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Golf Chips
Palm Coast Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011 9 years ago

After reprieve, Monaco has golf in back pocket

by: Jock MacKenzie Contributing Writer

Last year at this time, Joe Monaco wasn’t playing golf. He left the sport several years earlier for duties such as work and church — the desire to be helpful wherever he could.

This year, he proudly announced he was back.

With the approach of a renovated Palm Harbor Golf Course, Monaco got either serious or lucky with the game he left because, since his return, golf is in his back pocket, and he’s ripping the cover off the ball.

Look at the weekly scoring and you’ll notice Monaco consistently is first in his flight. Perhaps the lesson here is take three or more years off and you’ll come back swinging like Arnold Palmer.

Others who swung with class and distance this past week were Mel Johnson, Paul Kimmel, Dennis Emerick, Jerry Chiddister, Hawley Rogers, John Reilly and J.D. Norris, the latter two at Grand Reserve.

Then, of course, there is always Hall-of-Famer Harry Davis. I’m assuming this best golfer in Flagler County got a little tired of watching others squeeze by him during the Pine Lakes matches.

In my book, Marcia Hayton deserves applause like no other. Hayton ran A Round to Remember, a golf tournament to raise funds fighting Alzheimer’s disease. The event brought in the remarkable sum of more than $10,000, while drawing 171 players to the Grand Haven Golf Course.

Hayton worked her heart out over long days and hours to bring this event together.

Dane Winger, first assistant golf professional at Grand Haven, responded to my request that if he had one tip to offer, it would be a one-handed putting drill:

This drill is great for golfers who need to work on their rhythm. It allows the golfer to let the putter head do all the work. The golfer uses a smooth pendulum stroke. It’s important that the stroke is made with a relaxed but straight arm. The stroke is pivoted about the shoulder axis, not the wrist or elbow.

Golfers should use their right hand but may also use their left hand. The student should feel the putter head move back and through completely unrestricted. It’s a flowing stroke, and the head seems to float through impact. Practice this drill from various lengths. Students will find the difference between short and long putts is only the distance they take the putter back — not how hard they hit.

Winger can be reached at 445-2327.

JOCK MACKENZIE can be reached at 445-7681 or [email protected].

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