December Pro Tip from Jon Grant

Going from 28 to 18 handicap (or 19 to 9) & Mixed Roll Up

• Contrary to popular belief, the difference between someone who shoots 100 versus 90 (or between 90 & 80) is mostly in the longer shots (100 yards and longer). The actual percentages, based on very accurate data is (25% driving, 40% longer approach shots, 20% short game and only 15% putting)
• Although, Putting & Chipping is often the easiest aspect to improve, it isn't the one that lowers the score the most • As described in the tip (June 2017), most people either don’t keep stats or keep very misleading (or useless) ones
• If any of you are interested in the man (and the method) who has transformed how they measure stats for the pro’s, his name is Mark Broadie, his book is called ‘Every Shot Counts’ and the app he recommends to measure your game with is called ‘Golfmetrics’.
• Now, i am going to be honest, a lot of people feel this is more technical than they wish to be, but for the ones of you who really want to see where your game is and where your real weaknesses lie, this is the only true method i can recommend. In his book, he also talks about on course strategy, which i would highly recommend reading.
• It gives you a handicap (from the App) for each individual area of your game and is excellent for short game & putting ‘Games’ that achieve results

If anyone wants to take the plunge and aim for this amount of improvement, i am going to take on 2/3 new clients to work intensively (one to one) and go for the type of results described above. If so, please contact me directly. (The App requires a 70$ annual subscription but this would be free if you wanted to sign up for the intensive coaching)

I hope that helps

Finally, if anyone is interested, i am starting a new Mixed roll up on Monday evenings (1hours) 7-8pm every Monday for £15 - starting on January 7th (must enrol with me personally, not just turn up!)

Call (07973 834945) or email ( me if you are interested

Jon Grant - Senior Professional

November's Pro Tip


Stopping a slice is not to hard to do, the challenge lies in ending up with a pretty straight shot or a slight ‘draw’. With a little practice it is very possible though.

Understanding a fade/slice
A slice is caused by striking the ball with an open (aiming to the right) club face with a swing direction to the left
A fade is a slight bend to the right, a slice is a severe bend to the right
It is a weak shot that loses a lot of distance and tends to go high and thus it is more wind affected
Most people who slice the ball are actually striking the ball near the heel of the club which accentuates the bend, reduces the distance and is actually the main problem (see Sept Tip)

The Cure!! (cure the open club face first - then the swing direction will be easy)
Firstly, determine where you are typically striking the ball on the club face (using impact stickers - mentioned in Sept Tip)
Second, determine where, in the set up or swing, the problem lies (this is a challenge but if you want a free 15 minutes to help you diagnose this, please email me on or call me on 07973 834945)
If you want to try yourself, i would suggest these changes (in this order and only one at a time!!!)
Close (point it more to the left) the club face in the set up - (only the club face and not your hands)
Strengthen your grip (move one or both hands to the right) - if you are hitting to the right, turn your hands to the right
Feel that you keep the club closed (still looking at the ball) as you swing back
Last, roll your wrists as you hit (close the club) - like a top spin forehand tennis shot

If you do all of the above, you will probably hit the ball so far to the left, it will end up on the adjacent hole so don’t do too much!!

I hope that helps but feel free to ask for a 15 minute bit of guidance

Lastly, I have two new coaching opportunities

A results academy which is limited to 11 people and is great value if you want a mixture of individual and group coaching using video feedback.
A weekly ladies roll up (1 1/2 hours) @ 10.45 every Wednesday for £20 - starting on November 21st

Call or email me if you are interested (the full details are in this newsletter in the News Section)

Jon Grant (Senior Teaching Professional)

October's Pro Tip

Playing off sloping lies

The key to playing from sloping lies is not what people expect. There are certain rules that I have listed below but the reason people struggle is by far and away this…

Most golfers who are inconsistent when playing from sloping lies (especially when the shots are destructive e.g. shooting off the heel or toe to the left or right) lose their balance as they hit the ball and quite literally fall off the shot instead of finishing in a balanced, controlled follow through.

That said, here are some key rules that will help (if you achieve the balanced finish mentioned above):-

Uphill & Downhill lies
Move ball position slightly nearer your ‘higher’ foot i.e. uphill lie, left foot - This will adjust your body so that it is aligned with the slope
Uphill lie - acts like a ‘ramp’ and hits the ball higher & shorter so take a longer club
Downhill lie - keeps the ball lower so take a more lofted club

Ball above & below your feet
If you rolled a ball along the slope that you have it will affect it in the same way it will affect your shot (ball below - it will curve to the right - ball above - it will curve to the left) so allow for this in your aim
The longer the club you have and the the more severe the slope, the more you need to adjust your aim

Ball above your feet
Grip down a little lower on grip to ‘normalise’ the feel of the set up

Ball below your feet
Widen your stance to make the set up easier (as oppose to bending the knees excessively as this restricts the swing)

All slopes
Avoid the tendency to guide or lift the ball (as most golfers tend to do)

Hope that helps

Jon Grant (Senior Teaching Professional)

September's Pro Tip

The No1 cause of bad shots!!

