John Mabry - from the rough column

John Mabry - from the rough.

If you are looking for that one magic golf tip – the tip that will save you a bunch of strokes every round – you need to remember the words of the late, great Arnold Palmer, who once said:

“I have a tip that can take five strokes off anyone’s game. It’s called an eraser.”

Then there is this classic from Dean Martin, who was best known for his play at the 19th hole:

“If you drink, don’t drive. Don’t even putt.”

But seriously, folks, here are a few sincere tips from golf experts in our area. I asked them to share the best golf advice they ever received, and here is what they had to say.

Tom Erlandson (Woodland Hills): “My good friend from Minnesota, Dave Nordeen (also a PGA pro), is responsible for two great tips. One, he would say ‘can't see it,’ which meant I was taking the club back way too fast. Slow down your back swing. And two, he would walk up and lightly kick my club face back to square. He did this by hitting the toe of the club to close the face angle. I used to set up with the face open for some reason and couldn't figure out why the ball kept going right.”

Wade Foreman (Jim Ager Course): “The best tip I ever received was from a golf professional in Sioux City. He showed me the correct way to grip the golf club – the thumb and index finger will form a V in my hand and should be in the direction up to the shoulder. Ever since that tip, I was able to start hitting the ball more precisely and consistently.”

Steph Kolbas (Lincoln Pius X coach): “Stay in the present. That is all that you can control.”

And, in my case, keep that eraser handy.

Spartan Salute

Lincoln East senior Patrick Clare played some great golf to win the Class A title at Norfolk Country Club on May 24. With rounds of 69 and 71 and a total of 4-under 140, Clare led the Spartans to the team championship as well.

Here is what he used to get to the top of the leaderboard:

The heavy metal: Titleist 917 driver and 3-wood.

Irons: 714 AP2 3-iron and 716 AP2 4-iron. Pitching wedge, 50, 54, 58 degree wedges.

Putter: Scotty Cameron.

Ball: Titleist Pro V1 golf balls, one for each day, marked with a Spartan logo and a red line used for a putting line.

No eraser.

Way to go, Patrick. Pretty impressive.

John Mabry shot a 69 once, but the back nine didn’t go as well that day. You can reach him at


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