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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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The best way to teach your child golf

Getting your kids started in golf will be one of the greatest gifts you ever give them.

However, when you take them to the range or the course, think carefully about what you are saying to them.

Consider this; imagine you are in the final year of school and sitting your written exams. At the side of the room your parents are shouting things like “don’t forget to write neatly’, ‘make sure you check your spelling’, ‘take your time’, ‘read the question properly’, ‘don’t forget this, or that.’

How stressful would that be if it actually happened?

This is not too far removed from what I see happening on the range and golf courses when a well-intentioned parent gets too involved with their child’s learning process.

I see children stepping up to hit a ball but before they are allowed to have a go, they are filled with lots of information about how to stand and how to hold the club.

Then comes the swing advice (the worst one ever is ‘keep your head down!’)

A missed shot is then followed by more advice. Before too long the parent is frustrated because the child is not doing all the things she has been told and the child is even more frustrated because they are not being allowed to just play.

“Play” is the operative word.

We all learn best when we are playing.

“Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury; play is a necessity.”
Kay Redfield Jamison

This does not mean you should leave them to aimlessly hit balls but instead set them playful challenges.

Here are a few suggestions:

To encourage a good aim of the clubhead and understanding of why the ball goes off in certain directions, have your child draw a face on the club using a white board marker.

The ball will go where the eyes of the clubface are looking when the ball is struck.

👍 Ask your child what feature of the clubface they think they should strike the ball from to hit good shots. Let them explore ways they can change where the eyes are looking and let them try to hit different features of the face. e.g. The nose, the chin, the ears etc.

⛔️ Avoid negative feedback

✅ Allow your child to explore and experiment with different ways of doing it.

But what if I my child misses the ball, what should I say then?

The answer is…. nothing!
Just let them have another go, they don’t need to be told they have missed it, they know. In nearly every case a child left to ‘figure it out’ will hit the ball within three attempts without any intervention. Those misses are part of the brain learning and this process should not be interfered with.

Task based learning
Coming up with a challenge for your child is a brilliant way for them to learn to play and have fun.

On the range at Dunes we leave objects like tyres, pallets and cones that are close enough to the bays that even the youngest children can reach them. The desire to perform the task will lead to shifts in technique without it being a complex and difficult experience.

Our junior coaching programmes at Dunes very much stand by this philosophy so that learning is safe, fun and playful.

Go to www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/junior-golf/ to learn more about junior golf lessons in Fraserburgh or call us on 01346 510693 for more information.

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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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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.

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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

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Forget Fortnite…

Here is your opportunity to give your child the perfect gift…

The gift of playing golf

Why should you enrol your child on golf lessons?

Some people would say; to develop a great swing, to win tournaments, to be a golf professional winning majors or simply to learn life skills.  These views should be rethought and quickly replaced with:

Children should learn to play golf simply because it’s a great game that’s fun to play with friends and family.

Great golf swings, winning tournaments, professional golf and life skills may be possible outcomes, but they should not be someone’s (parent or child’s) only reason for playing golf or any game.

Golf is a healthy, outdoor, social activity and most importantly it helps to develop self-reliance and self confidence

We know that these days youngsters have iPads, Xboxes, FORTNITE and hundreds of TV channels to occupy their time but as parents ourselves we are concerned at just how much time our children are spending on electronic devices.

We accept that time on these gadgets is part of the era they are growing up in but we want to provide opportunities for them to have less screen time and more time outdoors in the fresh air playing sport with real people.

Dunes continues to increase participation

At Dunes Golf Centre we believe that golf can be uncomplicated, interesting, and fun to learn and play, which leads to developing other physical and mental skills.

Our programmes are designed to help students learn “what to do,” (a positive) and avoids any “How to” directions that try to fix poor outcomes.  Studies into the nature of learning show that fixing is a negative approach to progress, and has never supported developmental learning.  By focusing on “what to do,” long-term learning is encoded through the students’ own reasoning and deduction skills.

Our Philosophy…

Learning should take place through play so we come up with games that are designed to engage the children in an environment that allows them to discover how they can do it. As opposed to us telling them what to do.

BOOK YOUR CHILD A SPACE NOW

We have new groups starting the week commencing Monday 7th January and lasting for 6 weekly sessions.

No previous experience or equipment is needed
4 to 8 year olds (Tiger Cubs)
6 to 12 years old (Tiger Golf)
Development Plan – this is for youngsters ages 6 to 16 that are possibly already playing regularly and are keen to reach the next level of golf performance. It is a series of private one to one lessons with a PGA Pro.

Full details of each of the above can be found on our website and Facebook page.
www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk
Alternatively call in to see us or speak to one of our friendly team on the phone – 01346 510693.

Spaces are available on a first come first served basis so make sure you get in quick to avoid disappointment! 

Give a gift they really want this Christmas
Did you know…? Gift vouchers from Dunes can be used for the Cafe, Lessons, the Driving Range and our Golf Shop which is one of the best stocked in North East Scotland. And you can buy and print vouchers online! Simply go to  http://www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/giftvouchers or call in to see us at the Golf Centre.

