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Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise teaching a group lesson

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Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise showing how to unplug a ball from a bunker

Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise showing how to unplug a golf ball from a bunker

Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise teaching a group lesson

Denise teaching a group lesson

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latest news on schools and life from Denise
the monthly roundup
December 2014
October-November 2014
August-September 2014
June-July 2014
March-April 2014
January-February 2014
December 2013
October-November 2013
June-July 2013
April-May 2013
January-February 2013
November-December 2012
September-October 2012
July-August 2012
May-June 2012
March-April 2012
January-February 2012
December 2014

The winter has now set in; it's cold and damp, but  mind you the hardy and committed ones are still on the golf course and the range working on their game.

For me it has been great, particularly because we had some very good sessions with the Bedfordshire Ladies Golf Team. I fixed to take them for a coaching camp at Staverton Park Golf & Spa Hotel for a weekend of coaching and bonding. Everyone worked extremely hard and of course had some fun at the same time. The camp focussed on short game and putting drills which everyone attacked with enthusiasm despite the cold weather. The girls took home putting drills they could use both outdoors, and indoors when the weather was too bad. I set them all a "personal best" task to work on. I am really looking forward to our next coaching session in January when we can see what their personal best is then!! I really do feel to be very lucky to be coaching such a committed and determined bunch girls on the teams. They work hard even when the weather is cold - as it was over the weekend camp.

For most of the month it has been back to normal with sessions at the Bedfordshire, Kingsway and Biggleswade. I am pleased to be back at Biggleswade and the opportunity to build up my seniors and ladies groups. I am looking forward to a playing day with them in the Spring.

Biggleswade has the advantage of a really good putting mat as well as heating. There are also video facilities, so everything is in place for really effective putting coaching over the cold weather months. If you have not been there before do get in touch so I can give you dates and directions. I am sure you will enjoy the experience and make some good improvements to help you start the new season well.
Kingsway are also creating a putting room in so we can also get you ready for a good start to the season.

On a personal front I have been able to use the winter months to develop my disability teaching in Bedford. It is totally different to my established coaching sessions but is extremely rewarding. Those attending range between 16 and 30 years old and we do mainly chipping and putting. Everyone enjoys the sessions. At first there were 14 attending and this has built up to around 35 each time. The next session is in 2015 and I look forward to getting together with the group.

What strikes me most looking back over the year is the great improvements in their golf made by those I have been fortunate to coach. I have made new friends as well as experiencing good times with many familiar faces. The golf schools and Pro- Am, run in association with Brian Knight of Tarleton Travel are challenging and great fun.

I regard myself as being a very lucky coach having so many nice clients and friends.
Thank you all for your support in 2014 and all the very best for a great and successful 2015.

October-November 2014

So Summer is ending and Autumn is setting in but the weather is still very good which for me as a coach is great as it's fantastic to be playing without being, cold, wet and without mud up to our knees. Having good driving ranges under cover is a blessing when the weather turns bad or there is an odd wet day.

At the beginning it felt like I was packing to go off on the first golf school at Islantilla, which is like a second home for me. I always look forward to these schools and meeting up with familiar faces and new clients. There was lots of sunshine and a good measure of fun as well as plenty of hard work. I watched the steady progress made by everyone and how they all consolidated the improvements day on day. My friend Viv Ward won the competition at the end of the week and is a worthy challenge for others. She just gets better- well done Viv.

October 25th was the first of my Bedfordshire Ladies County winter Coaching at Bedfordshire Golf Club. There were 24 ladies who split into two groups for the coaching sessions. As shots from 60 yards out account for 45% of shots in a round we concentrated on these. Improvement in this area is likely to have the greatest improvement in score over a round of golf. It is natural for players to use time on the range to practice the long game and hit shot after shot - range set ups tend to encourage this, but good as this maybe, time needs to be spent on short game shots as these will bring most benefit to scores. I am confident that the time the teams are spending on their short game will bring benefits in the new season.

By the middle of October I was working at Biggleswade Driving Range building up the ladies and seniors groups. Great meeting new people and helping them sort out some of their playing issues.

As November came in I was packing for Spain, again. This time for my ladies group from Norway. These girls love to work hard and this is challenging and rewarding for me. Their playing season is very short and the week in Spain where the daylight lasts longer really extends their season. Good weather and great fun and now planning their next trip.

After Spain I was home again to group lessons at Bedfordshire Golf Club, Biggleswade and Kingsway. The weather was good and we made the most of it. Switching to some of the more difficult shots - that is until they are mastered - we concentrated on bunker shots and pitching off uneven lies.