The no. 1 cause of all errant shots is ‘off centre hits’. An off centre hit significantly affects the distance & direction of a shot. By far and away the best method to monitor this is by using ‘Impact Stickers’.

Points that may help:

- With an iron, shots struck near the toe or heel will BOTH go the the right

- With a wood, shots struck near the toe will go to the right, shots struck from the heel will go sharply left and usually very low

- Shots struck near the toe will twist the club face open (facing to the right) as you strike the ball

- Shots struck near the heel will twist the club face closed (facing to the left) as you strike the ball

- Most off line shots are usually caused more because of ‘off centre hits’ than the club face being open or closed

- There are even impact stickers specifically for putting that are valuable feedback

If any of you need help in sourcing them please contact me. They are very low cost but are the best game improvement tool I know! I would recommend using Longshot, (not any other brand) as the other brands are less effective and are difficult to remove from the club face.

Here is a link to the ones i would recommend…

Hope that helps

Jon Grant (Senior Teaching Professional)

August's Pro Tip

Just off the green

For most golfers, a shot very close to the green where a putter is not an option is a really tricky one. Here are some options and things to consider...

If you are up against the collar of longer grass where the bottom half of the ball is hidden try a rescue wood or 5 wood. Hit the ball 1/2 way up and beware, you don’t need much power as there’s plenty of weight in the club

By far the most common fault I see that causes bad shots from these situations is taking too long and/or a too fast back-swing meaning if you commit you’ll go too far. Your back-swing must be short enough AND slow enough so the you can accelerate without going too far

You don’t always have to go at the flag; sometimes the front or back of the green is the option that will give you lowest score (if the ball is lying in a bad lie)

Using a lob wedge (60 degrees) is a good option that won’t go too far
If there is lots of grass behind the ball; open the club face and intentionally hit 1 to 2 inches behind (like a bunker shot)

Hope the helps

Jon Grant

Senior Teaching Pro

July's Pro'sTip

How to pitch

Most people find pitching (a high shot that stops quickly) very challenging, especially in the summer months when there isn’t much grass under the ball because of the dry, warm weather. The psychology of the shot is bar far the hardest part. Most people try to scoop or lift the ball into the air which has quite the opposite effect and ends up shooting right through the green. Here are a few tips that will help…

Use a club with plenty of loft (minimum 54 degrees, 60 degrees if you have a club with that much loft)
Set the club face with it’s full loft (pay attention to how the tour players address the ball when you see the close up of their shots on TV - most amateur golfers push their hands too far ahead of the ball and close the club face in (effectively turning it into the loft of a pitching wedge which will go too low)
Point the end of your club at your belt buckle & start with a little more weight on your left side (60/40)
Keep your weight on your left side and swing back (primarily with your hands and arms)
As you hit the ball, accelerate and try to feel that the sole of the club ‘bounces’ on the ground as oppose to just brushing the grass to ensure that the leading edge of the club gets to the bottom of the ball
Hold your follow through and ‘learn’!!! - if you have done it correctly, your weight will finish on your left side and your club will have travelled ‘around’ on an arc - as oppose to scooping the ball in the air and finishing leaning back on your right foot.

Jon Grant (Senior Teaching Professional)

Pro's Tip of the Month - June

The "few" stats that matter

There are many Apps and complex programs for monitoring the stats from your golf but most of them are far too complex and don’t help to improve your game because they focus on (mostly) irrelevant information. Here are what i consider the most important things to monitor which help to inform you as to where to spend your time improving your game.

  • Putts per round (count putts from just off the green but not more than 15 feet away from the putting surface)
  • Amount of times you take 3 (or 4) putts instead of the desired 2 (or 1)
  • Amount of times you take more than one short shot to hit the green from closer than 30/40 yards (i.e. taking two to get out of a bunker, hitting a chip or pitch thin (or fat) and missing the green
  • Lastly greens in regulation (PLUS A SHOT) - some people keep greens in regulation (how often you hit a par 3 in 1, par 4 in two or a par 5 in three but that is only relevant (and helpful) if play off a single figure handicap. What is much more helpful (because an average 20 handicap golfer will only hit roughly 3 or 4 green in regulation) is greens in regulation (PLUS A SHOT) i.e. how many times do you hit a par 3 green in two shots (or better), a par 4 in 3 shots (or better) and a par 5 in 4 shots (or better).

The stats mentioned above can easily be scribbled on a spare scorecard between holes as you are waiting for your playing partner to hit from the tee and can really give you valuable information about your game.

Hope that helps

Jon Grant (Senior Teaching Professional)

Tip of the month May

Course Management

We have almost missed out on Spring conditions this year and we are going straight into Summer golf, with firm fairways and faster greens. With the change of conditions, comes a change in the course management needed in order to score well. Here are some points to consider...