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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

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The Strike Plan

Most golfers are looking to improve their performance but often I find them looking in the wrong place and they suffer by making the game more technical and difficult than it needs to be.

Whether you are a relatively new golfer or a low handicapper, most of your worst shots will come from a poor strike location on the club.

It might sound overly simple but if you just focus on striking from the centre of the club then you may be surprised at how good you hit the ball, and with very little thought too!

How do you know where you are hitting it from?
To begin with you need to become aware of where on the club you are striking the ball. The easiest way to do this is to coat the face with foot powder spray or get some face impact tape.

You may find that your strike is all over the club or it could be consistent but out of an ineffective part of the club.

In our lessons at Dunes we use the industry leading GC2 launch monitor with Head Measurement Technology (HMT). It displays exactly where on the clubface the ball was struck and this information has proven valuable to help golfers of all abilities improve their golf.

The industry leading GC2 with HMT launch monitor

For as long as I have played golf, I have been aware of how valuable it is to consistently find the middle of the club. However, since I started using GC2/HMT it has certainly highlighted how much the ball flight can vary depending upon strike location.

And I am not talking about strikes on the edges of the club face either, missing the centre by small amounts can create a tilted spin on the ball that turns a would be drawer of the ball into a slicer and vice versa.

This is primarily down to a phenomenon we call Gear Effect.

As the club crashes into the ball it is travelling at speeds of 60mph to 120mph depending upon the club and the individual swing speed. If the strike location is not directly in front of the centre of gravity (often referred to as sweet spot or the middle of the club) then a twisting will occur in the shaft. This can often be felt by the golfer through a vibration in the club on impact and often a reaction where they will say that the club twisted in their hands.

This twisting is caused by huge forces going through the shaft as a result of the off-centre collision. Imagine a car crashing into a concrete bollard at speed and off centre, you would see it twisting to one side.

Now this is where it can get a little complicated as the resultant ball flight is somewhat counter intuitive.

If the ball is struck from the heel of the club; the face rotates closed due to the impact. One would imagine this would send the ball to the left but in actual fact it creates a slice spin (to the right) because of the Gear Effect.

The exact opposite is true for strikes from the toe of the club.

It is like two gears working together. As the club twists clockwise, the ball will spin anti-clockwise.

However, the forces at play and variations during the impact phase are complicated and this can result in all sorts of things happening on severely off centre hits.

If you take a closer look at your driver club face you will notice that it is not actually dead flat. Instead it has a curve on it that we know as ‘Bulge’.

The bulge on the club is a design feature to help auto-correct the gear effect by starting the ball further right – for the draw spin to bring the ball back to centre on a toe strike and further left on a heel strike.

The images here show 6 shots played by a Tour Pro, a 7 handicap golfer and a 15 handicap golfer.
You can clearly see the huge difference in the consistency of centred strike achieved by the Tour Pro.

Next time you come to the range, take note of where on the clubface you are striking the ball. You don’t need to invest in expensive technology like we have in the studio; as I have already said, a £4 can of foot powder spray will do the job perfectly!

If you struggle to find the middle consistently then book a lesson at Dunes Golf Centre. The initial 1 hour session is just £30 and makes an ideal Christmas Gift.

This can be purchased online and a voucher printed all from the comfort of your own home. Simply go to www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/giftvouchers

Happy Golfing!

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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 (Justin Thomas) this year only made 58.47% from the 5-10 foot range. Tiger Woods only made 56.00%.

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 2018 season putting stats from current World Number One, Brooks Koepka.

Notice how the percentage success rate from outside 10ft drops off a cliff. Outside of 20ft Brooks doesn’t make that many putts at all!

This means all golfers will benefit hugely by hitting the ball closer to the hole from 100 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.

The Golf Studio at Dunes provides highly accurate distance information and is ideal for working on your short game throughout the winter.

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 42°. 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 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4Pitching 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 4 wedges; They are a 46° wedge, a 50° Gap wedge and a 54° Sand wedge and a 58° lob wedge. I feel this gives me the versatility around the greens that I require.

We are a Custom Fitting Centre for most of the major brands including Ping, Cleveland, Callaway, Vokey, Taylormade and Mizuno.

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 2019 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 just £30 for the 60 minute session.

Telephone 01346 510693 to book or go to www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/bookalessson

Short Game Masterclass with PGA Pro – Kris Nicol
Kris is hosting a 3-part series of lessons that is guaranteed to improve your short game.
What you will learn…
NEW TIMES ADDED DUE TO SELL OUT:
Session 1 Sunday 25th November 10am to 11.30am: Technique/Low Point of swing & and assessment of your current wedge setup
Session 2 Sunday 2nd December 10am to 11.30am: Trajectory control; Using the bounce vs leading edge of the club
Session 3 Sunday 9th December 10am to 11.30am: 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 is 8 with spaces available on a 1st come 1st served basis
Price includes all 3 coaching sessions, all range balls and course materials 

Telephone 01346 510693 to book your space or go to www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/shortgamemasterclass

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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.