Approach Shots

By Golf Pro Graham Castanheiro

Here are some tips on how to handle approach shots

Ball Position: 2 inches off the heel of the front leg.

Clubface Position: Square to the target.

Stance: Feet inside the shoulders.

Weight Distribution: Evenly balanced on the inside of both legs.

Hand Position: Neutral in front of the body. Arms hanging loosely.

Swing: Little effort is required.  Make certain that you feel as if you are going to compress the ball at impact.  Maintain a long straight leading arm into impact supported with a cupped right wrist and a flat left wrist. Shallow divots are made on the front side of the ball.

By understanding these areas of the golf swing completely along with practice and coaching, you will enjoy your game and time on the course.  Your scores will go down and you will have more personal satisfaction.

Practice with a purpose, have fun, and as Mr. Hogan once said “the secrets in the dirt.”

Happy golfing!

Bunker Play

By Golf Pro Graham Castanheiro

We have all been there before…your ball lands in the bunker.

Today I will teach you the steps to properly shoot your ball from the bunker.

Ball Position: Off the heel of the front leg. 

Club face Position: Open the face of wedge to the target.

Stance: Open stance wide feet, dig into sand to establish a good base.

Weight Distribution: Weight slightly toward the front foot.

Hand Position: Neutral in front of the body. Arms hanging loosely  

Swing: A feeling of splashing the sand onto the green is required; tell yourself I need more energy than my mind thinks, the sand will slow down the club head.  Be careful not to ground your club in the hazard.  Make certain that you hit slightly behind the ball and follow through with constant speed. Think low & slow as you initiate the takeaway, get your hands to travel to shoulder height on the back swing and follow through to target with your chest.

Follow these tips and you will be a pro in no time!

Remember to always have fun and see you on the course!

Titleist Pro V1 vs. Pro V1X

By Head Pro Justin O’Leary

Over the years, one of the most common questions I get in the pro shop is “What is the difference between the Titleist Pro V1 and the Pro V1x golf ball”? The funny thing is that what once differentiated these two golf balls has completely flipped in recent years.

The Pro V1 has a softer feel, less iron spin, and a more penetrating ball flight. Comparatively, the Pro V1x should launch higher, feel a little less soft, and offer more iron spin.

Titleist launched the Pro V1x golf ball alongside its second-generation Pro V1 golf ball in 2003, and golfers quickly understood the relationship between the two golf balls; the four-piece Pro V1x spins less than the three-piece Pro V1. That was common knowledge, embedded into the psyche of not just Titleist golf ball users, but golfers in general.

Originally, when Pro V1x was introduced, it was introduced to be a lower-spinning but higher-flying golf ball than the Pro V1.

That relationship remained for the next 14 years.

With the release of its 2017 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls, however, Titleist switched the script. The relationship between the two golf balls changed. The 2017 Pro V1x was a higher-spinning, and still higher-flying, golf ball than the 2017 Pro V1. Some golfers didn’t realize the change, while others were simply perplexed.

So for those Titleist golf ball players out there, if you are thinking that your Pro V1 is not spinning as much as it once did, you may need to make the switch over to the Pro V1x.

For the Cedar Brae members that are interested, we have a complimentary Titleist ball fitting day scheduled for August on August 16. Please email me at to schedule your appointment.

Happy golfing and see you on the course!

How to Chip in Golf

By Golf Pro Graham Castanheiro

Today I will be talking about how to chip properly in golf. Follow the instructions below and you will be a pro in no time!

Ball Position: Directly off the big toe of the back foot.      

Clubface Position: Square to the target.

Stance: Narrow, feet almost together.

Weight Distribution: Slightly toward or on the front leg.

Hand Position: Move the grip forward as if in a forward press.        

Swing: Little effort is required.  Make certain that you shave the grass on the practice stroke.  Hold the finish with the chest and club facing the target directly.

Make sure to follow these steps in order to strengthen your chipping skills. Remember to practice with a purpose and have fun!

