PGAs of EuropeAdvancing Players – PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com Home of the PGAE Mon, 13 Nov 2017 10:55:30 +0000 en-gb hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.3 Selection Criteria Set for 2018 Junior Ryder Cup European Team http://www.pgae.com/news/selection-criteria-set-for-2018-junior-ryder-cup-european-team/ Tue, 31 Oct 2017 10:59:27 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=20355 The selection criteria for Team Europe have been confirmed for the 2018 Junior Ryder Cup, which will take place at Disneyland Paris®, on September 24-25...]]>

The selection criteria for Team Europe have been confirmed for the 2018 Junior Ryder Cup, which will take place at Disneyland Paris®, on September 24-25.

The European Team will again comprise 12 amateur players – six boys and six girls – from any European Golf Association member country who are under the age of 18 as of January 1, 2018. In order to qualify, players cannot be members of a US college golf team as of the first day of the match.

The European Captain, Maïtena Alsuguren, has, with the assistance of the EGA and Ryder Cup Europe, identified the selection system based on an analysis of the important tournaments and championships in which the best European juniors will compete in during the lead-up to the Junior Ryder Cup team announcement on August 20, 2018.

The team will be selected by Alsuguren, who will be supported by a selection committee made up of representatives from Ryder Cup Europe and the EGA.

The Boys’ Amateur Champion and the Girls’ British Open Amateur Champion, if both eligible, will be automatically selected. The captain and the selection committee will take particular note of performances in the following events:

Boys:

  • The Amateur championship, Royal Aberdeen and Murcar Links, Scotland, 18 – 23 Jun
  • European Amateur Championship, Royal Hague Golf & Country Club, Netherlands, 27 – 30 Jun
  • European Boys’ Team Championship, Golf Resort Kaskada Brno, Czech Republic, 10 – 14 Jul
  • European Amateur Team Championship, Faldo Course Berlin in A-ROSA Sharmützelsee, Germany, 10 – 14 Jul
  • The Boys’ Amateur (champion gains automatic selection), Royal Portrush and Portstewart, Wales, 14 – 19 Aug

Girls:

  • Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship, Hillside, Southport, England, 26 – 30 Jun
  • European Girls’ Team Championship, Forsgårdens Golfklubb, Sweden, 10 – 14 Jul
  • European Ladies’ Amateur Team Championship, Golf Club Murhof, Austria, 10 – 14 Jul
  • European Ladies’ Amateur Championship, Penati Golf Resort – Heritage Course, Slovakia, 25 – 28 Jul
  • Girls’ British Open Amateur Championship (champion gains automatic selection), Ardglass Golf Club, Northern Ireland, 14 – 18 Aug

In addition, the captain and the selection committee will analyse the results of the best boys and girls ranked in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) and Women’s World Amateur Golf Rankings (WWAGR).

Selectors will also look at strong performances in national open-level and WAGR/WWAGR Elite, A and B events.

Alsuguren said: “It’s a real honour to captain Europe once again at the Junior Ryder Cup. Now that the qualifying events have been finalised, I am starting to get excited about seeing the team take shape next year.

“The standard of both male and female junior golfers is very high in Europe, and although we may not have a strong recent record, I’m certain that the team we will take to Paris next September will be of the highest quality.”

America has won the last five editions of the Junior Ryder Cup, with Europe’s last victory coming in Ohio, in 2004. The 2006 contest was tied.

The 2018 Junior Ryder Cup will be the tenth staging of the event, which has seen some of the world’s greatest players pass through its ranks. Reigning Masters Tournament champion Sergio Garcia played in the 1995 exhibition match, and, four years later, was a member of Europe’s Ryder Cup Team in Brookline.

Two-time Major winner, Suzann Pettersen, took part in both the 1997 and 1999 editions of the Junior Ryder Cup, while four-time Major champion, Rory McIlroy, formed part of the victorious European side of 2004.

Hunter Mahan, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Lexi Thompson are some of the global stars who have represented the US team.

Next year’s contest will be held at Disneyland Paris® for the first time and entry will be free for all attending.

For more information on the Junior Ryder Cup visit www.rydercup.com

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Selection Criteria Set for 2018 Junior Ryder Cup European Team
U.S. Kids Golf Certified Coaches Seminar: 09 November – Hamburg, Germany http://www.pgae.com/news/u-s-kids-golf-certified-coaches-seminar-09-november-hamburg-germany/ Fri, 27 Oct 2017 17:01:49 +0000 U.S. Kids Golf http://www.pgae.com/?p=20330 Register now for the latest U.S. Kids Golf Certified Coaches Seminar on 09 November in Hamburg, Germany...]]>

Registration Opens – Sep 19, 2017

Registration Closes – Nov 09, 2017

Price – $119.00

Participating in a U.S. Kids Golf Certified Coach Seminar enhances the coach’s knowledge of all aspects of youth golf that can be utilized to enhance his/her current program or provide the basis for establishing new offerings. Areas of focus during the seminar include:

Perfect Swings Begin with the Perfect Fit:

The importance of properly-fitted clubs to maximize success for both young golfers and their coaches. Proprietary research on swing speed development for junior golfers.

Scaling the Game:

Research regarding proper length of course setup for players based on their driver carry distance will be provided so that coaches will become experts in golf course setup and yardages. Tailoring the course for young golfers will result in lower scores, encouraging more rounds and increasing retention.

Enhancing Current Junior Programs:

Tools, resources, best practices and bringing “fun” to their junior programs through a games-based curriculum. The seminars will feature an outdoor session that will demonstrate game-based learning with games from the U.S. Kids Golf Book of Games.

Other topics presented in more detail include:

  • Analysis of golf participation and programs vs. other youth sports.
  • “Scaling” of the following elements for youth: Equipment, The Golf Course, Competition and Instruction.
  • Parental involvement and introduction to the “Positive Coaching Alliance”.
  • High-quality instruction focusing on fun and achievement while teaching fundamentals.
  • Introduction to golf-specific games to serve as a key component in instruction.

Completing the Certified Coach process

Certified Coach Frequently Asked Questions

LOCATION – Gut Kaden Golf and Land Club GmbH, Kadener Straße 9 , D-25486 Alveslohe

DATE AND TIME – Thursday, 9 November | 8:15-16:30

HOTEL INFORMATION –  A limited number of rooms are available at Gut Kaden.  Reservations can be made at Gut Kaden.

Click Here to Find Out More About the Seminar – http://eur.pe/2idJSKu

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U.S. Kids Golf Certified Coaches Seminar: 09 November – Hamburg, Germany
“If Disney Ran Your Hospital…The Things You Would Do Differently” http://www.pgae.com/ask/if-disney-ran-your-hospital-the-things-you-would-do-differently/ Fri, 27 Oct 2017 07:00:05 +0000 Tony Bennett http://www.pgae.com/?p=20277 "Author Fred Lee gives his advice on the five behaviours that customers really value in those who provide them with services..."]]>

On my latest read of the thought provoking, “If Disney Ran Your Hospital: 9 1/2 Things You Would Do Differently”, author Fred Lee, gives his advice on the five behaviours that customers value in those who provide them with services.

Fred observes that hospital patients judge their experience not only by the way they are treated for the disease but also, and more importantly, by the way, that they are treated as a person…

If Fred is right, and incidentally I think that he is, and if this concept transfers across into golf, which I think it does, then the ‘how’ is perhaps more important than the ‘what’? This is an essential point for all, coaches, managers, and leaders to recognise. By the way, the great ones do; that is one reason that they are great.

Content, or perhaps we should call it knowledge, can be learned. In fact, content can be learned by almost anyone on almost any subject. Certainly, there is always content to learn or be updated on, that is the nature of progress. Often people have a fascination for content, and yet they have a hard time sharing that knowledge in a way that can make a difference in the life of someone else. I believe that it is possible to learn enough content for whatever role you have in a short period of time to become good at almost any subject. Learning to share that knowledge however is altogether different.

Back to Fred Lee and his five behaviours. Fred conveniently created the acronym S.H.A.R.E. Essentially these behaviours boiled down to the following values: using initiative, being part of a team, understanding the customer’s feelings, treating them with courtesy and making sure that communication is open and honest.

  • S – Sense people’s needs before they ask (initiative)
  • H – Help each other out (teamwork)
  • A – Acknowledge people’s feelings (empathy)
  • R – Respect the dignity and privacy of everyone (courtesy)
  • E – Explain what is happening (communication)

So if the ‘how’ is so important then how can golf focus more on how to share experience and knowledge so that it is relevant, timely and useful? There are many answers to this question, and I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

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“If Disney Ran Your Hospital…The Things You Would Do Differently”
Nutrition For Golf With David Dunne http://www.pgae.com/ask/nutrition-for-golf-with-david-dunne/ Thu, 26 Oct 2017 11:53:13 +0000 David Dunne http://www.pgae.com/?p=20284 Nutritionist, David Dunne, gives his insight into considerations when working with golfers of all abilities to maximise performance...]]>

Golf is, without doubt, one of the most exciting opportunities in the world of performance science in 2017. However, despite these high stakes there has been very little research done to date in elite golf.

This forces us as practitioners to extrapolate ideas from other areas of research and trial them with the players we work with as we refine and optimise our strategies and learn from the players, coaches and caddies until the research catches up.

I’m pretty fortunate to have a younger brother on the European Tour who has fast tracked my practitioner learning curve in golf and helped build up some practice based evidence which hopefully over the next few years can be trialled and tested to eventually translate into evidenced based practice.

Until such a time, I hope the following provides an insight into some considerations when working with golfers or even some food for thought (apologies for the pun) for Tour Professionals themselves.

 

Pre Round Fuelling

Golfers are faced with three different fuelling scenarios on a day to day basis. They are either out early (which often means a 5am start!), mid morning, or in the early afternoon.

Despite these timings changing, which may impact on meal timings and portion size, the underlying principles of how to fuel the round don’t.

Ok so what are we looking for? Well when we look at the demands of golf a round generally takes approximately 4 hours, top this up with 60-120 minutes of prep time (warm up, range, putting green, conversations with caddy, etc) and we are looking at about a 5-6 hour shift.

During this 5-6 hour shift mental focus, stable energy levels and adequate hydration are going to be key, as one poor decision or energy dip can ruin your card and separate the winners from the also-rans.

As a result the pre round meal should be finished approximately 90 minutes before the round to give the body time to digest the food and the player time to prepare. The meal itself should contain some high fibre low GI carbohydrates, such as oats, to provide a sustained release of energy over the coming hours.

This portion of carbohydrates should be complemented with a source of high quality protein, such as greek yoghurt or eggs, to not only supply the muscles with amino acids to support muscle maintenance and function but also to aid the production of neuro-transmitters to improve mental focus and induce satiety.

This base of protein and carbs should then be finished off with some high quality dietary sources of fat to provide some low intensity fuel, e.g. nuts, seeds, avocado, etc as well as some fruits and/or vegetables to bump up the micronutrient content of the meal.

A simple example of this for a 9am tee time would be a bowl of nutty muesli topped with banana and fresh berries coupled with a 3 egg omelette and a large glass of water at 6.45am. For a 2pm tee time, a baked salmon fillet with a sweet potato and feta salad would also be a good example.

On Course Nutrition

The goal on the course is exactly the same, optimise mental focus, keep stable energy levels and remain hydrated. As a result on course snacks will follow a similar trend aiming to provide some low GI carbs, a moderate amount of protein and some high quality fats.

To ensure a steady supply of energy as well as reducing symptoms of hunger it is best to spread 3-4 snacks out evenly over the round. Depending on the length of the course players may wish to eat on holes 5, 10 and 15 (particularly if it’s a shorter course) or on holes 4, 8, 12 and 16 (better suited to longer and/or slower rounds). These snacks can be prepared (in an ideal world) ahead of time by the player or one of their team or purchased for convenience.

Some great examples of on course snacks that players/their team can prepare would be homemade protein bars, nut and seed “energy” balls, oat based banana bread.

Speaking from experience, some of these snacks can be prepared with no more equipment than a mixing bowl so could be an easy way to kill 10 minutes on a Monday and set you up for the week. However, preparing your own snacks is not always possible so picking up some nuts and seed tubes/bars, bananas, beef jerky and protein bars is also a good call.

What does need to stay more regular than the eating on course is the drinking! The best way to stay on top of this is to not only consume a few mouthfuls of fluid along with each snack, but also on each hole either as you are walking down the fairway or walking to the next tee box. You might find on hot days that you may need to do both!

As for what’s in the bottle, it is best to drink water with additional electrolytes (a simple effervescent tablet will do – sugary sports drinks should be avoided). As a result the player should be equipped with 3-4 agreed on snacks before leaving the locker room and 2 bottles of water and a tube of electrolytes to top up when needed during the round. The only time this may differ is on a Sunday, in which case you always bring more and are fully prepared to go down 19 if required!

Nutrition for Recovery/Sleep

Post-round the shift focuses to recover for the following day’s play. Again this meal should contain some quality protein to aid muscle repair and maintenance however, unlike most sports there is no need to feed high volumes of carbohydrates to refuel, a moderate potion accompanied with some tasty vegetables will do.

For example, a nice lean steak with some mash potato and pan fried vegetables would fit nicely, as would a tasty teriyaki chicken stir-fry with some additional vegetables. This meal is generally the easiest for most players to get right.

This meal should be followed up with a nighttime snack, again to support recovery but also to enhance sleep, e.g. greek yoghurt with tart cherry mixed through.

Nutrition for Travel

As the competition draws to a close on Sunday, most players make their way straight from the locker room to the airport as they head on to the next event. For Tour Professionals, the schedule can be relentless and this high volume of flights, temporary time zones and often new/foreign cuisines all increase the risk of illness for the players and caddies.

These at-risk periods and shifting circadian rhythms should all be supported with appropriate performance planning to not only ensure the player and caddy acclimatise as soon as possible for the next tournament but also minimise the volume of days a player and his caddy may lose to illness.

I hope this gives some insight and sparks some thoughts about how nutrition may impact on a golfer’s performance. With the lack of current evidence available it seems the next step is for the tours to continue to innovate in performance nutrition research – then we can see how well the worlds best can really play.

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This article appears courtesy of the Undergraduate Sports and Exercise Medicine Society – www.basem.co.uk/usems

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Nutrition For Golf With David Dunne
Growth Mindset Culture http://www.pgae.com/ask/growth-mindset-culture/ Wed, 25 Oct 2017 08:16:23 +0000 Train Ugly http://www.pgae.com/?p=11094 The USA Women’s Volleyball Team has been one of the best at applying growth mindset into their team culture...]]>

The USA Women’s Volleyball Team has been one of the best at applying growth mindset into their team culture. 

