Today marked my third golf lesson in my quest to break 100. Jonathan Dudley, teaching professional and fitness trainer at Precision, helped me develop my swing and build upon my previous two lessons. Jonathan played professional golf for some time, and like many of our instructors draws on his experiences as a player to really help his students.

Jonathan took a new direction to the lesson than previous instructors. Knowing that I played tennis at a high level, he walked me through the golf swing comparing similarities and differences to my tennis stroke. He used my previous learned muscle memory as an advantage instead of an obstacle to overcome. We had an hour lesson that felt as if the time went by very quickly.

We went through the mechanics of the swing: the start, the take back, and the finish and how they they all work together as a moving part. Like any machine, you are only as good as the sum of your parts. Again, he related the body movements to how I interpret the tennis swing.

It comes to me that an instructor can say something over and over again, but if you never process it or it doesn’t make sense to you, will be not be able to accomplish the feat. For example, he talked a lot of moving my shoulders and my hips together, and pointed out when my swing came undone. However, the moment he said keep your eyes on the ball even after it leaves its spot, all those mechanical issues fell into place. Jonathan does a great job of figuring out a way that will best be interpreted by his students.

Finally, we worked on putting. After being around many golf tournaments over the course of the past year, it has become apparent that it doesn’t matter how good your swing is if you can’t get the ball in the hole. Jonathan gave some helpful tips, and my next round at putt putt will certainly be a better one after this lesson. First, when placing your ball on the ground, the line that is on the ball should be placed in the direction of the hole. In other words, use the lines on the ball to help you. You might as well take all the help you can get. Second, place the putter behind the ball. Again, line up the lines on the putter to the ball. Third, keep your chin down, look at the whole while keeping your head down and then back again at the ball. I made 4 out of 5 putts first time out with his expert tips.