If I don't improve my golf this year, I never will, as I'm being given plenty of opportunities to learn from the best. As readers of this blog know, I'm part of Team Naga (Munchetty) for our challenge against Team Clive (Woodward) based on the T2C teaching programme under the direction of Daniel Grieve, head pro at Woburn Golf Club and a couple of weeks ago I attended the opening of the Leadbetter Golf Academy European headquarters at Stoke Park Country Club & Hotel in Buckinghamshire.
The legendary golf coach, David Leadbetter, was there to officially open the academy to a group of media and, whilst unable to swing a club properly due to a recent leg operation, under his guidance, Stoke Park's Leadbetter trained pros demonstrated what we should all be doing, some members of the audience were brave enough to have their shots analysed, and David gave us an interesting insight into the golf swing and how most of us complicate it!
The launch coincided with the opening of Stoke Park's the new-look Lane Jackson course - the third nine-hole loop to be refurbished in three years. I was joined by PGA pro Kerry Knowles, fellow journalist Paul Trow (you may recognise this byline as he contributes to W&G's travel pages) and Luke Frary from the Azalea Group.
It was a relaxed 9 holes, at least until we arrived at the par-3 3rd across water! David Leadbetter was standing on the tee with a Trackman to record our shots. Oh God! The man who has coached players to 22 Major championships and more than 100 individual worldwide tournament victories. After several deep breaths I made sure I took more than enough club to make the green, although clearly there was too much advice to offer on the tee - I realised that when I received my Trackman report!
There I am having my swing compared to Paula Creamer's and of course, there is no comparison! No real wrist hinge, lots of wasted energy with my arms, weight transfer isn't great - amazing that I managed to hit the ball at all really! I won't be too hard on myself as I'm not a pro and it's great to receive such feedback to see visually where improvements can be made.
Thanks Dan and David - I will keep persevering.