It worked like magic

Watching videos of tour players

Imprinting great golf swings from top players

How do kids learn. They watch and they copy, that’s why I always do a demonstration or ‘demonsteration’ as we call it during the lessons. That’s why I try and break things down to frame by frame, so they can see what i’m trying to get them to do. Recently I collected a few swings of top players in super slow-motion on my laptop and played them to my classes.

The outcome was incredible, it was like switching on a light switch with just about all the kids. I couldn’t believe the improvement and nor could some of the parents. Talk about an ‘Ah Ha’, ‘Eureka’, moment. They simply imprinted the timing, balance, set up and rhythm of what they’d seen and replayed it almost to perfection.

watching video 2

watching video 3

It was almost as simple as copy and paste the golf swing, I have been coaching youngsters for many years and seen this ‘light bulb’ moment before but not on this scale.

Accelerated learning, absolutely, more to come.

Join me and Bitesize Golf as a coach by registering here >> http://www.bitesizegolf.com/1_pages/register_coaches.html

 

13 years practising kicking a ball

Each golf club should have 50 junior members and at least 25 in an academy

Each golf club should have 50 junior members and at least 25 in an academy

It struck me the other day, my son, who has just had his 18th birthday, was off to football training. He started playing the game when he was 5 and joined an Under 6 team, he’s played in teams ever since as well as playing for the school teams and district leagues. He’s had training with all of them for all of these years.

Then I thought about golf, you might well argue, a slightly more technical game when it comes to playing at the highest level. Yet most junior golf coaching starts and ends with a few roll up sessions, take it or leave it. How many golf coaches offer a complete structured development programme for their junior members. one that lasts for years?

I look across the football fields at the weekend and see hundreds of kids tapping a football along or throwing a rugby ball to their friends. I pass a golf club and I just don’t see it, there may be a golfing parent out with their youngster, but I don’t see a coach needing a sports leader’s help because the classes are too large.

Courses are closing, coaches are losing their jobs and the demographics of the game are showing an older population. For the past 20 years I have been jumping up and down, waving about, trying to explain to the bodies, unions and associations what’s happening and what should be done. How far does the thing have to slide, it’s gone past sad, beyond desperate and is now fast approaching chronic.

We’ve blamed the weather, kids migrating to rugby because England won the World Cup, cricket because they won the Ashes and tennis because of Andy Murray. We’ve blamed the economy since 2008 and the Olympics for the past 4 years. When will someone take responsibility, when will someone have the golf balls to actually say the game’s youth policy is not and does not work?

A lot of other sports addressed the issue and opened themselves up to the family market, golf is the ultimate family sport, yet who knows, who cares and who’s doing anything about it?

In my humble opinion, blame could be shared, but that’s not going to help anyone or change anything. Who’s responsibility is it for growing the game, for coaching junior specialised junior coaches and putting together a national development programme. No ones and that’s a big part of the problem, so until there’s a department in one of the great halls of the directorship of the game, I will keep doing as much as one person can. One coach at a time.

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Follow the blog by clicking below or please share your thoughts, I am confident the sentiments will get stronger as the years progress.

The Tool Box

tool box items

What’s in this Tool Box?

Once you’ve registered, you can request access to your own custom, tailor made Bitesize Golf toolbox. This will provide you with everything you could possibly need to create and build your Bitesize Golf Academy.

(1) You will get personalised promotional and marketing materials…

Posters, Flyers and brochures

(2) You will get the nuts and bolts that hold everything together, the admin materials…

Payment forms, dates and times forms, registration forms, medical forms and more

(3) You will get the magic ingredients that will ensure your success and potentially generate you the greatest ROI in your entire business.

Lesson plans, challenges, report templates, drills, skills, games and more.

All you have to do is request your marketing pack (1) and this and your admin pack (2) will be delivered to you digitally. Your lesson pack (3) will be provided upon receipt of your first order.

R and A, Working for Golf in Central America

David Gosling, Founder of Bitesize Golf Ltd has just completed another week of intensive coaching seminars in Costa Rica. This is his 4th visit to the country, but this time he was accompanied by Johan Hampf, Head of Education and Vice CEO for the Swedish PGA.

