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Prudent golfers instinctively know to take certain steps to get that rusty swing ready for the golf season. The best of us spend extra time working on our short game. We all mentally prepare ourselves for a season spent trying to improve.

Even with all that preparation golfers often neglect the very tools that will help us perform at our best. We grab our clubs from the garage, toss them into the trunk and speed off to the greener pastures of our favorite golf courses.

This can be a mistake. A little time spent getting our golf clubs into shape can pay almost as significant of a dividend as trying to get our golf swing into shape.

First, we all know to dust of the clubs before putting them into action. But a golfer can be well-served to take three extra steps, says Dan McCleery, a longtime assistant professional at Black Butte Ranch.

The first step is to get the loft and lie checked on your set of irons. If a golfer is suddenly hitting an iron shorter than they once did, there is a good chance the lie and loft has been altered.

Using a loft-and-lie machine, golf retailers who offer the service (Black Butte Ranch does not) can adjust an iron back to factory specifications. That will help a player to acheive more accurate yardages.

“As you play, the loft and lie of your irons will be altered over time,” McCleery said. “The service to fix it is usually very inexpensive and it doesn’t take long for them to check the lie and loft.”

Secondly, golfers should assess their grips. Avid players likely need new grips once a season. More casual players need to replace their grips less frequently.

If the grips look worn or feel slippery it’s a good bet that a set of new grips are in order, a service that the professional staff at Black Butte Ranch offers.

“I’ve had so many students come out for a quick lesson at the beginning of the season and their grips are almost nonexistent,” McCleery said.

The third step, and one that is often neglected, is to check the grooves. To do that, rub your fingernail up the clubface. If your nail catches, the grooves are in good shape. If your fingernail does not catch, then it is time to re-groove the club.

“If it sliding along, you definitely want them regrooved,” said McCleery, who offers that service at Black Butte Ranch.

“Those are the most important things you should do before you step out for a new season, and if you don’t want do that, you can always buy a new set of clubs,” McCleery said. “We can handle that, too.”

For help with your equipment or to take advantage of the knowledge of our staff or our PGA professionals, visit the golf shops at Big Meadow and Glaze Meadow. Call the Big Meadow Golf Shop at 541-595-1545.

Book a tee time online, or call 855-210-5305 or 541-595-1545. For more information on how to take a lesson from Dan or any of our Black Butte Ranch instructors, visit blackbutteranch.com/golf/lessons-and-instructions.