The weekend of 22 - 23 November was County training  weekend. These  sessions focused on flight and distance control. Understanding what club is needed for the shot and knowing how to hit high even to clear obstacles or low enough to get the desired run on the ball. Distance is a key factor in making decisions particularly to successfully achieve 130 yards, 100 yards and 80 yards - all geared to ending as near as possible to the pin. Practice does really make perfect, particularly the length and pace of the swing to achieve the distance.
The sessions were really very good and much improvement was shown.

As the month ended the weather got cooler and the ground hard, but still ok for golf. All in all two good months - thank you all.

August-September 2014

August came in with nice weather, a great time to get out and play some golf. I was looking forward to my Summer School at Staverton Park Golf and Spa Hotel, this is a fab place to take people to play and stay. I had a great group of 11 people for a 2 night 3 day school. I put them through their paces on the practice ground covering a nice mix of long and short game and then on course tuition. The group had fun...and so did I !!

It is always good to catch up with my juniors and to see how they get on in competitions throughout their summer holidays. We have had some great results so I am delighted with their progress.

I am pleased to say I am coaching a fantastic group of good county players  and they are all coming on well. I have the Bedfordshire champion on the books who is playing off +2 and a 1 handicapper from Hertfordshire who is getting some good results.

Junior county week was exciting; our girls did well coming 3rd overall and having a great win over the BIG county of Essex as well as Cambs & Hunts. We are the smallest county and we don’t have so many girls to choose from. We are always on the lookout for juniors so if you know of any young girls please do let me know.

As we get to the end of August I have been asked to do some coaching at The Seniors Masters at Woburn. This is much the same as the Open where we give 10 minute free lessons. it was a good weekend and great to see some old friends!!

As the month moved on I continued coaching at Kingsway and Bedfordshire. I started a ladies group at Kingsway that works on similar lines to the seniors group I do.  We started to work on short game techniques and it’s been fun seeing all the ladies improving together in fine weather. They are also making new golfing buddies. This will carry on through the winter months so when the spring comes they will be ready to rock. I am so encouraged by their improvement.

With the weather continuing to be nice and warm it was great to do some on course lessons. I do believe this is so very important -  as anyone can hit balls on the range but then becomes a different person with on the course pressures and challenges. For me it is most enjoyable aspect of coaching.

Then it was time to be back again for the Tarleton Festival week in Islantilla. This is always a great week full of fun with different competitions every day. For the first time there seemed to be more ladies than men and the ladies team championship was a big tussell............great fun was had by all.

By the time the end of September came I had started my Bedfordshire Ladies County Winter Training. We have started a little earlier this year so we can set the teams some challengers for them to complete over the winter. This surely will challenge them......

June-July 2014

I am pleased and proud to say I became a Stack & Tilt Network Instructor at the end of May. I completed a course with the top man Andy Plummer then took an exam, I am pleased to tell you that I passed and I am now the ONLY LADY golf professional in the UK that is a Stack & Tilt Network Instructor.

You may ask what it is?
At its core the Stack & Tilt® swing is a system of measuring, more than just a set of recommendations on how to swing and we professional coaches use Stack & Tilt as an accurate description of a traditional swing. We want to make golf easier and more enjoyable for golfers while still being able to offer a comprehensive explanation of what we trying to help our clients achieve. We all share the passion for playing golf with millions of people. We do not want to suggest that we are the only ones with any good ideas about playing golf, or that our recommendations are the only way to play well and enjoy the game. It is a part of me improving my coaching skills so I can help all my players understand and enjoy the game we all love so much!!

So, back at home I am working with players at Bedfordshire Golf Club and Kingsway Golf Centre in nice sunshine and spending time with my County team getting them ready for county week.

I have attracted some good players from other counties that I now coach and a young player from Hertfordshire who lost her way a little. I am pleased to say that I was able to get her back on track. I am delighted to report that she was the top player in the Hertfordshire team with 9 ½ points out of 10 in County Week.... what a proud pro I am!!  My girls did not do as well as we would have liked, the whole team worked hard but came up against some really tough teams, for instance our lowest handicap was 10; Hertfordshire was 2 and Essex was 1; so we were always in a difficult position. Nevertheless I have to say my Bedfordshire Girls did work hard and we did beat Cambridgeshire 5-4.......I am so proud of them all.

So as the month rolls on I am looking at dates for my schools at the end of the year, as well as getting ready for my Summer School in August.. On 1st. July I was out on a trip to Barcelona with Brian Knight from Tarleton to look at some new venues. It is very promising and I am hoping to get the chance to take some groups out there.

