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Introducing the Titleist Lottery. We have 48 squares which are £1 each. When the sheet is full, the bonus ball drawn on the national lottery will decide who wins a dozen Pro V1 golf balls! If number 49 is drawn the dozen will roll over to the next draw! Simples!
This week's newsletter will mainly feature around our game improvement champion and the journey Alison has been through over the course of eight lessons and 9-hole playing lesson.
Lady Golf Improvement Champion's Report - Final Session
For the last session in my package we were back with the simulator talking about pre-shot routines and the importance of keeping them consistent.
Matt was content with my usual routine for driving from the tee and other long game shots, which is that I take one or two practice swings, choose my line and set up my club face accordingly, adjust my feet, look once more at where I'm aiming to land the ball and then swing. He suggested that more practice swings to get the feel of the grass are appropriate for other lies, such as when chipping out of the semi-rough.
Several people have asked me whether I feel that my lessons have been beneficial and whether my golf has improved as a result. Thank you, Matt, I have enjoyed the sessions which have been relaxed and informative, and certainly feel that I've learnt a lot. I will have to leave it to playing partners in Panshanger Club to say whether I've improved; time (and my handicap) will tell! However, I'll definitely be back for more lessons once I feel I've consolidated my learning so far.
Matt's Final Report
We started back on the 9th May and although that seems a long time ago, we have squeezed a lot into that time. So what have we covered?
The grip, stance, building a backswing, impact and follow through, chipping, putting, bunkers, psychology and pre-shot routine, course management
Let's look at some of the before and after.
Set up - The most important thing that stands out is how Alison's arms now hang from her shoulders and that the posture is a lot more athletic and actually looks like we are ready to hit the ball. In the before picture, Alison's stance is fairly narrow and arms are into her body. The grip that you can't see in either picture has gone from a weak position to a more neutral grip allowing a securer grip and better leverage. Also, Alison looks so much more relaxed in the most recent picture and a relaxed golfer will always hit better shots than someone who is tense!
Top of the backswing - In the after picture, Alison's length of backswing is much more compact and what I would call a full backswing. When we started, Alison's backswing was far too long and she was not in control. What is really great in this picture is Alison's 'spine angle' - before we started our journey you can see Alison 'stand up' her spine angle and became more vertical than at address. If the golfer does not maintain the spine angle - i.e. moves away from the ball - the head, shoulders and arms will move away from the ball toward impact. The result will probably be a push or slice to the right, or worse, a topped hit. If the golfer moves closer to the ball, the head, shoulders and arms move closer to the ball toward impact. The result of these movements might be a drastic hook, a hit behind the ball or a pull to the left.
Follow through - The follow through shows a massive difference. Alison is now in a full follow through and shows commitment to the shot which means the big muscles fire better which in turn swings the club faster and also makes squaring the clubface up to the target more likely. So longer straighter shots!
Short game - Alison's technique was very good for chipping. What did come up was Alison's club and shot selection. Unless your Phil Mickelson or have a bunker to go over it makes sense for most handicap golfers to keep the ball low and play chip and runs more often than not.
Pre-shot routine and Psychology - Why is it important to have a pre-shot routine? Well let's put it this way: all golfers get nervous, anxious, excited, angry etc. A lot of different emotions and feelings on the course. If we treat each shot the same it allows us to get into a habit that will allow us to hit the best shot that we can. If you do something different for every shot and get around the course (and somehow) we get to the last hole and you need a bogey to beat your best score and you all of a sudden 'concentrate' that bit harder, take 2 or 3 more practice swings, you're doing something different, the likelihood is a poor shot, because you are over thinking and getting out of the habit or auto pilot. You do most things well when you don't consciously think about it! Think about driving a car. You don't think about how to change gear like you did when you first learnt, you just do it because it's a habit and in the subconscious!
Course management - It may sound obvious but we discussed about how to get the golf ball around the course in the fewest shots. Sometimes this maybe wasn't the most obvious way and often we built in Alison's handicap shots. For example, the par three 4th hole at Panshanger is 157 yards from the ladies tee with two bunkers in front protecting the green. These bunkers are right at Alison's driver distance and she told me that she often drops shots here because of the bunkers. My advice in our playing lesson was to play a 6-iron short of the bunkers, chip on 2 putt for bogey and save a shot as she gets two shots on the hole! What actually happened was Alison hit short of the bunker and chipped on to to three-foot and holed the putt for par!
Out of our whole experience, one of the things that really stood out for me was a very simple observation. When we were on our playing lesson on the first hole, Alison had about a 20 foot downhill putt. She hit a great putt, just missed the right edge of the hole broke a little bit to the left and finished four foot past. I commented:
'At least you know what the putt does now going back'
Alison asked what I meant. As the putt just missed the right edge of the hole and moved slightly left from where we hitting the putt to hole, the next putt we need to hit is 'left' edge to allow for what will now be a left to right putt back up the hill! If you miss your putt, watch it till the finish as you will learn what it does coming back! Simple observations can often save more shots than anything else on the course.
If you've been interested by the past couple of months' newsletters along with Alison's progress, why not book yourself in for some lessons? Get in touch with us here.
Lessons are available with Dan Fitzsimmons as the following rates:
45 minutes - £30
4 for 3 - £90
6 x lessons for 5 - £150
6 x lessons and a free 9 hole playing lesson - £180 (playing lesson worth £100)
4 people max
6 x 1 hour sessions
£50 per person
Please call 01707 276276 for more information or to book your lessons.