Brad Smith may be new to Manakiki Golf Course, but as a PGA-certified pro for 11 years he has great advice for newbies: be methodical. “Start at the green learning how to putt. When you obtain that competency, then move back and learn how to chip, and then how to pitch,” he says. Keep moving away from the green and into your half and full swings. This allows you to learn the game while obtaining short-term goals and seeing success.
For everyday players, focus on pre-swing fundamentals. “How they grip the club is one of the most important things, and I’d say 90 percent of golfers do it incorrectly,” Smith says, adding golfers should practice their alignment as well. His advice: line up the club head to the target first, and then align your body (feet, knees, hips and shoulders) parallel to the target line. The most common mistake is opening the shoulders to the target line, so focus on keeping your shoulders square versus open.
You can hone your skills with Smith through clinics, Academy of Golf classes and private lessons at Manakiki. 35501 Eddy Road, Willoughby, 440-942 2500, clevelandmetroparks.com/golf/courses/manakiki-golf-course