Their staff explains how they do it:

This interview was the inspiration behind The Growth Mindset Playbook (a page dedicated to laying out the best ways to teach and implement growth mindset).

I’d like to give a huge S/O to Karch and his staff for being so incredible these past few years – I can’t explain how much they’ve helped the Train Ugly mission!

If you’d like to see the crew in action and learn more about their approaches, check out:

THE TRAINING THE GAP CONFERENCE

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Growth Mindset Culture
PGA Professional Spotlight: Marie Jeffery (PGA of Austria) [PODCAST] http://www.pgae.com/ask/pga-professional-spotlight-marie-jeffery-pga-of-austria-podcast/ Wed, 18 Oct 2017 10:07:43 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=20084 Marie Jeffery tells us about how she got into golf, her work in the world of 'Communicology', and her views on female participation and development in golf...]]>

Marie Jeffery is a Member of the PGAs of Europe Golf Development Team and a PGA of Austria Member. We spoke to Marie to find out more about how she got into golf, her work in the world of ‘Communicology’, her experience with the Austrian Girls National Team and views on female participation and development in golf.

“I think women’s golf has a great future if it can market itself correctly. For me it’s as exciting watching a ladies’ tournament as it is watching a men’s tournament. Sometimes people get a bit drawn to how far the ball flies and they attack impossible pins and take on impossible shots, but the ladies play really clever golf too.

“I was at the Evian Championship last year and what I saw was very impressive – they had a very professional attitude and were really focused on the range so there’s no difference between them and the guys. I would like to see ladies get much more TV time and more acknowledgement for what they are doing.”

Interview Highlights:

00:29 – How Marie got into golf…

01:39 – Entering a golf club as a young girl golfer…

02:21 – The changes in golf in Austria…

03:23 – Marie now works at the same facility that she started her golf career at…

06:25 – Being driven by those that originally discouraged her golf…

08:23 – Getting the Austrian National Team Coach job…

09:20 – Becoming involved in ‘Communicology’…

11:25 – Using ‘Communicology’ to break things down and not get lost in the detail…

12:10 – Key learnings from Marie’s career so far…

14:19 – The difference between teaching & coaching…

16:00 – What changes has Marie seen over the time she worked with the Austrian Girls squads…

18:49 – Working as a National Coach is a 24/7 role…

19:41 – What is the future of girls’ golf…

20:48 – The challenges face in women and girls’ participation…

23:01 – The difference between girls and boys’ sport …

24:26 – What are the mistakes most beginner golfers make…?

28:15 – Who is the best lesser-known coach Marie has worked with…?

30:19 – What advice would you give your 25-year-old self…?

31:09 – Marie’s views on who she feels are ‘successful’ people…

32:05 – Marie’s favourite book…

33:01 – The advice has Marie found beneficial up until now…

35:01 – What might surprise listeners about Marie…

35:19 – The golf equipment that gives Marie the most joy…

35:55 – Marie’s dream Fourball…

36:34 – Advice for aspiring PGA Professionals…


Find out more about Marie at www.functionalgolf.at and at functionalgolfat on Facebook.

Find out more about the PGAs of Europe Golf Development Team at http://eur.pe/GolfDevelopmentTeam

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PGA Professional Spotlight: Marie Jeffery (PGA of Austria) [PODCAST]
KPMG Release 2017 Golf Participation Report http://www.pgae.com/news/kpmg-release-2017-golf-participation-report/ Wed, 27 Sep 2017 17:34:08 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=19842 The latest of KPMG’s annual publications offers analysis and insights into Europe’s golf industry, and this year shows slight growth in the industry...]]>

The 2017 Golf Participation in Europe Report, which provides invaluable figures for key stakeholders in the golf industry, is the latest of KPMG’s annual publications offering analysis and insights into Europe’s golf industry. This year’s edition bears good news in store for the golf industry: slight growth.

According to the survey, which is based upon statistics compiled from local golf associations in 43 European countries, the continent’s golf markets are displaying positive signs of growth in 2016.

In fact, when taking a closer look at Europe’s golf markets, 81% of local golf associations indicated in 2016 that their level of participation had either stabilized or increased. The remaining 19% of European markets still experienced some decline, including key markets such as Scotland and Austria.

The research demonstrates that the number of registered golfers showed a slight increase, by 2% (+82,584 players), while the supply of golf courses declined by 28 courses (24 openings and 52 closures). Forty-six per cent of European countries surveyed experienced a growth in participation rates, 35% showed stability and in 19% of the countries surveyed demand declined. The research further shows that men make up 67% of the total registered golfers across Europe in 2016, and the proportion of European population who actively played golf (0.9%) has not changed since 2015.

“As we have identified a moderate level of growth in 2016,” says Andrea Sartori, Partner and KPMG Global Head of Sports, “it is important to reflect upon various creditable golf development initiatives, which have been launched in previous years with the aim of reaching new audiences and retaining existing golfers across Europe. These initiatives and the hard work of many other golf industry stakeholders, provide evidence for a consciously optimistic outlook for the game’s development. Certain markets have demonstrated exemplary performance and highlighted the opportunities a proactive and coordinated approach can achieve.”

Click Here to Download the KPMG 2017 Golf Participation Report for Europe at www.golfbenchmark.com

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KPMG Release 2017 Golf Participation Report
How to Keep Your Brain Sharp http://www.pgae.com/ask/how-to-keep-your-brain-sharp/ Wed, 27 Sep 2017 12:43:11 +0000 Coaching4Careers http://www.pgae.com/?p=12215 Coaching 4 Careers reveal 4 ways you can keep your brain sharp to preserve healthy cognitive function and sharpness across all the right areas...]]>

The brain. The body’s most powerful organ. Only a brain surgeon could fully understand its inner workings or how it does what it does. One thing’s for sure, though: you’ll miss it when it’s gone.

With Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia on the rise, ‘brain-training’ is very much in vogue among retirees and younger whippersnappers alike. As game developers have been quick to appreciate, preserving healthy cognitive function means maintaining sharpness across all the right areas, from memory and recall to problem solving and planning. There’s enough there for a bi-annual upgrade and then some.

Video games aside, there are plenty of equally as efficient but less costly ways to keep your grey matter firing on all cylinders. Here are some top tips for successful cerebral conservation:

1. Learn something new

Be it the cello, Ancient Greek or Chinese calligraphy, teaching yourself a new skill is a great way to keep the old brain cells ticking over. A recent study of retirees showed that a challenging mental activity one a week reduced the risk of dementia by 7%.

2. Get physical

Work the rest of your body while you’re at it. Research suggests that 30 minutes of exercise three times each week can reduce dementia by 40% and cognitive impairment by 60%. The secondary benefits should also be obvious.

3. Food for thought

You don’t need a PHD in nutrition to know some foods are better for the brain than others. Indulge in vegetables, nuts and fish – staples of the Mediterranean diet that promote blood-flow to the brain. Drink plenty of water and stay off the junk food!

4. Take a load off

From catching enough ‘Z’s each night to meditative techniques, giving your brain some much-needed down time is essential in reducing wear and tear. It will also help you maintain skills such as problem solving, concentration and memory. Aim for 7.5 to 8.5 hours a night for optimum brain function.

Whether happily retired or gainfully employed, whatever your age, looking after the stuff upstairs should be a top priority. The good news is that keeping your neurotransmitters nimble needn’t cost the earth and can slot fairly easily into your day-to-day lifestyle.


This content appears courtesy of Abintegro, experts in career management, transition technology & e-learning for today’s modern, mobile and technology-savvy workforce – Find out more at www.abintegro.com

Credit: Forbes; NPR.com; Time

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How to Keep Your Brain Sharp
PGA Professional Spotlight: Alastair Spink (PGA of GB&I) [PODCAST] http://www.pgae.com/ask/pga-professional-spotlight-alastair-spink-pga-of-gbi-podcast/ Mon, 25 Sep 2017 14:45:15 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=19589 We speak to PGAs of Europe Golf Development Team Member, Alastair Spink, about his journey as a PGA Pro & how he has become a leader in women's golf development]]>

Alastair Spink is a Member of the PGAs of Europe Golf Development Team and a PGA of GB&I Member. Here we speak to Alastair about his how he made it into golf to eventually become a PGA Pro, along with how he has become a leader in women’s golf development and participation taking an academic approach to his work in creating the hugely successful Love.golf programme.

Interview Highlights:

01:14 – Early beginnings in golf…

04:38 – Alastair’s first golf coach…

07:58 – How has the way Alastair learnt golf shaped his coaching style…

08:48 – Turning Professional…

12:58 – Working at Hintlesham Hall Golf Club in Ipswich…

16:16 – An increased in development and working as a County Golf Development Officer…

22:24 – Taking an interest in gender disparity in clubs and golf in general, creating an interest in women’s golf development…

23:54 – How did Alastair create a women’s participation-led programme…

27:37 – Barriers to developing women’s participation programmes…

29:06 – How will female participation help the industry in general?

30:32 – Learning from the stories and communities developed at ‘Park Runs’…

33:12 – What changes have you seen in golf across your career?

35:00 – What’s the main mistake golfers make when taking up the sport?

37:05 – What would you tell your 25 year old self?

38:57 – Alastair’s favourite books…

39:34 – What might surprise us about Alastair Spink?

40:21 – Alastair’s dream fourball…


Follow Alastair on Twitter at @Thegolfcoach and find out more about Love.Golf at www.love.golf.

Find out more about the PGAs of Europe Golf Development Team at http://eur.pe/GolfDevelopmentTeam

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PGA Professional Spotlight: Alastair Spink (PGA of GB&I) [PODCAST]
Murray & Dunstan Pair Up For 200 Mile Ryder Cup Run http://www.pgae.com/news/murray-dunstan-pair-up-for-200-mile-ryder-cup-run/ Fri, 15 Sep 2017 16:07:59 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=19759 Fitness fanatics, Dr Andrew Murray & Paul Dunstan, are teaming up to run 200 miles from Wentworth Club in England to Le Golf National in France...]]>

Two fitness fanatics from the world of golf, Dr Andrew Murray and Paul Dunstan, will team up to run 200 miles from Wentworth Club, England – the home of Ryder Cup Europe – to the host venue of The 2018 Ryder Cup- Le Golf National in France.

The pair will run in excess of a marathon for seven days, while taking on various golfing challenges each day in their rest breaks, including the British Speedgolf Open, and a GolfSixes, culminating in a final round of 18 holes at Le Golf National’s famous course upon reaching their final destination.

The run coincides with the Year to Go celebrations as Europe and USA prepare to lock horns in the 42nd Ryder Cup, one of the world’s greatest sporting contests, and will raise money for “Golf In Society”, enabling people with dementia to continue to play the game.

Dr Murray, a brand ambassador for Merrell UK is no stranger to long distance challenges having famously once ran 4300km from far north Scotland to the Sahara desert. However the 36 year old who also works as a Sports and Exercise Medicine consultant with the University of Edinburgh, and the European Tour Golf is recovering from a recent hospital admission with viral meningitis in mid August, and knows it won’t be easy.

Paul Dunstan & Dr Andrew Murray

“We will be racking up about 50,000 to 60,000 steps per day, eating about 5000 calories and will be on the move golfing and running most of each day,” Dr Murray said.

“We want to highlight that exercise in the great outdoors is the best thing you can do for your health. Going from being a couch potato to walking, running, or playing golf regularly can add seven years to life, it can improve health and on average make you happier. We’re urging everyone to get outside and get walking, running, golfing, or any other activity you enjoy.”

Paul Dunstan, Ryder Cup Operations Director with the European Tour added, “I’m not entirely sure what I’ve let myself in for, I enjoy running as well as golf but ask me at the end of the seven days how I feel about them! However, the main aim of the challenge is to promote the many benefits of not just golf and running, but exercise in general and having an active lifestyle, as well as funding for Golf In Society, if we can achieve these two objectives the sore legs we’ll have at the end will be worth it.“

The pair hope to raise £5000 for Golf In Society, improving the lives of persons with Dementia and Parkinson’s disease by supporting them to continue playing golf, offering additional benefits to their carers. They can be supported at this link www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/GolfAndMentalHealth.


Golf In Society are pioneering dementia friendly golf, aimed at improving the lives of people living with dementia by introducing/ reacquainting them to golf. golfinsociety.com/2015/11/10/uks-first-dementia-friendly-golf-club-launches-in-lincon/

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Murray & Dunstan Pair Up For 200 Mile Ryder Cup Run
Miller and Millar Make Perfect Match http://www.pgae.com/news/miller-and-millar-make-perfect-match/ Wed, 06 Sep 2017 10:15:57 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=19144 The 2016 UniCredit PGA Professional Champion of Europe, Ralph Miller recieved Peter Millar apparel as part of his Championship-winning prize...]]>

2016 UniCredit PGA Professional Champion of Europe, Ralph Miller (PGA of Holland), has received his Peter Millar apparel as part of his Championship-winning prize.

PGAs of Europe Corporate Partner, Peter Millar, awarded a yearlong apparel contract to Miller furthering their support of the European game.

 

Miller managed to successfully convert his lead and dominant play at Pravets Golf & Spa Resort in Bulgaria in October to take the Championship honours, the first prize of €10,000 and the Peter Millar contract.

2016 UniCredit PGA Professional Champion of Europe, Ralph Miller (PGA of Holland)

“After winning the Championship it was great to receive a Peter Millar apparel contract for 2017,” explained Miller. “The high quality clothing is both great looking and great fitting! I really love the clothing and I have had many compliments from members at our club. Thanks again to Peter Millar for the support and I am looking forward to a great 2017 season!”

“We’re pleased to be giving a clothing contract to the very worthy winner, Ralph,” said Managing Director Peter Millar International, Mark Hilton. “He will wear the latest Peter Millar designs from both Crown and Crown Sport collections over the coming year and we look forward to working with, and supporting, him throughout that time.”

Sign-up for the exclusive Peter Millar member offer at http://eur.pe/PGA-Peter-Millar-Offer.

For more information on Peter Millar visit www.petermillar.co.uk.

