Have you ever been told to keep your head down?


Why this is the biggest myth in golf…

I find myself compelled to repeat this message every year as part of my mission to help people play better, more enjoyable golf, and in this case…to save them from injury to.

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!

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.

Annika Sorenstam – certainly not ‘keeping’ her head down

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!

Look at the head position of all of these top golf pro’s when they are at or around impact

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.

Find out what you need to do differently to improve any aspect of your game…

If you want to unlock your potential simply book an initial lesson with at Dunes Golf Centre for just £30.00. Call 01346 510693 or go to www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/bookalesson 

Lessons are available 7 days a week 10am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm at a weekend.

FREE FITTINGS IN MARCH AT DUNES

SPECIAL OFFER – SAVE £30!
Get a FREE fitting from one of our expert club fitters during the month of March with this special promotional code ‘MARCH19
Simply go the website – click the button to book and then enter the code in the Redeem Coupon section to get your £30 discount

Book online at www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/custom-fitting/ or call 01346 510693 and quote the code above.

Kris Nicol Shares His Secrets to Better Golf

Golf lessons in Fraserbrugh with PGA Professional Kris Niclol

Many of you will have heard of him but for those that don’t know, Kris Nicol is one of the PGA Golf Professionals at Dunes Golf Centre in Fraserburgh.

He is fast gaining a reputation as one of the top golf coaches in the North East as well as retaining his status as one of the regions best players (he turned pro off a handicap of plus five!)

Victories in three North East Alliance fixtures on the trot in February this year have proven that, despite a shift of focus to coaching the game, he still has what it takes to shoot a low score.

There is no doubt that Kris still wants to make it as a Tour player and at Dunes we are working with him to help make this dream a reality.

In the mean-time though he is certainly enjoying helping the local golfers discover how to play better as he shares his wisdom in a series group and individual golf classes.

“Kris helped me a lot and he made it easy for me to understand. I was really impressed, I will be back for more and can’t speak highly enough about him. Thanks Kris I be passing it on to my friends as well!” Alan Lobaczewski

If you want to realise your golfing potential then book a one to one lesson with Kris and let him guide you to your best golf.

The Initial 1 hour lesson is on offer at just £30.00 during which you will be given a plan of improvement based very much on your individual needs and capabilities.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ONE TO ONE LESSONS AND TO BOOK

“I love helping other people to play better golf. I think it helps that I have played to quite a high level and can share my experiences and the things I have learned on the way. I enjoy the variety teaching golf brings; from teaching a fellow professional to a complete beginner.” Kris Nicol

Alternatively, you could join one of Kris’ popular group classes. There are currently 3 diarised that are starting in the next few weeks so don’t delay – book your space today as room on the classes is very limited.

The Short Game Masterclass
This class has proven hugely popular since it launched last year with dozens of local golfers having already benefitted from attending.

Most shots from amateur golfers are wasted from within 100 yards of the green and in this class you will discover the secrets to better wedge play so you can shoot lower scores.

What you will learn…

Session 1: Saturday 9th March 2.30pm to 4.00pm
Technique/Low Point of swing & and assessment of your current wedge setup

Session 2: Saturday 16th March 2.30pm to 4.00pm
Trajectory control; Using the bounce vs leading edge of the club

Session 3: Saturday 23rd March 2.30pm to 4.00pm
Dial in your distances on the launch monitor and how to practice like a Tour Pro

Suitable for golfers of all levels from Scratch Hcp to relative beginner!
All for only £60.00 Maximum number of students = 8
Spaces available on a 1st come 1st served basis
Price includes all 3 coaching sessions, all range balls and course materials 

CLICK HERE TO BOOK A SPACE ON THE SHORT GAME MASTERCLASS

The Putting Masterclass
A new programme for 2019 in which Kris will share his years of gained wisdom and insights in to how you can improve your performance on the greens.

What you will learn…

Session 1: Sunday 10th March 10am to 11.30am
Individual Technique Assessment
Kris will watch what you do, work with what you have got and highlight to you the key area for you to practice to become the best putter you can be.

Session 2: Sunday 17th March 10am to 11.30am
Holing out and distance control
Discover the techniques and strategies used by the best putters in the World to get the ball in the hole!

Session 3: Sunday 24th March 10am to 11.30am 
Practice drills and games
The key to productive putting practice is to create routines, which have an element of competition. This way you keep your mind and your method sharp so that when you come to the first green your practice drill is fresh in your mind.

