A lesson from Langer as DJ Masters Augusta

Dustin Johnson completed a very impressive performance at The Masters to win with a new record low score. And, whilst Bryson DeChambeau gained the pre-tournament headlines with how far he hits the ball, he failed to live up to the hype.

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Here is what he (DeChambeau) said before the tournament started…

“I’m looking at it as a par 67 for me because I can reach all the par fives in two, no problem. If the conditions stay the way they are, that’s what I feel like par is for me.”

But DeChambeau swiftly added: “That’s not me being big-headed. I can hit it as far as I want to, but it comes down to putting and chipping out here. That is one of the things I think people sometimes struggle to see.”

No player before this year had ever gone around Augusta in a total of 268 for four rounds.

The tournament record was 270 (-18) set by Tiger Woods in 1997 and matched by Jordan Spieth in 2015.

So, according to DeChambeau’s par rating; Dustin won with a score of level par, whereas Bryson finished on +18.

I don’t mean to take anything away from DeChambeau, I think he is great for the game. It’s wonderful to have such characters and to be honest, I enjoy seeing him push himself to hit the ball further and further. Tell me you wouldn’t go and watch him play if you had the chance?

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The distance game

It would be wrong to assume, based on the outcome of this Masters, that hitting the ball a long way is not so important. Dustin is very long too… just take a look at his ‘stock’ yardages as published recently by golf.tv in comparison to mine.

These are ‘carry’ distances and not total

All the more impressive is that Dustin is playing with a set of Taylormade P730 DJ Prototype irons, set at traditional lofts rather than the modern, stronger lofts, I have highlighted in the past.

His 7 iron is 35 degrees compared to a Callaway Mavrik Max 7 iron at 30 degrees.

There is no doubt that to compete on tour you need to hit the ball a long way these days.

Though don’t get me wrong it was great to see Bernard Langer become the oldest player to make the cut. The 1985 and 1993 Masters winner surpassed former record-holder Tommy Aaron by just over a month. Langer did it at 63 years, 2 months, 18 days old while Aaron was 63 years, 1 month, 16 days in 2000

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Cool stat….
In his Open Championship debut in 1976, Langer played with Gene Sarazen who was born in 1902. This week, he played with 18-year-old amateur Abel Gallegos, born in 2002, who missed the cut.

Langer is proof that it is not all about distance, but the truth is it would be highly unlikely, I’d say nearly impossible for Langer to win the event.

Having played with the big hitters of DeChambeau and McIlroy over the weekend, here is what Langer had to say…

“Every once in a while I had to tell myself, ‘Stop watching and play your game. Focus on what you want to do,’” Langer said. “I got to experience the longest guys in the world right now, and it’s quite amazing.”

And there is a lesson for all you golfers out there. You have to learn to play your own game, especially if you are playing with someone who hits it miles past you.

“Even though I’m bombing it by him, he’s still playing better than me,” DeChambeau said. “That’s the cool part about the game of golf. You can shoot a score whatever way you want, and he’s able to do it still at his age.”

DeChambeau added: “He’s an unbelievable iron player. He grinds over everything.”

Average Driving Distance at the Masters this year:
Bryson DeChambeau 328.88 yards
Rory McIlroy 314.75 yards
Dustin Johnson 306.5 yards
Bernhard Langer 259.62 yards

Summary…

It is not about how far you hit the ball but understanding your game and knowing how far you hit is extremely important.

Top tip…

Book a Gap Test on a launch monitor to get your distances with each club – this can be game-changing and is something you should do at least once a year.

Click here to check the next availability for a Gap Test at Dunes in Fraserburgh

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Stop Slicing Your Driver

Are you hitting big bananas?

How to fix your slice

For a right handed golfer, a slice is when the ball sets off and curves wildly to the right in the air to finish way off the intended target.

Watch the video to fix your slice

Why do I slice the ball?

First, let’s get an understanding of what is happening when you slice the ball. This is fairly simple…

The clubface is open relative to the direction (path) in which the clubhead is swinging.

So, if the clubface is looking directly at your target at impact but it is swinging in a direction to the left of the target – the ball will slice.

You could have a clubface that is actually closed (aiming left) of the target at impact and still slice the ball so long as the swing direction is sufficiently left of where the clubface is aiming – resulting in the clubface still being ‘open’ relative to the swing path.

Terminology

Clubface
The clubface can be described as open, square or closed to the target OR open, square, closed relative to the swing path.

