This last week I had the great opportunity to attend the USGA Women’s Open at Pine Needles as a volunteer. Over the course of four days I had plenty of opportunity between shifts to go out and watch the players on the range and on the course.

True, most of us won’t dare to dream to ever hit the ball like these women, but there is still lots to learn that can be applied by anyone. Here are a few things that struck me that may not be as apparent when watching coverage on TV, and that I will be taking to heart in my own practice:

  • Most players’ backswing is SLOW! Much slower than that of the average golfer I see out here on the course.
  • While their drive distances are truly amazing, it was the accuracy of their approach shots and their chipping that blew me away. So many shots were gained or lost here. It’s easy to one-putt from two feet from the hole…!
  • Every stroke, on the course or on the range, was performed with careful deliberation. Rather than hitting a lot of balls, the emphasis was on perfection. Every. Single. Time.

While there were many individual variations of the golf swing, there were three big things that stood out as commonalities between all players:

  1. Initiating both the backswing and the downswing with a weight shift, not with the arms.
  2. Keeping the club in front of the body.
  3. Having that steady rhythm of slow backswing followed by that swoosh and a relaxed and balanced follow through on every shot.

These are all things that I had heard and read about many times. Seeing them modeled so beautifully however brought a different level of understanding. I hope my (sadly poor quality) videos of Annika Sorenstam and Minjee Lee will bring them across for you, too!

To be in the middle of this event that brought together the best women golfers from around the world was a wonderful and inspiring experience that I whole-heartedly recommend to everyone!