Maximum number of students = 8
Spaces available on a 1st come 1st served basis
Price includes all 3 coaching sessions and course materials

CLICK HERE TO BOOK A SPACE ON THE PUTTING MASTERCLASS

The Monday Night Golf School
This group class is back again and is a great way for you to learn all aspects of the game in a relaxed and social environment. It is for any golfers who want to improve and even for those who want start playing the game for the first time.

Perhaps you have come to the end of your football playing days and are looking for a sport that you can continue to play and be competitive at into older age?  

Or, maybe you are looking for something to do when you are home from working offshore, or to just spend some quality time with friends or family?  

Whatever your reasons; we have created the perfect opportunity for ages 18 to 80 to start golfing or improve on their existing abilities at Dunes Golf Centre. 

You do not need any previous experience or equipment and you will learn from a PGA Professional who will guide you through the basics to get you out playing in no time at all.  

You will receive 6 hours of coaching over 4 sessions.

Course Run…
Monday 4th March 18:30 to 20:00 Lesson 1
Monday 11th March 18:30 to 20:00 Lesson 2
Monday 18th March 18:30 to 20:00 Lesson 3
Monday 25th March 18:30 to 20:00 Lesson 4
Total cost for all the sessions, including balls and club hire is £70.00

CLICK HERE TO BOOK A SPACE ON THE MONDAY NIGHT GOLF SCHOOL

New Drivers for 2019 in the spotlight

The big boys are flexing their muscles as most of golf’s premium manufacturers are releasing new products right now.

In this feature I am focusing on the best new drivers that have just come out or about to be launched. So, if you are thinking of buying a new big stick then read on….

Taylormade M5 & M6

First up is the new M5 and M6 drivers from Taylormade that follow on from the hugely successful M1/M2 and M3/M4 franchises of the last couple of years.

The big story here is that TaylorMade are revolutionising the process of creating driver faces for the M5 and M6 by starting above the legal limit and dialling it back by injecting resin in to two ‘tuning slots’ in the driver face. This is called ‘Speed Injecting’ and ensures that every driver is on the limit thanks to an algorithm which calculates the right amount of resin to use for every face.

In 1998 driver face flex was limited by the R&A to stop how far golfers hit the ball but it has been impossible to produce drivers which consistently hit the limit of 0.830 COR.

What that means is that all drivers have a different level of ‘hotness’, and while it ensures no ‘hot’ drivers go on to the illegal side, it also means many golfers end up playing with drivers which aren’t as close to the limit as they could be. The ‘hottest’ drivers are hand-picked for tour players, leaving TaylorMade estimating around 70% of retail drivers are outside the ‘hot range’ usually used by pros.

TaylorMade state that the production methods in the past have made picking the hottest driver for club golfers nothing more than just pure luck.

In the M5 and M6 they are removing the luck element due to the fact the Speed Injected technology will position every driver face right on the edge of the rules.

Available for fitting: Now
Release Date: 15th February 2019
Dunes Price: M5 £449.00, M6 £399.00

Callaway Epic Flash

Two years ago Callaway launched the Epic driver that featured Jailbreak Technology and this was a huge success. Last year they improved it further still by enhancing the jailbreak in their Rogue product line.

This year Jailbreak remains but the big news is the brand new Flash Face…

Flash Face’s sophisticated architecture was created by Artificial Intelligence – the first known instance of using A.I.in the golf equipment industry — and “Machine Learning,” a field of computer science that uses statistical techniques to give computer systems the ability to “learn” with data without being explicitly programmed. 

Through Machine Learning the Callaway computers cycled through 15,000 face iterations, learning from each one, before arriving at Flash Face

In normal driver testing approximately 6 different prototypes are used so given A.I was able to pick the best from 15000 it will be very interesting to see how the new Callaway Epic Flash performs.

Available for fitting: Now
Release Date: 15th February 2019
Dunes Price: £449.00

Ping G410

The G410 PLUS’ big feature is that it is the first time Ping have added an adjustable tungsten weight for draw or fade bias.

Ping are often later to the party when it comes to things like this but only because they ensure that new design features offer a real benefit to the golfer without severely compromising another area of performance.

The three positions (draw, neutral, fade) shift the CG location by 1/10″ in either direction, which equates to approximately 10 yards — or 20 yards of correction between draw and fade settings — of shot shape.

The SFtec version features a weight 50% further towards the heel than the G400 Sftec version so if you slice the ball then this club will probably be the best on the market in 2019 for you to help straighten the shot out.

