Tiffany Faucette, 1757 Golf Academy’s lead instructor and 2014 LPGA Northeast Teacher of the Year, has competed in some of the most prestigious professional golf competitions in the U.S. and abroad over the course of her 18-year career, including the LPGA, U.S. Women’s Open and the McDonald’s Championship—just to name a few. She got her start while playing golf at Florida State University and went on to become Golfweek’s No. 1 Amateur in 1997.
Faucette is just as passionate about teaching golf as she is about competing, and her tenure at 1757 has equipped her with tips of the trade for overcoming the three most common obstacles her students encounter: balance, chipping and body awareness.
“I’ve come to this simple conclusion: Golf is simply moving in balance to create the shot you want,” Faucette says.
Moving in Balance
Most recreational golfers have difficulty synchronizing their upper and lower body when they want to hit the ball at full-throttle speeds.
“When you’re in balance, you can swing at your quickest; when you’re out of balance, your subconscious spends energy figuring out how not to fall down instead of making contact with the ball,” Faucette says.
Balance begins with posture. Naturally, everyone wants a balanced finish, but if you set up in a balanced position, it’s much easier to swing correctly.
Faucette understands that nothing annoys recreational golfers more than getting close to the green in regulation only to make a mess of the hole by chunking or sculling a chip multiple times. While player technique is often at fault, the culprit could also be a wedge that’s too thick to do the job.
“Does the sand wedge in your bag have a very wide or thick sole? If it does, it may be harder for you to adjust the club for more loft to hit higher shots around the green,” Faucette says. “In this case, getting better around the green is as simple as getting a wedge that’s more versatile. Generally, thinner-soled sand wedges allow for more shot-making adjustability.”
However, even when golfers use the right wedge, Faucette says “setting up the shot properly is half the battle.”
Lack of Body Awareness
Good golfers understand how their bodies move throughout the swing and have a feel for where the club head is during the swing.
“As a novice player, I used to hate it when my teacher asked me, ‘What did that swing feel like?’ I had no idea—all my swings felt the same to me,” Faucette says. “I had no body awareness because I was always trying to move as fast as I could.
“Only after years of playing professionally did I learn the benefit of moving slowly,” she continues. “Moving slowly in practice heightens your body awareness and allows you to feel the weight of the club head. Of course, you won’t hit it far if you swing slowly, but moving slowly will actually show you the sequence of how to swing when you swing fast.”
Tiffany Faucette views her professional experience as the lead-up to what she considers her real passion: teaching. She proudly holds multiple certifications and awards, including PGA and LGPA Class A Teaching Professional; 2014 LGPA Teacher of the Year/NE Section; LPGA Global Education Team Member (2015, 2016); GRAA Top 50 Growth of the Game Teaching Professional (2015, 2016), and Best in Loudoun (2015, 2016). Tweet her @faucettegolf or visit her website for more tips.