By Matthew Rudy
Castle Pines Golf Club might be most famous for the milkshakes it served during its 21-year run as the host for the PGA Tour's International, from 1986-2006. But elite-level amateurs know the 7,619-yard course outside Denver more for two other reasons. It is the site of annual Charlie Coe Invitational, and the home club of top Colorado instructor Don Hurter. Coe was one of the most decorated amateur players ever -- he won two U.S. Amateurs and played in 19 straight Masters, finishing second to Gary Player in 1961 -- and a longtime Castle Pines member. The two-man team event named in his honor draws top amateurs from around the country and is being played this week.
Hurter took a few minutes away from his busy week running the event to pick three hashtagged reader swings for the latest installment of #HelpMeGolfDigest. His advice centers on improving the setup position to make consistent square contact easier to accomplish.
The first swing comes from left-hander Nick Korth via Instagram. Hurter says he can solve it with some address tweaks and a focus on control vs. power.
"At address, you have your ball position too far forward and your shoulders are set up open," says Hurter, a mainstay on Golf Digest's list of top Colorado teachers and the 1978 U.S. Junior Amateur champion as a player. "Play the ball nearer the inside of your left heel and start with your shoulders square to the target line. I'd also like to see you work hard on keeping your lower body more quiet on the backswing. The extra movement makes it a challenge to bring the clubhead back to the ball at impact in the same place every time. You're going to get more distance if you find the center of the face more often."
Reader David Strawn (@TaildraggerJr) is looking for more distance from his irons. Hurter says the keys are to set up in a way that promotes compressing the ball and improving backswing extension.
[#twitter: https://twitter.com/TaildraggerJ3/statuses/466299500739309570] "Try to get your hands not so far forward at address," says Hurter. "A little bit of forward lean is good, but too much can keep you from releasing the club completely. You're going to get more speed and power by improving your extension in the backswing. You already have a great shoulder turn. Now push your right palm against your left thumb on the backswing to both tighten your backswing and extend your arms. Width, not length is where power comes from."
The last swing comes all the way from Malta and reader Quint van Beek. Hurter says Quint can get more consistent ball flight from his already impressive swing by adjusting his stance and head position.
"This is a really nice swing, but I bet your misses are to the left," Hurter says. "You get a little too closed with your feet and shoulders, and your left arm is a little high. That will make the club move to the inside on the backswing. It looks like your eyes are a tilted so that the right one is higher as well. Get a little more neutral with your set up level with your eyes -- feel like you're setting up to hit a fade. Your misses will be more playable."
Keep submitting your swings via Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #HelpMeGolfDigest. The top full swing and short game instructors in game will be picking videos in the coming weeks, and you could see yourself in this space.