For a very full 5 days, they presented a vast amount of information regarding advanced coaching techniques to over 35 golf coaches from all over Central America. The seminars included exercises in ball flight dynamics, communication skills and specialised knowledge relating to coaching all abilities of junior golfers.

The event was hosted by the Costa Rican Golf Federation, ANAGOLF who have been working closely with David and the R and A for several years. The game of golf is going from strength to strength with the skills of the coaches increasing, the number of players increasing and new golf courses being built.

It was a fantastic week and everyone got so much out of it, the commitment to learning from the coaches is incredible. Many were teaching at 5.00 and 6.00 in the morning so they were able to attend the seminars. Others travelled for many hours to be there, such is their passion for coaching the game in their country.

Advanced coaching techniques for junior players

Advanced coaching techniques for junior players

Group picture of all the attendees.

Group picture of all the attendees.

Presenting the complexities of golf ball flight

Presenting the complexities of golf ball flight

What if? There was a better way to coach kids in golf

There are golf clubs out there with little or no structured junior programme, there are clubs and coaches who leave the junior coaching to the least experienced junior assistant and there are clubs and coaches who think coaching kids is the last thing they want to do.

What if they approached the topic from another viewpoint?

What if there was a system that provided them with all the tools and knowledge they need to develop a professionally run junior academy?

What if they were to realise that this section of the population would return a higher income and profit to their retail businesses and the golf club than any other?

Having spent decades focussing on these dilemmas and working on providing solutions, it is time there was a distinct shift in these attitudes. There are many coaches hurting under the current economic conditions, the internet has long been undermining retail sales and the general public is rapidly changing their golfing habits. Memberships are in decline because you no longer have to be a ‘member’ to obtain a handicap and you don’t really need a handicap to play many other courses.

Every single year, there’s a new generation of young golfer waiting to be introduced to the game, but what does the game really do to capture their interest and ensure it becomes one of their sporting passions? You might shout out that it provides free golf in schools, or free golf lessons here or there and open days a plenty. That’s great, it’s been this way for years and years, these initiatives might create some interest, but it’s what happens after that counts.

Think about other sports, a child that starts playing football in the Under 7′s team knows there are teams all the way up to Under 17′s. A child that earns a 25 metre swim badge knows there’s a 50 metre one, a 100 metre one and so on. It’s the same with martial arts and almost every other structured sport you can think of. Now, there’s one for golf, Bitesize Golf is the pathway for youngsters wanting to ‘get into golf’, it’s not only the ‘passport’ it’s their play ‘visa’ enabling them to enjoy a lifetime of great golf.

But why has this never been done before?

It’s a great question and the answer may lie in the fact that it’s nobodies responsibility to do it. Each Union, Body, Federation and Association have remits that look after many various sectors of the game and they do this brilliantly. They even fund many of the aforementioned initiatives and annual one-off open ended events, which is great. The fact is, there has to be an exit strategy, somewhere for these new players to be plugged in to, or they will be gone and lost forever.

The latest pledge in the Golf Foundation’s manifesto is to introduce 1,000,000 children to golf per year! Wow! that’s fantastic, this is exactly why golf coaches should have a structure and the best tools to be able to keep a high percentage of these kids in the game.

Please leave a comment and let’s explore what all this might mean for the game, the industry, your business and most importantly the new generation of players.

Thousands of kids want to play golf.

Thousands of kids want to play golf.

 

 

10 steps to create an incredible junior golf academy

Enjoy this 2 minute video, it shows golf coaches how easy it is to get up and running with building a quality junior development programme that will last for years.

If you want to know more please get in touch.

The EZGO Tour 2013 Final round

After a great summer of beautiful weather and great golf, the final of the EZGO Tour was played at Canons Court near Wotton – Under – Edge in Gloucestershire.

Over 30 young players competed in this final round, which was an outstanding success and enjoyed by all. There has been some stunning golf played by all competitors in all age groups, but more importantly the display of good behaviour, etiquette and sportsmanship has been exemplary.

Well done to all competitors and massive thanks to all the clubs in Gloucestershire that supported and welcomed the events, we look forward to the event growing in years to come.

