Take a trip to BMW Championship

Labor Day is just around the corner and High school golf is well under way. The Fedex Cup playoffs have started and outside it is 97 degrees. Is this summer or approaching fall? As you look back on your golf season, what is it you remember most? Personally my best experience was on the range at Oak Hill. Being able to watch the best players in the world at such close quarters was terrific. It makes my job easier when I can see what the best guys are doing, not to mention the insights that I can give my students.

With that in mind try to make a trip up to Conway Farms in two weeks for the BMW Championship. The top 70 players on the Tour will be playing, and it is the only chance that you will have to see them in the Chicago area this year. Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Jason Dufner, Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson are all expected to play, so it is definitely worth your time to get up there.

Here are a few tips for things to watch and what to look for:

Get there early: Most players like to get to the range at least an hour before their tee time so they can warm up properly. Pick a spot on the range bleachers, and cross your fingers that your favorite players will be close.

Watch how they practice: Almost everyone is checking on alignment before going out to compete, so you will notice alignment sticks on the ground. Note how they will generally work up from the shorter clubs to the longer clubs and hit driver at the end.

Try to find the short game area: It’s good to see how they hit shorter shots, still turning their body and not merely flapping at the ball with their arms. You can learn a lot watching tour professionals chip and pitch.

Pick a spot on the course and watch how each player approaches their shots. I like to sit near a green and watch approach shots into the green, short game and putting. Note how deliberate their putting routines are and try to incorporate that in your game.

Lastly, tape the broadcast – you never know if you will see yourself on TV.

Next week – my tips for high school players.

Ian Grant is a PGA teaching professional and a member of the teaching faculty of the PGA of America. He can be contacted at Oak Brook Golf Club 630-990-3032 in the summer and White Pines Golf Dome in Bensenville 630-422-1060 in the winter. You can contact Ian directly at 708-917-8951, or at Iansgolf@aol.com.