It is the clubface relative to the swing path (not the target) that creates curvature on the ball.

clubface closed, square and open

A slicer always has the clubface aiming to the right of the swing path (open)

Clubhead path
The direction in which the clubhead is swinging from (and to) just before and after impact is known as the club path. A swing path that is to the left is known as out to in (Image A). One to the right is known as in to out (Image C) A straight path would be slightly in to square to slightly in (Image B).

Golf Swing paths
Swing Paths Explained

A slicers clubhead path is nearly always significantly out to in

Example: You could have a clubface that is 10 degrees closed (aiming left) of target at impact but still put slice spin on the ball, so long as the clubface is swinging more than 10 degrees to the left of the target line.

What to do to fix your slice

What do we fix first – the open clubface or the out to in swing path?

In most cases we choose to fix the open clubface first.

If you can stop the ball slicing to the right – the change of swing becomes so much easier.

It is very difficult to swing more to the right when you are so used to seeing the ball disappear in the trees on the right.

However, if we fix the clubface and the ball starts to go straight left then the there is a much greater willingness to swing the club, what feels like, more to the right of target.

Check your hold on the club

incorrect hold on the golf club with the grip running too much through the palm
Stop holding the club through the palm of the left hand!

A poor hold on the club is the most common reason for an open clubface at impact. All too often I see the handle of the club running too much through the palm of the left hand instead of through the fingers.

Correct hold on the club more in the fingers of the left hand
The left hand should hold the club more in the fingers

Position your left hand as pictured then put the fleshy pad at the heel of the hand on the front of the grip. When you look down you should not be able to see any of the rubber of the grip and 2-3 knuckles will be visible on the back of the hand.

Swing – stop steering!

Trying to hit the ball straight is the number one reason golfers slice the ball. Yes, you read that correctly!

I see golfers desperately trying to guide the ball down the middle and this leads to too much tension and a lack of what we call ‘release’ of the club. The angle formed between the back of the right hand and the forearm is maintained through impact and beyond which leave the clubface way open.

How to release the golf club correctly to stop a slice
Use a tennis racket to work on the correct impact position

The correct release sees the angle coming out and the forearms rotating over – a bit like a tennis top spin shot.

Do whatever it takes to get the clubface closed!

At this stage we are not going to change the swing path.

Instead, focus on making sure the clubface is closed at impact. This takes some practice but once you get it you will see the ball flying lower, to the left and it will go much further.

Once you get used to seeing the ball flying left you will be able to confidently change your club path without fear of the ball setting off right and going further right.

TOP TIPS….
1. Make sure your left hand hold is more in the fingers

2. Let the clubhead go past the grip of the club before impact – release the club and let it close (like a topspin tennis shot)

3. Feel like you are swinging way out to the right – the exact opposite of what you have been doing all this time!

To help you, I recommend setting up a gate using two headcovers as pictured here.

Golf drill to stop a sliced drive

This encourages the feeling of an in to out swing path and, when combined with a clubface that is closed and not open, you will see a significant change in your ball flight.

Book a lesson and get your slice fixed fast!

At Dunes we have 3 Qualified PGA Professionals available over 7 days a week including evenings.

We love to help golfers of all levels, from beginner to tour pro, to enjoy the game more by playing better…

CLICK HERE to learn more about golf lessons at Dunes Golf Centre in Fraserburgh

Book a lesson with a PGA Pro now…

30 minutes with Sam Griffiths Book Here
30 minutes with Kris Nicol Book Here
30 minutes with Peter Myers Book Here

60 minutes with Sam Griffiths Book Here
60 minutes with Kris Nicol Book Here
60 minutes with Peter Myers Book Here

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New classes to help your golf

Have you started playing golf this year?

There is no doubt golf has benefitted recently by being one of the few social and sporting activities that have been allowed to restart safely.

Most, if not all, the local clubs have seen a huge increase in membership numbers, and we have certainly seen an influx of new golfers coming to the range.

We are seeing lots of men aged 18 to 40 starting the game as a replacement for playing sports like football and cricket.

We have also had many conversations with these golfers, most of which are competitive by nature and want to improve but have found that turning to the internet, and YouTube in particular, is causing more confusion than providing any benefit.

Join a Golf Clinic at Dunes

We have come up with the perfect solution to help you get the information you need to play better golf.

The Golf Clinics at Dunes, hosted by PGA qualified professional – Sam Griffiths, will shine a light on the thing you need to do to improve your game and have more fun.

The group sessions, covering three key aspects of the game will give you the time to practice what you have learned under the guidance of the Pro.

Each clinic runs over two sessions with the first being the one that identifies your key area for improvement and the second one to check up and reinforce the new information.

