Do golf lessons for scratch golfers look different to regular players? Watch this video to see behind the curtain in a golf lesson with an England Coach.
In spring 2023, Hannah was invited down to Woodhall Spa to spend the day with the England Team and was lucky to spend some time with England coach Steven Orr. So what happens in a scratch golf lesson? Watch the video below to find out.
How it starts
Steven’s language is really interesting as he tries to understand what Hannah wants to work on. He asks, ‘What would you like to get out of this session?’ to try to have Hannah clearly define what she needs to improve. A lesson should have a clear goal so that a plan can be made, and then it is easy to know if the lesson went well or not.
The lesson starts with Hannah hitting some shots, Steven videoing the swings, and them looking at the swings together. A scratch golf lesson is different to an 18 handicapper’s lesson as the scratch golfer is already an accomplished player capable of great golf, so coaches are much softer with implementing changes so as not to make the player worse. He uses the phrase ‘I think this is worth exploring’ as this gives Hannah the mentality that she can try new feelings and see if she likes them or not.
Steven then analyses Hannah’s iron swing and talks about how she might improve her control.
Middle of the lesson
After the in-depth explanation, Steven and Hannah worked through a variety of drills to help Hannah get the feeling of the new moves. It is useful to note that during this exploration phase, Hannah doesn’t hit many balls as she searches for a new feeling. Often, hitting golf balls during this phase will result in bad shots, which can put the golfer off from trying to move further.
This part of the golf lesson is very much about trying new things and being willing to fail. some times in a golf lesson, the right swing moves happen with the strangest swing thoughts, so being willing to experiment and not be worried about poor shots is very beneficial. Hannah hits a lot of shots in this phase of the lesson at less than full speed, as you have more awareness of your movement when moving slower.
Steven asks Hannah if she feels anything different and what she is feeling during the swings so that she can then try to recreate that feeling if it produces the desired outcome.
End of session
The session ends with Steven settling on a drill that he would like Hannah to do that works well for her, and Hannah then adds speed back into her shots, trying to hold on to the feeling that she had when making good moves in the slower drill swings. Golfers will generally move back towards their bad habits in this phase, so it is important to mix in the slow-speed shots with the more full-speed shots.
This was a brilliant, insightful golf lesson for Hannah, really addressing her issues and producing better, more controlled iron shots at the end. Hannah now just needs to work on these drills without getting distracted with other swing thoughts to see the benefits of this on the course!
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