The Toqua Golf Course parking lot was full June 17 as golfers flooded the driving range to pick up tips and tricks from Tellico Village golf professionals.

The Tellico Village golf department concluded its fourth installment of a 13-week series golf clinic last week, which emphasized the use of fairway woods and hybrids.

Casey Flenniken, Tanasi golf professional, and Adam Jacob, Toqua golf professional, demonstrated and critiqued different techniques. The first three weeks covered full swing techniques, chipping/pitching, short irons and bunkers.

“When we got out of COVID-19, we started camps the last week of May and are going to run through October and will cover all skill sets,” Flenniken said. “We’ll cover driving, fairway woods, hybrids, iron play, bunker shots, chipping, pitching and putting, so we go all through the bag and really dive into it. That allows players to come and get one hour of PGA instruction for an affordable rate and really dive into each subject.”

The clinics are devised to help any golfer improve, regardless of skill level.

“With driving, it’s driving only, so we talk about ball position, posture, grip, alignment and everything,” Flenniken said. “What’s nice about this is when we spread out is between Adam and myself, we’re able to get to all the players in an adequate amount of time, whether it be an intermediate player, a beginner, it could be an advanced skill player and we can change our teaching based on who that individual student is.”

Professionals are able to tailor their teaching style to individual players.

“When we meet as a group, we can tell the group the common things that everybody needs to work on,” he said. “But when we get to one single person, I’m able to change my teaching a little bit to adapt to them. It could be a beginner lady, it could be a lady who’s played for 20 years or a gentleman that’s just retired and played business golf his whole life and is just now getting into it, so you see everyone. It’s awesome.”

Becky Feldkamp recently picked up clubs for the first time.

“I’ve learned a lot just from watching them and this is only like my third one,” she said. “It’s a frustrating sport, but I think it’s been a great help for me to help show the basics of how to get there. Everybody has been wonderful and helping us, offering pointers. It’s been a great experience.”

For beginners like Feldkamp, the clinics challenge each player by learning how to use a variety of clubs and what to do in certain situations.

“These (woods) are my least favorite clubs, and I don’t use them much because I can probably hit a 7-iron farther than I can hit a wood, but it’s why I’m here,” she said. “It’s to try and be able to use the clubs where and when I should use them. Form seems to be key here, and I’m working on that.”

Safety guidelines are in place for COVID-19.

“Sure it’s different. So we just had 14 people and these bays are set to where they’re at least 6 feet apart,” Flenniken said. “We estimate each person’s really about 12 to 15 feet apart. When we meet as a group, we make sure everybody keeps social distance. We’re able to provide golf instruction even through a national emergency.”

The clinics will run through the last week of August. Female golf clinics are noon-1 p.m. Wednesdays at Toqua followed by open clinics 1-2 p.m. The cost is $20 per person for one hour of instruction.

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