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16th October, October 2018 | 0
Still a rookie in years but having worked with Rob Rock (one of the finest golf swings on tour so says the European Tour website) Liam has watched and studied golf swings with help from Rob.
As he himself has given instruction to some of the Europeans leading Professionals and under the banner of Rob Rock Academy, Liam having progressed through the ranks is now working with all standards of golfer, from complete beginner to leading amateurs and European Tour golfers, including some joint work with Rob in the coaching of Sam Walker and Matt Wallace.
As the nights draw in and 9 holes are harder to fit in, the local range becomes a saviour for many. But bad habits are easy to ingrain but with the help of Liam James – Inside Golf’s Instructor he helps with getting the basics right when practising – that, of course, should be taken to the course at the weekend!
A great routine I like to stick to when placing my hands on the club, is holding the club out in front of me parallel with the floor, placing my left hand on first, exposing 2 knuckles of my left hand (pic 1) and my right hand secondly. (pic 2) Once I’ve done this, I will double check to make sure I feel comfortable and my grip is placed on correctly. (pic 3) When hitting 100+ balls on the range, it’s very easy to lose focus on this. This is step 1 of the routine, so make sure you double check before each shot.
Find an interim target 2 to 3 feet in front of the mat – It’s so easy to overlook this during practice as you are normally hitting from a square range mat, to targets positioned perfectly in line with
the hitting bays. It is easier to line the club up to something 3 foot away than to a target 150 yards plus. Look at the world’s best golfers – standing behind the ball finding an interim target, aligning the club to this and then they are ready to hit the shot. Alignment sticks are as important as your clubs when at the range. Help to align your club and body correctly during each practice session. Once you have repeated this a few times, take the alignment sticks away and aim at some targets scattered around the outfield on your local range (pic below)
Why? Because they have seen the Professionals on television do the same. But what should this do for us? What should we be looking for when taking a practice swing? Everyone is slightly different at this part of the routine; some players prefer not to take one, but this should be the step in the routine that prepares us for hitting the shot we are faced with. Nick Faldo always said he played with 1 or 2 swing thoughts each round of golf he played, so the practice swing is a chance for us to rehearse or pay some attention to that simple swing key you’ve been given from your last lesson. (Pic of practice swing)
Now we have the club selected, the practice swing is done and we have picked our target, it’s now time to set up and hit. It’s important to pay attention to the order in which we do things, one common fault amongst amateurs is setting their stance first before the club has even been grounded behind the ball, in doing so, their distance away from the ball varies each time and they cant get comfortable from shot to shot.
Firstly – align the club face to your interim target, right foot forward (picture) and then take your stance. Repeat this time after time and now you have a consistent setup, ready to go.
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