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.

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