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Rewards and recognition at the end of term

There’s so much to learn when you start playing golf, not just the hitting of the ball, it’s all the rules, the etiquette and traditions of the game and most importantly the essential life skills that golf has in abundance.
Here are some images of youngsters taking the all important quiz, which is the final challenge before they all move on to the next level.

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My thoughts on this years Masters. the good the bad and the ugly

Guan Tianlang image

14 year old makes all 4 rounds of The Masters

Like most avid golfers, I love watching the Masters, I have done for nearly 40 years and to me it signifies the start of the new golfing season.It always comes up with spectacular scenery and memorable moments in golf, it produces moments of pure genius and drama, but this year there were a couple of other elements added into the mix.

The Good

Outstanding achievement had to be that of young Guan Tianlang qualifying to play in the Masters, trumped by the fact that he actually made the cut and finished all four rounds at just 12 over par. It is hard to put into words just how fantastic this is and what an inspiration this should be to all young golfers around the world.

Adam Scott winning his first green jacket and the first winner for Australia despite his fellow countrymen coming so very close in the past. I bet he got a text from 3 time runner up, Greg Norman before he’d even got back to the clubhouse..

Freddy Couples, Angel Cabrera, Sandy Lyle and Bernhard Langer had fantastic performances along with Henrik Stenson and Vijay Singh. I think these guys get such a good feeling when they drive back up Magnolia Lane the years drop off them and they’re transported right back to their glory days.

The Bad

Oh boy, the commentary teams. Did you know that Freddy Couples is 53? Do you know how precise you have to be around Augusta? And did you ever get the idea that the greens were fast? Every player, every hole, every putt we were being told just how tricky it was and how fast the greens were. I nearly switched to the silence of the red button, but thankfully the rain started and the the speed of the greens faded from commentary. Sure the greens have big slopes and they’re cut short, the ball breaks and runs, but not dramatically more than any other Tour event. it was big news in the 70′s and 80′s when the course had a reputation for fast greens and an immaculately maintained course, but other courses have caught up with these high standards, so GET OVER IT, you guys in the studio.

Long putters, get them outta the game. When square box grooves came along it was said by the great jack Nicklaus that it was turning ‘chumps into champs’. Adam Scott is a fantastic player, it’s such a shame he won using one of these implements. I also felt saddened to see Tianlang using one as well, anchors away and we’ll see how every gets on then.

The Ugly

The awful decision to load a 1 stroke penalty onto the youngest player in Masters history. John Paramor or ‘Big John’ as he’s known gave the news to Guan Tianlang on the 17th and the young man then had to wait all day to see if he made the cut. Fortunately he was right on the line and got to play the weekend, but if I had been in his shoes I would have been devastated by this gross act of unfairness. Trying to make an example to other players by using a junior amateur playing is despicable in my opinion and shame on the committee for thinking this might be a good idea.

To put this in context, here’s a small piece from the Los Angeles Times blog…

‘Some perspective here. Slow-play penalties have been nearly nonexistent in the United States. At a dinner of European officials here Tuesday night, one cited a startling statistic: Since 1997, he said, there have been 22 one-stroke assessments on the European tour and its challenger affiliate; on the parallel U.S. tours, there have been zero’.

If that wasn’t bad enough, there’s Tiger taking an illegal drop and dodging disqualification through a new rule 33.7. Oh this just gets better, you put a ball back into play illegally, you drop it somewhere where you not meant to and you admit you did it to gain an advantage by having a better approach and distance and you’ll not be dq’d. Now why should this be? Sponsorship, TV audience numbers, Tiger appeal? Would young Tianlang have been afforded the same leniency? All good questions, all up for debate, but this should never have come about, in my humble opinion a weak committee ruling said they didn’t notice the infringement until after the card was signed and accepted. Pah!

With all that said, I would have thought much, much more of Mr Woods if he’d withdrawn from the tournament. I dread to think of what would have happened if he’d gone on to win it, if he then went on to change golf history by beating Jack Nicklaus’s majors record.

Golf is a game of integrity, honesty and self-governance Mr Woods, so no more creating your own rules or moving massive rocks in the desert, one can only guess what the rest of the guys on tour are thinking.

On to the Open at Muirfield.