Trust the process

September 11, 2021

Improving your golf game is a step-by-step process.

First comes the lesson, then comes practice. Both are required.

During my first lesson in mid-June with Rehoboth Beach Country Club lead instructor Chris Gray, he confirmed something other golf pros told me – I “flipped” my hands through impact. The results were fine if my timing was good, but if not, the results were inconsistent.

In addition, my backswing was more of a back sway. I did not maintain a consistent spine angle.

Thanks to Gray’s help, two changes improved my results.

I moved my left knee forward during the turn instead of letting it slide right. My hips turned in place and stopped swaying.

Gray also put two tees in the ground a few inches apart, with the ball resting on the back one. He asked me to hit through the ball and “take out” the tee in front.

For several swings this was an impossible task – until it wasn’t. By changing the pressure points on my right foot during the backswing and creating a steeper angle of attack on the downswing, I began to take out both tees as the ball shot forward on a straight and pleasing trajectory.

The next step was to ingrain these new motions into my routine. This required practice, and a lot of it.

During the next two months, I hit over 1,300 golf balls at The Rookery’s range, 65 balls at a time. I used the two-tee setup for every club except the driver. I also cut back on my usual rounds, but made sure I used the new swing when I played.

The new move adds a half-club more yardage, coming from the slightly lower loft at impact. As Gray noted, this swing also keeps the club face straighter through the impact zone, improving accuracy.

My round scores are back where they were before the lesson. However, there are several signs that those totals can go even lower. 

A good lesson or two helps – but you need to practice what you learn and let it become part of your usual game.

Cape Region represented at Delaware Open

Congratulations to Braden Shattuck of Aston, Pa., for his victory in the 56th Delaware Open, held Aug. 23-24 at Bidermann Golf Club in Greenville. His 203 total for the 54-hole tournament was four strokes ahead of second-place finisher and fellow golf pro Zac Oakley.

And by fellow golf pro, I really mean fellow golf pro. Both Shattuck and Oakley work at Bidermann. Perhaps they took advantage of local knowledge.

Jay Whitby of Rehoboth Beach CC finished best among Cape Region golfers, tied for 14th. RBCC Lead Instructor Chris Gray tied for 17th. Nick Torrance of Plantation Lakes Golf & Country Club tied for 20th.

Chris Krueger, director of instruction at Kings Creek CC, tied for 25th. Bear Trap Dunes golf pro Michael Rushin tied for 30th. Kings Creek assistant pro Eric Willey finished 39th.

Rehoboth Beach CC crowns club champions

Rehoboth Beach CC held several club championships for 2021, beginning with the Member-Member July 17-18. Ed Brown and Pete Moran won the men’s category, and Sharon Emerson and Beth Forbes won the women’s category.

Steven and Christina Harvey won the mixed member event July 25. Two days later, Lynn Runsten took first place in the 9-Hole Ladies Championship.

The Men’s and Ladies Championships took place July 30-Aug. 1. Britny Whitby won the ladies title and her husband Jay Whitby captured the men’s title.

Brian Barrows won the first flight among the men. Kelly Smith won the second flight with Tom Butterly taking the third flight. Gil Ekdahl finished first in the fourth flight. Carroll McGill won the first flight among the ladies.

Tyler Healy won the Junior Championship Aug. 9.

The club held its men’s senior event Aug. 14-15, won by Ed Brown. Bob Randa was flight champion for the Senior-Senior division. Glenn Forbes won the Super-Senior flight, and Jay Conner won the Men’s Legends flight.

Peggy Roca completed the summer series by winning the Women’s Senior Club Championship Sept. 1.

Local club competition results

The Kings Creek Ladies 9-hole group played a Low Putts game Sept. 8.

Melissa Quinn won first flight gross. Sandy Neverett won first flight net, with Lesley Corydon second and Janet Hartman third.

Deb Chase won second flight gross. Linda Miniscalco won second flight net, with Tara Coates second and Judy Rayner third.

Debbie D’Orazio won third flight gross. Terry Barrera won third flight net, with Deb Hinderer second and Pam Cranston third.

The Mulligan’s Pointe Ladies played an Irish Foursome with Stableford scoring Sept. 7.

Brenda Lewis, Susan Shockley, Pat Shore and blind draw Karen Feuchtenberger won first place. Feuchtenberger, Kathy Hudak, Linda Kaufmann and Carol McFawn finished second.

The Kings Creek Ladies 18-hole group played a Tee to Green game Sept. 3. Judy Wetzel won first place gross in the first flight. Candy Robinson won first place net, with Diane Knizer in second and Jeannine Doane in third.

Barbara Hines won first place gross in the second flight. Robbie Minkman won first place net, with Sue Griesemer in second and Vicki Martina in third.


  • Fritz Schranck has been writing about the Cape Region's golf community since 1999. Snippets, stories and anecdotes from his columns are included in his new book, "Hole By Hole: Golf Stories from Delaware's Cape Region and Beyond," which is available at the Cape Gazette offices, Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, Biblion Books in Lewes, and local golf courses. His columns and book reviews are available at

    Contact Fritz by emailing

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