At last some decent weather!

After what feels like the longest Winter ever…. it was wonderful to have a decent day on Saturday for the kids to enjoy the 9 hole chip n putt event without freezing to death!

We had a super turn out of 16 youngsters aged form 4 to 13 years old and some great golf played too.

Our main objective is to provide an opportunity for the children to go out to play the game in a safe environment and in an event that does not take too long to play.

It really is about taking part and we encourage everyone to try to beat their own personal best, which is why we run the eclectic competition too.

Don’t forget these events are completely free to play in and you do not have to be on the junior coaching at Dunes to take part. We are on a mission to get more kids out playing and reducing the amount of time spent in front of screens!

Thanks to our amazing sponsors photogifts.co.uk we have a superb prize that is personalised for the overall best score each week.

This week it was a really cool mug filled with sweet treats that has the date of the event printed on it so it’s something the winner can treasure forever!

Winner of the mug with the score of the day was Alexander Wisely on 28. Alexander is making this a regular habit as the victory sees him sitting 8 points clear at the top of the Order of Merit with 15 points. He is also top of the Eclectic table with a total of 22. Mattthew Cardno finished in 2nd on 29 and Billy Myers was third on 30. Billy managed to improve a couple on his eclectic score so has moved to within 3 shots of Alexander.

In the 4 to 8 year old group, Riley Whyte took the top spot ona countbakc from Kameron Brown as both players scored a 36. Riley won the special flourescent golf ball as a prize for his victory. In 3rd place was Mason McRobbie on 39.

To view the latest Order of Merit and Eclectic scores then please CLICK HERE. It will ask for a password to view the information – it is ‘sweep’

I am delighted that these events are proving popular as we continue our mission to get more kids out golfing and away from computer screens.

The format allows for the kids to experience a competitive game in a safe environment and eventually to membership of one of the local clubs.

They are completely free of charge and all equipment can be provided for no extra cost.

Here is a reminder of how the events work…
Ensure your child is registered to play by 2.30pm at the latest – every Saturday afternoon.

If you turn up after this there is a chance your child will not be able to play.
Registration is at the Golf Shop Desk at Dunes.

The format is 9 holes Chip and Putt around the Short Game Zone at Dunes Golf Centre. This should take between 30mins and 1 hour to complete depending upon how many kids turn up and how fast they play.

So, even on a cold day they should be able to manage this short amount of time outside. Also, as the area is so close to the golf centre, the kids are never far away should they wish to abandon their game and come in due to the weather.

Note: A condition of entry is that you are available to walk round with your child to supervise scoring and etiquette.

The Order of Merit
Your child gets 1 point for turning up to play – so the more times they play the more points they will get. Note: the points are overall and not divisional.
1st place 3 points
2nd place 2 points
3rd place 1 point

The Eclectic
This is where we take the very best score you have on each hole throughout the whole series of events to create your dream round.

This is a great way to stay motivated even if you are having a bad scoring day because if you score lower on just one hole then you will have improved your eclectic score!

Both the order of merit and eclectic scores will be viewable online so you and your child can track progress and know which holes are key to improving the eclectic score

The eclectic and order of merit events run from now until 19th May with a family fun day on 26th May when we will also have the grand prize presentation.

Rules
We don’t want to have loads of rules but to ensure safety and fairness to everyone playing we need to have some….

  • The ball must be placed in the blue box area on each tee
  • Play to the hole as numbered on top of the flagstick. So, from tee number 1, play to hole number 1.
  • The holes go around the green in a clockwise direction
  • Keep accurate count of your score. Attempts at the ball count, even if you miss it.
  • Make sure it is safe to play first:
    Check no one is near you that could be hit by the swinging club or the ball. Whilst you are waiting to play stand somewhere so that you can see the person playing and they can see you.
  • Everyone in your group tees off and then you play in order of the furthest from the hole plays next.
  • Only putters are allowed on the green – no irons and no big swings because it can cause damage that cannot be fixed.
  • After your 9 holes, shake hands with your playing partners and thank them for the game
    Add up your scores and return the scorecard to the staff in the golf shop
  • If you lose a ball or it goes over the road or any of the fences then you must play your shot again and add on 1 penalty shot. This includes if you ball finishes in the gravel around the shed near the 9th hole.