Ping say the G410 driver will be better than its predecessors through four ‘Fs’.
It’s Faster, more Forgiving, has a better Feel and can be Fitted better.

It’s faster through the air due to improved aerodynamics and more efficient turbulators
They’ve been able to drag the weight right to the perimeter to keep the MOI (resistance to twisting) as high, if not higher, than anything else on the market so it’s super forgiving. Better fitting is also possible through the loft sleeve which has eight positions with +/- 1.5˚.

Finally, and this is a good one for the North East of Scotland, they’ve made the headcover 20% heavier to make sure it doesn’t blow away in the wind!

Available for fitting: 7th February 2019 (come along to our free of charge demo day on 7th February 3pm to 7pm)
Release Date: 21st March 2019 7th March 2019
Dunes Price: £379.00

Mizuno ST190 and ST190G

Mizuno have struggled to compete in the driver market for some years despite their dominance in the forged iron market. However, that may be about to change as all the online reviews of their 2019 models show that they could be their best yet!

The ST190 drivers offer Mizuno’s lowest spin rates and incorporate every known factor in the quest to enhance ball speed and driving distance. Mizuno’s ultra-fast Forged SP700 Ti face now boasts a lighter CORTECH structure to deliver consistently higher ball speeds, with a large carbon composite crown plus the Amplified Wave soleplate, introduced in last year’s ST180 drivers, helping to convert each additional mph into extra yards.

The ST190 is designed for mid to low spin with maximum stability, and features a single, factory-fixed 6g backweight that increases MOI for added stability on off-centre strikes

The ST190G is engineered for low spin and offers Fast Track adjustability thanks to twin 7g weights on external tracks that can reduce spin by an additional 200rpm, allowing players to achieve heavy fade or draw biases by placing the weights in one track.

Available for fitting: 11th February 2019
Release Date: 11th February 2019
Dunes Price: ST190 £369.00, ST190G £399.00

The importance of fitting…

No matter which driver you like the sound of, the single most important thing, if you are looking for the best performance, is to get fitted by an expert using a launch monitor.

Our PGA staff at Dunes are highly trained and lead the way in Custom Fitting in the North East of Scotland. The technology in the studio is the best in the World for fitting as the data provides accurate feedback so you and the PGA fitter can see the difference between each option that you try.

Book your custom fit appointment online now at www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/custom-fitting or telephone 01346 510693

Price match promise
We have set our stall out to be THE place for you to buy all your golf equipment. Our well stocked shop, knowledgeable PGA staff and highly competitive pricing all backed up by a caring after sales service mean we so no reason why you should buy elsewhere.

We want your feedback….

A couple of years ago we ran a challenge to see which of the new drivers you liked the best. It was so successful that we are going to run it again. However, we do not just want the big hitters to come along. We would like golfers of all ages and abilities, male and female to come and give the latest models a try.

You will be asked to rate each driver on looks, sound, feel and performance. There is no charge for the event and certainly no obligation to buy anything – we just want your feedback.

DRIVER CHALLENGE – FRIDAY 22nd FEBRUARY
Book your time slot online at www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/driverchallenge

Kris ‘The Power’ Crowned Champion

On Friday 7th December we held our staff Long Drive Competition at Dunes to see which of the five golf team members would be able to hit the ball the longest.

In the warm up round it was me, the old man of the field, that cranked up the most yards with a hit to 348 but unfortunately it wasn’tallowed to count!

It wouldn’t have mattered anyway because in the proper event Kris ‘The Power’ Nicol managed to get one out there to 354 yards – and on his first ball too!

Sam ‘The Bomb’ Griffiths finished second with 346 and I ended up in third on 340 yards. Declan ‘The Destroyer’ just couldn’t get one of his long drives on the fairway and was disappointed with his 332 yards to finish in fourth.

The competition was played as four rounds of three balls with the overall longest winning. For a drive to count it had to land and finish on the fairway.

The main reason for this event was for a bit for fun amongst the staff but we also noticed some interesting data coming from our launch monitor. If you study the images here of data from the top three drives, I have highlighted the Swing Speed and the Angle of Attack on the ball.

You will see, quite amazingly, that although Kris had the longest drive, he also had the slowest swing speed of the three. In fact, I had the fastest swing speed and, given that we all had similar strike locations on the club, it means that Angle of Attack is the key factor.