This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

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Miller and Millar Make Perfect Match
Technology in Golf Coaching – What’s Next? http://www.pgae.com/ask/technology-in-golf-coaching-whats-next/ Wed, 30 Aug 2017 06:01:37 +0000 Aston Ward http://www.pgae.com/?p=19149 We explore the ever-evolving world of coaching technology and what might be making its way to the lesson bay, golf course or swing room sometime in the future..]]>

I am very lucky to be in the position where I can mix my passions for technology, communications and innovation together with my biggest passion, golf, and my knowledge of coaching as a PGA Professional.

Because of this I sit in the middle of various areas of the industry where I can get a good view of what is happening when it comes to embracing technology and looking at innovative ways to continually advance our profession and the coaching process.

Barely a day goes by without an announcement of an upgrade or introduction of a new piece of equipment that could make a golfer better (or ideally simply enjoy themselves more), and it’s exciting to think where this could go in the future.

Now, as an opening caveat, I no longer coach students as part of my job, but I am exposed to a lot of great coaches who have dedicated their lives to improving golfers’ experiences. So whilst I may not be directly using coaching equipment on a daily basis, I can appreciate the technology behind them and their practical applications.

In speaking with many of these coaches, there is something that continually comes up when you discuss technology – data capture.

The level of detail and sheer quantity of data that we can capture about a golf swing is incredible. Technologies such as launch monitor/radar flight and ball-roll tracking devices, hi-speed camera analysis, and the myriad of other options on the market, mean you can now analyse every parameter imaginable when getting the ball into the hole. And, assuming the user is appropriately trained, this can turn into a very tangible benefit to the end-user.

Previously we featured the Strokes-Gained metrics developed by Dr Mark Broadie that utilises the PGA Tour’s ShotLink® data in which every single shot played in PGA Tour events is recorded into an open-access pool of information that academics can make use of.

This detailed level of data capture has meant that every single aspect of a player’s round can be analysed and new and improved metrics for performance have been created.

With the continued rollout, pun intended, of golf simulators and intelligent, customisable simulated environments, combined with Augmented Reality (AR) technology, we now have ways of mirroring golf course conditions like never before, making coaching more realistic and contextually applicable.

Where Next?

Simulating golf course conditions leads nicely into the potential innovations that we could see in the future.

One thing I think could have huge potential uses would be virtual reality (VR) – imagine standing in a bay, putting on a headset and methodically planning your way around your next golf course of choice.

This could be something that helps the transition of elite amateurs to tour events – often players with little experience of the ‘big stage’ can let things get on top of them. The incredibly immersive experience of VR could help train players to overcome their nerves, ignore the distractions and perform better under pressure by recreating the conditions they could feel. Granted, nothing will ever replace the real thing but this would be a great start.

The future of data-capture looks to be about expanding our awareness and knowledge of areas of the sport that were previously nothing more than theory. We already have equipment with built-in sensors but I can see a future [that is not too far away] where there are completely non-invasive methods of gathering the same data Trackman can for example, but without the need for any external equipment to be setup, with data streaming live and wirelessly to receivers both on and off the course.

I can also see this extending to more wearable equipment that is less intrusive in the practice or practicing or playing (think a biomechanics analysis product that is nothing more than a normal base layer for example with no discernable difference to a normal item of clothing).

Right now anyone can go out and measure their vital statistics using something like an Apple Watch and the relevant apps, but perhaps in future we won’t even need to put anything on, or if we do it will be more akin to wearing a temporary tattoo than an accessory like a watch.

Perhaps a much bigger question to pose from all of this is what will be done with this data – the more you capture, the more you need to process it, and ultimately it needs to be useful to coaches and then to their students.

What will certainly need to happen, no matter what might come in the future, is for the education of coaches to go hand-in-hand with the technological advancement to ensure these fantastic tools are not purely a marketing ploy but are actually beneficial and valuable to their students.

PGA Professionals have a responsibility to keep up with the latest changes in coaching methods to ensure they a) provide what their students want and need, and b) they don’t get left behind when others could be helping golfers play better and enjoy themselves more.


This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.

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Technology in Golf Coaching – What’s Next?
1st Schools Championship in Lebanon Creates a New National Buzz Around the game! http://www.pgae.com/news/1st-schools-championship-in-lebanon-creates-a-new-national-buzz-around-the-game/ Wed, 05 Jul 2017 10:33:41 +0000 Mark Taylor http://www.pgae.com/?p=19246 After a successful first visit to Lebanon within the ‘R&A Working for Golf’ remit earlier in the year, we (The...]]>

After a successful first visit to Lebanon within the ‘R&A Working for Golf’ remit earlier in the year, we (The PGAs Europe) were requested to help organise and implement a Schools Championship for students, parents and train the workforce in succession management to facilitate future Schools Championships in conjunction with the Lebanese Golf Federation and Golf Club of Lebanon.

The Schools Championship proved a huge success with over 70 children attending the day at Golf Club Lebanon, Beirut, the children aged between 6 and 11 years represented six schools which had all received prior coaching through the Lebanese Golf Federations’ ‘Golf in Schools Programme’.

The event which removed the barriers to participation by inviting teachers, parents and friends of the participating children, coaching taster sessions were also delivered to attending parents whilst the event took place. Further coaching offers and entry level memberships were available along with general information on golf and its many benefits, including tours of the golf clubhouse and golf course.

The three hour event showcased golf to VIP guests and high ranking Government officials including the Minister of Tourism and the assistant to the Lebanese Sports Minister being also in attendance…The blistering midday heat did require more Parasols to be brought in for the dignitaries though!!

As desired the event aided in changing the negative political perception of golf in Lebanon, also empowering parents and local officials to view how much fun golf can be, alongside all of the many health and social benefits that golf can offer. This was ultimately justified in the Golf Club Lebanon securing an indefinite extension to the lease of the land from the Aviation Authorities. Both Club and Federation are now better positioned to continue to move forward with their business plan – with the future of their only facility to date secured.

Upon interviewing attending parents they were amazed at the location and readily stated that they didn’t even know that the Golf Club existed, with the demand for green space increasing as housing developments continue to monopolise the area, they all suggested that golf would provide an excellent activity in which all the family could participate in beautiful surroundings.

We were able to attract coverage from local TV stations and newspapers who later wrote a full page article on the event, again another first here as golf received its first full page mention in the Lebanese National Press!!

Such events continue to justify how important it remains for Federations and Golf Facilities to reach out and engage the local community, developing support and relationships with both the community and political stakeholders…more importantly to shift golfs’ stereotypical perception and increase participation in our sport to new players of all ages. Both The Federation and Golf Club have been inundated with enquiries since the event, attaining new sponsorship opportunities, recruiting new schools to their programme and participants of all demographics to their club coaching and membership offers.

Please contact The PGAs Europe if you would like further information or assistance on such events.

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1st Schools Championship in Lebanon Creates a New National Buzz Around the game!
Regripping in a Coaching Environment http://www.pgae.com/ask/regripping-in-a-coaching-environment/ Thu, 29 Jun 2017 14:23:29 +0000 Golf Pride http://www.pgae.com/?p=19117 Golf Pride explain how you could add regripping to your business regardless of whether you run or have access to a retail facility...]]>

How to Offer Regripping Services Outside of the Pro-Shop

When you think of regripping many automatically think of a workshop tucked away at the back of a Pro Shop at a club and then nothing more than a selection of example grips on the side of the shop counter.

Well it doesn’t have to be like that – you could add regripping to your business regardless of whether you run or have access to a retail facility like a shop or store.

If you are a coach working at an academy, or maybe you run an indoor practice facility, then you too could add regripping services and Golf Pride products to your offering.

All you need is an area within a facility where you can create a grip station and also promote your regripping service and the products you have on offer.

Golf Pride’s team of local distributors will then help explain what your specific requirements are, what products you can stock and how to go about effectively marketing your services and Golf Pride’s range of products on offer.

4 Tips For Marketing Regripping Outside of the Pro-Shop

1 – Make sure your regripping service is clearly on offer to your students or customers

Place marketing materials in driving range bays, discuss the service with every student you have, bring products with you to lessons, and keep your regripping point-of-sale materials and stands in view of your teaching bay or passing customers.

2 – Utilise your Social Media presences and leverage your email database

Make an announcement about the introduction of your services, make use of the Golf Pride retailer resources on offer, and keep regular communication going with clients.

3 – Make it experiential

Have specific times on the range or at your academy where you regrip clubs in front of customers to show your expertise, attention to detail and the services on offer. You could create a while-you-wait service for people who are practicing, or perhaps invite the local distributor to spend a few hours with you and your clients to share their knowledge of the important of regripping.

4 – Keep regripping at the forefront of your mind

Hardwire the services into your teaching process, ensuring your students are all using appropriate grips and you regularly check their grips to ensure they are fit for purpose.

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To find out more about setting up your own regripping service with Golf Pride visit www.golfpride.com/about/wholesale-distributors and find your nearest distributor.

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Regripping in a Coaching Environment
Leadbetter’s Grip Fundamentals With Golf Pride http://www.pgae.com/ask/leadbetters-grip-fundamentals/ Thu, 22 Jun 2017 22:25:15 +0000 Golf Pride http://www.pgae.com/?p=19134 Golf Pride Ambassador and one of the game’s most successful and respected coaches, David Leadbetter, offers his thoughts on the importance of the grip...]]>

David Leadbetter, one of the game’s most successful and respected coaches, offers his thoughts on the importance of the grip and how to get it right…

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I think I can sum it up in a sentence when I quote Ben Hogan and say, “good golf begins with a good grip.”

You can take that two ways and look at the actual grip, such as those made by Golf Pride, and the way that you position your hands on the club. These are clearly intertwined and, if you look at how the actual grips on golf clubs have evolved over the years, it shows how the hold plays such an important role.

The Top Hand

I would say that 80% of amateur golfers grip their top hands on the club incorrectly, and this is the biggest fault in golf. You can really only tell the quality of a grip when you open it up and a lot of the time you will see golfers grip the club too much in the palm. This makes it very difficult to set the club and the only way to do that is with the elbow. This increases the tension in your hands, and your body doesn’t get involved in the swing.

If you set the grip further in the lower part of the hand towards the fingers, you can set and hinge the wrist. A simple tip for amateurs is to hold the club up in the air at 45 degrees before placing your hands in the grip position. You will have seen a number of pros do this over the years, as it ensures the hands are in the right position.

You can then connect the hands together, however you feel comfortable, safe in the knowledge you are set correctly.

Grip Size

A lot of players underestimate the importance that the thickness of a grip plays. All hands are different sizes and the thickness of the grip is vital because it determines the amount of pressure you apply to the club. If the grip is too think or too thin, a player is going to generally grip the club in the palm of the hand, which is one of the most common faults I see.

This is because the player is trying to hold on to the club in an attempt to hand onto it, something that is clear when you see wear marks on the heel of a golf glove.

You hear about a strong grip all the time, but this is often misinterpreted. It in face means that a player sets their hands round in an anti-clockwise position.

You might think a grip is just a grip, but there is a big different between the types on offer and the golfers they suit. For example if you play golf in Dubai and it is 120 degrees and your sweating profusely, you will need something that is completely different compared to what someone is playing with where it is always cold, and more of a tacky feel is needed.

Grip Pressure

If you ask most of the pros they would say that their grip pressure, our of 10, would be between a three and a five. If amateur golfers were honest, many would say they are around a nine and you can see the veins popping in people’s arms as they stand over the ball.

If you go back to the great Henry Cotton, the hands play a huge role in the swing. Although I believe that power comes from the body, this power ultimately comes down through the arms and hands, and then through the club. The hands also control the clubface, so if you aren’t gripping it correctly and your grips are the wrong size, you’re going to have a problem squaring the face up and releasing the clubhead.

Personal Feel

My great friend Nick Price has the same size hands as me, but has very skinny cord grips that feel awful to me; he couldn’t hit my clubs and I couldn’t hit his.

The reason he has those skinny grips is that over the years we have worked hard to set the club and because he has very solid wrists, they do not cock or set very easily. Having a thinner grip allows him to set the club easier. Players who are very wristy through the ball can control that hand action with thicker grips.

This is where a good teacher or fitter will help to advise on the type of grip they need. Feel is such a key thing to top players, and it can make such a difference.

I have worked with LPGA player, Lydia Ko, who previously played with a normal grip, which is stretched half an inch to make it thinner. She then made an equipment change and could tell immediately that the grips on the clubs hadn’t been stretched.

There is no answer for everybody, but once you have found your grip thickness it will help your game.

The grip is a very underestimated part of the club. Some manufactures will put cheap grips on great golf clubs and they will wear out quickly and compromise the quality and performance. Changing your grips at least once a year is vital. My first rule of thumb, a little tongue in cheek, is that if you can see your reflection in your grips it is definitely time for a change.

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To find out more about setting up your own regripping service with Golf Pride visit www.golfpride.com/about/wholesale-distributors and find your nearest distributor.

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Leadbetter’s Grip Fundamentals With Golf Pride
The Player – Psychologist Relationship: Working With Practitioners at the Highest Level http://www.pgae.com/ask/the-player-psychologist-relationship-working-with-practicioners-at-the-highest-level/ Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:58:57 +0000 Dr. Brian Hemmings http://www.pgae.com/?p=12208 What lessons can be learned about creating a successful, effective team of practicioners around an elite performer?]]>

European Tour Professional, Seve Benson, and sports psychologist, Dr. Brian Hemmings, have established a successful professional relationship that has lasted well over a decade.

IGPN spoke to Brian and Seve to find out more about how they work together and what lessons can be learned about creating a successful, effective team of practicioners around an elite performer.

Becoming an Effective Part of a Player’s Team


How did your working relationship come about?

SEVE: Our relationship began when I was a young lad playing for England. Brian was the England squad psychologist when I was about 17.

BRIAN: I remember seeing his name and like many people I thought it was misspelt.  So that was noticeable at first in terms of his name but I remember meeting him as a what was really a young boy of 15 and of course now he’s in his late 20s.

What sort of work did you do at first?

BRIAN: It would of been a typical session with a young junior golfer on the fringe of England recognition with ‘boys’ – what you’re trying to do is get to know somebody and how they approach the game because we’re all different.  Then largely it’s individually based – so for some people it might be very much on putting work and with others it might be their approach off the course.

But for a lot of young golfers, there are their own expectations of how far they want to go in the game and it’s very competitive in the game from a very early age.  What I probably recall from Seve…would be something about expectations of yourself, and of trying to forge a career in the game.

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What has your working relationship entailed?

