Patches of snow dotted the landscape and there was little hint of warm weather, but inside the , spring was in full bloom.
The unmistakable sound of irons, wedges and drivers smacking golf balls filled the air this week as no fewer than three teaching professionals taught classes and a dozen or so golfers practiced their short games and drives.
And even though the official start of spring is a few weeks away (March 21, to be exact), many golfers had stopped in at the huge white dome to get their games in shape for annual golf trips or just an afternoon on the public links.
One teacher, Craig Bertrand, a teaching PGA professional, said his schedule starts getting busier around this time of year with experienced golfers and newcomers to the sport.
“Golf’s just fundamentals, there’s no secret to it,” he said. “It's easy to learn the wrong way with bad habits, not knowing how to hold the golf club. You can almost be your own teacher."
“You know what a good shot looks like and you know what a bad shot looks like,” he said.
As he spoke, Bertrand worked with Millie Bitner of Arlington Heights, who admitted to taking lessons because, “I’d like to do it the correct way. I know how to do it the wrong way.”
Bertrand said the most common fault he sees in golfers is using the incorrect grip.
“That’s the only connection you have to the golf club. Ninety percent of the rest of the action follows,” he said. “If you don’t have the proper grip you are going to have to make manipulations in your swing to hit a good shot.”
After spending some instruction time with Bertrand, Bitner said she sensed the difference in her game.
“I’m feeling better about it,” she said. “I don’t know how Craig feels about it.”
Replied Bertrand, “Night and day.”