The year is moving on really quickly; the weather has been great too, and it is so nice seeing happy people on the golf course all decked out in shorts and tee shirts.

The Open Championship was good for British golf with Rory going to the wire for a fantastic win at the fantastic Royal Liverpool Golf Course. I was lucky enough to be selected by The R&A to coach at Liverpool One shopping Centre the week before the Open. This was a taster and pro-mo to golf; it was such fun particularly to be in my home town. I then worked all week at the Open for the PGA #swingzone, a band of 22 golf coaches doing 15 min golf lessons. We worked on a 5 hour shift basis and we completed around 3200 sessions in the week. For me it was great to see and work with other pro’s and make some new friends too, plus have some fun too!! It was also great to get the chance to watch some golf too. The best in the world were there doing their utmost to catch Rory. I got the chance to sit on the practice ground and watch their warm up and practice routines. I also sat on the 18th tee and took some video. I do love The Open, in my eyes it’s the best tournament of the year.

So now back at home to set up the County training programme for the winter and prepare for my Summer School at Staverton Park in Northampton... doing some junior summer camps and group short game sessions for the ladies!...busy summer!

March-April 2014

March is here and soon my golf schools will kick in. But before that there are things still to be doing in the group coaching  at Bedfordshire Golf Club and at Kingsway Golf Centre. This is the time of year we are dusting off our clubs and wanting to get out, and play.
On 15th March I was off to Islantilla to play in the Tarleton Mixed Pro-Am. My team from last year won but unfortunately  they could not make the trip to defend the championship so I had a new team. At the end of the first round we were leading by 5 points over the favourites led by Alison Nicolas. As you might imagine that was encouraging and a good motivation  in the sunshine. As we came to the last round we had a little trouble and so we ended up 3rd (by 1 point!!!). Nevertheless we had a great time even though the runaway winners were Alison's team. I would like to thank my team of Rae, Jane, Gillian, Mick, Frank and Derek!

Just a couple of hours later and my new golf school arrived; 4 girls from Norway and 3 from the UK. I am sure they were all relieved and happy to feel the warmth as I knew back in the UK it was wet and cold, but not as bad as Oslo where it had been snowing! What a great week at Islantilla with my group. It was also my birthday so much fun was had with everyone both on and off the course.

 It was a fab two weeks and then I was off home for a  catch up with my County squad. I worked with them mainly on the short game; pitching, lob shots and bunkers. This, along with putting, is where most shots are lost. Some really light and switch  moments with the girls...bunkers made easy! They then went out on the course to play a medal from the men's tees...a great session with my squad. I had some time to catch up with friends and do some coaching at Bedfordshire and Kingsway, in the nice weather too! Time to pack for my next school at El Rompido.

 It was so cold when I left the UK and I was  so pleased to arrive in Spain in a lovely +21c. The two courses were in great condition and my group just loved it there. It was nice to see them come to grips with the tuition and the tough courses. They all had fun in the sunshine - well done to Karen on winning the competition.
Back home to set up for my X-Games and Fun4Golf at Bedfordshire GC. This was our drive to find new players and I am pleased to say we found some new young girls and boys. All the hard work has paid off and I am now looking forward to coaching our new group of Little Bees!

Easter came and went (too much chocolate me thinks !!) then I was thinking of packing again for the Tarleton Ladies Pro-Am at El Rompido. This competition has gone from strength to strength this being our 12th year. We have gone from 8 teams to 14.... This week is such great fun, if you get a chance to play it’s a must!  My fab team of girls. Rae Donna, Lin, Jane, Jakki & Jane, thank you girls you were great and we had fun......my team rocks!!

January-February 2014

Welcome to 2014!!! My year starts off at a party with my good friends Rae and Brian - it was a great way to start the New Year.

So off to the gym to continue my fitness campaign. Hitting the driving range coaching people who have been given lesson vouchers for Christmas, great fun getting people started in golf and also having the chance to improve others.

I then looked at sorting my brochure out to make sure all is in place to start my Golf School year off with a bang. It is always good to hear from students who want to book up on Schools to Spain and Portugal, and this year I have a new venue in Tarvira, Portugal. This is my first school of 2014, and I am so looking forward to this venue - it is on the Spanish / Portuguese border with two great golf courses, practice facilities, hotel and spa. I am sure my group will have a good time there! My next stop with be Benalup – always a firm favourite with my group. All of my dates and venues are on my web site, so please take a look and see what you fancy….. a bit of winter sunshine, will get your golf in tip-top form for your season ahead.