BRIAN: Seve’s always been a quiet individual, keeping himself to himself…I think sometimes with players, when they’re quiet they can be deemed to be unconfident but I would say Seve had quite a quiet assurance about him, which he’s always had.

SEVE: Working with Brian for this length of time has been a real joy.  He has always kept me focused on the process of what I am doing.  After working together for a long time he has become a great friend.  We meet on pretty much an ad-hoc basis from time-to-time and after seeing Brian I’m always left with a sense of calmness, which I love.

BRIAN: The beauty of working with somebody over that extended period of time is that you see him or her through so many psychological transitions – not just in terms of their game, but also as a person going from a young boy into a young adult.  Then they’re developing long-term relationships off the course in terms of their partner, along with other transitions such as buying houses…and all the things that we probably don’t think much about when we look at sportspeople play golf.

At the same time you’re cautious about the fact that you’re not their friend.  When you’ve known somebody for 14 years you get to know them very well but it’s a professional relationship, it’s not a personal friendship relationship.  Therefore we’re both quite disciplined in that way that it retains a professional sense whilst it is in a friendly way.

How do you manage these influential factors with players like Seve?

BRIAN: Work with any player is very individually-based if it’s going to be the most effective because you’re trying to establish a very unique relationship – what makes a player unique, what’s their way of thinking about the game, and how can you remind them of those things when there might be a sense to search for something that’s going to be more effective.

So we retain contact only maybe by text before and after a tournament. When he’s home for a reasonable stretch of time we try and meet up either at Wentworth where he’s based or more locally to me.

Then it’s very much in the moment about what’s on his mind – is it a performance issue or is it somewhere else in terms of lifestyle or his approach that he’s maybe lost his focus – it really comes from him.

SEVE: Since a young age, Brian has helped me to become very strong mentally and cope with any situation that may arise on the golf course.  I think that as time has gone on our relationship has improved and Brian knows how I tick so when something comes up in my game we can deal with it really effectively.

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Brian, you’ve seen Seve through all of these various stages of development – is that a challenge to get background and relationship bond with players when you first begin working with them?

BRIAN: Yes, in new relationships getting to know one another, getting to know how someone thinks about their game, their particular issues or the demands/pressures at that point, gets easier as you get to know people.  But by and large, in sports psychology, they’re actually more short term relationships – people come to you with a specific issue and that may last as little as one or two sessions, six sessions, or over six months, but is more fleeting.  I think that this is where it is different from a PGA Professional because although players do change coaches my experience is that they generally do have a bit more longevity than a sports psych.

[Sports psychologist] relationships are generally more fleeting and therefore there’s more pressure on you to be effective over a short period of time, whereas with somebody such as Seve or a longer-term relationship, there’s a sense that you can get into other areas that perhaps they wouldn’t think are performance-related by getting to know the person better.

What is it about Seve and others that set them apart?

BRIAN: They’re all very different in their approach…but my observations of working with the amateur-professional transition in the English game would be that they invest in themselves.

So at National coaching level there would be a number of technical coaches with specialist areas, a physio, strength and conditioning people, and one of the difficulties for players when they turn professional is that all of a sudden that team largely drops off because they’re not at your beck and call as a national squad player.

So all of a sudden the support structure that you’ve experienced and the edges in performance through sports science or through certain technical coaching is no longer there.

I think that when you speak to people who have made ineffective transitions, you find that their team completely dispersed and they really suffered as a result of that.

Whereas I think that with people like Seve, Danny [Willett], Chris [Wood], what they did very well was that they still invested in themselves.  So at a time when perhaps money might have been at a bit more of a premium, they still tried to retain as many people of that core team as they could.

SEVE: I think my professionalism, relentless work ethic and commitment to the game are my strong points.  But they all come from the fact that I’ve always focused on, and invested in, the mental side of my game and made sure I put the effort in to maintain what I’m doing.

Because I’ve known Brian for a while and specifically since I was young, he’s helped me to mature as a person and become very professional in what I do.  We also spent a lot of time in the past looking at goal setting so our work has helped me become very clear on how to achieve those goals.

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Brian, how do you fit into Seve’s coaching team?

BRIAN: I’m very rarely at tournaments, the European Tour is obviously a world-based tour now so there’s the cost implications of [travelling to events].  And also I think Seve is ‘low maintenance’ so I don’t think there’s a need for that a lot of the time.

Generally I’ll try and see him play a couple of times a year – clearly the UK ones this year, Wentworth and Woburn, are the easiest, and that’s more observationally.  As I say to him, I’m not looking to intervene at that point; it’s really an observational point to see how he operates because a large amount of his work is based on his reflections.  Also of course there’s a chance at that point to interact more with his team – he has a world-class coach in Pete Cowen, he works with Justin Buckthorp who works with Justin Rose and a number of other players in terms of his strength and conditioning, and I get a chance to meet with his caddie.

He works with Phil Kenyon on a week-to-week basis out on tour…so it gives me a great chance to catch up with their work and the putting work I am doing with him to make sure it’s in accordance with them.

So to get the views of other people who are closely involved with him in terms of their observations on maybe his improvement or areas where there could be more improvement is very useful.

So that’s how it works, but otherwise when Seve gets back after a series of tournaments we’ll either catch up face-to-face or by Skype, FaceTime or phone, whatever’s the most convenient to him.

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How do you make yourself an effective part of Seve’s team and manage his expectations of what you hope to do?

BRIAN: There are many sports psychologists that would emphasise the content of interventions and ‘this is what you do’, and often there’s a lot of ‘yes, this technique will enable you to do x, y, and z’.  I’ve always approached it from a slightly different way – I’ve always recognised that the relationship is of primary importance.  So, as somebody begins to trust you and you build rapport with them, the relationship is in a sense also how you help people change their views or beliefs, or how they approach a certain situation.

So I always put great emphasis on the importance of the relationship with any player.  As it is with Seve, that’s easier to say as I’ve known him a long time.

The second part of it is that I try to be open to his needs at whatever point he is at.  Sometimes players give you that themselves.

I would like to think that sometimes I challenge his way of thinking when I think it is unproductive to him, or I present a different story to him that could be equally valid based on his experiences.

Let’s say in terms of expectations, in terms of your progress through the game, you could write a story where you say ‘well Seve’s never won on tour’.  He’s won as a professional, but like many people he hasn’t won on tour yet. They’ll be other people who will say ‘well Seve should have won by now’.  Now of course if that creeps in to your thinking that can put you under enormous pressure.

Where as an equally valid story is to say ‘well actually year on year he’s improving and whether he wins or not is not entirely down to him’.  It’s down to how in any given week, the rest of the field also perform.

SEVE: It’s really important to have a good team of people around you.  I would say that the team would each need to be open-minded and have minimal egos – that way they can work effectively for the player.

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With thanks to Brian Hemmings, Seve Benson (@SeveBenson) and Northampton Golf Club (www.northamptongolfclub.co.uk).

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The Player – Psychologist Relationship: Working With Practitioners at the Highest Level
International Golf Pro News Reaches Three-Year Milestone http://www.pgae.com/news/international-golf-pro-news-reaches-three-year-milestone/ Mon, 19 Jun 2017 10:24:34 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=19027 IGPN has reached its 36th Issue as it continues its mission of providing useful, relevant & interesting content to PGAs of Europe Member Countries & PGA Pros...]]>

Digital magazine, International Golf Pro News (IGPN), has reached its 36th Issue as it continues its mission of providing useful, relevant and interesting content to PGAs of Europe Member Country PGAs and their individual PGA Professional Members.

The monthly publication is distributed amongst the Association’s 36 Member Country PGAs and their collective 21,000+ PGA Professionals becoming a hugely valuable resource that allows the PGAs of Europe to support the PGAs with their advancement of their own Members.

Issue 36 is a Coaching Special featuring interviews with Mike Walker and David Leadbetter, content from SNAG Golf, Golf Pride, the PGA of Switzerland, Peter Millar, BMW, the Ryder Cup European Development Trust, and news from the PGAs of Europe and its various events and activities.

IGPN originally took the form of a print publication for a number of years, however, with the continued development of digital communications and the work of publishers, All Square Media, the magazine went exclusively digital, ensuring it can be read widely and provides the best possible responsive and interactive reading experience no matter what device is being used.

Its success has largely come from the quality of content produced, both in-house, and using curated international expertise from a wide variety of expert contributors. Content is featured in a broad range of areas such as marketing, coaching, psychology, productivity, business management, career development, golf development, sustainability and much more.

The magazine also ties in to the Association’s ‘A.S.K.’ (standing for Attributes. Skills. Knowledge.) activity in which content is created and curated for a dedicated thought-centre on the PGAs of Europe website – www.pgae.com/ask – and is open for PGA Professionals to read whilst providing a valuable content resource for PGAs to use in their own communications.

If you would like to contribute to IGPN or A.S.K. then please contact Aston Ward at aw@pgae.com.

Sign-Up to Receive IGPN for FREE @ WWW.PGAE.COM/IGPN

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International Golf Pro News Reaches Three-Year Milestone
Moments of Mastery – How Coaches Can Build Belief http://www.pgae.com/ask/moments-of-mastery-how-coaches-can-build-belief/ Thu, 01 Jun 2017 13:30:34 +0000 Corey Lundberg & Matt Wilson of Curious Coaches http://www.pgae.com/?p=18933 In golf, there are the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. The ‘haves’ possess the required skills to excel on the course, along with the key: self-belief...]]>

In golf, there are the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’.  Not only do the ‘haves’ possess the required skill set to excel on the course, they also have the secret ingredient that truly separates them from their less-successful counterparts: self-belief.

This topic came up as we were recently discussing the results of some of our competitive clients.  It seemed we kept coming back to this commonality in describing our students who were experiencing the most success.  Obviously, they perform well because they are all highly skilled, but the players that seem to have an unwavering belief in their abilities– keep achieving— sometimes even beyond the level that their current skills would predict.

We love the queued up clip below of the current World Number 1 communicating an amazing sense of belief in himself and his abilities.

“They had no chance.”

“Who’s playing for second place?”

This steadfast outlook on his ability to perform manifests itself in a few key characteristics:

  • a willingness to take on meaningful challenges
  • a propensity to exert maximum effort in training
  • a persistence in the face of setbacks

These traits allow the self believers to navigate the ups and downs of golf and better manage the stress inherent within competitive golf.  Psychologist and motivation expert, Albert Bandura, referred to this belief as Self Efficacy. Here is how he describes performers with high self efficacy:

Alternatively, we sometimes encounter highly skilled and technically proficient players who lack this Self Efficacy. They approach competition with anxiety rather than the exhilaration.  These are the players who, despite having robust skills, aren’t able to parlay them into maximum output. How often do you see a player approach their performance with trepidation and expectations that are not in alignment with what they are capable of? Why is that?

It may seem obvious, but so much effort is spent on refining skill and technique that it’s easy to omit this essential component to performance from our lesson plans.  And sometimes it’s worse than merely omitting— sometimes we prepare for an event in a way that inhibits self-efficacy and belief.  Spending too much time on technique in our interactions leading up to an event rarely fuels a belief in their skills ‘as-is’.  Instead, this approach may allow for a bit of doubt to creep in as the performer wonders what iteration of their mechanics will show up when it counts.  This is a really difficult roadblock to avoid, especially if performance wanes in the lead up to an event.

So how can we build belief?

One of the most difficult things to do, as coaches, is to persuade a performer to believe more in their abilities. And that’s because players need something more tangible– to see it, not just hear it. They need proof. While we certainly try to build it and protect it through how we communicate— ultimately that belief has to be earned.

In our experience, the best source of Self Belief is the memory of previous accomplishments. To that end, we work closely with players to build a success inventory – a storage box of instances that demonstrate to the player, that they are capable to excelling in a variety of situations.

Think of an athlete who struggles to perform.  If we know the person well, and know what they need to be successful, we can get pretty creative in creating situations where these accomplishments can be earned – and their memory bank can get filled.

Through reflection, we found a very common pattern – the occasions in which the people we work with reported the most confidence and performed best in events, closely matched the time in which we presented them with tasks aligned most closely with the ‘Build Efficacy’ quadrant of our Task Design Matrix.

These tasks – ‘Moments of Mastery’ – allowed the athletes to train in similar-to-play conditions under  achievable outcome demands.

In looking closer at the anatomy of a Moment of Mastery, our end goal is to craft a task that creates assurance for the athlete– once complete, they know their skill is on-point and ready.  We want them to be able to recognize a situation and refer back to the training they have completed and know, with great certainty, that their skill set is more than capable of producing the outcomes that they want – and need – in that circumstance.  This performance state serves as a stark contrast to the uncommitted, uncertain performer who just isn’t sure if they can pull a certain shot off.  If that’s the perceived belief, they SHOULD be nervous and anxious!

Although it sounds simple, there is an art to it.  Knowing how hard the task needs to be to get them engaged and exerting effort while also keeping the difficulty at a level that is likely to produce a successful performance is quite difficult, as it is often a moving target and a very thin line to walk.  However, it is the means by which this ‘swagger’ is earned, and it is something that expert coaches are able to do with practice and careful planning.

This is obviously made more difficult when the player attempts to create a Moment of Mastery with a technique that isn’t producing the desired results.  That’s when, as coaches, we have to scale difficulty and possibly even put certain aspects of technique in isolation, so the performer can mentally ‘check the box’ and move on.  While this ‘isolation’ technique may not align with how a player best learns in the long-term– it’s worth doing at times if we know it will have a positive effect on their perceived competence.  For an example of successful players training his way, visit the putting green of any tour event Mon-Tue and witness players going through their technique checks with any number of training aids in a noticeably superficial environment.

On these occasions, we prefer a stable, unrepresentative setting despite the stigma that often comes with these ‘blocked practice’ activities.  If, in that moment, it will help an athlete believe in themselves more, we won’t hesitate to go there.  Even if it’s a bit manufactured and unrepresentative– skill acquisition science be damned!

CREATING MOMENTS OF MASTERY

There are two things that we need to be aware of when designing Moments of Mastery.

  • The goal is to boost a player’s perception of their ability to be successful under the gun.
  • The boost comes from them being able witness their success in the first person, repeatedly.

With those action items in mind, we need to provide a task that has three distinct characteristics:

  • Low to moderate relative difficulty.
  • A like-golf environment.
  • Repetition.

