Palmetto Dunes

Golf

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.

Drivers, Golf Balls, Shoes and More at the PGA Golf Show in Orlando

Several members of the  Palmetto Dunes golf staff recently attended the 61st annual PGA Golf Show in Orlando to check out the latest and greatest in golf gear, apparel, accessories and services. More than 1,000 companies demonstrated their wares to some 41,000 people who attended from 80 different countries. Our team learned a lot and wanted to share their findings and favorites with all the golf lovers  who visit Palmetto Dunes!

Doug Weaver, director of golf instruction at the resort, made the rounds at the show, interviewing many of the company reps on the details of their new equipment. He particularly spent time with Nike Golf on their shoes, drivers and balls.

The Lunar Control II shoe, which will be highlighted at this year’s Masters(no apostrophe) by Rory McIlroy, is known for being very lightweight while providing full support using the latest in Nike technology. More from Doug:

Doug also got up to speed on the new Nike Covert 2.0 driver, whose technology is designed to provide more stability, less resistance, straighter ball flights and faster ball speeds. Here is the full interview with Nike:

All of the Nike products from the show will be available at the Robert Trent Jones course pro shop, one of only six Nike Golf Concept Shops in the country.

While at the PGA Show, Doug logged over 30 hours of training with the inspirational Peter Jacobson! Classes focused on one plane and two plane swings, exercise, mental, junior golf and club fitting. Peter is a friend, Ryder Cup Player, Senior Tour Champion and TV commentator. At the age of 48, with his game falling apart, Peter took to a program that revived his game so much so that he became a Ryder Cup Player.

Get these and more tips from Doug with a private lesson, clinic or golf school at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy this spring!

Doug also caught up with the Golf Channel’s Michael Breed, host of “The Fix.” He and Doug were PGA tour players together and Doug encouraged Michael to go into modeling. He took Doug’s advice and later combined his love of golf with modeling to become a TV show host.

PGA Show Orlando 2014

View all of our videos from the PGA Golf Show on our YouTube playlist and let us know if we can schedule a tee time for you at one of our three beautiful championship Hilton Head golf courses by calling 866-744-7558 or booking online

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.

Hilton Head Golf Instructor Doug Weaver a Part of PGA History

Hilton Head golf proWhen 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. 

Enjoy Family Golf Activities at Hilton Head’s Palmetto Dunes During July’s Family Golf Month

Hilton Head family golf lessons 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!

Junior Tees
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.

5 Golf Tips from Hilton Head Golf Pro Doug Weaver

Hilton Head golf instructionLooking 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.

Learn Golf as a Family in Hilton Head

Hilton Head Golf School for FamiliesWhen you vacation to Hilton Head as a family, there are lots of activities you can do together from swimming and riding bikes to hanging out at the beach and seeing the sights. But here at Palmetto Dunes, we like to see families get active together and we offer a variety of ways to do that, including our Hilton Head Family Golf School.

Perhaps Mom and Dad could use a few tips to improve their golf game while the kids may just be getting started on their golfing career. Whatever level your family, we’ll tailor our golf school to your needs and skill level. Our own head of golf instruction, Doug Weaver, is great with kids and teaches them moves like “closing the car door” and “alligator arms” to help them learn golf in a fun and engaging way.

Watch Doug teach golf to kids in this fun video:



Our Family Golf School spans three days with two hours of private lessons daily. That gives you plenty of time to do lots of other fun Hilton Head activities in addition to learning golf.

The golf school includes a video analysis sent by email, on-course instruction, rules and etiquette lessons, use of the school’s video lending library, take home materials, lunch daily, free range privileges plus 9 holes of golf daily on a space-available basis, and 25% discount on all rentals, such as bikes, kayaks and canoes, from Hilton Head Outfitters.

Our golf school is limited to five participants and immediate family members only.

We can’t wait to see how your family looks on the course after Family Golf School! To sign up for our program, please give us a call at 866-744-7558.

Get Mental with Your Golf Game in Hilton Head

South carolina golf instructionHere 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.

Play Golf Like a Pro: Tips to Make Your Hilton Head Golf Vacation More Fun and Less Frustrating

Hilton Head golf lessons Doug Weaver, head of golf instruction at Palmetto Dunes golf resort, is all about making the game of golf fun. He wants you to leave your stress behind when on your Hilton Head golf vacation, forget about throwing clubs and relax and enjoy the game.

