Does a golf ball really make a difference? The honest answer is yes, once you are playing consistent enough that you aren’t losing more than a few balls during a round of golf.

Every day I get asked about the importance of selecting a golf ball. Many times the answer is simple, because I know the player and what they are looking for in the performance of a golf ball. Other times it can take a little more investigation to determine the best ball for a particular player.

Golf balls can vary greatly. They are made from different materials, have different price points, and are designed to perform differently for individual golfers. New golf balls can range in price from about $1 each to over $6 each. Some are made to go further, some have more spin and control around the green.

A new or beginning golfer doesn’t need to spend $60 on a dozen golf balls if they are losing multiple balls during a round of golf. But, they don’t deserve to play a ball that’s many years old or has been sitting at the bottom of a lake for several years.

On the other hand, an experienced or professional golfer would be severely hindering themselves if they played an entry level golf ball. The answer is based on the brand and performance level the player is seeking. Stop by Pitt’s Pro Shop and one of our staff professionals can steer you toward the proper golf ball for you game.

As warmer weather approaches it’s important to cover the lightning policy Chewelah G&CC has adopted in order to remain safe when lightning approaches. With last winter setting records for precipitation and the summer heat just around the corner, it’s safe to say we will have our fair share of thunderstorms accompanied by lightening.

Chewelah G&CC has a policy in effect utilizing a lightning detector. It detects lightning strikes accurately from 40 miles away. As a storm approaches the pro shop staff monitors the strikes until we get 2 strikes within 3 miles. At that point we will blow an air horn signaling the stoppage of play. You are to immediately stop your round of golf and head for shelter until the storm passes.

Once the storm passes we will notify golfers and they can go back out to the course and resume play. Also remember that every player has the right to stop if they feel threatened by lightning, even if the pro shop or tournament committee hasn’t blown the air horn yet. So please use your best judgement when it comes to lightning and be sure to seek permanent shelter at the clubhouse or snack shack. Stay away from trees, tall structures, low lying wetlands, and anything metal. Be safe and use your best judgment when lightning is near!

“If I could only hit my drives 10 yards further” is a statement I’ve heard countless times over the years of instructing golfers of all abilities. It’s a tough proposition to add yardage to a drive, but not impossible. In the pro tips below I will share a few ideas on how to add distance.

Distance does not come from a forced golf swing or trying to swing harder. In reality you maximize your distance by taking a nice smooth tempo swing and timing it out so the ball hits in the center of the club head. An off center hit is never going to go as far as a centered hit, no matter who is swinging the club.

Flexibility, strength, shaft selection, and centeredness of contact is the formula for longer drives. Flexibility is important because it allows you to “coil up” on your backswing allowing for greater energy transfer to the ball. Strength is important as well, but you don’t want to get too bulky or it may interfere with your ability to make a full backswing. Shaft selection is crucial to maximizing your distance because if a shaft is too stiff, distance may be sacrificed. And finally working on your swing to increase the likelihood of hitting it in the center of the club face will certainly add distance. Your PGA professionals can help with your swing, but they certainly can’t make you stretch!

Getting the most out of practice . . . that is a question posed to me quite often. The answer is quite simple. Practice should be broken down into equal parts of driving range and short game. If your schedule allows for an hour of dedicated practice a half hour should be spent on the driving range and half an hour on the chipping and putting greens.

On the driving range it’s important to stretch first, then hit half of your shots with a wedge or smaller irons to get shorter targets. The bulk of the range balls you hit should be targeted to 150 yards and in. Lastly, hit a few long irons, fairway woods and a few drivers.

After the range session head over to the short game area with a few balls, the clubs you usually chip with and your putter. Use a “realistic” practice where you chip 3-5 balls to various targets from different lies and then try to make your putts. The technique makes your practice more realistic and will help shave strokes off of your game.