I am also looking forward to taking my UK schools back to Staverton Park near Northampton. These are my 2-day Schools and Ladies 3-day Summer School - most popular with all the girls.

On January 12th I held my first Bedfordshire Ladies County Training of the year. We had a great turnout of 24 ladies and worked on distance control. I set up targets at 30, 50, 70 and 110 yards on the driving range and then the group had 6 attempts at each target - BUT not with a wedge! I got the girls to try and land the balls in the targets with all of the iron clubs, e.g. 50 yards with their 5 iron and so on for all the targets. This was a little out of their comfort zones and it was good to see them thinking about how big a swing they needed to hit each target. We also used the balance pads to work on their balance hitting ball; firstly with both feet on one and then both feet on 2 - it was a great exercise. We then took to the golf course with just 3 clubs and a putter.....my choice of clubs, 7 wood 5 & 8 iron....again not clubs they would have chosen, as they all wanted to take a wedge....it was very interesting and lots of things were learned!!

Off on to my annual skiing holiday next with the family Penny. What a great time with plenty of snow and good weather!

It has been a good start to the coaching year with one-to-ones with some of the County Team and a 3 hour NLP lesson! I do love my job and it’s great to teach all sorts of different players from new players to pro’s!!

Bags are now packed and we are off on my first trip of the year to our new venue of Tevira in Portugal. As always an early start at the airport at 5am - OMG it was a bit cold!! I have to say what a fab venue for a school. My group loved it, including the hotel food and the great practice facilities. All in all a great week, with Alison coming out as the winner of the week.

So it was back home for a week washing and re-packing, coaching at Bedfordshire and Kingsway, and catching up with my Seniors and Bedfordshire Ladies County Team. We had a great session, including par 18 distance control and a putting session.

Then off again to Almerimar. The hotel had been re-fitted, and is great with a spa. This is the first hotel course where I did my School with Tarleton at, around 15 years ago! What a big improvement with the whole set up. New hotel, new club house and big improvements on the course. So my group had a good time in the warm Spanish sunshine. The winner of the week was Pricilla. Well done to everyone.

Home for 2 weeks, and time to catch up with everyone and plan my next attack!! It’s great to catch up with the Juniors….. and friends, of course! I am a lucky girl and I know I have a great job....must be off again soon!!

December 2013

At the end of another great year of golf tuition I have to thank you all for your continued support of my Golf Schools.

It’s been such fun this year seeing all the “light on” moments during the schools and on the lesson tees. You know what I mean - when people just “get it” - and it makes me realise just how lucky I am to have a job like this, meeting great people, going to fantastic places and helping people enjoy the game that I love so much.

My first year in charge of Bedfordshire Ladies County Golf Team has been a fabulous experience. For the first time ever, the Ladies came 3rd in the Eastern County Week. It was fun seeing the Team all work together and support each other - I am such a proud coach! We had success with the Girls team too, who all came of age and played so well for their County. The future of Ladies and Girls golf in Bedfordshire is very bright and I am looking forward to what 2014 brings......it’s going to be a lot of FUN!!!

I love receiving feedback from my students telling me of their improvements and wins. I have had a lot of you inform me of your handicap reductions, which pleases me no end. One lady has knocked 20 shots of her handicap...fantastic!! Then there are those of you who have won big club competitions and got your names on the winners’ board. I am so pleased to say that I have had some very excited people on the phone to me, and this makes for a very happy and proud coach!!

December has seen me coaching at both Bedfordshire Golf Club and Kingsway Centre in Cambridge. And I have been kept busy with my Ladies and Seniors groups. We made the most of the mild weather, working a lot on the short game, which was a good to challenge them all.

A very big well done to all of you and I look forward to seeing the continued success in 2014.

My personal preparation for 2014 includes plans to enrol on more coaching courses. This continues my professional development and I love keeping up with what is new in the coaching world. The more I learn, the better the coach I become, building a more comprehensive and up-to-the-minute knowledge and skill base, which can only help my students. I love the learning look forward to the challenges this brings.

Thank you all once again for visiting my website, reading my news and, of course, allowing me to help you with your golf.

I wish you all the very best for the coming year - let’s make it a great one!! x

October-November 2013

October in the UK and the sun is still out! It’s great to see lots of people still out on the course making the use of the nice weather.