These three aspects of the training task – difficulty, instability, and time on task – work together to create an environment that has the potential to inspire motivation and perception of one’s abilities as it offers the possibility for the performer to be successful, in similar-to-play situations, often. Provided the outcome standard that governs success is in alignment with their skill set, these tasks serve as a catalyst to the creation of confidence.  Here is an example:

PRACTICAL EXAMPLE

 

 

In this instance, the athlete received certainty that what he is training, he is able to recall when he needs it and that the outcomes are very good.  Again, it sounds very simple, but the more we can create these moments, the more moments of success they have in the memory bank to reference during competition.

In addition to providing opportunities to see success, we can further promote their sense of ‘I-Can-Do-It-ness’ by keeping track of their performance.  Logging skills assessments or statistics, can show tangible proof of progress against early versions of themselves.  What will happen to the athlete in the screencast after we point out a drill that at one time seemed very difficult, but now they complete with ease?  This is another great source for self-belief— it’s a great way to promote their sense of ‘I-Can-Do-It-ness.’

While we don’t claim to be sports psychologists– we realize that our interactions need to impact performance state in equal measure to skill.  Exploring the motivational and psychological underpinnings of how we coach and train should be a priority for all coaches.  Luckily there are experts in golf like Pia Nilsson, Lynn Marriott, Dr. Bhrett McCabe, and Dr. Rick Jensen who share their insights generously.

If you feel researching this topic could improve your coaching– our friend Cordie Walker is putting on the Unlocking Performance Virtual Summit.  Some of the brightest minds in golf, including the ones listed above, will be sharing their thoughts.  We would highly recommend checking it out!

Another great source is James Sieckmann’s new book, Your Putting Solution.  Not only does he cover the technical components of putting in comprehensive detail, but the second half of the book is essentially a master class in how to coach, build belief, and train more effectively.

And after you check out those great resources, we hope you’ll engage us in further investigating this topic in the comment section.  What activities do you use to create similar ‘Moments of Mastery’?  Describe a task that you use that seems to evoke a strong sense of ‘I can do it’ from your students.  We would love to compile a database that we can all learn from and use in our coaching.

 – COREY LUNDBERG & MATT WILSON

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Moments of Mastery – How Coaches Can Build Belief
Changing Limiting Beliefs: Do You Focus On Your Character Or Your Reputation? http://www.pgae.com/ask/changing-limiting-beliefs-do-you-focus-on-your-character-or-your-reputation/ Tue, 30 May 2017 15:21:56 +0000 Dr. Brian Hemmings http://www.pgae.com/?p=11946 The great American basketball coach John Wooden once said that sportsmen and sportswomen should focus more on their character rather than on their reputation...]]>

The great American basketball coach John Wooden once said that sportsmen and sportswomen should focus more on their character rather than on their reputation. Wooden remarked that character was ‘what you are’, whereas reputation was merely ‘what others think you are’. 

In nearly two decades of working in golf with PGA Professionals and elite players I hear a lot about pressure and see where coaches and players become overly worried about their ‘reputation’ rather than knowing and trusting in their own ‘character’.  Here I witness the limiting beliefs people have about themselves and the perceived consequences of poor results.

Often players will underperform because they feel pressure about how they might be viewed by others if they fail.  This can also affect coaches as they sometimes feel their own reputation is determined by the performance of those they coach, when in reality performance has so many variables, and the coach only contributes in specific ways.

In essence being overly concerned about your reputation creates instability as it is not under your control as it involves the perceptions of others.

Knowing the impact of limiting beliefs should give you the motivation you need to change them for yourself or to help players when you sense this is an issue. A healthy belief puts you into the right frame to have the best chance of success. It is also true that negative beliefs and thoughts have a huge impact on performance, so if we find it difficult to be positive then we must at least learn ways of managing negative thinking to keep it to a minimum and hence give ourselves a chance.

In the previous two articles I have written about the need for effective listening in coaching. Particular words to look out for are must, should and got. For instance, ‘I must make the cut; ‘I should beat this opponent’; or ‘I’ve got to win’. These words reveal very rigid, inflexible beliefs and create unnecessary pressure as they result in patterns of ‘all or nothing’ negative thinking.   It is much better to frame performance beliefs with a prefer approach.  For example, ‘I’d prefer to make the top ten’.

Article-Header-Images_Brian-Hemmings---Character

Often these beliefs hinder players’ views of themselves, their golf, and of their potential success.   So in future improve your coaching by listening carefully to the words your players use. They will reveal much about their thinking patterns and the performances that follow.

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Changing Limiting Beliefs: Do You Focus On Your Character Or Your Reputation?
[PODCAST] How Good Golfers Get Good with Graeme McDowall & Peter Arnott http://www.pgae.com/ask/podcast-how-good-golfers-get-good-with-graeme-mcdowall-peter-arnott/ Thu, 18 May 2017 08:01:33 +0000 Golf Science Lab http://www.pgae.com/?p=18837 How do we explain great players? And what can we discover when we ask questions like, “how do PGA tour players become PGA tour players”?]]>

How do we explain great players? And what can we discover when we ask questions like, “how do PGA tour players become PGA tour players”?

We’re sitting down with two guys, Graeme McDowall and Peter Arnott, who have some interesting concepts that might explain a lot of the “luck” and “mystery” surrounding great players.

Ecological psychology is really the study of how organisms act in their environment, how they adapt, and how they become functional in their environments.

One of the key concepts explains how we are able to directly perceive our environment and how we are able to scale movement solutions to that environment. This essentially reverses the paradigm – you’ve got to find the problem first, then come up with a solution.

With an ecological dynamics approach, you don’t give the organism any solutions. Instead, you just give it appropriate problems and let the organism (golfer) come up with the solution. Because we are all different in the sense that we are unique, we act with creativity and novelty.

For instance, you see all these guys in the PGA Tour with different movement patterns, but they are effectively doing the same thing and that is behaving functionally in the environment.  Each of them has come up a unique solution to a problem. The human system is very smart. It has evolved to adapt to the demands of his environment. These are empirical chase-able theories and facts that you put down that we can present a lot of literature to support these in motions

The human system is very smart. It has evolved to adapt to the demands of his environment. These are empirical chase-able theories and facts that you put down that we can present a lot of literature to support these in motions

We just need to provide it with an appropriate environment and an appropriate level of development and the whole organism will be capable of whacking whole things out and you’ll have such as self-organization.

Real World Example of Great Players Adapting to the Environment

One of the great examples of this is from Padraig Harrington when he talks about his junior golf development.

He talks about being a part of a group of players who used to play games for money every day and quite simply, if you couldn’t hole a putt for money, you had to leave the group. If you couldn’t develop that competency, if your skill couldn’t emerge to a high enough level you would have to leave the group because you couldn’t afford to be a part of this group.

Padraig talks about never ever being concerned with technique, but only that they knew how to get the ball in the hole.

We talk about this certain illusion of form following function.

When you look at the PGA tour you see a lot of different golf swings, grips, and techniques. Some of these are techniques you wouldn’t necessarily want to teach someone . What you are seeing there is people who have learned to do something that is a function.

Learn to get the ball in the hole, “This is the way I get the ball in the hole, my technique has just emerged”. It doesn’t necessarily resemble a particular standard.

It doesn’t always look optimal, but I am going to get this ball in the hole because those are the demands of the environment placed on me.

That’s what Harrington is describing here. He is saying that his environment growing up was such that if you couldn’t learn to hole putts for money, then you had to leave the group.

You see a skill being emergent; they didn’t really concentrate on the technique. They were just figuring out a way of getting that ball in the hole because of the constraints that were part of the environment.


About Graeme McDowall

Graeme has an MPhil in Sports Coaching from the University of Birmingham and is a full-time Golf and Sports Coaching lecturer at the SRUC in Scotland. He is also an associate lecturer and a PhD researcher at the University of Abertay Dundee.

His main area of research is skill acquisition in sport and as well as being a practitioner in this area with the high-performance golf programme at the SRUC, he has worked with coaches in rugby and football. Graeme is currently involved with some of the world’s leading experts in non-linear pedagogy, in a project aimed to bring coaches, academics and education professionals together to raise standards in player development.

Follow Graeme on Twitter Here

About Peter Arnott

Pete Arnott is the Teaching Professional at Craigmillar Park Golf Course. Pete is currently studying a MRes in skill acquisition and has worked with all levels of golfers, from novice to European Tour Players, using a constraints-led approach. Indeed, recently one of his star pupils, Nastja Banovec, won a very prestigious Professional Tournament (The Paul Lawrie Invitational) whilst still an Amateur.

Peter has also just recently returned from talking to over one hundred delegates from all sports at the English Institute of Sport on how he puts ‘science’ into practice and has been asked to talk at several high-profile institutions as a result. Basically Peter specialises in creating effective practice environments, which enable a greater transfer from practice to play.

Follow Peter on Twitter Here

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[PODCAST] How Good Golfers Get Good with Graeme McDowall & Peter Arnott
What’s in your Coaching Toolbox? Increasing Your Knowledge, Client Base & Income http://www.pgae.com/ask/whats-in-your-coaching-toolbox/ Tue, 16 May 2017 23:33:31 +0000 Dr. Brian Hemmings http://www.pgae.com/?p=8454 Dr Brian Hemmings looks at 'Reflective Coaching' and ensuring your knowledge is appropriate for your clients' needs...]]>

‘If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.’

Abraham Maslow

When players start to look ahead to a new season they are often conscious of renewing efforts to develop their games and achieve their goals.  The difficulty is that players of all standards will often not be specific enough in any practice they do.

Maslow’s famous quote applied to golf implies that if players don’t develop different tools/shots in their game, their development is likely to stagnate as they are likely to always approach situations on the course in the same way. Of course this could also be applied to course management skills and decision-making on the course.

The same could equally be applied to golf coaches and teaching professionals (and psychologists). Broadening one’s knowledge and skill set enables us to consider more variables when trying to improve the performance or enjoyment of the golfers we work with. Therefore, it is important that any coach considers what specific coaching education they might need in order to progress their repertoire of skills, their coaching achievements, the players they work with, or to increase their income.

Therefore, take time to reflect what is in your coaching toolbox? Do you always reach the same conclusions with players and find yourself repeating the same instructions? Coaches in other sports are encouraged to engage in regular ‘reflective practice’ to self-assess their effectiveness. These questions might prompt where your ‘toolbox’ is limited.

Reflective Coaching Questions

  • What happened in that coaching session?
  • What were you thinking and feeling?
  • What was good and bad about the session?
  • What sense did you make of the player’s progress?
  • What else could you have done?
  • If the same situation arose again what would you do?

To return to developing a player’s toolbox, a suggestion might be trying a ‘shot of the month’ short-term goal-setting task to focus their coaching, efforts and practise over the coming months.

This simply requires you discuss with players the goals they have for the coming year, and what limitations they may have that could be improved on each month.  This is not to say all other coaching work stops, but it is usually helpful to target one particular shot in a realistic timeframe. Identify the most important shots or skills, measure their current success in some way, and then agree the thrust of coaching, technical instruction and practice that month to improve that particular shot.

A simple re-test or re-measurement at the end of the month should hopefully show better execution/results and therefore more confidence going into the season.

JanuaryChip from the Fringe(e.g. currently 50% finish within 4 feet) FebruaryGreenside Bunker Play
MarchMid-Range Putting April30-40 Yard Pitch Shot
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What’s in your Coaching Toolbox? Increasing Your Knowledge, Client Base & Income
Coaching Confidence: 3 Ways to Help Players Pre-Tournament http://www.pgae.com/ask/coaching-confidence-3-ways-to-help-players-pre-tournament/ Tue, 16 May 2017 13:03:45 +0000 Jonathan Bint http://www.pgae.com/?p=12219 Coaching at tournament sites or in the lead up to tournaments can provide unique challenges for coaches - Jonathan Bint explains more...]]>

“I found something on the range”. A typical quote that you hear from time to time from players who have just shot great rounds in tournament golf.

Coaching at tournament sites or coaching players in the time leading up to tournaments can provide unique challenges for coaches; from dealing with pre-competition anxiety or working with a player who is convinced they need to be ‘patched up’.

In my experience, knowledge of the mental challenges that a player may be experiencing tends to (not surprisingly) be aligned to what experiences the coach themselves has had with tournament play. This is not necessarily a bad thing (depending on the coach’s experience) but what I’ve tried to do below is highlight some general factors from a psychological perspective that might help your coaching in pre-tournament situations.

Coach the situation

Why will a player come to see you close to competition? I’d be willing to bet that the majority of lessons arranged (with existing coach-player relationships) within a week leading up to a competition are by players looking for a fix of some kind due after poor recent performances.

The tendency in such moments might be to over-coach or get sucked in to the player’s dilemma whilst the situation calls for something completely different.  A strong coach has an acute awareness of these situations and has an ability to remind the player of the longer journey, to show evidence of progress made to date, to listen well and to simplify and refine rather than introduce new ideas.

Take some time to think about your tendencies in these situations. Do you get drawn in to the player’s ‘problem’? At these times pay attention to the bigger-picture: What are the factors that may be impacting on the player? What do you need to filter to be effective?

Comedian and Counsellor

Away from technical expertise one of the main tools a coach has is his or her ability to communicate.

At tournament sites or close to tournaments in many ways a coach becomes much more like a counsellor or psychologist. How you relate to the player in these circumstances can directly influence how the player feels, which in turn can impact on performance.

The image I have of Butch Harmon working with players around tournament sites is one of jokes and laughter not heavy technical work. I’m not suggesting you need to turn into a comedian to be effective but a greater awareness of how your tone and words can impact on a player will be useful.

Being open to simply listen intently as a player talks through concerns may sometimes be most useful for the player at this time. Don’t under-estimate the impact this can have.

Also near competition it’s worth reminding the player how far they’ve come to get to this point. What specific progress have they made? The current tournament is always the next measurement post rather than a final exam. Playing ‘down’ the current tournament is nearly always helpful for golfers.

Always seek to gently adjust the player to the playing environment, from a technical mentality to a playing mentality. This may go against your natural instincts as a coach. Help the player adjust by providing tournament scenarios (“now you’re on the 6th tee”) while reminding them that they have some of the feelings associated with tournament play will help them play better and should be embraced rather than feared.

Article-Header-Images_Jonathan-Bint_Phil-Butch

‘Giving’ a player confidence

The coach who could pass on confidence like a magic pill would command great power in the world of golf. Confidence or lack of is probably the most used explanation for if a player is playing well or poorly.

There is a great mystique about how confidence can come and go for players. “If only I could have had the confidence I had last week”. The idea that someone else can give or pass on confidence is a bit misleading but knowing a little more how a player obtains confidence is a useful tool for any coach.