If you look at the data for that parameter you will see that Kris delivers the club 8.8 degrees up on the ball compared to my lowly 2.0 degrees up. Sam managed 5.9 up.

If you look at the data from the World Long Drive tournaments you will see that they are also quite a lot ‘up’ on the ball, around the same sort of numbers that Kris is achieving.

So, if you want to hit longer tee shots you should aim to hit more up on the ball.

The easiest way to do that is to position the ball further forward in your stance (more towards the target).

Drill: Place an empty golf ball box or empty plastic water bottle about a foot in front of the ball on the target side and aim to miss it as you follow through. This is a great external focus drill to encourage the desired sweep up for distance. I will certainly be doing this ahead of the rematch next year!

Oh, and one more thing – if you really want to hit it further – hit it harder!!

If you would like to discover what your driving stats are then book a lesson at Dunes Golf Centre with one of our PGA Professionals. The initial one-hour appointment is just £30.00 and can be booked online at www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/bookalesson

Lessons also make a superb Christmas Gift for a loved one. You can buy and print vouchers at our online store or call in to Dunes for one.http://www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/giftvouchers


NORTH EAST SCOTLAND LONG DRIVE COMPETITION –FOR ALL THE FAMILY
This is your chance to see how far you can hit it and you get your first threeballs completely free of charge! 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 21stDecember!

Dunes for Christmas
Don’t forget Dunes is open 7 days a week for all your golfing needs.

Monday to Friday 10am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm

The cafe closes at 4pm on Saturday 22nd December
The shop closes at 4pm on Monday 24th December
Everything re opens again as normal on Friday 4th January.

Family Christmas Fair

Saturday 22nd December 11am to 3pm at Dunes Golf Centre

I read somewhere this week that ‘Sitting’ is the new equivalent of smoking!

So, when South Park School in Fraserburgh recently sent me a letter asking if we as a business could support their project for a new outdoor kids play and activity area I was delighted to help out.

Much research has proven that academic ability is closely linked to fundamental movement skills, so it’s not a case of just going out to play and not learning anything… healthy bodies lead to healthy minds and it’s imperative that we encourage and provide opportunities for our children to play actively.

As such we are holding a fund-raising Christmas Fair at Dunes Golf Centre to which you are and all of your family are invited.

CHRISTMAS FAIR – SATURDAY 22ND DECEMBER 11AM TO 3PM

We’ve got golf games, face painting, tombola and a chocolate raffle!

Suitable for ages 2 to 102. You do not need any experience or equipment as all this will be provided for no extra charge. Our Christmas Fair open to everyone, not just the families of South Park school pupils.

Golf Games on the range
Chip through the hoop
Score a goal
Hit Santa
Putting Challenge
Bullseye Target
£5 per player for as many goes as you want

Golf Studio Games
Nearest Pin will be held at the following times:
11.00am to 11.30am
12.00pm to 12.30pm
1.00pm to 1.30pm
2.00pm to 2.30pm
£1 per go
£50 voucher for the winner

Smashing Windows will be held at the following times:
11.30am to 12.00pm
12.30pm to 1.00pm
1.30pm to 2.00pm
2.30pm to 3.00pm
£1 for 3 goes
Prize if you smash a window

We also have:
Face painting
A Chocolate Tombola
Instant Win Raffle

Note: We are looking for prizes for the raffle. If you have something, no matter how small, please drop it off at South Park school or Dunes Golf Centre between now and Friday 21st December.

Dunes for Christmas
Don’t forget Dunes is open 7 days a week for all your golfing needs.
Monday to Friday 10am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm
The cafe closes at 4pm on Saturday 22nd December
The shop closes at 4pm on Monday 24th December
Everything re opens again as normal on Friday 4th January.

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 Teaching Professional’s is just £30.00 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 fourth annual North East Scotland Long Drive Championship on Friday 21st December 2018.

Previous winners:

Men 2015: James Ritchie 343.84 yards
Men 2016: James Ritchie 359.25 yards
Men 2017: James Ritchie 365.77 yards
Women 2015: Lyn Morrice 170.00 yards
Women 2016: Georgia Cardno 175.00 yards
Women 2017: Emma Hadden 203.00 yards
Juniors (11-14) 2015: Alex Ritchie 219.00 yards
Juniors (11-14) 2016: Alex Ritchie 255.00 yards
Juniors (11-14) 2017: Alex Ritchie 293.00 yards
Juniors (Under 11) 2015: Charlie Buchan 125.00 yards
Juniors (Under 11) 2016: Liam McBeath 159.00 yards
Juniors (Under 11) 2017: Billy Myers 147.00 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 21st December!

