This one's for all you lady golfers

By: Shawn Kelly, Journal Golf Columnist
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Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and it’s time to share some love with moms and other women who enjoy golf or wish to take up the game. Since it is important that they get started correctly, here are my tips to help women get started: n Lessons from a PGA professional are your first step. A lesson from a friend or a relative, although well intentioned, may not give you the information you need to get started correctly. Most courses offer introductory programs where they will supply equipment in order to keep the initial cost down while you determine your interest level. n Get properly fitted equipment. Your husband’s or friends’ cut-down clubs will not always work because they may be too heavy or the shafts may be too stiff to get any feel or control. Technology in golf, with lightweight shafts and lofted clubs, is making it very easy for women to make effective contact with the ball and experience the thrill of a solid shot. Getting properly fitted clubs will make your learning experience so much better. n You don’t need to go out and purchase a full set of clubs to get started. Start out by getting a few clubs with lots of loft, such as a 7-iron or a 5-wood, to help you get the ball into the air. This will make the learning process easier and a good deal more fun. n The proper ball can make a difference. Most companies are making golf balls that have lower compression ratings or a softer feel so the ladies don’t feel like they are hitting rocks. Even some men are trying these “softer” golf balls and finding that the enhanced feel positively helps their games. n Golf shoes with soft spikes are very comfortable and improve traction on the turf. You don’t want to be sliding around when you’re trying to learn. n Clothing and other accessories for women in golf is becoming very stylish and practical with designs that allow women to look good while not restricting movement. Many golf companies are now making ladies’ gloves with holes in the fingers for manicured nails or jewelry. There are also attractive hats and visors that offer sun protection and golf bags with extra pockets for personal items. Free lessons I will be holding a free clinic to introduce at 11 a.m. next Saturday at The Ridge. Just show up for a free introduction to a new exciting learning program. In fact, throughout the month of May, The Ridge is offering free 10-minute lessons to help you improve your game or get started in the game of golf. Space is limited, so call the golf shop early. Shawn Kelly is a PGA professional at The Ridge Golf Club. He can be reached for questions or lessons at (530) 888-PUTT.