Getting back in the swing of things

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Editorís note: Steve Charters is in his 11th year as a pro at Twin Pines Golf Course. Born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Charters competed at Central College in Pella and has been a pro for 18 years in Dubuque and Cedar Rapids.

Unlike recent years, this has been an old-fashioned winter for us, especially lately.

But it appears spring will come after all and with its arrival you should keep some things in mind when getting ready to golf.

If you havenít been stretching, walking or doing some cardio to get the body moving on a regular basis, do it now.

You need to to get your golf muscles, which likely have been idle for a while, loosened and ready.

When courses open, head to the driving range. Select a few short irons ó like a pitching wedge and a 7-iron ó and start with half swings, working gradually into full swings to get that nice, smooth tempo and rhythm back before moving up to the longer clubs.

Finally, donít forget the short game. Practice pitching shots from 50 yards and in. Roll putts from 5, 10, 20 and 30 feet to get the feel for speed and rhythm of your stroke.

The short game involves more feel and can take a little longer to get back than the full swing.

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