Roughly speaking, confidence derives from a few factors: being prepared (and feeling like you are more prepared than others you are competing against), a track record of quality practice (and a perception that you’ve practiced better than peers); having the experience of beating a similar group of players that you’ll be competing against, use of competition specific imagery, running through scenarios that you may face within the competition; being able to use self-talk for reinforcement; and being able to perceive high arousal as helpful.

Obviously, the confidence ‘recipe’ is complex and will be different for each player but in general the following ‘rules’ should help coaches facilitate feelings of being confident in the players they are helping:

  1. The closer to tournaments the more simple instructions should be.
  2. Remind players to focus their efforts on controllable factors; praise and encourage a player to take pride in doing the simple things well.
  3. When reminding players of successes use fact-based evidence. Confidence doesn’t feed off half-truths or hopes.
  4. Take time to check in with player for understanding? How does the player understand what you’ve just said? Uncertainty is a confidence killer.
  5. Help the player adjust to a performance mind-set; use language that will remind a player to be target focused and playful rather than analytical.
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Coaching Confidence: 3 Ways to Help Players Pre-Tournament
An Essential Guide to Learning About Learning: A Curated Reading List For Curious Coaches http://www.pgae.com/ask/an-essential-guide-to-learning-about-learning-a-curated-reading-list-for-curious-coaches/ Mon, 08 May 2017 12:02:41 +0000 Corey Lundberg & Matt Wilson of Curious Coaches http://www.pgae.com/?p=12714 It has never been easier to embark on a journey of self-education in our field. We have countless books, seminars, certifications, social media groups]]>

We are very fortunate to have a number of readers who share our passion for learning and growth.  Many of them have reached out lately– curious about where they can learn more about motor learning.

It has never been easier to embark on a journey of self-education in our field.  We have countless books, seminars, certifications, social media groups, and blogs dedicated to sharing and disseminating new ideas in golf instruction.  And for those focused on learning more about ‘what to coach’, these sources are immensely valuable in furthering our knowledge.  But for those looking for information on ‘how to coach’, and more specifically, ‘how people learn’, sources seem to be much more scarce.  Ultimately, if we are in the business of human development, it stands to reason that understanding how humans come to attain mastery would be of utmost importance to becoming more effective.

There ARE great sources for learning about learning, they are just a heck of a lot harder to find.  Outside of a few textbooks available on Amazon, many of our favorite texts have been circulated amongst peers who are engaged in similar knowledge pursuits.  So it inspired us to compile a few seminal pieces on the topic of motor learning and performance to help you continue your path to better understanding of how mastery develops and skills are refined.  And because we were hoping to discover a few new gems for ourselves, we reached out to a few leaders in the field for help.  We assembled a list of the experts in learning who have focused some of their work on golf, and posed a simple question:

“What is the most important piece of motor learning research that all coaches should read?”

Thankfully, these generous leaders obliged and provided what has become our curated list on Learning about Learning.  Click on the book icons for each of the articles provided by our esteemed list of experts.  We hope you’ll take the time to dig in.  Enjoy.


ATTENTIONAL FOCUS AND MOTOR LEARNING: A REVIEW OF 15 YEARS

PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches - attentional-focus-imageRECOMMENDED BY DR. GABRIELE WULF

Our first recommendation comes from Dr. Gabrielle Wulf, a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences at UNLV.  Not only is Dr. Wulf the go-to expert on attentional focus and it’s affect on learning and performance, she is also the author of one of our favorite books (which happened to be a suggestion by one the experts we surveyed  for our list).

Wulf suggested this piece, telling us, “This review of about 80 studies shows the importance of adopting an external focus of attention for optimal performance and learning of motor skills. Helping athletes adopt and maintain an external focus by giving the right instructions or feedback is critical for enhancing performance of complex skills– such as golf skills– particularly in challenging situations.”


PAR (PLAN-ACT-REVIEW) GOLF: MOTOR LEARNING RESEARCH AND IMPROVING GOLF SKILLS

PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches - PAR-TIM-LEE-IMAGERECOMMENDED BY DR TIM LEE

Motor Control and Learning is the book that introduced us to many new coaching concepts and ignited an interest in motor learning that continues to burn.  In addition to Motor Learning and Control, Dr. Lee has authored Motor Control in Everyday Actions and over 80 papers on the topics of motor control and motor skill acquisition in peer-reviewed journals.

While many motor learning texts are devoted to a broader pursuit of skill development, Dr. Lee sent us over a paper specifically dealing with the learning of golf skills.  He mentioned that this would be a great starting point for many practitioners and we couldn’t agree more.  The paper hits on several big learning topics: phases of learning, effective practice conditions, focus of attention, and delivery of feedback.  Along with a thorough exploration of these major themes, it also includes specific implications for golf skill acquisition.


CHALLENGE POINT: A FRAMEWORK FOR CONCEPTUALIZING THE EFFECTS OF VARIOUS PRACTICE CONDITIONS IN MOTOR LEARNING

PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches - challeng-pointRECOMMENDED BY DR. CHRIS BERTRAM

Not only is Chris a former PacWest Golf Coach of the Year several times over, for the past 11 years he has served as Director of the Human Performance Centre and as an Associate Professor of Kinesiology at UFV.  Dr. Bertram recommended another paper dealing explicitly with golf.  This is a paper that we have referenced in previous posts and it’s had a huge influence on our approach to coaching.

Chris suggested the Challenge Point paper because it “nicely summarize many of the important concepts relating to practice and feedback and provides a framework- based on optimally challenging a learner – for a coach or practitioner to apply in the real world.”

As a nice bonus, Chris also included a couple of papers that he credits with shaping his thinking about skill acquisition in golf:

1) Goode and Magill (1986) Contextual Interference Effects in Learning Three Badminton Serves, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, Volume 57, 4

“An early and important study on the effects of blocked and random practice.  Were among the first to demonstrate that increasing contextual interference (i.e.., randomness) in the practice setting is a more efficient way to see gains in learning than blocked practice.”

2) Winstein, C. J. & Schmidt, R. A. (1990). Reduced frequency of knowledge of results enhances motor skill learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology:Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 16

“Another important early study in motor learning, this time looking at the how the frequency of feedback, and its impact on learning.  In other words, in golf terms, how often should a coach be providing “information” to the student… what we see happening in practice is not always a trustworthy indicator of how much learning is going on.”


MOTOR SKILL ACQUISITION: AN ESSENTIAL GOAL OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION

PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches - skillacq1RECOMMENDED BY TRILLIUM SELLERS ROSE

In addition to reaching out to the academics specializing in learning research, we really wanted to include the recommendations of some coaches who promote the study of skill acquisition within our industry.  Trill certainly qualifies– she paused a very successful teaching gig to obtain a Master’s Degree in Motor Learning and Control from Columbia University.  Now, as the Director of Instruction at Woodmont Country Club, she is applying the lessons learned and can offer the perspective of a coach well versed in how golfers acquire and adapt skills.

Few are better equipped to bridge the gap between academic and real-world practitioner, so her recommendation carries a lot of weight with us.  She points us towards “Motor Skill Acquisition: An Essential Goal of Physical Education”.  The paper is especially relevant to those coaches developing young athletes and explores the importance of time on task, engagement, and corrective feedback.


NON-LINEAR PEDAGOGY UNDERPINS INTRINSIC MOTIVATION IN SPORTS COACHING

PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches - non-lin-ped1RECOMMENDED BY MATTHEW WILSON

We couldn’t finish our list without including a couple of our own recommendations.  During a bit of a research project that we conducted last year, we requested some recommended reading from Graeme McDowell, who has been a great resource for us.  Like Trill, we see Greame as a bit of a hybrid between a well-versed academic and an experienced coach with real-life interactions with the topics in question.  Graeme delivered us about 30 papers, focused mostly on the theme of Non Linear Pedagogy.  We went about reading the list and, through a shared Google Document, recorded our notes and takeaways/actionables from each paper.  Many of the papers by Ian Renshaw were among our favorites, and this one in particular tops Matt’s list.

The article tackles a key challenge for sports coaching– providing performers with learning environments that results in sustainable motivation.  It provides an excellent explanation of both non-linear pedagogy and self-determination theory, two topics that have made a big impact on our coaching styles.


INSIGHTS FROM ECOLOGICAL PSYCHOLOGY AND DYNAMICAL SYSTEMS THEORY CAN UNDERPIN A PHILOSOPHY OF COACHING

PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches - dynamicalRECOMMENDED BY COREY LUNDBERG

Our last suggestion was also uncovered from the abundant source of Non-Linear Pedagogy papers provided by Graeme McDowell.  It’s another one from Ian Renshaw and Corey includes it because of how comprehensive it is in organizing so many important learning concepts within one paper.

It provides a clear description of nonlinear pedagogy while giving insights on perception-action coupling, self-organization, variable practice, and implicit learning .


BONUS TOP 10 BOOKS ON LEARNING

RECOMMENDED BY MICHAEL HEBRON

In addition to the papers above, we were excited to get some recommendations from Michael Hebron.  Michael is a member of the PGA Hall of Fame and world renowned coach that has dedicated much of his career to educating coaches.  His books, The Art and Zen of Learning Golf and Play Golf To Learn Golf, have made a huge impact on how we approach golf instruction.  As he has devoted so much effort to better understanding how golfers learn, we knew that our list would be incomplete without his contributions.  Below is a list of 10 books that Michael has recommended.  Once you have read the previously mentioned papers, we think this represents a great way to continue your path to better coaching.

PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches Michael Hebron Reading List_01

PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches Michael Hebron Reading List_02

PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches Michael Hebron Reading List_03 PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches Michael Hebron Reading List_04 PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches Michael Hebron Reading List_05 PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches Michael Hebron Reading List_06 PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches Michael Hebron Reading List_07 PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches Michael Hebron Reading List_08 PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches Michael Hebron Reading List_09 PGAs of Europe - Curious Coaches Michael Hebron Reading List_10

Happy reading!

–Corey Lundberg & Matt Wilson

 

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An Essential Guide to Learning About Learning: A Curated Reading List For Curious Coaches
Every Shot Counts: Using the Revolutionary Strokes-Gained Statistics to Improve Golf Performance & Strategy http://www.pgae.com/ask/every-shot-counts-using-the-revolutionary-strokes-gained-statistics-to-improve-golf-performance-strategy/ Tue, 02 May 2017 11:21:17 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=18776 Dr Mark Broadie's innovative Strokes-Gained metric has led to a fundamental change in our understanding of how important the different areas of golf are...]]>

Statistics have always played a part in the analysis of golf and its golfers. They allow comparisons to be made between individuals with all their varied characteristics, abilities and experiences, enabling a golf coach to use those statistics to drive action.

The amount of information and number of statistics/metrics available to the Professional coach has never been greater – in fact, many argue that there is too much information out there that does not answer the questions people really want to know about.

This is something that Columbia Business School Carson Family Professor of Business and keen golfer, Mark Broadie, saw as being fundamental to his groundbreaking research in the past 10 years. Current statistics and metrics are good but lack the capability in many cases to relate other metrics. In response to this he developed a system that allows all the elements of the game to be compared to each other – Strokes Gained.

In his new book, ‘Every Shot Counts’, Broadie explores his Strokes-Gained metric that has entered the public consciousness through use of Strokes Gained – Putting on the PGA Tour, and the overall research that has led to a fundamental change in our understanding of how important the different areas of the game are.

IGPN: The Strokes Gained statistic is really a completely different way of assessing the performance of a player on the course – how did you come up with the concept for it?

MB: I started by asking ‘what separates an ‘80’ and a ’90’ golfer – where do these 10 strokes come from?’ Another question was how to grade a golfer in different areas; long game, short game, sand play, approach shots, driving – how could you compare all those things?

There are a lot of ways you could do this – such as how close do they put approach shots to the

“About two-thirds of a 10-stroke difference comes from shots outside of 100 yards and about one-third comes from shots inside 100 yards…that’s pretty robust across hugely different skill levels”

hole? If you have a large enough data set then you can see that this person’s average score might be 80 but they’re hitting their approach shots like a scratch golfer, or they may be hitting relatively poor approach shots like a ‘90’ golfer.

The problem is that these measures still don’t answer the question of where do the 10 strokes between and ‘80’ and a ‘90’ come from? In order to answer that question you need to be able to compare drives that are measured in yards/meters with something like greens in regulation which is either ‘yes you hit it’ or ‘no you missed.’ You have all these different ways to measure golf but they don’t answer the question about where that scoring difference comes from.

In order to do that you need to be able to measure say driving distance and driving accuracy on a scale that’s comparable to sand play or to putting, and it turns out how to do that is to measure everything in strokes – and that led to strokes gained.

The idea was that you could measure the quality of every shot from a drive to an approach shot, or a sand shot to a putt in this consistent unit of strokes gained – it allows you to measure all parts of the game together.

IGPN: And the PGA Tour have used the putting element of your research…

MB: I had written an article and then presented at the World Scientific Congress of Golf in 2008 with some early findings on this notion of strokes gained applied to the entire game. A couple of years later I was at a conference with a group from MIT [The Massachusetts Institute of Technology] and the PGA Tour was there just letting academics know that this is what their ‘ShotLink®’ data is and how it’s available to academics through their ‘ShotLink® Intelligence Programme’. So we presented our work there…[and] that sort of crystallised things at around the same time that the PGA Tour internally was saying ‘we need to come up with a better putting statistic because putts-per-round’s deficiencies were obvious to them.

What the PGA Tour implemented in 2011 was just the ’Strokes Gained – Putting’…I had been looking at short, medium and long putts [to] break it down into sub-categories, but the PGA Tour’s reaction was ‘no, no, the problem is we have too many stats’. They have putting from four-feet, five, six, seven, eight, etc. – so in a way they have too much and too little.

Part of the reason for this book is to let people know that this analysis applies to all parts of the game and that the PGA Tour’s aim has always been to roll out more strokes gained stats in the future. They are planning on rolling out ‘strokes gained – tee to green’ next.  On a TV broadcast or leaderboard at a tournament… you could have ‘total stokes gained’ broken down into tee to green play and putting. That would allow you to see on why somebody is leading or why somebody is only in 10th or 20th place.

