December 2021 Newsletter
It is amazing how quickly this year has whizzed by and difficult to recall how the first three months were spent with no golf. Hopefully we will be lockdown free this winter and only inclement weather will curtail our golf.
Since April my diary has thankfully been full with eager golfers fine tuning their game, some golf trips and even a small return to competitive golf. Coaching wise it has been as busy as I can recall (and bearing in mind that is over four decades worth :-) and certainly the figures in the golf industry tell us, no change for the foreseeable. I've noticed a large number of returnee's to the game and those already playing are on balance playing more. The blessing for me is that the more people play the more they would like to improve their game and that's where hopefully the coaches come in, along with those feeling a little rusty after time away from golf. The big takeaway for me with regular players this year is, keep checking your fundamentals as I don't think regular golfers realise how these can slip.
Using the PGA acronym Posture, Grip and Alignment, brushing up on these three areas over the winter will really play dividends come the spring. On the Posture my feeling is keep it springy and athletic, as it is easy this time of year with the extra clothing to get a little 'slumped' i.e. round shouldered and hips in. On the Grip, keep an eye that the hands remain parallel to each other as a common error here is for the right hand to creep under, which leads to the club twisting through impact. With Alignment check from time to time that you are aiming the club at the target and not the body. The Number 1 error I see is aiming too far right of the target and then the player has to reroute the club on the way down and generally nothing good happens if we do that. I've just finished a piece on former Open Champion Shane Lowry and he cites the most important thing to him is the set up, so if it's good enough for him....
On the travelling front, with my friends at David Short Golf, I've enjoyed trips to Devon and Cornwall, playing Saunton, St Enodoch and my first visit to Trevose which was terrific. I have run out of superlatives for the Costa Navarino Resort in Greece, that we went to. An amazing hotel and golf courses with super facilities and weather to match!
Although time for my own golf has been limited, I decided to make a tournament comeback of sorts by entering the PGA Super 60s Pro Am event (apparently my age qualifies me for said event, which I found quite sobering..) My good friend and long time student Peter McIntyre kindly agreed to partner me. Those of you that play at Mid Herts know how steady Peter's golf is and he play really well and came inches from a hole in one on the first day. We finished creditably in the middle of the field despite considerable competitive rust from yours truly.
Speaking of competitive golfers, one of the many joys of my coaching life is working with young up and coming golfers. Two stars from Mid Herts, Emmanuelle Hewson and Wilf Rush who are out playing Collegiate golf in the US are in regular contact and sending updates on their games via WhatsApp etc. Both are doing well and I really admire both of them in how well they have adapted to their new lives in the States, flourishing in their golf and their studies too.
Another young student of mine, Jack Hawksby who plays on the Europro circuit won and event this year and is looking to move up through the ranks in 2022 and I've been fortunate to be part of his journey too. My students are diverse, ranging from 9 to 90 and I can honestly say I missed coaching more than playing in lockdown(s)
In the summer my wife Jennie and I welcomed a new member to our family, this wonderful Wheaten Terrier called Pickle! He has brought us love and chaos in equal quantities and is already in charge of the Puttick household. In the four months we've had him he's put on 12kg and still has some to go. He has a lovely nature and has proved to be a hit with everyone who has met him He certainly has the most presents under our tree!
Wishing you and your families a great Xmas and a peaceful 2022.
Enjoy your golf
Fellow of the PGA