The fairways are effectively much narrower because on off line shot will keep running into the rough
With the wet and warm weather, the rough will be long and you will lose a ball much more easily

Ways to combat these challenges

Only hit your driver from the tee if you need it (if it is a shorter, narrower hole then consider hitting a fairway wood)
Ensure there is a decent amount of reward for the risk you are considering (i.e. 3 wood from the fairway is high risk, a reward of being a bit closer to the green is not worth it compared to hitting a safer, more consistent club like a 5 or 7 wood)
Always think of the best and worst places to miss the green (to avoid leaving yourself a difficult pitch with no green to work with)

April Tip of the Month

Importance of putting (and how to avoid 3 putting)

All of the short shots around the green are really important but good putting is crucial to good scoring. Here are some key tips that will help:-
  • The first key is to keep accurate stats which is easy to do with putting (at a minimum, try to keep track of total putts, 3 putts & 1 putts)
  • I would estimate that 95% of three putts are caused by bad distance control as oppose to directional problems (Most people i see spend too much time and focus on the direction)
  • Don’t blame the different speed of the greens on your mis-judgements - it is more often that you had an uphill or downhill putt and didn’t realise it
  • Split your practice time on putts inside 6 feet and a variable distance of long putts
  • Make your practice ‘real’ - line the putts up, putt with one ball and concentrate like you are on the course
  • To judge the distance, focus on how hard you strike the ball, not on how long your swing is

Pro's Tip of the Month - March 2018

Using modern technology & An offer of free help

Golfers who improve quickly practice effectively (not necessarily for long hours). The key points to practicing effectively are:-

Get a clear understanding of what (and why) you are trying to change or improve
Find a way to monitor the changes (IDEALLY VIDEO)
Practice little & often with lots of practice swings and a real purpose (as oppose to long sessions and very few practice swings)

There are two Apps i would recommend you use to video your swings (via Ipad or similar) - they are 'V1 golf' & ‘Hudl’. If any member would like to send their swings to me via email using one of those Apps i will happily take a look and email you back a brief, free piece of advice.

Pro's Tip of the Month

February 2018 - Bunker Shots

Bunker shots are more difficult in the winter months but with a good technique, you can be a lot more consistent. Here are the main points to aim for:-
  • Aim at the sand 2-3 inches behind the ball (and look there, not at the ball)
  • Position the ball opposite your left heel (a common mistake is to position the ball opposite the middle of the stance)
  • Take a big swing, hit with plenty of power and hit slightly down into the sand and through
  • There should be a burst of pace as you hit the sand 
  • A great thought is to hit with enough power that you are making the sand reach a long distance
In essence, plenty of power and plenty of sand will give you consistency as opposed to a short, tentative swing with little sand which will be unreliable.

Pro's Tip of the Month

Jan 18 - 'Topping' in the winter

An extremely common problem in the winter months is thinning or topping fairway shots. It often comes about from a misunderstanding of the correct strike combined with a fear of hitting the ground when it is wet and muddy. Firstly, it is essential that you hit the ground or take a divot, directly under or slightly after the ball (so that the first thing the club strikes is the ball). The depth and size of divot depends on the club (shorter clubs = deeper and larger divots).However the most common thing i hear people say when they hit the shot 'fat' (hit the ground before the ball) is that they 'Hit too much ground'. This is usually incorrect but because that's what they believe, they then avoid hitting the ground on the next shot, making a topped shot a real possibility. So practice 'clipping' the ground directly under or just after the ball versus avoiding it all together. Not easy, but it's the only way to be consistent. Hope that helps 

Jon Grant (Senior Teaching Professional)

Pro's Tip of the Month

December '17

We get tips & advice for our golf from everywhere (Friends, YouTube, Magazines etc). Unfortunately most of them are either unhelpful or even harmful to our golf. Here is some advice to decipher what’s helpful & what’s not….When you think of all the best players in the world that you see on TV, do they all do ‘that’?Do you understand why you should take the advice? if you don’t, it probably won’t work or last.Lastly, if you decide to try the tip, make sure you find a way to monitor how you are doing (ideally a video of your swing)

For example, the worst tip i’ve ever encountered is ‘Keep your head down’ so lets test the above process.

When i watch TV what do i see? - None of them ‘Keep their head down' therefore it’s shocking advice. Don’t go any further.

An example of a good tip is ‘Aim for a full, balanced follow through’

When i watch TV what do i see - They all make a full, balanced follow through’

It makes sense because it will help make consistent contact.

A video of your swing periodically will tell you whether you are making a good follow through or not.

Hope those thought help.

Jon Grant (Senior Teaching Professional)

Pro's Tip of the Month

Nov 17

Reluctantly, we are all trying to Adjust to winter conditions. Here are a few thoughts that may help:-

  • Don’t do as most golfers do which is be in denial about the fact that the ball flies so much shorter in the winter and hardly runs at all. A client of mine who is a scientist did an experiment recently and a ball at zero degrees ‘C' flew through the air 220 yards and a ball at 20 degrees ‘C’ flew 264 yards.

  • When you see tyre tracks around the green on a winters morning, realise that it has just been cut, removing most of the moisture and meaning the grass is a lot shorter. It makes a big difference!

  • Putting from near the green is often a great option but if there is a heavy dew or if the fringe grass is longer than usual you need to chip.

Hope those thought help.

Jon Grant (Senior Teaching Professional)
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