Strokes Gained – Putting Example from the PGATour.com:

Putts gained(From given distance) = PGA Tour Average putts taken Actual putts taken to hole out

The statistic is computed by calculating the average number of putts a PGA TOUR player is expected to take from every distance, based on ShotLink® data from the previous season. The actual number of putts taken by a player is subtracted from this average value to determine strokes gained or lost. For example, the average number of putts used to hole out from 7 feet 10 inches is 1.5. If a player one-putts from this distance, he gains 0.5 strokes. If he two-putts, he loses 0.5 strokes. If he three-putts, he loses 1.5 strokes.

A player’s strokes gained or lost are then compared to the field. For example, if a player gained a total of three strokes over the course of a round and the field gained an average of one stroke, the player’s “Strokes Gained Against the Field” would be two.


IGPN: Your research revealed that when you look at all these areas together the relative impact of each area of the game was actually different to traditional thinking – the differences between ‘80’ or ‘90’ golfers, or even between good tour players and the best players, were more because of the long game…

MB: Roughly about two-thirds of a 10-stroke difference comes from shots outside of 100 yards and about one-third comes from shots inside 100 yards and that’s pretty robust across these hugely different skill levels.

There are definitely differences amongst individuals – I’m talking about a typical ‘80’ golfer versus a typical ‘90’ golfer, or a typical professional golfer versus typical top-10 professional.

IGPN: So the traditional emphasis on putting, or at least the general tendency towards ‘drive for show, putt for dough’, is not accurate – what sort of reaction have you had to that?

MB: I’ve heard more from the people that agree with the findings in the book – people are saying ‘finally, I’ve thought this all along’ – and probably a little less from the people that disagree.

I tried in the beginning of the book to figure out what are the strongest arguments that people have for the importance of putting – I tried to say why I thought the arguments fell short, but I’m certainly interested in trying to speak to anyone that has a different view.

A lot of people have pointed to Tiger Woods and have said that the main factor that explains his success is his putting. The reason that seems plausible is that he’s such a good putter – the data bears that out, but he’s also good at everything else, it’s just approach shots where he really dominates. He’s great at everything but really great at approach shots. It’s a surprise to a lot of people but not someone like Sean Foley, his coach.

“Tiger’s approach shots are where he really dominates, he’s great at everything but really great at approach shots.  It’s a surprise to a lot of people but not someone like Sean Foley”

The other thing I’ve found is that when you look at PGA Tour winners, the explanatory power of putting is higher.  Using 10 years of data, I find that putting contributes about 15% of the scoring advantage of the best Tour players compared to average Tour players.  If you look at tournament winners then putting contributes about 35% of the scoring advantage during their wins.

Part of the reason is that when you look at tournament winners, then there’s a different one every week, and whoever wins that week is someone who’s playing well above their norm.

That’s part of the reason that people tend to believe in the importance of putting – they see putts going in from all over the planet when they watch the highlight reels of someone winning a tournament but they don’t show the shots that get them there.

IGPN:  You spoke recently at an MIT Conference with Tiger Woods’ and Justin Rose’s coach, Sean Foley, about how he and other coaches can turn the data produced using strokes gained into actionable data and also on the statistical approach coaches should have – what do you think are the main ways a coach can use this type of information?

MB: It’s definitely easier for coaches whose pupils are PGA Tour golfers because of the ShotLink® data that’s available…the PGA Tour records all of the shots of all of the players at all PGA Tour events.  You can break down a golfer’s strengths and weaknesses fairly accurately [using strokes gained] and that allows a coach like Sean Foley to focus his instruction on what will give the biggest bang for the buck.

It would be ideal if amateurs went to their instructors with strokes gained reports, which detailed their trends, strengths and weaknesses.  It is possible for amateur golfers to collect data on their own shots, using lasers or yardage books, and then use the tables in the book to do the strokes gained analysis on their own.  We’re working on an app that I am hoping will be ready for beta-testing in two or three months that will make it even easier for individuals to do it themselves.

You want to make it as painless as possible for golfers to record their shot information – the PGA Tour pros have it great because someone else is doing it for them – but for amateur golfers data entry is the hurdle.  The good thing is it’s really not that painful for an amateur to record their own data  – I’ve been doing it for years and the app will make it even easier. In my database of amateur golf shots, it shows that putting contributes about the same to scoring differences as it does for the pros. But every golfer is unique, and having strokes gained report for individual golfers would be, I think, quite useful for coaches.

The book shows how you can go out to the practice green or short game area and test your skills by hitting a bunch of putts and shots.  There are tables in the book where you can compare yourself to pros and amateurs of various levels.  It’s fun and you can do it in a short period of time, an hour or so, though it has the disadvantage that it’s not in tournament play and it’s not in the changing conditions that you might get on the course.


In EVERY SHOT COUNTS: Using the Revolutionary Strokes-Gained Approach to Improve Your Golf Performance and Strategy (Gotham Books, March 10, 2014, Hardcover, eBook) Broadie explains the simple idea behind strokes gained and shows how it applies to all golf shots. He uses it to answer many questions of golf performance: What does it take to win a PGA Tour tournament? What is the secret behind Tiger Woods’ success? Which skills separate amateurs from pros? How much is twenty extra yards of driving distance worth?

EVERY SHOT COUNTS also uses this new data to analyze golf strategy: Lay up or go for it? Play an aggressive or conservative shot off the tee? Not a book about swing mechanics, EVERY SHOT COUNTS uses data and analytics to better understand golf performance and golf strategy. EVERY SHOT COUNTS reveals truths that will change the way golfers of all handicaps look at and play the game.

For more information visit www.everyshotcounts.com and to purchase your copy of EVERY SHOT COUNTS visit the Amazon Bookstore here http://eur.pe/PA76cZ (includes a short preview of the book).

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Every Shot Counts: Using the Revolutionary Strokes-Gained Statistics to Improve Golf Performance & Strategy
[PODCAST] David Leadbetter – Coaching Through the Generations http://www.pgae.com/ask/david-leadbetter-coaching-through-the-generations/ Tue, 02 May 2017 03:02:24 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=15332 David Leadbetter explains more about his thoughts on the modern game and his reflections on coaching from past experiences...]]>

David Leadbetter has been at the forefront of the golf coaching psyche for as long as we can probably remember. Or around the mid-80s depending on how old you are.

His work in carving out a place in history for England’s greatest golfer, Sir Nick Faldo, has helped him build a reputation around the world for being at the forefront of coaching some of the greatest players to play the modern game.

He could also arguably be credited with the development, if not creation, of the ‘tour coach’. A coach that isn’t just with a player for sporadic swing check-ups, but one that forms a key part of the athlete’s team and spends significant time with them both away and at tournaments.

At the 144th Open Championship at St Andrews, the PGAs of Europe caught up with David in his natural habitat – strolling the golfer-dense driving range of a major championship, checking in on his myriad of athletes’ competing that week. Where better to pick his brains about the past 30 years…

“Just the time flies by and you see a whole host of different players now and a new generation of young players…”

Leadbetter’s viewpoint has been one that is only shared with a handful of names in the coaching world – a behind-the-scenes look at what was once one of the sport’s best-kept secrets – the inner workings of a tour professional. A perspective that has enabled him to see the game evolve first hand:

“It’s gone by in a flash really…1990 was when obviously Nick Faldo won here and that was 25 year ago and obviously he had his little swansong here at St Andrews this week and it’s incredible really.

“Just the time flies by and you see a whole host of different players now and a new generation of young players. If you think just this week there’s five amateurs making the cut…it just shows the gap between the professionals and the amateurs is getting closer – we’ve got an amateur leading the tournament…it’s amazing really where the game’s come from and where…it’s going to go to.

“I guess it’s progress – you’ve got better athletes, better equipment – these players are looking like it’s a real job now, it’s a business – there’s always been somebody with a lot of talent to show up and play well and it was almost by happenstance that they were successful.

“But now it’s sort of a plan from a very young age where you know you’ve got junior academies all over the world, you’ve got players from a multitude of countries.”

“It’s really interesting to see how well trained these young players are and how focused they are…”

Leadbetter was very much a trailblazer and was not afraid of adopting new methods and technology in his work, regardless of how it might have looked to his contemporaries:

“It was rather the exception than the rule back in the day when players had coaches – I was sort of a phenomenon from the standpoint of I had a video camera and people were looking saying wow. Nick Faldo lead the way as far as creating better work habits shall we say and having a coach, looking at workouts and looking at nutrition, sports psychologists. Now you have teams of people around, like Jordan Spieth always refer to it as ‘we’ – ‘we are doing this and that’. A swing coach, sports psychologist, the fella that works with him on his physical training.

“Obviously when you’re talking about the amount of money that they’re playing for – Tiger Woods has been a big factor in this – it’s no wonder that you’re seeing people with talent that are pushed to the limit.

“It’s going to be interesting in years to come – one of the things that we’re seeing, especially in the women’s game, is how long careers last. There’s a lot more emphasis on how really putting the reps in at a young age – you’re seeing injuries with these young players that we haven’t seen in the past so that is a factor.

“Just look at Jordan Spieth who’s 21 and a whole host of young players stateside and also in Europe now and in the far east too, who are exceptional players at a much younger age through better coaching and all the rest of it. From things in the past it really is progress in many ways.

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“It’s really interesting, looking at it from my perspective, to see how well trained these young players are and how focused they are. Golf is a game where there’s no team aspect, apart form the Ryder or Presidents Cups, but it really is a one-on-one situation and so there’s a tremendous amount of pressure on them to perform at the highest level.”

Whilst the elite and tour golfers have kept him busy for much of his career, Leadbetter is no stranger to teaching a range of golfers. He continues to coach all types of players himself, and, together with his small army of Leadbetter coaches and Academies, has many touch points with the sport across its many and varied ability levels.

This permeation across the sport and his inclusion of many PGA Professionals into his fold has again given him a perspective that few others can have really seen on the ground…

“I think the standard of coaches has definitely improved through the PGAs worldwide getting together with seminars and experts in their field talking to individuals.

“It’s interesting – we do live in an age of technology and all the aspects there are that we’re able to ascertain what’s going wrong with peoples’ swings. We can analyse to the nth degree – as I like to say in the old days when we didn’t have video cameras and it was just our eye and our instincts as teachers and coaches, it was just our opinion which was the main factor. These days we can actually prove how bad people are when we look at Trackman and we look at biomechanics and we can see all these numbers.

So the secret is still how to transmit that information to the average player in a simple fashion where they can out and play. Because we also have to remember that the issue here really is that although we have all this technology which in some ways makes things more complex, people have less time to play and practice than they ever have in the past so if anything you’ve actually got to get the message across in a more simpler fashion so people can have immediate improvement.

The old theories back in the day where you’ve got to work at it for six or nine months with a grip change and this and that and just be patient. But people aren’t patient these days they want it now and if they don’t get it from one source they’ll get it from another.

“I’m glad in many respects that I grew up in the era where we didn’t have the mod cons because you have to use your eyes, instincts and intuition to teach…”

“You can go on the Internet and there’s a million and one ways to fix things so that is a danger. I think it’s important from the teacher’s standpoint…I’m glad in many respects that I grew up in the era where we didn’t have the mod cons because you have to use your eyes, instincts and intuition to teach.

“Where I think a lot of young teachers unfortunately because of the advent of all this technology they tend to rely on that purely so that is a danger.

“But I think it’s nice to know that if you have this detailed knowledge as a teacher, to be able to put it across in a simpler fashion and having the knowledge of maybe not being a sports psychologist as such, but having a psychology approach where you can get people to clear their mind. Those are the things that need to be taught as well to players if they are going to fulfil their potential.

Leadbetter has also been known for his role in developing the golf coach into more of a commercial entity and could arguably be termed the first ‘branded’ golf coach having developed the Leadbetter brand around the globe with over 20 academies and selling millions of books and videos.

But he has also produced a number of theories or swing systems for golfers – most recently his ‘A Swing’ has been the focus of his attention and the development of this approach with his players.

“I’ve written a number of books through the years and instructional videos, and I thought about this for a long while and I really wanted to bring out something that was a little bit different and something that was hopefully a bit simpler.

So this book, ‘The A Swing’, which stands for ‘alternative’, is really an alternative way to swing the club from the standpoint of making a simpler backswing because that’s the area that I think most amateurs get confused by.

They spend so much time and energy trying to create a nice backswing they never really get into the issue of trying to make contact. If you think of cricket or tennis and everything’s about going forward, making contact, hitting the ball towards a target. And yet in golf it’s almost an after-thought – ‘oh yeah look, the ball went down the middle of the fairway.’

I wanted to bring this out and it’s a fairly simple approach and really it’s been out in the States for five weeks now and the feedback has been really good, from people at all levels from beginner to tour level. I’ve got 20 test students and it’s been a couple of years in the making shall we say.

“The essence of this ‘A Swing’ is really helping people to synchronise their body parts – essentially synchronising your arm swing with the body rotation because I think that’s where people really have an issue. If you got someone to do a mini pivot drill without a club, just fold their arms and put the club behind their shoulders or hips or one of the many variations of a pivot drill, you could get them to make a pretty reasonable movement in a very short space of time. But yet you put a club in their hand and that looks nothing like it – it’s almost as if the body is reacting to where the club is – so out of sync with the swing.

‘Synchronisation to me is a big word, regardless of whether you use the ‘A Swing’ or whatever you use. To me when players are really on song, and even amateurs, it’s as if the timing of the swing if you will, where the clubhead is relative to where the body is, you know they really match up well.

“I think Tiger Woods was a perfect example of being out of sync, especially when he gets on the first tee and the first tee shot is inevitably a push shot, and it’s a little bit nervous and the synchronisation is an issue.

“This book’s been well received as I say, there’s some simple drills, and the thing about it is it’s not really a method, I would like to call it an organic approach because it doesn’t have to be perfect – there is a model that you can work towards, but as we all know what you work towards and what you achieve can be two different things.”

That’s the great thing about this game, you continue learning…and if you’re not learning then you’re going backwards instead of forwards…”

“I could keep doing what I’ve done, which has been fine and some of the stuff I taught back in the nineties is still a factor in my philosophy shall we say. But if you remember the old mobile telephones, those big clunking things, compared now to the iPhone, there’s a big difference.

“It would be strange to say you haven’t gone forward or had any sort of progress in your philosophy or your outlook. So I would say essentially a lot of it is very much based on my original thoughts of the dog wagging the tail syndrome where I really believe the bigger parts, certainly you’ve got to understand how the hands and arms work, but your power, your balance comes very much from how your torso moves and so I haven’t really changed in that so I haven’t really had an epiphany and said ‘ok, whatever I’ve taught the last 40-odd years has been wrong’, because it’s a continual learning process.”

