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Sheep Or Shepherd

 

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I have been fortunate to work with a lot of talented young players over the last 20 years, having been involved with 11 county squads, 1 national academy squad, 8 national Champions and 28 county champions.

Reflecting on my time working with these groups and individuals has inspired me write this short piece.

What infuriates me about these young individuals is they all want to follow and act like sheep. They seem to be scared to do something above and beyond what there piers do.

So if their example of good practice is actually poor practice all they do is copy and join that mentality.

I want them to embrace new things and be leaders in their fields and set the standards.

If I think of the great sporting examples, they haven’t been scared to practice in a different way to others, For example Jonny Wilkinson.

I bet when he first started some his training methods many would have observed and laughed at what he was doing. The extra work, the extra intensity and focus. Doing things outside the box.

What I would love to see is young golfers setting the standards in transfer practice and intensity. Along with doing the simple stuff well. Like warm ups that engage their minds and bodies in a way to allow them to perform at a higher level.

I want them to be shepherds not sheep, to set the trends and the standards, to ask good questions like “ what will this do for me”

For them to understand they should never do anything without understanding how will this help me.

Embrace new things with a open inquisitive mind!

Traits of a shepherd
Great Work ethic
smart
Structured
Engaged
Inventive
Reflective
Open
Inquisitive
Brave

So Are you a sheep or a shepherd?

 

 

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Champagne Trip

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This short piece is about my trip to the Champagne region in France.

I was kindly invited to attend a trip to France by Golfy, the European green fee discount card. When I found out it was to the Champagne region it was a definite must go for me.

Day one we played golf at Golf de l’Ailette. We were greeted at the entrance to the clubhouse with a glass of Champagne so you know it was going to be a good trip but the golf might suffer.

After Lunch we played the course. The course had some beautiful holes which shaped their way around the man made lake of which provided some spectacular views.

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After Golf we had dinner at the Hotel Du Golf de l’Ailette and of course more Champagne. It must be said the hospitality was second to none.

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Day 2

We traveled to Reims and played golf at Gold De Reims – Champagne. The clubhouse reminded me of something out of the second world war. A historical looking building which i believed hosted the Americans just after the war.

Reims Champagne (51)

The course again had some beautiful holes cut out of the mature trees.

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My golf was a little rusty but definitely improved, and has made me want to get the clubs out more for sure.

On the night we had a private meal at Champagne Jacquart, a wonderful building and superb Champagne. We tasted 5 different versions of their Champagne and all were lovely, but I preferred the standard bottle to the vintage.

 

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Our hosts Golfy supported by Landmark Media were fantastic.
If you every go or are planning a trip to France or the countries that Golfy operate in It will be well worth getting a golf discount card. IT WILL PAY FOR ITSELF.

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For more information visit: www.golfy.fr

Low Point – How to control your low point

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Low Point – How to control your low point

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Trackman recently introduced a new measurement parameter on their software. However low point isn’t a new concept. Whats great about having this now on trackman is the ability to measure your low point. I also use this to measure success in drills or concepts when changing low point.

So what is low point: Is the lowest part of the arc of the golf swing. This should ideally be about 4 inches after the ball when hitting a 6 iron. This does however change per club and when you try to alter the trajectory of the shot.

 

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http://blog.trackmangolf.com/what-is-low-point/

A lot of amateur golfers low point tends to be before the ball, causing fat and thin contacts. This quite often stems from conceptual ideas. They see success as the ball going up in the air so try to lift the ball up. Also so many people believe they need to keep their head down to strike the ball correctly. This is a myth. You just need to look at David Duval or Annika Sörenstam to see this.

People often under estimate how much conceptual ideas affect their pattern of movement. They need to be clear about what they are trying to achieve even if its very simple.

Click here to watch my series on how to control your low point. It will cover varies drills and concepts.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpccpKGyfOJj8TXBe4Ei-oIUY1OHmD0WJ

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Putting Lesson With Dr Paul Hurrion

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Putting lesson with Dr Paul Hurrion 

I recently visited Dr Paul Hurrion at the Quitic Studio in Sutton Coldfield. A must visit for all golfers.

Paul has been a friend on mine for sometime and I have had a few lessons from him over the years.

However this was my first lesson at his new studio. Paul has got a set up there. Its a great studio to work from. It has all the equipment you would want to analyse any players putting stroke.

The main piece of equipment is his ball roll software. This is essentially a launch monitor for putting. Using high speed cameras and markings on the ball the software measures the ball as it leaves the putter.

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It measures first point of true roll, side spin and launch to name just a few.

It also measure what the putter does during the stroke so you can look at club face rotation for example.

This is really a great experience if you are looking to improve your putting.

Obviously just having information isn’t going to improve you, you have to know what to do with it. Thats where Paul’s expertise comes in.

Paul has coached over 50 tour professionals including Padraig Harrington , Rory Mcllroy.

Paul is able to quickly look at the data and the motion to come up with simple solutions to improve your putting.

Within this the type of putter is also considered as you will see in my youtube clip of this experience.

His self made grid is a great learning tool. it enables you to see visually the aim and loft of the putter at set up.

