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!


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.



How to improve your scores…

Improve your scores – guaranteed!
Your ability to score is significantly influenced by your ability to minimise the number of putts per round.
But it is not simply a case of going out there and practicing your putting!

Did you know?…The leading money winner on the PGA Tour (Dustin Johnson) last year only made 58.87% from the 5-10 foot range. Bubba Watson only made 46.09%.

If any amateur golfer can average over 50% over the course of a season from this critical scoring range, I would very much like to meet them!

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!”

Here is why…
Dave Pelz places the short game (this is chipping and pitching) above putting because all the stats show that how close you hit it to the hole has a significant impact upon how many putts you take.

Take a look at the 2016 season putting stats from current World Number One, Dustin Johnson.

Notice how the percentage success rate from outside 10ft drops off a cliff. Outside of 15ft Dustin doesn’t make many putts at all!

This means all golfers will benefit hugely by hitting the ball closer to the hole from 110 yards and in.

Practice is not just about hitting ball after ball and spending a lot of time at it – in fact it is entirely not that! Good practice is about being deliberate with what you are doing and to make practice more like your play.

We have developed some superb practice games that will guarantee you lower scores on the course. The first of these is called ‘Target Pitching’.

Very simply, you play 5 balls from 20 yards and score points depending how close to the hole you finish. This is repeated at 10 yard intervals right out to 110 yards. Important: We highly recommend using your normal ‘match’ balls for this game as we do not want to create extra variables by changing the ball type. So, if you normally play a Titleist ProV1 make sure you have five, in good condition, for this game.

Add up your score total on the score sheet provided and each time you play you should try to beat your best ever score.
You can only play the game once in a day and, if you start-off badly, you are not allowed to start again!

A more advanced way to play the game is to play with just one ball from each distance and to randomise the order in which you play each shot. This makes it even more like your play!

The Golf Studio at Dunes provides highly accurate distance information and is ideal for playing this game and it means you can use a brand new ball as you can get it back each time.

Wedge Fitting at Dunes Golf Centre

Over the last 15-20 years the manufacturers have strengthened the lofts on Iron sets meaning the Pitching Wedge has strengthened from 52° to 45°. In fact, the Pitching Wedge on one new set of Irons is 44°. That is a three club length gap to the Sand Wedge.

No wonder we haven’t seen a drop in scores despite the longer tee shots. With a gap between the Pitching Wedge and Sand Wedge (which they couldn’t strengthen as we needed that loft to get out of bunkers) extended to 11°, in the scoring zone you are effectively playing with a Sand Wedge and 8 Iron!

If you want a better short game, as a minimum you must do the following: get very good at playing 1/2, 5/8 or 3/4 and 7/8 Pitching Wedge shots and, as I would also recommend, you put a 50 or 52° Wedge in your bag.
This Wedge (the ‘Gap’ Wedge to fill the gap the manufacturer’s have created between the PW and SW) will make it much easier for you to play better shots into greens.


I currently carry 3 wedges; They are a 48° wedge, a 52° Gap wedge and a 56° Sand wedge. I feel this gives me the versatility around the greens that I require although the inclusion of a 60° Lob wedge could also prove beneficial.

We are a Custom Fitting Centre for Cleveland Golf with a cart that carries all of the different heads and shaft combinations. We also have fitting clubs that you can try from Callaway, TaylorMade, Ping, Mizuno and Orka.

What wedges do you carry?
We have a loft and lie machine and will gladly check your loft gaps FREE of charge! It only takes us a few minutes to do by using our special Loft and Lie machine. We can also talk to you about what distance gaps you have in your set as well as what bounce angles would suit you best – are you a Digger or a Sweeper?

If you want to make 2017 your best and most enjoyable year on a golf course we suggest you come for an assessment lesson at Dunes Golf Centre. It is open to golfers of all ages and levels of ability and is a fantastic learning experience costing from just £20 for the 60 minute session.

Telephone 01346 510693 to book or go to

We are pleased to announce that the Golf Centre is back on Summer opening hours so we are now 7 days a week:
Monday to Friday 10am to 8pm
Saturday 9am to 4pm
Sunday 10am to 4pm

Please note: The café is not going to be open on a Sunday until April 2017


It’s never too late to get golfing!

It’s never too late to get golfing!
And you may live longer by doing so..

We want to get more and more people playing golf and one of the many good things about our game is you can play and have fun no matter what your age!

In fact; it’s never too late to start

One of the members at my old club, Hainsworth Park in East Yorkshire, didn’t take up the game until the age of 67. He was walking round the course three times a week pretty much right up to the day he died, aged 95!

In his own words; golf gave him a new lease of life and something to really get into following retirement.

People who play golf live longer, a major study has found, as it shows the game helps prevent 40 major chronic diseases!

Researchers reviewed 5,000 studies into golf and wellbeing and found the sport has physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages and can even increase life expectancy by five years.

Balance and muscle endurance in older people are improved by playing golf and it is also likely to improve cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic health.

Researchers said golf demonstrates a wide variety of health benefits for people of all ages.

Golfing could also help those who suffer chronic diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer and stroke, as well as helping reduce the risk of anxiety, depression and dementia, researchers found.

Lead researcher Dr Andrew Murray, from the physical activity for health research centre at the University of Edinburgh, said: “Evidence suggests golfers live longer than non-golfers, enjoying improvements in cholesterol levels, body composition, wellness, self-esteem and self-worth.

“Given that the sport can be played by the very young to the very old, this demonstrates a wide variety of health benefits for people of all ages.”

One study in Sweden found regular golfers lived an average of five years longer than non-golfers.

So, what are you waiting for?
Get yourself golfing today!

Pensioners Special at Dunes Golf Centre

We have come up with a great deal for all you pensioners out there.
Come along to Dunes on a Tuesday and/or Wednesday in March (Starting on Wednesday 1st March)

You will get….

  • 50 range balls
  • Free club hire (if needed)
  • PGA Professional Golf Coach on hand (when available)

followed by…

  • Bacon or Sausage Roll
  • Cup of Tea or Coffee

Every Tuesday and Wednesday in March at 10am
Starting on Wednesday 1st March

ONLY £5.00

The sessions are suitable for new and existing golfers and we hope for them to become a fun and social experience as well as an opportunity to brush up on your golfing skills.

Choose whatever area of your game you want to get better at:

More distance from the tee, more accurate iron play, chipping, bunker play, or putting. One of our PGA Professional golf team will be on hand to offer you some tips to help you enjoy your golf even more.

Then enjoy a bacon or sausage roll with a warming cup of tea or coffee in our cosy and friendly café.

No need to book just turn up and say ‘I’m here for the Pensioners Golf Special’