and ability to work with instructors and get customized strategies for pre-round preparation, playing shots and course management.
Doug teaches his students how to concentrate and not just think on a conscious level, but a subconscious level. But he promises, no hypnotism involved :). “It’s a fun way to play golf,” says Doug.
He encourages his students to envision a good golf shot before ever taking a swing and even to try putting with eyes closed, or with eyes on the cup and not the ball.
Come try Doug’s methods of using your mind to become a better golf player. Read more about our 2- and 3-day golf schools and variety of golf clinics. Call us at 866-744-7558 to reserve your spot today or to book one of our South Carolina golf getaways that include lessons, tee times and accommodations.
I did one private lesson and the 3 hour group putting, short game, and full swing instruction with Doug. He was awesome! I would recommend either the private or group lessons. I visit South Carolina every May and will now do lessons with Doug every year. It is easy to see that he really cares and is great at articulating the concepts that he wants you to adopt in your swing.
Doug's lessons have taught me that golf is more than a swing. His unique and illustrative communication skills focus on applying your athletic ability against the games key fundamentals that allow you to master the basics. Since taking lessons with Doug , the confidence in my technique has allowed me to improve in all aspects of my game and win my club championship. When you are done taking a lesson with Doug you will be able to see your shots, feel your shots, and trust your ability to execute.