Mountain Blog

The Trunkslammer's Warm-up
Brian Lawson - Monday, August 11, 2014


The Trunkslammer's Warm-up

Every golfer is guilty of it at least once - if not a habitual offender. You roll into the parking lot minutes before the round begins. Throw on your shoes. Grab your clubs and slam the trunk before rushing straight to the first tee. It's anybody's guess what happens next.

You might just fire one right down the middle of the fairway but let's be realistic, a duck hook, slice into the woods or tweaked back is probably a more likely outcome. Director of Crystal Mountain Golf School, Scott Wilson sees it all the time.

"We all oversleep at one time or another. We're all busy at work or busy with the family. Even if you only have 10 minutes before your round there are few quick things you can do to ease into that first hole to prevent damage to your body and your scorecard."


1. Spend at least half of that 10 minutes just loosening up the core muscles that are key to the golf swing. Do a few side bends, twists and bend at the waist touching the ground to stretch out your back and hamstrings.


2. Take the heaviest iron out of your bag and swing it back and forth like a pendulum. Easy at first and then into a full swing. This will continue to loosen up the muscles and get you into the rhythm of swinging the club.


3. Spend a few minutes on the putting green to get a feel for the speed. Begin with The Ladder Drill (pictured above), rolling a putt across the green trying to leave the next putt five feet short of the previous and the next five feet short of that ball. Next, move to The Stair Drill (pictured below) dropping balls at three, four and five feet in a straight line from the hole and putting each into the cup. It not only helps with speed but can build a little confidence as well.


4. Leave the Big Dog in the bag on the first hole. It requires intense discipline but you're probably better off passing up the driver for a hybrid or 5-wood. Aim small, miss small. Once you've played a couple of holes and get into the groove, feel free to let the Big Dog eat.


This warm-up will work in a pinch but it's far from ideal. Scott recommends trying to arrive at the course an hour before your round. He'll help share how to best manage that hour of practice in an upcoming post on the Mountain Blog. Stay tuned.

Scott Wilson is the Director of Crystal Mountain Golf School with over 20 years experience as a PGA Instructor. He is a mainstay on Golf Digest's list of Top Teachers in Michigan and is a past recipient of the Michigan PGA's President's Plaque, awarded to those who have significantly contributed to growth of the game. 

A Cut Above: How Crystal's greens are rolling smoother than ever
Brian Lawson - Wednesday, July 09, 2014


Rolling greens on Mountain Ridge with Crystal Mountain's new Tru-Turf Roller

"I want them to look like billiard tables and roll that way too."

Jason Farah knows that a golf course is first judged by its greens. So that's precisely where he started this spring when he took over as Crystal Mountain's Golf Course Superintendent. He brings with him almost 25 years of experience that includes work as an assistant superintendent (North Course) helping to prepare for the 1996 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills Country Club.

"Maintaining a high-end golf course is all about doing the same thing over and over again," says Farah. "It can be a little monotonous but the crews understand it, embrace it and response has been great this summer."


Golf Course Superintendent Jason Farah (left) works with Crystal Golf employee John McElduff

"The attitude has changed right along with the course conditions," says John McElduff, pictured above operating the resort's new Tru-Turf Greens Roller, the same used at PGA Tour stops.

Every morning at 6am crews take to the Mountain Ridge and Betsie Valley courses to manicure the greens. First they mow. Next they clear the clippings. They roll them weekly and this consistent, intricate approach to each of Crystal's 36 championship holes has created the consistency on the greens.

"The greens are rolling really well so if you put a good putt on it, it's going to go in." Those were the words of Michigan PGA Women's Open Champion, Becca Huffer after shooting a second round 64 on the Mountain Ridge. It would have been the course record had Kimberly Dingh (runner-up and top amateur) not already shattered that score with a 10-under par the day before.

The staff in the pro shop have heard the accolades as well, from players of every level. Of course, a quick look around and it's not hard to notice the consistent quality has spread into the fairways, rough and tee boxes. The new wooden flagsticks, tee markers and signs certainly provide a nice accent to the canvas Farah and his crew seek to perfect with each new day.

"I love what I do and I feel like the crews out there working on the courses share that enthusiasm and take a tremendous amount of pride in their work."

And it's reflected in each stroke of the putter and smooth journey to the cup.