What is a golfer to do? You ended last season playing the best golf of the year. Since then, though, enough rust has collected on that golf swing that you feel like a Wizard of Oz character. Such is the cycle of a golfer in the Pacific Northwest.

As the golf season begins to fire up, now is the time to apply a little oil to that creaky swing. But just what should a golfer be doing to get the most out of the preseason? George Mack Jr., Black Butte Ranch’s director of golf instruction, has some simple suggestions.

Start by focusing on some key areas.

“Grip, stance and posture,” he says. “Things you kind of forget about during the offseason.”

Golfers should be using an alignment aid during early season practice session, helping to put them into proper position to see the target.

In addition, golfers should be paying particular mind to their short games, George says. That means spending extra time around the practice green to work on chipping and putting. The advice seems obvious enough, but golfers too often neglect their short games.

“Get a feel for around the greens,” he says. “It will help golfers lower their scores.”

That is why George begins his series of in-season golf clinics with a two-day clinic that focus on 100 yards and in. Those clinics begin on May 23.

The idea early in the season is simple enough: Get yourself into good habits before the meat of the golf season and the scores really begin to count.

“When you are starting over after the winter, you want to start with good habits,” George advises. “That’s the most important thing.”

For more information on how to take a lesson from George, who will arrive for the golf season in early May, or any of our Black Butte Ranch instructors, visit blackbutteranch.com/golf/lessons-and-instructions. The link also includes a calendar of Black Butte Ranch’s golf schools, clinics and camps.