Editor's note: Each week, Megan Padua, a teaching professional at Maidstone Club (East Hampton, N.Y.) and Belfair Plantation (Bluffton, S.C.), and one of Golf Digest's Best Young Teachers, offers tips and advice for women golfers.__
By Megan Padua__
Too many women have a fear of "messing up the grass," and they're consequently afraid to take a divot. Stop holding back. The very first secret in golf is to make the club hit the ground. When done correctly, it won't hurt your body and it is perfectly within the means of golf course etiquette to take a little bit of turf when you hit your ball. The trick is to give the grass a "hair cut." Place two alignment rods on the ground to create a track to swing your club through (see images, below). Using a short iron, swing the club back and through the tracks without hitting the rods. If you see blades of grass flying up in the air you're doing the drill correctly. The goal is to give the grass a quality hair cut, not a buzz cut, just take a little off of the top and you'll be in business. The rule of thumb here is, if you don't hit the grass you won't make solid contact with your golf ball.