For me it’s the time of the year I am preparing for the next. Putting dates together for my golf Schools and Clinics. Also putting our plan together for my county coaching for Bedfordshire Ladies and Girl’s squads. I do find it fun coming up with our plan to improve the Ladies and Girls, and to make it different from normal coaching. We have decided to work hard on the short game and course management....so the plan is hatched!!
Coming up with dates and venues for my schools in Spain and Bulgaria are fun too - I am looking forward to going to some new venues in 2014. My schools in the UK are looking good too; I will be going back to Staverton Park near Northampton, which I am looking forward too. If you fancy a week or just a short trip for some tuition with you and your friends, please do not hesitate to contact me and let’s book it in.

In October, Tarleton Travel celebrated 40 years in the business and held their ever popular Festival Week at Islantilla Golf resort, where it was such a great week in fabulous weather. It’s a fun week where the teams get to play different formats of competition every day. We start off with a Texas Scramble where all the teams are mixed up, followed by a bbq were everyone get to know and meet new friends........if you fancy a fun week of competition this is the one for you!!

As I come to my last 2 Schools of this season the weather starts to change, but I am pleased to say my trip to Haender Del Alamo was good, the weather was fantastic, and all the students came on leaps and bounds.

Back to the UK to sort my brochure out, and to prepare for my first session with my County Ladies. Now that was fun - I set up some good skills tests for them, and it was great seeing them out of there comfort zone....a great weekend of challenges for them all.

The session with my Bedfordshire County Ladies was sooo much fun. I set up some challenges for them to test their short game. The questions were: ‘What shot to play?’ ‘What club?’ and ‘Where do you want to land the ball?’ They had to keep score too, with three goes at the 10 stations - it was fun and interesting for me to watch. After lunch we took it to the golf course playing Worst-ball Foursomes. This really did test them! I then set them some homework - just to keep simple stats so at our next session we can see what we need to work on and what to change for the best.

My last school of 2013 was a 4 day trip to Islantilla. In good weather the group worked hard both on the range and the course. It was good to see the improvements, so much so that Lynn had 43 points on the last day and Claire had 42 points!! So pleased with the improvements the group made...and it was fun too!!

As we come to the end of November with weather seems to be fine, so it is good to see everyone making the most of the weather on the golf course!!

June-July 2013

As June kicked in, my work continued at Bedfordshire Golf Club and Kingsway Golf Centre. I really do get so much pleasure from seeing my students improve and have fun on the golf course. It is always good to hear people’s handicap is dropping and winning competitions is within their grasp!  Hard work does pays off, especially where golf is concerned!

It was then time head to my last school of the summer season at a great new venue in Bulgaria, a resort called Privets. We landed in a scorching Sofia greeted by bright blue sky and tipping towards 30 degrees in the shade – certainly no complaints from this camp!  This was a brilliant week with 9 wonderful ladies full of great fun and wonderful golf even though we were playing in heat of 40+ but every one coped and thank god for buggies.  Privets offered us outstanding hotel, beautiful course and great practice facilities and may people have already put it down for a return trip next year! 

Returning home to work with my Bedfordshire County Ladies Team is always a pleasure especially enjoyable was watching them ‘strut their stuff’ at the County week as the 6 county teams, match play against each other.  Bedfordshire is the smallest county but we have the biggest hearts.  We played exceptionally well against the two biggest counties; Essex and Hertfordshire, in fact we did have a good chance to beat them.  All in all we finished joint third with Suffolk having beaten the mighty Cambridge!  The best ever result and you have made me a very proud coach!

Have been coaching kids with varying disabilities and also had brilliant sessions with a group of under 16’s from a local secondary school – offering them a chance to try-out different sports.  Obviously it was important to make sure they had some great fun learning.  Sorry boys but the greatest potential was seen on the girls’ side of the range!
So the sun came out and the golf courses became hard and fast and people just loved being dry and happy golfers!  Personally, this was time to catch up with my own game, not to mention having some fun with friends and in short sleeved shirts and shorts in England … it was a good match Brian Rae and Donna… thank you!

The British Open - how good was the last round played by Mickelson, I think everyone in the UK really wanted Lee Westwood to win but Phil, you played such fabulous golf on the back 9 to lift the claret jug… never mind, we did enjoy Andy Murray capturing Wimbledon! 

Time to arrange the junior summer camps, ladies schools and dates with venues for the winter golf schools....it’s all go!

A busy time of year the sun is still out and the golf courses are looking good and people are having fun!

All we need is brilliant sunshine and great weather for people to go out and have a go on the golf course so we decided to run a “Get into Golf” and a “ get back into golf” campaign - making the most of the weather and trying to get people playing and enjoying this game we all love!

The schools are off so we all so have lots of junior camps this summer...it’s great to see the kids improving and having a bit of fun!

