Driving Range Practice

Golfing With Will Part One

Jul 17, 2017

Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Justin Rodgers and I currently manage the social media accounts for Peacock Gap Golf Club in San Rafael. I want to be completely honest right out of the gate with everyone reading this; I am not a golf expert by any means. Now I probably have you all wondering why a random social media associate, like me, is writing about golf. Well, as a new hire I want to learn as much about the company, and the incredible people who operate it on a daily basis, as I possibly can. Recently, I went behind the scenes for a lesson with Will Karnofsky, golf instructor and PGA Class A Professional at Peacock Gap.

When I arrived for my lesson, one of the first things Will shared was his coaching philosophy. Will offers a vastly different method of coaching than other instructors, emphasizing mind-body connection to help you discover your own unique swing. He wants golfers to be present in their experience, rather than focusing too heavily on the technicalities of their swing. What I took away from that is that most people learning golf make the mistake of focusing primarily on swinging as hard as they can to hit the ball as far as they can. Seems to make sense, right? Well, that could not be further from the truth.
After introducing me to his philosophy, Will took several steps to help me develop my own unique swing. Aside from a couple of trips to the driving range with some friends, my golf career has been less than stellar, so I had a lot to learn. He showed me the proper way to grip a club, as well as the athletic stance. Will, then asked me to swing the club horizontally like a baseball bat, since I had mentioned that I played baseball most of my life. I obliged, swinging as if I were attempting to hit a game tying home run with two outs in the ninth inning, but with a golf club instead. 

That is where Will’s philosophy came into play. Will explained the misconception that the harder one swings, the farther the ball goes. He advised that I take it down a few notches and swing the club at a level four, on a scale of 1-10. Once I adjusted my swing accordingly, I was asked to transition from swinging horizontally to practicing a proper golf swing. 

One essential aspect that was accentuated during my lesson was the importance of connecting with a specific target as I practiced my swing. In this case, I was told to focus on a specific pole on the driving range; we called it “center field.”  Once I had a target, Will emphasized swinging like I was throwing the club at the pole, but without letting go. That may sound confusing, but it made sense in my head and it worked for me. Then, it was time to put everything I learned together and apply it on the driving range.

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