Easier said than done, right?

According to Doug, he strives to make people “players”. He says, “a player is somebody who plays well without a perfect swing, understands the game and doesn’t get bogged down in all the mechanics.” A pro golfer who embodies that “player” mentality is Bubba Watson, a playful, imperfect golfer who gets the job done, but has fun while he’s doing it.

Palmetto Dunes offers a variety of classes at our Hilton Head Golf Academy that address these frustrations and helps bring the joy back to the game of golf. They include:

Bubba Golf – Learn how to play like Bubba in this weekly 50-minute class with Doug. The class focuses on the mechanics of making specific trouble shots while learning to think less and focus better.

Mental Golf Workshop – Part of our three-day Hilton Head golf school, the Mental Golf Workshop lets you complete a “golf personality” profile before beginning class. This helps Doug to better understand your personality and areas you need to work on, allowing him to personalize your instruction.

Off the Knees and Under a Branch – In Doug’s Short Game II workshop, he teaches you how to get out of the toughest situations on the course, even when you’re “on your knees, under a branch.” With the confidence that you can play your way out of a worst case scenario, your game will improve!

“Every round has failures in it, if you overreact, that’s how a lot of rounds are ruined,” says Doug. “Golf is fun. Learn how to handle those challenges, and that’s when you really have fun.”

The three championship courses at Palmetto Dunes lend themselves to having fun while you’re on your Hilton Head vacation. They are challenging but not too much so. They’re a good blend, says Doug, meeting the needs of every type of golfer.

Palmetto Dunes offers a range of options for South Carolina golf vacations, including a golf stay and play package, the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy Package with two full days of instruction, monthly packages and more. Call us at (866) 744-7558 for more details.

So next time you feel like throwing a club out of frustration, remember these words from Weaver: “Golf is not a game of perfect. It’s a game of good.” And have fun out there!

Palmetto Dunes Offers a Top Hilton Head Golf Academy

Hilton Head Golf AcademyThere are games of chance and games of skill. Golf certainly is a game of skill and the best way to improve your game is to tweak things now and again.

While enjoying your Hilton Head vacation, make sure you sign up to attend at least one of the programs offered at our top-notch Hilton Head golf academy so you can score lower and enjoy the game even more. Even if you don’t think you need to tweak your game, you should consider getting a friend or family member to sign up for a program or two then you can just tag along for moral support (wink-wink, nudge-nudge).

In fact, the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy is currently running a special for 10% off if you sign up for a multi-day program. If another golfer signs up with you, you get 15% off. The two-day programs offer a 4:1 ratio for three hours of instruction per day, nine holes of golf daily and much more. The three-day programs also have a 4:1 ratio for four hours of instruction per day, 18 holes of golf and more.

The Golf Academy is led by former PGA Tour player Doug Weaver. As Director of Instruction Weaver manages the Palmetto Dunes golf academy and supervises all golf instruction. “The two- and three-day schools are great because they have a slow pace and you can enjoy learning at whatever your playing level,” Weaver says.

In addition to the multi-day programs, the academy offers nine golf programs about an hour in length nearly every day of the week. Each class focuses on different aspects of the game, including beginner golf, back to basics and the short game. The programs are appropriate for golfers from ages 12 to adult. Eleven teaching pros, some of whom are former PGA Tour professionals, provide hands-on instruction to golfers with varying levels of proficiency.

Weaver says the Power and Distance Class helps you learn the five different ways to hit the ball harder and more precisely using moves that are best for your body type. Every golfer’s body creates power uniquely. The experts will show you the five major power moves and which ones you should focus on.

Another good Hilton Head golf lesson we offer is the Mental Golf Workshop, which helps you concentrate better and keep your energy high. In short, you learn how to concentrate like a pro and maintain it.

Speaking of concentration, the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy has created a class that zeroes in on Bubba Watson’s unique approach to golf. “Bubba is one of the greatest players of our time,” Weaver says. “He’s relaxed and care free. He’s casual yet very competitive and he understands it’s a game of opposites – the harder you try, the worse you do.”

Unsure which school is right for you? Contact us for more information or to make a reservation for any of our Hilton Head golf lessons at (866) 744-7558.

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