Save the Trees, Hit it Straight
The question posed in a 1910 physics book asks, “When a tree falls in a lonely forest, and no animal is near by to hear it, does it make a sound?” Now there’s a notion that can stimulate some deep thought.
Some claim trees have souls. Trees are even worshiped (“dendrolatry”) and have been thought to harbor spirits. So, we think it is quite appropriate to declare a moratorium on all tree bashing in honor of Arbor Day today.
Many golf courses have historically close ties to trees. Each hole at Augusta National Golf Club is named after a flowering tree or shrub. There is the “Charlie Brown” tree, a sorry, straggly excuse for a Douglas fir sitting on a hilly dune near the 16th hole on Chambers Bay golf course in Tacoma, Washington.
And of course the holly tree that sits in the middle of the 18th fairway at Olde Barnstable Fairgrounds course on Cape Cod, the bleached, skeletal Juniper “ghost trees’ on Pronghorn’s Nicklaus course in Oregon and the famed Lone Cypress set between Cypress Point Golf Course and the Pebble Beach Golf Links in California.
The moral of the story is that trees play a big role in our favorite game. These venerable old souls and young upstarts like the newly planted double row of saplings on the 14th hole of the Copperhead course at Innisbrook Resort in Florida, should be given a day off from all our errant shots.
So my friends, there will be no smashing your wedge into tender trunks, no hurling a club high up into the branches of a spreading maple, and no driving into live oaks draped with moss. Period. It’s called learning to hit the ball straight – or controlling its path so you go around the trees.
The Golf Channel has some very useful videos designed to get you going on the straight and narrow. Below are tips with links to learn more. The trees thank you.
- Learn to control irons
- Stop the Slice
- Stop hitting off-center
- Gripping down on the club to make a better swing and have more control
- How to hit a draw (useful for avoiding those trees between you and the green around the corner
- Use Split Grip Drill to hit it straight
- Proper turn for straighter shots
- Lauren’s belt buckle tip
- Controlled shots
- How to hit a power fade: Brad Brewer (another good way to get around those trees)
- Zach Johnson: trajectory control to help you dial in on more accurate shots
- Larry Nelson: Driving accuracy—the best way to make the right to left body shift