Dunes is your one stop shop for the golfer in your life when it comes to Christmas gifts. Open late all through the week, come in and speak to one of our friendly staff who will gladly assist you.

Opening Hours:
Monday 10am to 8pm
Tuesday 10am to 8pm
Wednesday 10am to 8pm
Thursday 10am to 8pm
Friday 10am to 8pm
Saturday 10am to 4pm
Sunday 10am to 4pm

CLICK HERE TO GO TO OUR ONLINE GIFT VOUCHER SHOP

Your 2019 season starts now…

Yes, the 2018 season has only just finished but if you want to make 2019 your best year ever than you should start taking steps in the right direction today!

What type of winter golf practice are you going to embark upon in readiness for next season?

Important Note: Putting the clubs away and dusting them off in the Spring is a sure-fire way to get off to a slow start!

If you have kept statistics for your golf this past season, now is the time to review them so you can set a plan to improve your game this winter.

  • Hitting a low percentage of fairways?
  • Having trouble finding greens in regulation?
  • Missing too many short putts?

Your stats will tell the tale, and let you know what areas to focus on as you practice.

If you haven’t kept detailed statistics simply look back and reflect upon your strengths and weaknesses. Identify where you feel the biggest improvements need to come from and spend some time working on those areas.

This is the time when I discuss with my clients a winter plan which will involve fewer playing rounds with increased technical work on specific aspects of the game.

This usually involves a greater focus on blocked practice as opposed to randomised practice.

So, what is the difference?
Have you ever noticed that you hit the golf ball great on the driving range, but when you go to the golf course, it’s the complete opposite – just terrible?

Why is that?
A customer at the range commented to me as they were leaving recently.. “When I’m at the driving range I hit the ball great; but when I go to the golf course, I really struggle to repeat what I was doing on the driving range.”

First, let me tell you about blocked practice.

Blocked practice should be used when changing a certain part of your swing or when trying to learn a new movement.

This would be when you have a large bucket of balls and you hit all of them to the exact same target with the exact same club.  

You aren’t really working on your routine or doing much visualisation.

Instead, you are trying to get a feel for the new swing and get comfortable with it.

For many of you this is exactly where you will need to start you winter practice plan if technical flaws have caused problems with your consistency this season. 

Once the new move feels natural and you are not thinking about the swing as much, that’s when you would move onto random practice.

Random practice is completely different than blocked practice.

In random practice, you are never hitting the same shot twice.

An example of this is when you are going to practice hitting a 7-iron to one target, a 4-iron to a different target, and a pitching wedge to another target. This forms the basis of our 54 ball driving range practice game (Game sheets are available free of charge – just ask at the counter when you get your range balls)

The ideal goal in random practice is to simulate on the driving range what you will be doing on the golf course.

Random practice is used once you feel you comfortable with a swing change.

You are not standing over the ball thinking about it. It’s automatic.

Studies have shown…

People who use blocked practice typically have better practice sessions in that they are much more confident and happy when they leave the driving range.

This is largely because they have successfully hit the same shot over and over again.

The one downside to these “better” blocked practice sessions is that when they take it to the golf course, their performance is not as good as those people who employed random practice.

Generally, people who use random practice typically leave the range saying, “Oh, I hit it just OK.” However, when they go to the golf course, their performance ends up being much better than those who used blocked practice.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I want to play better on the course!

Here is a good analogy for you…
If you ask someone, what is 6 plus 9, for a split second they have to think about it, calculate it, and hopefully give you an answer of fifteen. If you immediately asked them the same question again, they have to think even less because they already ‘know’ the answer. Then if you continue to ask them the same question they won’t have to think at all about solving the problem, they already know the answer.

This is what happens with blocked practice: You hit two or three 7-irons in a row and groove a swing pretty quickly; consequently, you stop testing and challenging yourself – you go ahead and continue to hit ball after ball.

What is happening here is that you are not challenging yourselves enough in practice and you actually stop learning.

Therefore, when you go to the golf course it’s a lot more difficult because you have not practiced effectively.

I’ll leave you with a final thought: The most important thing to remember when practicing is to always be learning and challenging yourself.

You want to make your practice as difficult as possible, so that when you go to the golf course, you’ll be ready.

Make 2019 your best ever season…

To highlight the technical aspects of your swing that you need to change over the winter, and to improve the quality and productivity of your practice sessions then get in touch with us.