Yule is the Master

Dunes Golf Centre played host to the first Mini-Major of the year as the Short Game Zone was transformed in to a mini Augusta National Course.

Dunes Golf Centre Short Game Zone

The nine hole layout tested golfers of all abilities in a chip n putt event spread over the same four days as the real US Masters event.

Each competitor could enter as many times as they wanted right up until the cut off time of 3pm on Sunday.

With sponsorship from Ping and Dunes Golf Centre a prize table worth over £450.00 was up for grabs. Not to mention the opportunity to be presented with our famous green (some say Teal) jacket!

Women’s event
Vic Buchan took the top spot as she shot a terrific score of 25. This was three shots clear of Jacalyn Thoirs and Kathleen Mollison, both on 28 but with Jacalyn taking second place on a countback.

Men’s Event
Final day drama decided the men’s event as long time leader Doug Hastie was pipped at the post by pretty much the last competitor on the course. Doug’s 24 was looking good for the victory until Norman Reid came in with a 23 to win by one. Taking third place was Tommy Reid having also scored 24 but losing out on a countback to Doug.

12 and Under
The performance of the week came on the first day as 9 year old Rhys Yule set the pace for everyone, including the adults, with a blistering 23!

This could not be beaten despite some great efforts from all the youngsters who took part. Callum Milne came closest with his score of 25 for second and in third with a 29 was Andrew Cardno.

In total 202 rounds of golf were played over the four days and we were delighted to see so many families out there enjoying playing together.

Our mission is to grow participation in the game and we know what a wonderful sport it is for families to play together.

The Short Game Zone is a permanent fixture at the Golf Centre and is available to play all year round, 7 days a week. It costs just £2.50 for all day play and with a whole host of different games available it will entertain you and the family for hours. Club and ball hire is free of charge too!

The Mini Majors are going to be a permanent fixture at Dunes so see we look forward to seeing you at the next one:

  • Mini US Open 14th – 17th June 2018
  • Mini Open 19th – 22nd July 2018
  • Mini US PGA 9th – 12th August 2018

Do you know how to repair a pitchmark properly?

As a 14 year old and just as I was getting the golfing bug, I did two weeks work experience with the greenkeepers at the World Famous, Ganton Golf Club.

Ganton is located just outside my hometown of Scarborough, with the course famous for being one of only a handful in the World to have hosted The Ryder Cup, The Walker Cup and the Curtis Cup.

Me on the 6th tee at Ganton Golf Club

A few years later it would be the venue where I would start my career as a PGA Professional as I took the assistants job at the club.

However, it was in that two weeks as a greenkeeper where I learned lots about maintaining and caring for a golf course and one particular thing stayed with me and I’ve shared it with 1000’s of golfers since…. How to repair a pitchmark, correctly!

Did you know..?

A correctly repaired pitchmark will recover in 24 hours. However, an unrepaired pitchmark left unattended for two hours will take up to two months to recover.

Now that the season has started, the increase in numbers playing on the courses means that inevitably more pitchmarks will be made on the greens. However, there is no excuse for not repairing them after you have made one.

The increased numbers arise despite just about every golfer I speak to speak to saying, “Why can’t people repair their pitchmarks?” Everyone you talk to always claim that they repair 3 or 4 on every green!

As well as looking unsightly, from a golfing point of view, pitchmarks can affect ball roll and cause a player’s putt to bobble and deviate offline. Studies have shown that on average, a golfer will make 8 pitchmarks during a round of golf. If 130 rounds are played per day, that’s over 1,000 pitchmarks per week; no surprise then that it can be difficult to hole a putt!