I am now starting to get my winter program for the Bedfordshire Ladies and Girls County teams finalised, so it’s an exciting time for planning!!

The Ladies British Open has just finished what a great win for fellow MIZUNO staff player Stacy Lewis at the Old Course St Andrews, 4 great rounds of golf by that girl. Now we can look forward to the Solheim Cup in August and we just know it’s going to be FABULOUS!

The roll on honour for the last two months....it’s getting bigger John, Jane, Viv, Margeat, Donna, Mike, Debby & Carol have all reduces there handicaps by 3 and 20 shots - well done, I am so proud of you and keep it up guys!

Thank you for taking the time to read my news letter and enjoy your summer!

April-May 2013

Thanks to my brilliant students, I still love teaching golf!

At home working with my Bedfordshire County Ladies Squad, making sure we are all ready to GO by the time county week comes around, making sure they all know what to work on with me between sessions. Also working with the county girls too, it's great seeing them all improve and watching them developing into nice little players with all the tools they need to compete.  My successful Cambridgeshire juniors are also coming a long nicely.  So in short, I am so lucky in being able to work with great people.

Spain in April the weather was fab and the course was brilliant.  We worked on all the aspects of their game and made sure we had time for some fun on the course. Brian came to Spain to allow us to recce new venues for schools and competition weeks. We spent two days in the Malaga area - it was great to see other options but we both realised Islantilla and El Rompido still tick all the boxes i.e. nothing beats the golf courses right outside the front door of the hotel. 

We returned to El Rompido in time to get everything ready for the Ladies Pro Am. Ten teams of six amateurs and one professional in our unique tournament. The week is a mad busy fun filled affair which one should never miss and it I worth the hard preparation to see everyone having a brilliant time.  Great golf teaching through the day and fun times at night is what the week is all about.  

We had three new pros with teams and I am delighted to confirm Tina from Norway and her team won by a country mile.  Tina and I are the only two pros to have played in all of the pro-ams, in fact on day one Kristin Berg, one of my students, from Team Norway had 42 points - a happy coach indeed!  My team were great fun, Rae, Donna, Ruth, Fiona, Isla & Lin but we could not keep up with the Norgies!  I am so proud to be a part of the Tarleton Team who worked so hard to make the event go like clockwork – thank you from a very proud golf pro.

I managed 2 days off to prepare for my next golf school – a difficult time really as I tend to enjoy lots of friend around but as I waved everyone off, I was plunged into emptiness… so thank you everyone one… we had a brilliant time indeed. 

As my next group of pupils arrived, I was refreshed and ready for some solid tuition in the warmth of the Spanish sunshine.   To try to avoid the hot weather, we took to the course early in the day for some teaching – we had access to two great places at El Rompido including; some excellent practice facilities.  We did focus hard on the importance of making good contact and then put it into practice on the course.

I headed home to prepare for my weekend school at Staverton Park which was fun and as you can imagine, after one month in the sun, the temperature was cooler than I wanted.  
The Belfry was my next destination to allow me to focus on my personal teaching with a golf coaching education programme with Andy Plummer of Stack and Tilt.  This was a brilliant environment and gave me time to technically address some new skills and techniques – this was made easy because I was sharing this experience with like mined coaches who have a passion to learn and improve their teaching in order to benefit their pupils. 

Back to reality by catching-up with everything that happened at Bedfordshire Golf Club and at Kingsway and it was so nice to see everyone.  Then the County Girls and Ladies Coaching allowed me to try-out new and improved methods gained from my schooling at The Belfry and the results were terrific as my pupils all improve their striking and game playing.  We actually created some tough challengers around the par 3 on the 9th green and challenging sloping lies allowed good practice coupled with some fun moments for the girls!   

An opportunity to keep fully up-to-date on teaching techniques and methods, took me back to the Belfry for another day’s learning – Meeting of the Minds day where six of the top rated coaches talked us through their thoughts, techniques, teaching secrets and delivery.  

A new destination for teaching was Valle del Este in Spain which presented some much welcomed sunshine, fantastic teaching facilities, a great golf course and a  wonderful group  of pupils who very much enjoyed many ‘light bulb’ moments…#golfisfun!

Thank you for a brilliant April and May 2013

January-February 2013

So a Happy New Year! I hope 2013 has started well for you all.  I celebrated with a great group of friends and it went with a bang!

It was great to get back on the coaching tee after the holiday season, new people to coach and getting the Cambs under 14 County boys ready for their season. I do get a big buzz on seeing the kids enjoy playing and doing constructive practice. Back at Bedfordshire and Kingsway it’s business as normal seeing my seniors group and getting my beginners groups going and making the most of the mild weather....damp but not cold is good for me.

