I learned to play golf in the 1970s at Carlisle Country Club.
Cameron Dunn, of Scottish descent, was the golf professional then. Dunn arguably was the finest ball-striking club professional ever in Central Pennsylvania. Dunn played quite often and taught by example. He was a big man with an Ernie Els’ type swing. With seemingly effortless motion, he could hit long tee shots and towering long irons. His size and strength were huge assets and his swing tempo appeared majestic. I played a lot with Dunn and learned volumes.
Tempo is the glue that holds a golf swing together and always needs attention. If you feel your mechanics are OK but your shots are not, concentrate on your tempo. Here are some drills and thoughts:
Drill No. 1: Flat-footed
Hit balls while keeping your feet flat on the deck. Don’t let them come up at all (except on follow-through); it makes you swing slower and smoother.
Drill No. 2: Feet together
Hit balls with your feet close together. You really have to swing smooth or you’ll fall on your face. This drill also teaches you to properly release your hands into the ball.
You have to find a thought that works for you to maintain tempo in your swing. That can be challenging but necessary to be consistent.
Thought No. 1: Emulate a tour player.
Tom Watson, though having a faster overall tempo, is smooth as silk in the transition from backswing to downswing. I store that image in my mind.
Fred Couples swings in slow motion and hits it 9 miles.
Thought No. 2: Visualize a pause at the top.
You don’t want to stop at the top, but thinking about doing that might smooth out your entire swing.
Club professionals don’t play much anymore and I think that is a shame. Carlisle CC’s current PGA professional Chip Richter was a contestant in the U.S. Amateur three times. Chip is an excellent instructor if you need a lesson. I’d like to watch him play.
Carlisle CC is a great course to play. It has some great par 4s and strong par 3s. The impressionable holes are 13, 14 and 15, which border the Conodoquinet Creek. Its recently renovated clubhouse features an upper outdoor patio that enables a view of the scenic back nine.
They just need a bronze statue of Cameron Dunn.
Fore F Rating Carlisle CC 5.7
Scott Stoner is in his 33rd year teaching technology education at Cumberland Valley Eagle View Middle School and has coached the Cumberland Valley High School golf team for 21 years, winning seven championships. He advanced to the Final 64 in the 1979 U.S. Amateur Golf Championship in Cleveland.