It isn’t just about attempting to repair the pitchmark… it is about repairing it properly. Many golfers out there do not know how to do it correctly and damage the grass in the process….
In summary, you should take your pitchmark tool and insert the prongs into the turf at the edge of the depression. Do NOT insert the prongs into the depression itself, but at the rim of the depression. Then push the edge of the repairer toward the centre, using the tool in a gentle twisting motion. Do NOT insert and attempt to push up the depression as this only leads to tearing the root and killing the grass.

Claim your FREE pitchmark repairer from Dunes

As part of our campaign to spread awareness of the ‘Pitchmark Problem’ we are giving away pitchmark repairers to the first 100 people to come along to Dunes Golf Centre to claim theirs.

Don’t be shy, everyone should carry one of these tools when they play. However, if you do find yourself without one when you are playing, you can still repair a mark effectively with your tee peg in the same way as stated above.

We are blessed with an abundance of great golf courses in the North East of Scotland so let’s all do our bit to keep them in great condition. Pitchmarks (and divots) are not the responsibility of the greenkeeping staff but of every golfer who plays the game.

Enjoy your golf,

Peter Myers
PGA Professional

What a day out to Duff House!

On Sunday 25th March I took 36 ladies to Duff House Royal for the first ever love.golf Away Day.

Many of the ladies only took up the game within the last year and for quite a number it was their first time playing a full 18 holes!

I hoped the day would be a chance for the wider love.golf community to come together, for the ladies to have the opportunity to play a different course and for new friendships to be formed.

I can confidently say that all three of the above were achieved and a great time was had by all.

It was a shame the weather didn’t hold up; we started the day in beautiful sunshine but by the end it was torrential rain. It didn’t seem to dampen the spirits though and after a few more drinks in the clubhouse (Yes… we actually had a Gin and Baileys buggy going round the course – not mixed together though I might add!) everyone was enjoying socialising and reminiscing about their game of golf.


Credit to the Duff House catering staff who did a great job of serving us all an excellent meal and especially to head chef Niall who was only on his second day on the job! Nothing was too much trouble and the food was lovely.


Most of the group travelled on the love.golf party bus which was expertly driven by June as she got us to and from the course safely despite not having driven a bus of that size before!

We played a Texas scramble format, which is always a good fun and social game to play. For those that don’t know, it is where each player in the team of four hit their tee shots, they then choose the best one and then everyone plays from that spot. This repeats for the second shot, third shot and so on until the ball is in the hole – simply choosing the best shot each time. However, to add a little extra challenge I decided that each player had to have at least 3 tee shots to count.

In third place with a score of 87 were Carol Stuart, June Thomson, Lynne Carmichael and Jacqueline Hood. In second place, with 86, was Debbie Angus, Jackie Buchan, Wilma Ritchie and Rona Lawson.

Our runaway winners with a terrific score of 82 were Dawn Cardno, Janette Milne, Fiona Farquhar and Ashley Ritchie.

The Pro’s Special shot of the day award went to Debbie Angus for a putt that I saw her hole on the 9th hole from at least 40 feet!

Congratulations to all the winners but thanks also to everyone who took part.

Duff House Royal is a beautiful course and was in superb condition which is some feat considering the weather we have had over the last month or so!

“A great day, congrats to Peter for his brilliant organisation – and to everyone else who made it such fun.” Edith Skinner

“Many thanks for organising a brilliant day, I really enjoyed playing my first game of 18 holes, looking forward to the next one.” Carol West

“Brilliant day out at Duff House yesterday. Another great scramble. You really do a great job Peter in organising everything and thanks to June for the transport. Looking forward to the next one!” Moorea Bowie

“Great day out again Peter! Thanks for organising it. A lovely course and a lovely, friendly group of ‘girls’! Look forward to the next scramble!” Liz Davidson


If you are thinking about taking up golf or are just starting out then why not become part of the quickest growing group of female golfers in Europe?

Dunes Golf Centre in Fraserburgh has started over 200 women playing the game in the last 18 months and we have new classes starting all the time. To register your interest and to learn more simply go to www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk and navigate to the love.golf links or follow our Dunes Golf Centre (Fraserburgh) Facebook page. Alternatively call one of our friendly golf team on 01346 510693

Matthew and Alexander set new course record!