January a damp wet month so time for me to have my holiday, skiing in Filzmoos Austria a fantastic holiday with the family Penny, the same group I have been with for the past 20 years ( I think!) Great week, great friends...well need I say more it was FAB!
I am pleased to announce that as from January I have been named as the County Golf Coach for The Bedfordshire County Ladies and Girls squad, as you can guess I am very pleased and honoured to be given this opportunity, so now my work begins (woooo hoooo, BOOM BOOOM springs to mind...sorry for that but I am sooo excited!!!)

My first session with my team was on 2nd February and oh boy it was sooooo cold for them I did feel a bit sorry for the girls. It was great to see them all embrace the challenges I set them.  I have to say it was not easy, but why should it be? I want them to have to think about the shot they are about to play and to have the confidence to do it in competition.  So they were out of their comfort zone... after all we need to practice with a purpose and with some consequence and it was fab to see them in the challenges. We then played 6 holes with 3 clubs and a putter (my choice of clubs too) it was good to see them cope as the most loft they had was an 8 iron. All in all a great day they went off with new things to practice and me, well I went off BUZZING, a real happy golf coach!!!

After that I was off on my first golf school of 2013 to the lovely Benalup Golf and Spa Hotel. I had 11 people raring to get their 2013 golf season off and running. We were very lucky with the weather and the conditions of the course so we made the most of it all including the fantastic spa which I am sure most if not all of my students used every day. Great work was done all week and the winners were Jim and Jane the secret pairs winners and Bob the individual winner on a count back from Trudy. A great week with fun people and a fab way to get my year going. See how it went...

Home for a week to sort paper work out and touch base at Bedfordshire and Kingsway just enough time to wash and re pack for my trip to Almerimar, again another fab place and now the new hotel is open it was nice to get to stay there. My 10 students were ready for the challenge of this Gary Player designed course. It was great to see my open minded group ready for the challenges of the week. It was fun with the drills test and then seeing them put it into practice on the course. The winners were Nigel the individual winner and Alison and Wendy were the secret pairs, a great week with fab people, thanks and see you in 2014. See how it went...

Home I go for a week or so and to catch up with my Bedfordshire Ladies County Squad. This was another day like the first one, as some of the teams could not make our first session.  I put them through there paces with the challenges then after lunch we did bunkers and pitching. I love doing sand play as players mostly all want to play the same one shot regardless of the type of lie they are in, so it was great to see some light bulbs go on with the fact they don’t need to play them all with an open face. All in all a great day with lots of learning (I love my job!!)

The week continues with time spent at Kingsway and Bedfordshire Golf Club, washing and ironing ready for my next trip. The Tarleton Mixed Pro-Am at Islantilla (now my Spanish home, I love the place!!) A great week for me as my team won, it was fun in the sunshine (thunder rain & hail stones) in fact all the seasons in one day, but hay ho it was fun. A big thank you to my team, David, Sue, Terry... & Beth, what a fab bunch of people we won by 4 shots in the end.

Just as this ended my next school started, the girls from Oslo!!! 17 of them all ready for some golf in sunshine and on grass, some of them had never been on a full 18 hole golf course before and others had not been on the course or hit balls from the grass since October. It was a great fun week with the girls, so much improvement made by them all. It is great for me to see them grow as players and embrace the changes in their set ups, swings and movements. These girls love it and had fun, thanks girls you make my job easy. The winners were, Donna the winner on the day and Ellen and Mona the secret pairs winners... thank you girls it was great!!

Home for my birthday celebrations and a drop of champagne for me, fun with friends. It’s been fast and mad for weeks and it does not stop here. 2 more sessions with my County ladies, washing ironing & packing for me too as the next 4 weeks are just as busy... welcome to the spring!!!

November-December 2012

As the winter kicks in early I am looking forward to getting away to my schools in Islantilla which is one of my favourite places. I have had some great groups this year and I’m sure that those in the coming weeks will be no different! I had a great group of people in November who made the most of the good golf course and practice facilities. The weather was not its best but we were able to do all we needed to. We worked hard on the practice ground and then took the things we had learnt out onto the golf course. I saw big improvements all round. It was great to see my friend Helen Reed who was also there coaching a group from Holland. It was nice to catch up with her and have a bit of a laugh. My winners of the week were ... individual winner was Karen with 32 points and the secret pairs winners were Jan and Deb with 46, so a great week all in all.