So with this experience and knowledge constantly building up, where does Leadbetter think coaching is going in the future…?

“I think that in many respects golf instruction needs a little bit of a shake-up, the instructional business shall we say.

“The thing I think we’re really got to be careful of in this day and age is that we don’t over complicate things for the masses. When talking with tour players, they can get into it to a certain extent so far as ground force pressure and how exactly what is taking place with the angle of attack and the track, the flush squareness of contact. But the average amateur really probably couldn’t give a hoot, it’s like ‘hey just show me how to hit the ball more consistently, I want to lose fewer balls, have more fun,’ and if we can do that to people there’s an excellent chance of people staying in the game and more people getting into the game.”

Click Here to Listen to the interview in Full (http://eur.pe/1VrKafJ)

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[PODCAST] David Leadbetter – Coaching Through the Generations
The Difference Between Winning & Losing with Jon Stabler & Dr. Deborah Graham http://www.pgae.com/ask/the-difference-between-winning-losing-with-jon-stabler-dr-deborah-graham/ Thu, 27 Apr 2017 08:53:32 +0000 Golf Science Lab http://www.pgae.com/?p=18636 Golf Science Lab, Jon Stabler & Dr. Deborah Graham look at personality traits and what we can learn by separating those that win and those that don't...]]>

We’re going to take a look at personality traits and see what we can learn by seeing what separates the elite golfers (who can win) and those that don’t. Our guests have done the testing only directly with players on the LPGA, PGA, and Champions Tour players.

We keep treating people like a machine, and we don’t address the controller.

If you don’t have control of yourself, your thoughts and your level of arousal, you have no chance.

The 8 Trait Study

Dr. Deborah Graham set out to see if there was a difference between the frequent winners and the other LPGA tour players in terms of personality traits.

She had them take the Cattell 16PF personality test and then took data on each players’ career record. Creating groups of the ‘frequent winners’, and then she had a ‘near champion’ group, who had won once or twice but been on tour for a while, and a ‘non-champion’ group who’d been on tour a long time and never won.

Then using statistical analysis software she analyzed and compared the groups and compared them by personality traits. The analysis said that on eight of the personality traits, the ‘frequent winner’ group was different from the other two groups, and the level of statistical distinction was at the 95th percentile and above. On the 9th trait compared, the level of statistical distinction dropped down to the 60th percentile.

The difference between the champions and the other players is night and day. The champion group lines up on these traits and the other players do not. Those eight traits existed; Dr. Deborah discovered them.

A Case Study

(From Jon Stabler) Gary McCord had known us for quite a while, in fact he had us consult on Tin Cup. When he turned 49, he’d been commentating already for a while, he liked it, life was good but he wanted to take advantage of the opportunity the senior tour presented. He wanted to play, but he didn’t want to change his life. He didn’t want to give up the commentating, he didn’t want to go into a major effort to get ready and came to us for help.

A little back story on Gary, he played 376 PGA tour events in his PGA tour career, he made 242 cuts, no wins.

After we got the results back of his assessment, it became somewhat obvious where his challenges were. He only lined up on two of the eight champion traits. He was off the mark on the other six, but there were two of those, one in particular that was the most damaging.

He measured very high on the abstract scale. The frequent winners on tour do not. They only measure slightly above average on the abstract side of the scale. His biggest challenge is quieting his mind and making a decision he can commit to in a short amount of time.

The old cliché is ‘paralysis by analysis.’

On tour, if you are the first to hit, you have 40 seconds by the time you get to the ball. You can’t think about all the options. You have to come to a decision pretty quickly and play the shot. If you are over the ball and still thinking about what you are supposed to do and what you need to do and think about whether you have the right target or whether you have the right shot, or making adjustments because the wind just came up, there is no way you are going to hit the ball well.

Once he understood that, he was able to keep it simple, game plan the night before, so all the thinking is done when in a more relaxed state. Secondly, listen to your intuition. What we found is that people high in the abstracts scale have really good intuition or first impressions. Go with the first impression. Don’t over-think it. Thirdly, on the putting green, read the putts from behind and below the hole and then stop. Don’t second-guess it, don’t go to the other side of the hole, it will just give you too much information, you’ll get confused.

With that work and basic mental routine information, Gary was able to go out and win in the rookie year on the senior tour.

He won 2 out 17 events with the same guys he couldn’t beat on the regular tour.

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About Jon Stabler

Jon Stabler is co-founder of GolfPsych. Along with being a co-researcher and co-author in the personality study of golfers and the resulting book, “The Eight Traits of Champion Golfers”, Jon has developed and conducts our GolfPsych group schools and Instructor training programs. He has worked with numerous competitive juniors, pros and college teams including TCU, SMU, A&M and Baylor.

Jon invented the Mind Meter used in GolfPsych schools & programs. It enables GolfPsych clients to quickly learn to manage emotions and attain optimum tension levels for golf shots.

About Dr Deborah Graham

Dr. Deborah Graham is a licensed Counseling Psychologist specializing in golf performance. Working with professional and amateur golfers from around the world, her client list includes over 380 players on the PGA, LPGA and Champions Tours, 21 of which she helped guide to 31 major championships. She was recently chosen by Golf Digest to their first Top 10 Sport Psychologists in Golf list!

Beginning in 1981 with a study of LPGA players she determined the statistical differences between champion and average players on tour, collecting data with the assistance of LPGA hall of fame member, Carol Mann. The findings helped earn her doctorate and discovered 8 critical personality traits for success in golf. This study was duplicated on the PGA and SR. PGA tours with the assistance of her husband, Jon Stabler, again finding the 8 champion traits and forming the foundation of the GolfPsych mental game training system. These studies and their Tour experience resulted in their book, “The Eight Traits of Champion Golfers”, published by Simon and Schuster in 1999.

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The Difference Between Winning & Losing with Jon Stabler & Dr. Deborah Graham
5-Star Walker Receives Prestigious PGAs of Europe Award http://www.pgae.com/news/5-star-walker-receives-prestigious-pgas-of-europe-award/ Wed, 26 Apr 2017 10:30:02 +0000 PGAs of Europe http://www.pgae.com/?p=18693 PGA of GB&I Master Professional, Alan Walker, has received the 5-Star Professional Award in recognition of his outstanding career as a PGA Professional...]]>

PGA of GB&I Master Professional and EIGCA Golf Course Architect, Alan Walker, has received the 5-Star Professional Award from the PGAs of Europe in recognition of his outstanding career as a PGA Professional.

“It is a tremendous honour,” said Walker.  “I feel very privileged and proud to be holding this trophy when I think of all the famous names that have won this award – it signifies the peak of my career, so I’m really pleased.

“It means everything to me.  You have to be proud that you are a PGA Professional because the status that it gives you in life, and the opportunities it affords you are things that people look up to you for.”

 

Nominated by the PGA in England and selected by the PGAs of Europe’s award selection committee, Walker’s 5-Star Professional Award acknowledges the highest level of standards across the many and varied areas of expertise and activity that he has been involved with.

“I think it goes back to when my father used to say to me “if at first you don’t succeed then try, try again” and that’s really all I’ve been doing ever since I was a boy.  I just enjoy every facet of the golf industry.

“I wake up every day and believe it’s not work, it’s a hobby. It is a great privilege to be a Golf Professional and a Member of the PGA of GB&I.”

Having previously been on the PGA of GB&I’s Board of Directors from 1983 to 2001 and its Captain between 1999 and 2001, Walker is a PGA Master Professional and Honorary Member of the PGA.

He is the Director and Proprietor of Garon Park Golf Complex in Essex, England, a course he designed himself in 1994, which was awarded the prestigious title of GolfMark Club of the Year in 2013.

Walker has continued to give back to the game through his selfless work on various Boards and Committees, helping to improve and develop the game as a tutor for the PGA of GB&I and the European Institute of Golf Course Architects, as a rules official for a number of years across PGA, European Tour and Ladies European Tour events, and as a Golf Development Professional for The R&A in Botswana and Peru.

For More Information On All This Year’s Award Winners Visit http://eur.pe/2016AnnualCongress

“My advice for PGA Professionals out there is to look at every opportunity, never say no, and make sure that you put something back in.  It is no good sitting there thinking because you’ve qualified and you are a member that everything is fine – it is just a starting position for you and you have to work as hard as you can.”

Throughout his career Walker has always focused on helping young Professionals and individuals in his businesses and in particular as an educator, passing on his vast experience and knowledge, whilst always remaining sympathetic to the upholding of the traditions and values of the PGA.

He continues to advance his career and business interests, running his own golf consultancy and golf course design business, as well as with his leadership of Garon Park.

For More Information On All on the Award Winners Visit http://eur.pe/2016AnnualCongress

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5-Star Walker Receives Prestigious PGAs of Europe Award
New Rules of Golf Decision Limits Use of Video Review http://www.pgae.com/news/new-rules-of-golf-decision-limits-use-of-video-review/ Tue, 25 Apr 2017 16:01:20 +0000 The R&A http://www.pgae.com/?p=18730 The R&A and the USGA have issued a new Decision on the Rules of Golf to limit the use of video evidence in the game which takes effect immediately...]]>

The R&A and the USGA have issued a new Decision on the Rules of Golf to limit the use of video evidence in the game which takes effect immediately.

The two organisations have also established a working group of LPGA, PGA Tour, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America representatives to immediately begin a comprehensive review of broader video issues that arise in televised competitions, including viewer call-ins.

New Decision 34-3/10 implements two standards for Rules committees to limit the use of video: 1) when video reveals evidence that could not reasonably be seen with the “naked eye” and 2) when players use their reasonable judgment to determine a specific location when applying the Rules. The full language of the Decision can be found here.

The first standard states “the use of video technology can make it possible to identify things that could not be seen with the naked eye.” An example includes a player who unknowingly touches a few grains of sand in taking a backswing with a club in a bunker when making a stroke.

If the committee concludes that such facts could not reasonably have been seen with the naked eye and the player was not otherwise aware of the potential breach, the player will be deemed not to have breached the Rules, even when video technology shows otherwise. This extends the provision from ball at rest moved cases, which was introduced in 2014 (Decision 18/4).

The second standard applies when a player determines a spot, point, position, line, area, distance or other location in applying the Rules and recognises that a player should not be held to the degree of precision that can sometimes be provided by video technology. Examples include determining the nearest point of relief, or replacing a lifted ball.

So long as the player does what can reasonably be expected under the circumstances to make an accurate determination, the player’s reasonable judgment will be accepted, even if later shown to be wrong by the use of video evidence.

Both of these standards have been extensively discussed as part of the Rules modernisation initiative and The R&A and the USGA have decided to enact this Decision immediately because of the many difficult issues arising from video review in televised golf.

The standards in the Decision do not change any of the current requirements in the Rules, as the player must still act with care, report all known breaches of the Rules and try to do what is reasonably expected in making an accurate determination when applying the Rules.

Video-related topics that require a deeper evaluation by the working group include the use of information from sources other than participants such as phone calls, email or social media and the application of penalties after a score card has been returned.

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said, “We have been considering the impact of video review on the game and feel it is important to introduce a Decision to give greater clarity in this area. Golf has always been a game of integrity and we want to ensure that the emphasis remains as much as possible on the reasonable judgment of the player rather than on what video technology can show.”

USGA Executive Director/CEO Mike Davis said, “This important first step provides officials with tools that can have a direct and positive impact on the game. We recognise there is more work to be done. Advancements in video technology are enhancing the viewing experience for fans but can also significantly affect the competition. We need to balance those advances with what is fair for all players when applying the Rules.”

The R&A and the USGA will consider additional modifications recommended by the working group for implementation in advance of 1 January 2019, when the new code resulting from the collaborative work to modernise golf’s Rules takes effect.

Find Out More @ www.RandA.org

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New Rules of Golf Decision Limits Use of Video Review
PGA of Holland 2017 CPD Schedule – Open to All PGA Members http://www.pgae.com/news/pga-of-holland-2017-cpd-schedule-open-to-all-pga-members/ Tue, 25 Apr 2017 12:16:34 +0000 PGA of Holland http://www.pgae.com/?p=18704 Various events from the PGA of Holland's extensive 2017 CPD schedule are open to all PGA Professionals from across the PGAs of Europe's Member Countries...]]>

Various events from the PGA of Holland’s extensive 2017 CPD schedule are open to all PGA Member Professionals from across the PGAs of Europe’s Member Country PGAs.

Details can be found below and by clicking the links to enquire/find out more.

DATE TITLE PRICE HOURS LOCATION
22 May Force Plate €180 8 The Dutch, Netherlands
18 Jul Decade Course Management Systems Seminar, Scott Fawcett €250 ex VAT 6 The International, Netherlands
31 Jul Jo Mayo/Jeff Smith/Sasho Mackenzie €300 De Goyer, Netherlands
12-14 Sept Instinctive Golf Coaching European Summit €600 24 TBC
09-10 Oct Bioswing Dynamics Level 1 €500 16 The Dutch, Netherlands
11 Oct Bioswing Dynamics Level 2 €250 8 The Dutch, Netherlands

18 July – Decade Course Management Systems Seminar, Scott Fawcett

31 July – Jo Mayo/Jeff Smith/Sasho Mackenzie

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PGA of Holland 2017 CPD Schedule – Open to All PGA Members
Karl Villwock (PGA of Germany) – SNAG Teaching Experiences (Part 1) http://www.pgae.com/ask/karl-villwock-pga-of-germany-snag-teaching-experiences-part-1/ Thu, 13 Apr 2017 16:01:26 +0000 SNAG Golf http://www.pgae.com/?p=18671 Our fantastic partners at SNAG Golf EMEA & India spoke with PGA of Germany Professional, Karl Villwock, about how Karl uses SNAG equipment in his coaching...]]>

Our fantastic partners at SNAG Golf EMEA & India spoke with PGA of Germany Professional, Karl Villwock, about how Karl uses SNAG equipment in his coaching with beginners and juniors…

How does SNAG create interest and fun for playing golf?

Using the bigger clubface and balls it is easier, especially for kids to start playing golf. The bigger targets help a lot, with the ball sticking to them children are very excited to try to hit the target. Generally the simplified equipment makes the students success rate much higher to start, so they have more interest.

Click Here to Read the Full Q&A…

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Karl Villwock (PGA of Germany) – SNAG Teaching Experiences (Part 1)