Our weekly junior events at Dunes Golf Centre are proving increasingly popular as we continue our mission to grow golf participation. The 18-hole chip and putt competitions around our fantastic Short Game Zone take place every Saturday afternoon and are completely free of charge to enter.


They are open to anyone under the age of 18. All you must do is turn up to the golf centre by 2.30pm at which point you will be put in to groups to go out and play.

Each hole is around 10 to 20 yards long and are designed to get the kids thinking about shot choice and club selection.

The experience also provides an opportunity to make new friends and play a competition that is not overly serious. The focus is very much on each child going out to have fun and to try to beat their own best score each time. There are many other benefits such as; learning to keep score and mark a scorecard, dealing with bad shots and outcomes, learning how to win but also how to lose, social skills and playing with new people.

I remember when I really got hooked on golf as a junior. It was when I made a group of friends and we had such good fun going out playing together and improving our golfing skills.

The short game, chipping and putting, is the part of the game I strongly recommend all juniors (if not all golfers) should spend time honing their skills. The long game will improve in time, especially as they get bigger and stronger, but the short game skills developed now will last a lifetime.

The Short Game Zone at Dunes provides a safe environment where parents can keep a watchful eye but without getting too involved. In other words, they can just let the kids learn through play. However, for younger or less experienced children we ask that a parent walks round to help keep score and to supervise.

If your child wants to join in simply come along to Dunes on a Saturday at 2.30pm and go to the reception desk where one of our friendly golf staff will be on hand to guide you. All equipment can also be provided free of charge.

It takes around 45-60 minutes to play the event and as soon as the last group has finished we have a presentation of prizes.

Matthew Cardno and Alexander Wisely – course record holders

Last weekend Matthew Cardno and Alexander Wisely set a joint new 18-hole course record as both players scored 54.

Matthew wins for the second time in a row

This was the second week on the trot that both players tied for first place, so we had a sudden death playoff which Matthew won both times!

Congratulations to Matthew but praise goes to both youngsters for the way they conducted themselves, especially the grace and sportsmanship demonstrated by Alexander despite losing in the playoffs.

Logan claims his first medal

Congratulations also to Logan Mair who won his first medal in the younger age section.

Bring your kids to Dunes to play every Saturday at 2.30pm!

The secret to longer tee shots!

In the winter months, the cold air and soft ground means we all lose yardage on our shots.
You can reduce this effect by creating a higher ball flight on your drives, which will mean a longer carry through the air.
The set-up position I have demonstrated here is crucial if you want to hit long, high, straight drives as it will help you to deliver the best angle of attack on the ball.

Angle of attack (AoA) is how your driver head comes into the ball as you would look at the strike from face on.  Either you are catching it at the bottom of the arc, which would be a 0 degree angle of attack, or you are catching it before or after that lowest point of the arc.

Much research has revealed that to hit your longest drives, you need to hit up on the ball about 2-5 degrees.

How big of a difference can there be? 

Well, according to Golf Magazine, the difference between a -5 AoA and a +5 AoA is about 25 yards of distance at a 90 mph clubhead speed.  You would potentially go from around 235 to around 260 without using more effort!  At higher clubhead speeds, the difference will be even more.

To find out your angle of attack and to learn to hit the ball further we no extra effort come and see us in The Golf Studio at Dunes Golf Centre this winter. We use the industry leading GC2 with HMT from Foresight Sports to accurately measure what your club is doing to the ball.

An initial 1 hour lesson with one of our 3 PGA Professional’s is from just £20.00 and during this appointment we will show you exactly what you club is doing and you will learn how to optimise your swing to gain those valuable extra yards!

Book online at www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/bookalesson
Call 01346 510693 or call in to see us in store at the golf centre.

Gift vouchers are available for all our lesson types and make an ideal Christmas gift.

Are you a big hitter?
If so, get along to Dunes for the third annual North East Scotland Long Drive Championship on Friday 8th December.