Coach Corner with Graham Castanheiro

By Golf Pro Graham Castanheiro

Greetings, it is my pleasure to have this opportunity to share some of my thoughts and coaching methodology. The following information encompasses much of what we will work on during our coaching programs.   The goals of my programs are to facilitate learning through understanding, practice, and coaching.  It is my privilege to have been afforded this opportunity to work with you.

The game of golf is indeed many games in one, power, touch or finesse.  All that this wonderful game embodies cannot be learned and mastered in a lifetime, but it is fun trying.  Basic skills are attainable once you are equipped with the correct knowledge and you are coached to reinforce desirable habits.  The following are FORGET-ME-NOTS concerning the specific shots we will be working on during the lessons.


In the game of golf if we can remember to enjoy the experience we will become relaxed and allow our talent to shine. However, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. As in any sport take the time to go through a physical warm up to prepare the body and the mind for the game ahead.


READY: Phase I of ready is when we are standing behind the ball in what we call the THINK ZONE, analysis of the shot at hand, lie of the ball, distance to target or landing area, wind direction and intensity, elevation, strategy etc. which leads to a committed decision as to the club and shot to hit.

In Phase II we are starting to work on our feel by visualizing the shot,  creating a practice move based on feel, oily and slippery, smooth.etc. Breathing is perhaps the best mechanism to induce this heightened visual athletic state.

SET: Moving into the play zone to address the ball and we are aware of the target, yet glancing at the ball as we address it, after a few waggles and a quieting the mind we swing.

GO:  A pure athletic movement, heightened kinesthetic awareness of rhythm, timing, balance, the sound and the feel of impact reverberates and echoes in the body as the eyes soak in the flight of the ball. 


Ball Position: Ball is positioned 2″ off the sternum or on a direct line two inches off the front heel.

Clubface Position: Square to the target, heel of the club resting on the ground.

Stance/Posture: Comfortable, athletic, relaxed, joints stacked with a slight bend from the hips/waist, flex knees.  The feet are comfortably apart depending on the size of shot required to play.

Alignment: Parallel to the target line, remember we aim our bodyline slightly left of the target line, for a right-handed golfer.

Weight Distribution: Your weight should feel evenly balanced on the inside of your legs with slight pressure toward the insteps. Remember we want to rotate into a braced back leg hell and transition into a posting up front leg heel. Maintain balance and posture throughout the swing.

Hand Position: The Grip of the club rests in the fingers of the hand with the thumbs pointing down the shaft.  The V’s of the thumbs point off toward the back shoulder.  Look for two and half knuckles of the top hand.  Remember to seal the web between your thumb and forefinger. Finally, release tension and maintain a constant grip pressure based on the lie the ball is in.

Swing:  Golfers use ground force energy via pressure from the feet to transfer power to the core. The legs and hips are the catalysts to produce the swinging action of the arms.  The hands grip and feel the club and allow the arms to swing. Tension in any part of the body reduces the ability to generate maximum club head speed.  .

Impact position:  At impact the hands have a forward lean or tilt ahead of the ball and clubface.   At this point the hips have cleared while the spine angle is maintained and chest is covering the ball.

The finish At the finish hold your balance with the weight completely on the front leg, belt buckle facing the target, knees together, body/spine angle maintained. Be certain to extend your arms during follow through phase before folding arms into the finish.

Attitude: Maintaining perspective will allow golfers to deal and cope with the variety of experiences on the course. Ultimately, we have to be resilient and have a good bounce back ability. Allow yourself to be swept up into a positive spiral of happy emotions which athletes term, playing in the zone. Visualize the shot and then fully commit to the swing.

By understanding these areas of the golf swing completely along with practice and coaching, you will enjoy your game and time on the course.  Your scores will go down and you will have more personal satisfaction.

Practice with a purpose, have fun, and as Mr. Hogan once said “the secrets in the dirt.”