Only a few days ago we were searching out the suntan cream and shorts only to be back in thermals and waterproofs before you could say "It's lovely for the time of year". However, I am very confident temperatures will move back into double figures and although keeping your waterproofs handy is a good tip throughout the year, we should only need two layers rather than the seven, I had on to coach the other day!
The professional tours are well underway and I was pleased to see the free swinging Frenchman Alex Levy win in Morocco. This puts him in the top 10 in the Ryder Cup rankings. I hope he makes the team as have a French player in the side would add a tremendous dynamic to the occasion. Tommy Fleetwood is trending in the right direction and the stalwarts of Rose, Stenson, Poulter and Garcia are all looking good and we haven't mentioned Rory or Rahm. The Americans may well concede now!
Thomas Bjorn, Ryder Cup Captain, will have a difficult job deciding on his picks for the team, however Stephen Atkinson wrote him this letter to make his decision easier....
Bjorns' response was - Unbelievable Where do I go from here? Stephen, please reconsider!
Speaking of team events on the US Tour the Zurich Classic was a better ball event with the teams playing fourball, then foursomes on alternate days. The winners Billy Horschel and Scott Piercy recorded a very impressive 22 under par. Good performances from Englishmen Tommy Fleetwood and Chris Paisley to secure fourth place. Justin Rose showed his commitment to his partner Henrik Stenson by dropping his trousers to play this shot. Would you do this for your playing partner?
This week the European Tour moves closer to home with the fun Sixes event at the excellent Centurion. This is played in a greensomes format (golf needs to consider playing in this way more often) and this year has some interesting pairings. The Ryder Cup and Solheim Captains Thomas Bjorn and Catriona Matthews team up and the England women's' pair of Charley Hull and in form Georgia Hall is a terrific combination. The England men are represented by two young guns in Eddie Pepperal and Moor Parks' ever improving Matt Wallace, who showed his win in the Indian Open was no fluke by another super display in the China Open, tying for 3rd place. Matt is now in the Top 20 with half a million Euros in the bank and plenty more to come.
If you get a chance, pop along as it is a unique fun format and the standard of golf will be brilliant.
The mixed weather was a feature on my recent coaching trips to Portugal, however we managed to find some sun and highlights were playing the scenic San Lorenzo on the first week and the fun layout at Quinta da Ria on the second week.
On the coaching front it was noticeable that working on the groups short game, really improved their scoring. Agreed, this is not an earth shattering piece of news, however now the warmer evenings are coming (soon I hope) getting out to practice becomes a pleasing prospect. I would say a requisite for good chipping is being able to feel your fingers. I thought I would include this clip on chipping as a brief refresher.
When practising try a couple of different clubs from the same spot to get a feel of different trajectories. This is important as conditions change quite quickly and as a player we need to adapt to that. For instance, after a downpour and the green is damper a slightly higher trajectory to pitch to the pin may be preferable and of course up hill and down hill chips require different flights.
After my trip to Sesimbra next week, my travels are restricted to the UK and I will be around for coaching at Mid Herts enjoying the upcoming long hot summer! You can always book your session here.
Enjoy your game and all the best