Previous winners:

Men 2015: James Ritchie 343.84 yards
Men 2016: James Ritchie 359.25 yards
Women 2015: Lyn Morrice 170.00 yards
Women 2016: Georgia Cardno 175.00 yards
Juniors (11-14) 2015: Alex Ritchie 219.00 yards
Juniors (11-14) 2016: Alex Ritchie 255.00 yards
Juniors (Under 11) 2015: Charlie Buchan 125.00 yards
Juniors (Under 11) 2016: Liam McBeath 159.00 yards

Have you got the power to take the title this December?

There is only one way to find out and that is by coming along to Dunes to give it a go. Everyone gets 3 balls for free with extra balls costing just £1 each.

The event takes place in the amazing indoor Golf Studio at Dunes Golf Centre. You can use your own driver or borrow one of ours.

In keeping with our mission to grow all areas of golf; we are giving away prizes to Men, Women and Juniors.

There is no need to book, just turn up and put your name down on the list. Everyone who gets their name down by the cut off time of 7.30pm will get a go. The winners will be presented with prizes on the night.

Good luck and we look forward to seeing you all on the 8th December!

 

Love.golf on Tour – Portugal 2017

Around this time last year I was on the golf course at Rosehearty giving a lesson to a group of love.golf ladies.

We were on the second green, the wind was blowing and it was freezing cold!

One of the women turned to me and said. “Peter, you are going to have to take us somewhere warmer for golf lessons!”

To which I instantly responded, “OK, let’s go to Portugal!”

Thinking this was just a throw away comment, I didn’t take any further action but the following week I was asked if I had put plans in place for said trip to Portugal.

So, having discovered the statement was in all seriousness, I got to work and the love.golf on tour trip to Portugal was conceived.

Just under a year later we were on the plane to the Algarve, Salgados near Albufeira to be more precise, for a week long golfing holiday.

For many on the trip it was the first time they had played abroad and for a few it was the first time they had played 18 holes in a day. The trip was a huge success and everyone enjoyed playing golf in the sun followed by good food, drinks and loads of laughs.

“I’ll never forget my first 18 hole round in the sun at a top course called Morgado in Portugal. Not bad for someone who only started playing just over a year ago!” Thelma Hutchison

“I never imagined that my first love.golf session would then lead on to going golfing abroad with the same group of people. It’s more than just golf, it’s friendly and more than anything, it’s fun!” Diane Buchan

“A fantastic week spent with amazing people. So many laughs and giggles on and off the golf course, would do it again in a shot!” Dawn Cardno

My reflections from the week are; golf is so much more than just a game. New friendships have been formed that will last a lifetime. Golf brings people of all ages and abilities together who may otherwise never meet.

The experience of playing different courses is a real feature of the game. Unlike sports such a badminton or tennis – the variety of court in which we play is almost infinite. Even the same course on two different days can feel and play very differently.

Playing golf is the best way to learn the game. I acted as a guide throughout the week and was on hand to help answer any questions but lots was learned, that cannot be taught on the range, just through playing the game.

Golf is an easy game to play!
Yes, I know many of you may not quite believe this statement but given that nearly all the group have been playing for less than 2 years it was proof that golf is easy to start playing. It is difficult to turn pro, to win majors etc. but just getting out to play the game has never been easier.

Water is a magnet for golf balls!
Now this is certainly a statement you will agree with more strongly than the last one I am sure. Salgados had water on just about every hole and it was amazing how many times the players’ balls seemed to find the drink!
In nearly every instance, the player would state after the errant shot – “I knew I was going to do that!”
….Interesting!
Some of my regular readers may recall the articles I wrote on the mental side of the game where I asked you NOT to think of a pink elephant?

In this instance the player is certainly telling themselves, “Don’t go in the water!”

As I have previously explained the mind does not have an image for, nor understand the command, “Don’t!” Therefore, all you are really saying just before you play the shot is “Don’t go in the water!”

Therefore, you could conclude you are actually better than you give yourself credit for as you acted out your thoughts!

Be careful what you say to yourself, try to focus on what you would like to do and accept that there are many bad results that you don’t want.

