Have a ball on course during fall

By: Shawn Kelly, Journal Golf Columnist
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The golf season is beginning to wind down for some. For others, it is just beginning. The acorns are falling, the leaves are changing and the air is getting cooler. Some folks are waxing up the skis and some heading for warmer weather. This is great for local golfers because courses are in great shape and tee times are available. Don’t let a little foul weather keep you from enjoying the game. Here are a few tips to help you play in the fall and winter. n Proper stretching is important. A little extra warm-up is important to prevent injury and increase distance in cold air. n Try a softer ball. This will give you more feel for the ball and your clubs. n Get proper clothing. A good wind shirt or vest, or rain suit and hat, will keep you ready for changeable weather. n Take an extra club on some full shots. The cooler weather will shorten ball flight by as much as 15 yards. n Walk more between shots. This will keep you warm and loose. n Learn how to keep your ball flight down under the wind for control. See your local pro to help you learn how to hit a knockdown shot. n This is a great time to buy clubs. Most shops are closing out demo clubs and having sales. Get properly fitted and enjoy what properly fitted equipment will do for you. n Do drills at home. When you can’t get to the range or golf course, working on your fundamentals and a balanced swing at home will keep your game in shape for the whole winter. n Training aids are great for workouts at home. The ASSIST and a new one called DivotMat are my favorites. Call the golf shop for info on both. n Nine holes are better than nothing. With the shorter days, perhaps you only have time for a quick nine. A couple hours of golf can be the perfect release from hibernation. n Enjoy the game with others close to you. Golf is a great for entertaining family and friends during the holidays. Let’s hope for a few warm, sunny days as the year begins to wind down. Fall is a great time to play golf. I have enjoyed some of my bigger tournament successes in the fall; I love golf this time of year. Tour Talk The Presidents Cup happens this week at Harding Park Golf Course in San Francisco. This event is held biennially to allow non-European players around the world to compete against USA players in a Ryder Cup-style format. This is a great event so close to home and the top players in the world of golf will be playing all this week. On the web go to for details on this exciting golf event. Shawn Kelly, The Ridge Golf Club’s head pro, can be reached at (530) 888-7888.