St. Andrews golf academy

Well I have always worked with a golf coach/instructor but over the last 12 months become a little frustrated with my game and a few new faults have appeared.  Don’t get me wrong in some respects I have had my most successful season ever and have achieved something that many club golfers aspire to but never reach.  2011 I became the Marple Golf Club singles champion, to do this I had to beat 6 opponents over 3 months of the summer in singles matchplay golf.  My semi final game went to the wire and beyond with 3 extra holes and the final I wasn’t in front until the 14th.  All the way through I had one focus.  Focus on the current shot and not the result, that enabled me to win.

This gets me to where I am now my focus isn’t on the now it’s the future and that’s why I am at the home of golf, St. Andrews in their state of art teaching academy.  I am doing what it takes now to be a better player in the future, kinda opposite to how I won the club championships.  This type of major swing rebuild takes full commitment as you tend to go backwards to go forwards.  The the finished article will be greatly improved.  For me to get where I want to be I will have to work through some physical limitations and that will take some time and pain in the gym and I wouldn’t have it another way.  Onwards to the next level, I know I always have the best equipment available to me and now I will have my best swing to go with it.  Do yourself a favour, find a pro to work and custom fitter to work with and have your beat season ever.  Good luck.

Steve Stricker

I have been watching Steve Stricker win the season opener at Hawaii this weekend.  I know always Sticker to be a great golfer, world ranked number 6 etc but never really watched him when golf was on the TV but with the lead he created and the way he played this weekend he was getting total TV coverage here is what I observed.

I feel he has the sort of swing that most reasonable amateurs  could copy.  Lets start with his swing speed, 105 mph, I have custom fitted 60 year old hackers with higher swing speeds but what he does is get a great contact every time. His swing is his own, he doesn’t wrist cock much but his path and plane are efficient and he gets maximum distance from his swing speed.  In Hawaii he was the 2nd slowest swinger averaging 260-270 yards yet still had eagle chances and numerous birdies.  Yes I know he is a great iron player wedge player and putter but I guess this is the point I am making.  Driving isn’t his strength so he works on the areas that aren’t effected by swing speed, irons wedges and putting.

Take a look at this stats page http://www.pgatour.com/r/stats/info/?02401 and see for yourself, don’t get hung up on smashing it 300 yards but concentrate on areas of your game were you can make a difference now.  Get your irons lofts checked and speak to your custom fitter about wedge gapping to allow you to maximize your accuracy play.

Long irons v rescue hybrid

This may at first glance appear to be 5 years too late but read on.  Start at the beginning.  What is the longest iron in your bag? Now what is the longest iron in your bag that you hit well every time?  I am guessing most of you will answer 4 iron to the first question and 6 iron to the second.  When I say properly I don’t mean can you thin your 5 iron 5 yards longer than your 6 iron I mean launch the 5 iron high in the air so that it can stop on a green that is protected with a front bunker.

This concept of replacing mid irons with lofted hybrid clubs isn’t confined to the amateur golfer, take Y.E Yang, he carries driver, 3 wood, 5 wood, 19 deg and 21 deg rescue clubs.  The longest iron he carries is his 5 iron.  More and more golfers on the senior tour are dropping 3 and 4 iron for corresponding hybrid clubs and so should more amateurs.

The test I can perform for you to ascertain if you would benefit from replacing long and mid irons with custom fitted hybrid clubs is very simple.  We hit a number of balls with your 7 iron to get a good average ball speed, then we go onto your 6 iron and due to the longer shaft we should see about 8-10 mph increase in ball speed if we see that we go onto 5 iron, again if we see 8-10mph increase we go onto 4 iron.  If your ball speed increases by less than 5 mph per club it’s time to replace that club with a hybrid/wood to optimize distance and trajectory.

Recent hybrid club fitting sessions I have performed show that 6 to 5 iron ball speed tends to only go up by about 4-8 mph and 5 to 4 iron speeds 2-3 mph, some showed a drop in ball speed.  In my opinion you will see very little difference in distance between the 6,5 and 4 iron hence there is a requirement for replacing the 5/4 iron with a lofted hybrid.  Some people say they can’t get on with hybrid style clubs and that fine and the beauty of visiting a custom fitter / club builder as I can offer lofted fairway woods to replace your hard to hit irons.

I can perform this test for you on a launch monitor (outside with real balls) in around 30 minutes and if you subsequently purchase a hybrid or lofted fairway wood the fitting service is free (£25 without a purchase)  Call me for details.  O7739 854 682.