I am delighted to report that all of the golfers that came to Portugal with me want to return again next year so the dates are already in the diary. If you are interested in joining in then please contact me at the golf centre or click here if you are a woman looking to get involved.

TAKE A LOOK AT MORE OF THE PHOTOS BY SELECTING AND SCROLLING THROUGH THE IMAGES BELOW

Kris sets his sights on 2018 success

Kris Nicol has had a good 2017 season with the highlight winning the Scottish Young Professional’s Championship at West Lothian in July.

However, like all golfers, he wants to make 2018 even better and the planning for that starts now.

Despite the 2017 golf season only just coming to an end, now is time to reflect on areas that were good but also the parts of the game that could be improved upon.

Kris sat down with me last week and we went through his whole game and identified the key areas for development.

We created a plan.

1.Full Swing – Less curvature on the ball flight.

Kris wants to neutralise his ball flight, in other words – play with less curvature so his misses are less destructive.

The technology in the golf studio at Dunes allows us to measure exactly how he delivers the club to the ball and, whilst he is consistent, he has a club path through the ball that is more to the right of the target (in to out) than he would like and with a clubface that gets too closed (aiming left of this path). This combination leads to too much right to left curvature and a ball that finishes left, also a tendency to ‘block’ the ball straight right on occasions.

Kris gets the clubhead too closed in the backswing, a position that shows the clubface looking too much down to the ground in his takeaway.

He also feels, especially when the tournament is on the line, that he loses his rhythm too easily.

I watched him hit some shots and listened to his feedback carefully.

We identified the backswing, as well as getting the club closed, is in two pieces and needs to be smoother to help with his rhythm.

Using the video feedback we could see that at halfway back the right elbow was too straight and the clubface was looking down to the ground.

“I’ve now got a feeling of flowing back letting my right elbow fold in more and a sense that the club is opening up. I’m not transfixed on a certain position but a feeling of an overall flow.” Stated Kris.

2.Wedge Play
We could all do to improve our wedge play and at the level Kris is performing, this is the area of the game he needs to be razor sharp at.

His bad shot was a weak shot to the right caused by a path that was too much to the right (like his full shots described above) and an angle of attack on the ball that is too shallow.

Kris fixed this with a simple feeling of swinging the club left of target whilst holding the clubface square. I helped Kris come up with his own solution by asking him to try to move the ball from left to right in to the green, the opposite of what he currently does.

As a result, the swing path was straighter (not left – which is what he was feeling) and his angle of attack was steeper meaning he could compress the ball against the clubface better, create more spin and have much better control on the distance of his wedge shots.

Have you created a plan to make 2018 your best ever golfing season?
Book the initial lesson experience with one of our 3 PGA Professional’s to start the journey to your greatest golf.

For as little as £20.00, the thorough 60-minute assessment is completely personalised to your standard and therefore suitable for everyone.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK AVAILABILITY AND BOOK ONLINE

We are experts at diagnosing the technical and mental aspects of a golfer, whether beginner or tournament professional.

We shall be totally honest with our assessment on how we can help you. After 60 minutes, you will be presented with a suggested plan of improvement, showing you the key areas of your technique and game that need improving to fulfil your potential and goals.

The decision to have lessons following the assessment is totally up to you; you are under no obligation.

The initial lesson is available 7 days a week from 10am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on a Saturday and Sunday.

Three ways to book; In store, over the phone 01346 510693 or online at www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/bookalesson/

Matthew wins 1st Junior Event

Matthew Cardno won the inaugural weekly Dunes Junior Event on Saturday 7th October with a score of 59 for the 18 holes.

Matthew Cardno receiving his medal from PGA Pro – Sam Griffiths

These new events take place over the Short Game Zone at Dunes every Saturday afternoon at 2.30pm and are designed to provide youngsters with an opportunity to play competitively against each other in a safe environment.

“I am hoping to see as many kids as possible playing these events at Dunes. Having some friendly competition is good thing and the little course we have here is perfect for kids of all ages to take part. It’s ideal for parents to bring their children along as they can see how the kids are getting on without having to walk out on to a big course, and they can get a coffee and fine piece from the café while the kids are playing!” Stated PGA Professional, Peter Myers.

