He’s no stranger to golf, and he’s no stranger to Sanford Health.
Golf legend Bernhard Langer, who serves as Sanford International ambassador, has been golfing professionally since 1972.
He’s a two-time Masters champion, and is one of five golfers to win professional events on each continent where golf is played. By all means, he’s an expert.
One could say he knows all there is to know about the sport, but he won’t.
Always looking to improve
For the past 2 years, Langer has always made sure to visit the Sanford POWER Golf Academy. Partly to offer tips to the specialists at the academy, and partly to improve his own game – specifically putting.
By now, it’s no secret Sanford POWER Golf Academy uses some of the greatest technology, like 3D motion-capturing, in order to help golfers of all ages. It’s part of the reason Langer keeps coming back.
“I’m extremely impressed. There’s incredible technology behind all that, there’s a lot of thought. (It’s) a great opportunity to learn more about the game, learn more about yourself, get advice from experts and improve you game in all aspects. Whether it’s putting or chipping or driving or anything else, I highly recommend it.
“I can learn a lot from just being here and picking your guys’ brain,” he said.
Importance of putting
During his visit to the golf academy, Langer took questions from aspiring golfers. Most, if not all, of the questions were on the topic of putting, and how to improve in that aspect.
Langer said he was thrilled with the emphasis on putting because, “putting is the most important part of golf, no matter what level you’re at.”
“Especially if you’re a good golfer, we take more strokes in putting than with any other club in the bag,” said Langer.
He laid out three critical components of putting. The first is reading the greens. The second, the speed of the putt. He said a golfer should try and hit the ball hard enough that it would go a foot past the hole.
“You can always make that return putt. My coach said any putt (shot) short, 99.9% of the time won’t go in. So, try not to leave it short,” he said.
Finally, Langer emphasized aim. He said hitting the ball in the middle of the club is crucial for immediately picking up speed, and for accuracy.
“You don’t want the ball bouncing on the green. Everybody can practice those things and become better,” he said.
Academy makes it easier to learn
Langer, who’s been golfing professionally for nearly 50 years, said any golfer can grow their putting and overall golf game through the Sanford POWER Golf Academy.
“The latest technology, working with lasers, and all the things that are available now weren’t available 20, 30 years ago. Make use of it. It makes it easier to learn and makes it easier to teach instead of just going by trial-and-error. That’s the really exciting part,” he said.
While the ‘trial-and-error’ method certainly worked for Langer, he said he’d encourage every golfer to utilize the resources available at Sanford POWER.
He said given the harsher weather that the midwest encounters, the golf academy is truly a game changer for those who can’t hit the links year-round.
“It’s not by mistake that it’s here. You have tough winters, yet you have these wonderful indoor facilities where you don’t necessarily need to be outside. You have cameras and video equipment, and that’s a great way to improve your game, even in the winter season when some people don’t touch a club for months.
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