Good evening everyone, I hope you were able to get out on the course this weekend despite the hard frost. I always think that golfers are a special breed as we will play in almost any conditions at any time of the day. This was certainly the case for me this week as I gave a lesson at 8am when the sun was barely over the horizon. It was quite a cloudy morning which meant the sky was lit up with some fantastic colours. Luckily Stret was around to capture the moment, which you can see in the images to the right.
This week I gave a bunker lesson to Ron Newey and he has kindly allowed me to share the lesson with you.
Before the lesson he was struggling to get out of the bunker and if he did he had no control over where the ball was going. The first picture in the gallery is Ron's starting position which, other than the hands being too far forward, is not too bad; his feet are pointing to the left of the target and the ball is positioned towards the front of the stance. Ron's problems began when on the downswing he shifted his weight towards his back foot so that when he made contact with the ball he had the majority of his weight on his right side (3rd picture). This caused Ron to either take too much sand or no sand at all, with the ball ending up either still in the bunker or a thin to the other side of the green.
This was just the start of where Ron could improve, as when we looked at what happened with Ron's follow-through, the problem got a little bit bigger. Ron's short follow-through, compared to his back-swing (pictures 2 and 4) meant that the club was slowing down at impact, this deceleration is magnified when we have sand to go through.
To improve the consistency of the strike I got Ron to focus his weight distribution so that he had 60% of his weight on his left side. This meant that Ron's club entered the sand at a consistent place (3rd picture, 2nd gallery), but the deceleration of the club meant the ball was still not coming out of the bunker. After playing some shots focusing entirely on the weight distribution we then changed and focused on the follow-through with the challenge that the club must finish around his head (4th picture, 2nd gallery). The first few shots flew out of the bunker and over the green, but with a little bit more practice he started to judge the distance he had to take the club back.
The results became better thanks to the consistent spot the club entered the sand and the fact that he was accelerating through the shot. Ron went straight out on to the course the next day and played a great bunker shot on the 3rd to a matter of inches. This contributed to his 2nd place finish in the competition that day. Well done Ron! If you want to improve like Ron then take me up on my Christmas offer of 3 hours of coaching for just £60.
I am sure that a lot of you watched the Sports Personality of the Year last night and I, like most, was very surprised that Rory McIlroy came in second with about half the votes that Lewis Hamilton received. Now, I appreciate that as a F1 driver you have to be super fit and have a big understanding of what the car is doing, but F1 is a sport where the equipment makes such a difference . Granted, Hamilton had the best car and is probably the best driver, but put him in one of the other cars like a Marussia or a Sauber I do not think he would have won the drivers championship. In contrast I think that if you gave Rory someone else's clubs, then he would still have won 2 majors, 2 WGC competitions etc. I also suspect that if Hamilton had won the drivers championship well before the last race then the results of SPOTY may have been different.
Have a great golfing week
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Welcome to the weekly blog of Paul Gibson PGA Professional based at Beverley & East Riding Golf Club. Hope you enjoy the read