The Fairmont Banff Springs Director of Golf Steven Young
Celebrating its 125th anniversary, the Castle in the Rockies otherwise known as The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, is the landmark property that features history, exceptional hospitality and of course, a Stanley Thompson gem in The Fairmont Banff Spring Golf Course.
As the course prepares for the upcoming golf invitational with the New York Rangers, Canadian Rockies Golf talks with Director of Golf Steven Young for this week’s “Know the Pro” segment, about the legendary course and some tips for golfers of all skill levels.
1) What advice would you give to a golfer playing The Fairmont Banff Springs course for the first time?
Keep your head up – you don’t want to miss the scenery and wildlife!
The mountains in the background give the perception that everything is closer and the way Stanley Thompson has set the bunkers back from the green make the greens appear closer, when in fact it is an illusion created by the designer. Trust the yardage and remember that the ball will travel farther at this altitude.
2) How long have you been in the golf business, and why did you decide to become a golf pro?
I began in the golf business in the mid-1980s working in the back shop in Ottawa. From there I went into the pro-shop where I played competitively and learned retail and golf operations. My mentor at the time suggested I go to university to get my education and if after that still wanted to be in the golf business get my pro card. I decided I wanted to run a golf facility and was fortunate to get employment with Fairmont and have been supported and provided the opportunity to be creative and develop.
3) Explain the different ways to grip the club and the benefits/challenges of each.
The grip is the way we connect our body with the instrument we use to strike the golf ball and it is a fundamental that golfers need to get right if they are to be successful.
Fortunately, there is no one way to grip the club. The main choices are the ten finger grip, the overlap grip and the interlock grip. There are some ‘hand types’ that might make one grip more preferable than the other but for me the type of grip depends on which provides you the greatest natural feeling in making the swing.
I would suggest most people use the overlap grip or the ten finger grip. But, as mentioned, neither is better than the other. Once you have decided how to put your hands on the club, you need to set them in a way they work with your swing to get the club on the ball. Sometimes a stronger hand position offsets another swing difference. For the most part, the hands should be in a neutral position so as not to cause weak shots to the right (for a right hander) or strong hooks to the left.