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If you are looking to take you putting to the next level I would recommend making a trip to Pauls studio.

Click here to watch my putting lesson.

https://youtu.be/lHqMIpHW0l8

 

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The Draw Shot

The Draw Shot

Welcome to Alistair Davies Golf. Today I want to talk to you about how to hit the deliberate Draw Shot, a shot that most of us want to hit, but can’t all do successfully. So the idea with this shot is we hit it so that it starts right at our target, draws and finishes on our target exactly. A shot that finishes left of the target will become a hook and a shot that finishes right of the target would be a push. So the precise labeling of the shot and then understanding how we create it is important when we’re referring to these shots.

A lot of books in the past described a draw as  we aim our body where we want the ball to start and then aim the club face where we want the ball to finish. Essentially that is scientifically incorrect and doesn’t work because what happens is when we have a none square impact the ball will always cross the position where the club face is pointed at impact. This is because the club face is more influential  than the path. The club face will start the ball 75% closer to where it’s aligned rather than the path and the path , and the path will have 25% influence.

So with a none square impact, the ball will start nearer to the club face, cross that position and finish left of its orientation. So the old methodology when the club face points at the target, the ball will always finish left of target becoming a hook. Players who used to play the draw that way might well have manipulate it somehow to make the ball finish on target or they might have the club face aligned slightly right target without really knowing and this might well be a great conscious way to play it as the ball gives them the right results. I don’t mind that.

The science would dictate that we need the club face right to the target in order to draw the ball and the path further right of that. So if we look at the clubs on the floor here (image below), the furthest right club one would represent the  club path,

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the middle club would represent the club face and the furthest left one would represent the ball to target line. The idea being that the swing path is going to be to the right, the club face is left of that so it’s closed to that creating a none square impact and thus creating tilted access spin on the ball to the left.

This will start the ball between these two vectors, closer to the club face line, as we said 75% closer, it’ll curve past that line and finish on target. So how do we go about playing this? What’s the best system to do for this? Well I don’t want to see players manipulate their plane or their hands to create this shot. I want it all to be done through their set up positions. Then I want your normal actual golf swing and if we can’t produce the desired ball flight it is because your normal golf swing is slightly misaligned somewhere and gives you a different outcome. That should then be addressed through tuition or accept their might be certain shots that you can’t play to the level you may want.

So what I want to do is aim everything to this right hand club so that everything is pointing to the right and turn the club face a few degrees to the left onto this middle club  and then I want you to take your grip as normal. So the grip now will be neutral in relation to your body, but obviously closed or strong position in relation to the shaft and the club face. This in turn will give us that none square impact that we wanted with your normal swing with no compensation. The ball will start left of our path line, your aim line and will curve to the left and it will finish on your target line.

Have a go at doing this. Have a practice first and then try to take it to the course and use it on specific shots where you need to draw the ball or where you’re really trying to play into that zone in the golf course. Have a go at this and obviously try the opposite for the fade.

Click here to watch my you tube clip on How to hit the perfect draw:

https://youtu.be/sIUF6pOOep

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Always Learning

During September I attended my first Trackman University Seminar. This was presented by Fredrick Tuxen the co founder of Trackman. It was great to listen to him explain and go through Trackman and the direction they are going in. There are some great updates on the way that will make a Trackman lesson even more of a fantastic experience.

Trackman tob me

Dave Alred was also present as a guest speaker and although he is more well know for his work in Rugby he has also worked with lots of Tour Professionals on improving their performance.

Some of the key things that I wanted to share that came out of that day were:

“Am only interested in what you can do not what you can’t do”

“The less you have to think about the easier it is to perform”

My favourite quote was “Emerse yourself in the game within the game”

“You must match the behaviour that u have on the course in your warm up” (I  like these words )

When practicing – “Only do sets of 5 so you have more first shots”. This is great for transferring practice to the course.

This is some of the common feedback that gets shared from peoples experience – “I let what I wanted to avoid get into my head”

“The brain does not work on deletions” – like this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“See what u expect to do and expect to do it”

“Our attitude creates the vibe for learning”

“Award the behaviours you want to repeat and ignore the ones you don’t”

“The more demanding the process the better the focus”

These are some of the quotes I really liked from Dave Alred on the day and wanted to share them as I think they will help us all perform to a higher level.

Good luck with your practice.

For more information on improving your performance E mail: adaviesgolf@btinternet.com

 

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Aggressive game plan

This week saw Rory lift the claret jug in great style. This raised remarks from Tiger that Rory has a very aggressive game plan.

These days you have to be aggressive to win but it has to suit the task in hand. From a course management point of view you need to pick your battles and also know your capabilities. If you believe you have a 70% success rate at pulling the shot off then you should go for it.

Apart from that basic rule, I would always recommend using data collected from practice to help make decisions. For example what is your average footage fro the target you hit the ball from a certain yardage. Then if a flag is tucked away in a small section of the green you can make a accurate decision on weather it is worth going at the flag or playing to the center of the green.

So with that I mind, make your practice more productive and collect data when in performance mode.

For more ideas on this and performance books to use for practice please e-mail me: adaviesgolf@btinternet.com

Get in touch


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