The 1 hour initial lesson with one of our PGA Professionals is just £30 and is a complete game analysis using industry leading technology in The Golf Studio at Dunes. We use a GC2 with HMT that provides us with highly accurate ball flight and clubhead data as well as C-Swing video analysis so we can show you exactly what you are doing.

Telephone 01346 510693 or use our new online lesson booking system at www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/bookalesson

Dunes Golf Centre is open Monday to Friday 10am to 8pm, Saturday 10am to 4pm and Sunday 12pm to 4pm.

Declan makes it 4 PGA Pro’s at Dunes

It’s just over 3 years since I re-opened the doors to Dunes Golf Centre with my wife Emma and son Billy.

In that time we have worked hard to turn a former failed business in to something that is proving to be highly successful…..so successful in fact that we are needing to recruit more golf staff!

As a PGA Professional for over 20 years I know how valuable my PGA training has been to me and my two assistants, Sam Griffiths and Kris Nicol, who are now in their final year of their training with both of them developing a great reputation for their coaching and club fitting abilities.

The PGA is the leading association in the World for training all different aspects of golf, including teaching, retail, rules and business management.

I am delighted to announce that we have just taken on our latest member of the PGA team at Dunes as Declan Addison from Peterhead has joined us, meaning there will now be four PGA members serving you at the centre.

PGA Pro’s: Peter Myers and Declan Addison

Declan was playing off 2 handicap but has just lost his amateur status having turned pro last week and is about to start his three year PGA training programme.

“I am really looking forward to this fantastic opportunity, working with Peter and the rest of the Dunes staff will Provide me with all the key information I will need to be successful in the PGA programme,” stated Declan…

“Before starting at Dunes, I spent my summer caddying at Cruden Bay golf club after returning from America. I recently graduated with a BA in Business and Organizational Leadership from Brevard College NC. I played on the golf team for Brevard where I learned to develop my own game. I hope to apply the skills I learned from my time at College to working at Dunes.

“My aspirations with the PGA programme is to help further the development of the next generation of golfers. Seeing young beginners grow and develop their skills makes is very satisfying and I want to do as much as I can to help make this happen. This applies to any age beginners, I believe it’s never too late to start and it’s great to see people taking the opportunity. Helping people enjoy the game is of the greatest importance and I want to do my part to help everyone do this.

“The PGA program is something I have been interested in doing for a while now so when I saw that Dunes was offering the position I did not hesitate to throw my name into the hat. I very much look forward to starting the programme and learning all the important information I will need to become a successful PGA professional.”

We are delighted to welcome Declan in to the team and we wish him the very best of luck.

Peter Myers (PGA Professional)

How is your golf season going?

Are you frustrated and under-performing?

There’s still time to salvage your season and stop the upward handicap trend. In most cases it’s because one part of your set up or swing has fallen out of position.

However, the problem is that it’s very difficult to be able to identify what part is off when you are trying to find the answers on your own.

Perhaps your ball position has crept too far forward (or back) in your stance which can cause problems with angle of attack on the ball as well as club path through impact.

Here is a handy guide for ball position…


Or, perhaps it’s the alignment of your body to the target? Mis-aligning is often the cause of bad swing technique, but it can also be a compensation for another fault.

Just like I am doing here, you too will be speculating as to the possible causes of your golfing woes!

We have all done it… you go on a merry go round of trying a new grip, a new posture or a new takeaway, desperately hoping to find the answer. You hit one good shot and think ‘that’s it!’ but follow it up with a bad shot and you think of something else.

Before you know it, you have layered up thought after thought and have tied yourself in knots! Add this to the advice that your amateur playing partners throw at you and you feel like giving it up!
Sound familiar?

It doesn’t have to be like this.

At Dunes Golf Centre we have three PGA Golf Coaches who have access to the Worlds leading technology, as well as years of experience and training to identify your fault and provide you the fix in the quickest and easiest possible way.


The initial 1-hour session allows time for the coach to get to know exactly what you are looking to achieve and better still, it’s currently on offer at half the normal 1-hour lesson rate.

Following the lesson, you will be sent notes via email and a video (if the coach feels it would be useful) so you can go play and practice with confidence that you are making the correct changes to your set up and/or swing technique.

So… stop stabbing in the dark and find out what you need to do to enjoy playing better golf again.

Booking is available directly on our website at www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/bookalesson/

Or telephone 01346 510693

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.