Golf Club of Wentzville

Wentzville

If you’re someone who perhaps doesn’t play as much golf as you’d like to play because of the time required to play a full round, the Golf Club of Wentzville can help you overcome this problem. The course consistently is known for its pace of play, allowing golfers to move at a steady pace throughout the round without feeling rushed.

The course’s layout is one of the keys to the steady and quick pace of play at Wentzville. You won’t have to deal with blind shots here, meaning you’ll spend less time looking for balls and walking or driving ahead of your ball, trying to see the target area.

“You can see the ball land on almost all of your shots,” says Ryan Scharnhorst, head golf professional at Wentzville.

Another reason why Wentzville allows players to move at a steady pace is because of the layout of the holes. Although you will find some challenging aspects at Wentzville, much of the course is designed to be what Scharnhorst calls “user friendly,” meaning golfers of all skill levels can find something to appreciate about the layout.

Wentzville

“It’s not an overly long course,” he says. “You can roll the ball up on most greens. … It’s a straight forward course.”

Wentzville is a par-71 course that measures 6,344 yards from the back tees and 4,929 yards from the forward tees. Only two holes measure 500-plus yards from the back tees, which makes the course very playable. The tee boxes and fairways consist of zoysia grass, while the greens are bent grass.

One of the most recognizable aspects at Wentzville is the large silo that’s visible from many holes on the course. It’s a key landmark at Wentzville that’s left over from the days when the grounds where the golf course now resides was a working farm, the Hepperman Farm. As part of the agreement to build the golf course on the property, the silo had to remain in place. There’s also a family cemetery near the 18th green.

Scharnhorst says the par-3 16th is one of the most memorable holes for players at Wentzville. Although it only measures 135 yards from the tips, this par-3 requires a precise tee shot to avoid trouble around the green. And the uphill design of the 16th means you must be careful with club selection.

“There’s mounding to the left, and the silo is visible in the back left,” he says. “On the right side, the grounds drop into a ravine. But it’s a short iron shot for most.”

Normandie Golf Club

Scharnhorst says one of the best three-hole segments at Wentzville is holes seven through nine. The seventh is the longest hole and the number one handicap hole on the course, measuring 546 yards from the tips. It’s followed by the longest par-3 hole on the course, the 225-yard eighth hole. The front nine then closes with a 413-yard par-4 that is a dog leg left, uphill layout.

After the turn, you’ll find another challenging hole in number 10, which is a par-4 that measures 416 yards from the tips and 298 yards from the forward tee. It is the toughest handicap hole on the back nine.

One aspect of Wentzville that sticks out for players is the amount of wildlife that resides on the course. Scharnhorst says players have seen deer, turkeys, foxes, and owls on the tree-lined fairways of the course at various times.

And they’ve also seen a dog … the course dog, that is. Scharnhorst says Wentzville has had a course dog for several years. The new course dog is Brittany, who has been on site for a little more than a year.

Wentzville

“She really took to the course,” Scharnhorst says. “She’s a great dog and good with the customers. She likes to run everywhere, and has really turned out to be a good course dog.”

One of the reasons so much wildlife is present on the grounds is because of the limited number of residential homes on the course.

“We have homes on the left side of five holes,” Scharnhorst says. “The Peruque Creek runs through the course, which prevents more homes from being built.”

Wentzville hosts 31,000 to 32,000 rounds per year, Scharnhorst says. Lessons are available, including individual and group lessons, as well as lessons focusing on a particular aspect of your golf game.

The clubhouse at Wentzville has a small pro shop and snack bar area. The pavilion area seats about 200 people, while there’s another patio area with seating for 40 people.

Wentzville

The course and its facilities can handle tournaments of varying sizes, Scharnhorst says, including accommodating up to 178 golfers in a single tournament. The course hosts numerous leagues – corporate, ladies, and men’s – too.

Wentzville uses a dynamic pricing model for golfers when booking tee times, allowing you to see real-time pricing, based on demand, for the time and date you want to play. All dynamic pricing information is available through the Golf Club of Wentzville web site.

