A monumental tip from Gus Andreone

There is a monument area on the west end of the Gus Andreone Practice and Teaching Facility at Palm-Aire Country Club. On the opposite end is a wood carving of Andreone, who turned 100-years old in late September.

Both are very impressive. So is Andreone, who has 73 years experience as a PGA pro.

The Palm-Aire members donated almost $100,000 to construct this facility. It has three retaining walls and wood fencing, new target areas, new paving and new brick work, benches, new bag standard and a pedestal clock.

It is very attractive and makes you want to work on your game. I am almost sure there is no other country club in the area that did so much to honor one of its members. Andreone was a long time club pro in Western Pennsylvania, and he counted Arnold Palmer and his father as good friends. Palmer wrote him a nice letter for his 100th birthday party.

The teaching facility also is where Andreone gives an occasional lesson to members at no charge.

 “I don’t want to take anything away from the club pros,” he said.

So, I decided to take a quick lesson from Gus, taking advantage of the new Practice and Teaching Facility.

 “You need to relax your arms and shoulders,” he told me after watching me hit a 7-iron.  “Take your club back as slow as you can.”

Then he stepped up to the tee box and belted his driver about 175 yards with little effort.

I thought, wow! Here is a guy 100-years-old hitting the ball about as far as I do.

In his prime, Gus said he hit his tee ball about 230 or 240 yards.  But according to his playing partners at Palm-Aire, he very rarely misses the fairway.

As I left Palm-Aire, I kept repeating Gus’s tip: “Relax your arms and shoulders.”

Hopefully, I will be able to hit it as straight as Gus does with as little effort.


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