Over the last two weeks I have completed 4 playing lessons with 6 different golfers of different ages and abilities.
The first one was with a father and son, the second also a father and son but a little younger age group, and two individual male golfers.
Every person was at a different level in their game and had different goals.
However the common denominators I see in all the players are their own basic natural ability to hit a golf ball. All of them naturally wanted improvement in their consistency, accuracy, distance and control in all areas of their games.
The great thing about a playing lesson is having time to observe someone's game, time to explain the principles of the game and implement those techniques step by step, from putting to the full swing.
Over the first three holes, I just observe the player's games and their equipment. While most people can get way with standard length clubs and grip thickness, some just can't and this can really cause compensations in the important areas of posture and grip.
Clubs that are too short can cause people to hunch over too much and have their weight too far toward the toes. Grips that are too thin prevent a secure grip on the club causing difficulty in maintaining a secure hold on the club throughout the swing.
In looking at how someone plays, I usually see some areas I can help with their putting right away. The first problem isn't the player's fault. It is invariably the length of the putter. The vast majority of golf stores don't custom fit putters. The 35" standard length is standard for who? When a putter is too long, the upper arms don't connect with the chest making it hard to putt by rocking the shoulders.
The second problem is lining up. It is very difficult to line up a putt looking at a putt from your normal stance. So crouch down, face the hole and line up the brand name on the ball with the point you want to aim your putt. Then you can line up the putter face with the line on the ball.
The third problem is decelerating the putter as you strike the ball. If your putter goes back more than thee or four inches for a three foot putt, you will have to decelerate the putter as you hit the ball. So put a tee behind the ball and the putter head to stop your backswing becoming too long.
This was just the first mini lesson of the many I help people with as we finish the round. Stay tuned for more installments.
By the way, Mark had played two rounds on his holidays and had 97 and 101. After the lesson, he shot his best score of 84 at Parkwood International.
Andrew was averaging 20 over par from his last 90 rounds. I reckon he had 87 with me, and had a double bogey and a triple bogey on the first 6 holes before the changes we worked on helped him play a great round. This was off the blue tees at Hope island.