“The ‘two-session’ clinics will provide each student with the opportunity to spend a week practicing the new information I have shared with them in the first week,” states PGA Pro Sam Griffiths, “Having the second week to check on progress and make any adjustments will be key to ensure each student makes good progress and achieves their goals”

Book you space now. Spaces are limited to just 8 per class to allow plenty of time for the coach to work individually with each pupil.

» Pure Striking Iron Play Clinic
Are you duffing or thinning your irons shots?
Do you find most of your irons go about the same distance?
Good from the tee but struggle from the deck?
In this class you will be shown the secrets to pure ball striking using proven techniques that work.

Next Class: Friday 2nd October & Friday 9th October 4.30pm to 6.00pm
£39.00 Book Here

» Fairway Finder Driving Clinic
Find out how to straighten up your tee shots, find more fairways, lose less balls and have more fun.
Learn how to deliver the club to the ball for optimal launch conditions and consistency
Check your current driver set up

Next Class: Saturday 3rd & 10th October 2.00pm to 3.30pm
£39.00 Book Here

» Up ‘n’ down Chipping Clinic
Struggling to judge the distance on chip shots?
Striking the ball poor, including thins and duffs?
Learn how to use the bounce effectively and gain insights in to club choice for each shot
Improving your short game is the single fastest way to shoot lower scores

Next Class: Saturday 3rd & 10th October 3.45pm to 5.15pm
£39.00 Book Here

Each of the above clinics include:

  • 3 hours of coaching (over two 90 minute sessions)
  • All range balls included
  • PGA Qualified Golf Coach
  • Video analysis and Launch monitor data where beneficial

To book call us on 01346 510693 or go to www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/golfclinics

Spaces are limited to a maximum of 8 on each class


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Do you want to hit the ball further?

Just about every golfer we speak to would love to gain a few yards.

Even the long hitters wouldn’t say no to gaining distance and if you take a look at what Bryson DeChambeau has done this year there is no doubt hitting the ball further has distinct advantages.

At the very top of the game there is a strong case to say that some of the most famous courses may become overpowered by the big hitting tour players.

Gary Player has recently stated that he thinks The Old Course at St.Andrews, host to The Open in 2022 will be torn apart. The South African said he feared big-hitters like DeChambeau are going to drive the course into submission.

“Isn’t it sad? The great home of golf, St Andrews, a place we all love and adore, that is so obsolete,” said Player. “Bryson has put on 40 yards and it is going to ruin it. They are going to drive nine greens at St Andrews”

However, at amateur level, lots of golfers would see a huge benefit to hitting the ball further. Making Par 4’s reachable in two and being able to hit shorter irons into each green. All this translates into more pars, birdies and of course more fun!

The best news of all is that with the help of PGA Pro Kris Nicol, you have a fantastic opportunity to hit the ball further than you ever have done.

The Speed Clinic at Dunes

No matter what your age, gender or how far you currently hit the ball – this clinic will benefit you!

Be the envy of your golfing partners as you start bombing the ball miles past them.

Superspeed Golf

By applying the time-tested and scientifically validated principles of Overspeed Training to golf instruction, our team at Dunes has developed a program that will help all golfers increase distance and consistency.

Our Speed Clinic coach, Kris Nicol, has seen the benefits first hand.

“I started the Superspeed training programme at the beginning of lockdown and the gains I have made are unbelievable! 115mph was my max clubhead speed with a driver but now I can reach 123mph! So now when I go and play I can easily achieve faster speeds without as much effort. That’s game changing for me and now I am excited about what I can do for you!” – Kris Nicol, PGA Golf Professional

Kris Nicol ready to help you gain serious yardage
Kris Nicol is ready to help you gain serious yardage!

This is a 6 – week speed intensive program to improve your overall club head speed. We will meet once a week for 60 minutes to work on improving your club head speed, utilising the Super Speed protocols. Each week your certified Super Speed trainer, Kris Nicol will take you through the exercises that will change your game!

In addition to training extra speed in your swing, Kris will use his knowledge and the launch monitor at Dunes to help you optimise your clubhead delivery to the ball.

The potential gains in yardage are huge with some of you easily adding 50 yards to your tee shots alone! We are so confident that this works that we will guarantee you a 20 yard increase so long as you stick to the programme.

Note: This programme does not require you to go to the gym or change anything else. It works on training the mind and the physical body simultaneously.

The total cost for the 6 hour course plus your own set of Speed Sticks (worth £209.99) is less than a new driver at just £350.00 (and will give you more benefit too!)

Spaces are limited to 6 (Social distancing is adhered to at all times) and is on a first come first served basis. Call us on 01346 510693 to book or go to www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/speedclinic

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Kris Nicol Shares His Secrets to Better Golf

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.

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