Season pass options are available at Wentzville as well. You can pick from passes for singles, couples, or families, and you can choose to add a cart to any season pass if desired. Season passes cover green fees for an entire year, as well as allowing a 14-day advance tee time reservation benefit.

The Golf Club of Wentzville has reciprocal privileges with The Links of Dardenne and The Missouri Bluffs golf courses.

For more information, check out their website or give them a call: 636-332-0500.

Far Oaks Golf Club

far oaks feature

There’s no question the St. Louis sports scene is best known for the Cardinals and the team’s extensive list of great baseball players: Brock, Gibson, Ozzie, and Musial to name a few. But when it comes to the St. Louis golf scene, Masters champion Bob Goalby’s name jumps to the forefront. And if you’re looking for a Goalby designed course in the St. Louis area, you’ll have one choice: The Far Oaks Golf Club in Caseyville – just about 20 minutes east of downtown St. Louis.

Goalby, a Belleville, Ill., native, shot 66 on the final day of the Masters in 1968 to win the tournament by one shot. He also had runner-up finishes in the U.S. Open and in the PGA Championship during his career, which included eight Top 10 finishes in major professional championships. Goalby and his grandson designed Far Oaks, which opened in 1998 and went through a redesign in 2002.

“It’s cool that they did it together here,” says Doyle Moffitt, Director of Golf and Operations at Far Oaks.

far oaks

Goalby had plenty to work with in the natural layout at Far Oaks, designing a course that has a distinctively different look on the front nine and back nine, while taking advantage of elevation changes on the back nine to create some memorable holes.

“We’re really a tale of two nines,” Moffitt says. “The front is a links style, and the back in the trees is a more traditional American style course. We’re consistently one of the top five public facilities in the area.”

The front nine features a pair of par-5s within the first three holes, including the course’s second handicap hole and longest hole, #3, at 590 yards from the tips and 479 yards from the forward tee. It’s a dogleg to the right, where golfers have to avoid a fairway bunker before an uphill approach to the green.

Another challenging par-5 is #14, which is the number one handicap hole at Far Oaks. It measures 541 yards from the tips and 450 yards from the forward tee. Although it plays downhill, a marsh in front of the green makes getting home in two extremely difficult.

“It’s a three-shot hole, unless you can really smash it,” Moffitt says. “It goes back into the trees and really flows well.”

far oaks course

Perhaps the most well-known hole at Far Oaks is the par-3 #16, which measures 185 yards from the tips and 120 yards from the forward tee. While the 16th hole may play shorter than some other challenging par-3 holes, a significant elevation change from tee to green will make the golfer think about club selection. The extreme downhill angle also gives the hole a unique look that’s sure to stick with you after you leave the course. The wind at the tee box can play differently than the wind near the green, which is sheltered by trees. The 16th hole fits well into the design of the back nine, Moffitt says.

“Number 16 is really our signature hole,” he says. “It has a 200-foot drop from tee to green. It’s kind of a cool, pretty hole. Our back nine is one of the best in town.”

Far Oaks Golf Club hosted 31,000 rounds in 2015 and 29,500 rounds in 2014, and Moffitt says numerous aspects of the course draw players, including the interesting layout and scenery.

“Our philosophy here is playability and having the course in good condition,” Moffitt says. “We’re a senior friendly facility, and a good tournament facility. We’re a junior friendly course too, offering a junior academy.”

far oaks club

The par-72 course features five par-5s and five par-3s. Both the front and back nines finish with a par-5, providing the opportunity to end the round with a birdie. Far Oaks plays 6,847 yards from the tips and 5,090 yards from the forward tees.

“We have five sets of tees,” Moffitt says. “The course plays about 5,800 [yards] from what we call our senior tees. Having different tee options just goes back to our playability philosophy.”

If you’re looking to enhance your playability by fixing problems with your golf game, Far Oaks offers a variety of options for lessons, including private and group lessons. Far Oaks hosts summer junior golf camps too. A fully stocked golf shop is available at the course.