Entry is free of charge and they are open to all kids aged 16 years and under. Just turn up at the golf centre ready to play for 2.30pm and you will be paired up with other players.

Congratulations to Matthew!  However, it’s not all about winning, we encourage each child to do their best and to be aiming to better their previous lowest score.

Conditions of entry: 16 years and under on the date of entry, players aged 8 and under must be accompanied by at least one adult. All competitors must abide by our Safe, Sensible and Fair policy.

If you would like to know more, or have any questions contact the Dunes Golf Centre Team on 01346 510693 or email on dunesgolfcentre@outlook.co.uk

The Short Game Zone at Dunes is a first class facility for you to practise, have fun and improve your skills.  

The 9 hole chip ‘n’ putt course has been carefully designed by PGA Professionals to provide a challenge for all skill levels….

In the words of Dave Pelz, short game coach to the World’s top players…
“If you want to score, the most important “game” to improve is your short game. Second most important is your putting game. And the least important is your power-swing, ball striking game, the game you’ve been practicing all these years!

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TOLD TO ‘KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN’?

Why this is the biggest myth in golf…

Every week I hear amateur golfers telling each other that the cause of the bad shot they just hit was because they lifted their head.

This is usually followed by the instruction “KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN!”

I even have pupils tell me after a bad shot in a lesson that they ‘knew’ what went wrong there… “I lifted my head!”

I often show the pupil the video back and prove to them that they did not lift their head and in actual fact, the thought keeping their head down was one of the main causes of the bad shot.

This SHOCK news is often hard to take on board, so ingrained is this thought in the mind of the amateur golfer. In fact, this swing advice seems the fix for pretty much every bad shot.

Let me help you now…GET RID OF THE THOUGHT ‘KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN!’ It will be one of the best things you do for your golf game, AND your physical health!

In over 20 years as a PGA golf coach I can tell you how many times someone lifting their head was the cause of a bad shot – NOT ONCE!

Most advanced level players understand that keeping the head down is some what undesired and once they have hit the shot they allow the head to release freely.

An inhibited head movement in the follow through restricts shoulder rotation, weight transfer and then ultimately club path through impact. It will also effect the release of the forearms and club head.

Worse still, it putts extra strain on your back and neck and, if you were to rotate effectively through impact and keep you head ‘down’ at the same time, you would rupture the top of your spine!

Annika Sorenstam – A great example of head movement

Keeping your head down also effects your starting posture. The spine becomes curved and with the chin tucked in to your chest you cannot turn properly and build up power. In many cases keeping the head down like this actually causes the body to lift in the backswing as the shoulder pushes the chin up.

Jim Mclean and Hank Haney are two of the Worlds’ top coaches and here is what they have to say:

“Many top players never see the ball at impact or even in the downswing. Players that do this include – Annika Sorenstam, David Duval, Jim Furyk, Steve Elkington and Paul Azinger. You must almost consciously look up at the target quickly after impact or risk hanging on the right side too long and restricting the movement of the body.”
Jim McLean

”I worked with Tiger to look up very quickly almost before he hit the shot like David Duval and Annika Sorenstam. Releasing the head early really helps to stop the body from working underneath and back in the downswing.”
Hank Haney (Excerpt from The Big Miss)

I hear so many well intentioned parents, grandparents, husbands, friends and so on telling the new golfer to ‘keep their head down’.

I cringe when I hear this as I know what damage it does to a potentially good golf swing. So, please stop giving out this terrible advice and start letting yourself and your fellow golfers develop a swing that flows through to face the target, just like all good players do!

STOP TELLING EACH OTHER TO KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN – PLEASE!

You could argue that there are many top players who are still looking at the ground where the ball was after impact but I can tell you that this is not a conscious effort. You will see that the head is free to rotate with the body thus allowing the swing to sequence better, creating more power and greater accuracy.

Next time you go to the range – give it a go for yourself and experience the freedom of movement and extra power you can create.