Those seeking multiple play options at Far Oaks have plenty of choices. The family season pass allows two family members to play any time, while other members of the immediate family can play after 1 p.m. at any time (other than during booked events). A single person season pass is available, as is a weekday only season pass. And most season pass packages include unlimited greens fees, cart fees, and range balls. For those who might only have time for nine holes, Far Oaks offers open leagues on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

far oaks club house

For more information on any of the season pass choices or lesson options at Far Oaks, visit the course’s constantly updated web site at faroaksgolf.com.

The best way to obtain a tee time at Far Oaks is to visit the course’s web site and book online, Moffitt says. Far Oaks makes use of dynamic pricing through the web site, which provides real-time pricing for greens fees and carts that take into account weather conditions and course demand to determine prices at different times of the day. Daily promotional prices can be found on the web site too.

Information on the course’s banquet facilities and menu options are available through the web site too. The clubhouse has a log cabin design, and Moffitt says it hosts numerous weddings, meetings, and banquets with extensive food and beverage service options.

“We also have a huge deck space that overlooks the property,” Moffitt says.

And the look that patrons have from the deck is an impressive one, whether they’re seeking the links-style views on the front nine or the tree-lined fairways of the back nine … or both.

For more information, check them out at www.faroaksgolf.com or call 618-628-2900.

Avoiding a Lateral Slide

pro tip feature

Sliding in the golf swing occurs when the lower body moves laterally toward the target during the downswing.   If a lateral slide occurs during the downswing it is difficult to stabilize the lower body and eliminates potential power and speed. During the correct sequence in the swing, power is effectively transferred from the lower body up, not the upper body and down.  Therefore, the correct sequence starts with the lower body transferring energy to the upper body while the upper body, arms and club uncoil through the forward swing.  Without a stable lower body players lose power and inefficiently develop speed and power incorrectly.
Many players think about the rotation of the pelvis by imagining their body in a barrel. The barrel prevents a lateral sliding motion, however it allows a hip rotation throughout the swing. The proper rotation of the hips eliminates a lateral slide.

A lateral slide in the golf swing can be the result of a swing fault or physical limitation.  There are several causes that lead to a physical limitation.  The player must have the ability to rotate into the lead hip without any joint or muscular restrictions.  Without the proper rotation a lateral slide will dominate the swing.  Second, the lower body must create separation from the upper body.  The correct separation creates a stable lower body and the correct rotation of the hips and upper body.  Finally, the glutes help stabilize the lead leg during the downswing. The following drills and exercise will help teach the proper hip rotation and eliminate a lateral slide.

avoiding a lateral slide

PGA Tour pro Sean O’Hair demonstrates the proper stabilization of the lower body and lead leg throughout the swing. If there is a lateral slide the lead leg and hip would pass the yellow line.

Impact Fix Drill

Begin by addressing the golf ball in your normal set up. Next, open the hips and upper body slightly and allow the right knee to bend slightly and move a little closer to the left knee. This drill starts in the correct impact position, which begins with the left leg straight, left arm straight, firm left wrist and shaft leaning slightly forward. Next, simply swing the arms back and return to impact in the same position.

Lead Leg Drill

Preventing a slide requires stabilizing the lead leg so the body rotates properly. Begin by taking your set up, however, place your right foot back and on the toe while the majority of your weight stays on the lead leg. Next, make a few swings and feel your hips rotate and maintain stable. The lead leg acts as a post while the front pocket rotates counter clockwise. If you try to sway during the drill you will lose balance and begin to fall forward toward the target. The Lead Leg Only Swing will help improve balance and prevent you from sliding during the downswing.

Body Turns

This is a good exercise to feel the correct sequence and finish position of the golf swing. Place a club behind your neck with your hands on both ends. Stand with your feet shoulder width in an athletic set up position and rotate the left shoulder under the chin to simulate a backswing. Next, rotate the right shoulder to the left so the chest faces the target and the left leg is posted up in a straight line. The left leg should remain straight while the left hip rotates to the left. The upper body turns, left leg stays straight and left foot remains flat while the right heel comes up off the ground and the body turns to the left.