Islantilla Golf School, Spain with Denise HastingsIslantilla Golf School, Spain with Denise HastingsIslantilla Golf School, Spain with Denise Hastings
Islantilla Golf School, November 2012

Then I came home for a Bedfordshire Girls County coaching day quickly followed by a Cambridgeshire under 14 boy’s day. I love seeing how the kid are doing and helping them on their way!

So back to normal things for me, teaching at Bedfordshire Golf Club and Kingsway Golf Centre. Mind you as the cold weather set in it was time for me to catch up with my accounts (yuk! But it has to be done) and really prepare for 2013. My year looks great I am pleased to say, with a new venue in Bulgaria for my golf school, which I am really excited about, so roll on June (I know you should not wish your life away but I do get excited about a new year and my schools!!) The winter is a time for me to get my timings & itineries ready for the next year, not to mention planning all my County obligations with Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire. It really looks like a full year, not only with my schools in Spain but my schools at Staverton Park and of course Bedfordshire GC.

At the end of November I had the chance to take a small group back to Islantilla in Spain for a 4 day trip. It was great to spend time with 8 people in winter sunshine and play a dry course. We were able to put a lot of work in and had some fun too. I intend to do more quick trips at the end of next year for those people who cannot make a full week away; I must say it was great.

So December hits in and Christmas is on its way. This time of year is not so busy but it is a great time to catch up with friends and make my plans for 2013. The weather has been odd, it seems to have got warm after the very cold spell in November and December has been very wet and warm. Some courses have been closed and people have been desperate to get out and play especially all those people with new Christmas clubs.
I wish you all the Very Best Wishes for a GREAT 2013 and a successful golfing year, guys you know where I am if you need help!! x

September-October 2012

As September starts, my thoughts turn to the winter (I know I know but I have to) I have been looking at suitable dates deciding on the places to go to and making sure I don’t clash with anything... well fingers crossed!! It was great to deliver one of my weekend schools in nice weather. We were able to cover all the important things and I was able to give each of the people who attended enough time to work on their changes with drills.. I feel it was a great weekend. As the month rolled on I was able to continue all the good work with my juniors at Bedfordshire, it’s great to see the kid’s have fun and improve. On 9th September we held our Cambridgeshire Academy Programme junior talent day at Kingsway. We had around 50 children doing skills... not all about hitting golf balls but all working on balance, movement, throwing, kicking, running, jumping... it was great fun and then we had them play 9 holes on our par 3 course. It was great to see them all have fun playing and with all the drills. We now have a great bunch of kids to work with... This is the time of year I start to do a bit of winter learning and I went off to a Target Oriented Golf Workshop in Bedford, it was great to meet other like minded pro’s willing to learn new skills... all good fun.

Cambridge Juniors
The Cambridge Juniors

Cambridge Juniors
Juniours in action

The Ladies British Open was held in September and this year because of the Olympics and it was held at Royal Liverpool. It was a pity I could not make it “home” as I was busy, but what great golf in absolutly foul weather...all the girls did well in that wet and windy week.

Then off we go, it’s the Tarleton Festival week at Islantilla. The weather was good and the golf even better. We had 120 players playing different competitions every day. I got to play too, as part of the staff team in the Texas Scramble event... Brian Knight, John Barnes, Mike Hickman and me... what a laugh and how good did we play... we won too... (but no prizes for us, well you can’t can you..lol) as always it was a busy week and so so much fun for all the people who played.

Then came the Ryder Cup, what can I say... TEAM OF THE YEAR! I was just so proud to be British (well European) the boys did us proud each and every one of them; it was a great week to see fantastic golf... great win for us!!

The weather at home was a bit up and down but not so cold... that happened in the end of October... I have been doing a lot of group tuition, 3 hour clinics and a practice and play day at Kingsway. We started with long game then some pitching a cup of coffee then on course tuition. It was great to show my students the way I see the course, things like why I would tee up the ball in certain places because of the trouble on the course. So they all went off with new ideas and skills.

We held another CAP coaching weekend in October and I have to say the children were great, we really do have some great little players so I am excited to work with them and my fellow coaches over the winter. It’s great to see them be competitive with the warm up games and how much fun they had with learning new skills.

As we come to the end of October I am packing my case for my first winter golf school. Islantilla here we come! I really do love this place, it’s great for a school as the short game

September-October 2012

As September starts, my thoughts turn to the winter (I know I know but I have to) I have been looking at suitable dates deciding on the places to go to and making sure I don’t clash with anything... well fingers crossed!! It was great to deliver one of my weekend schools in nice weather. We were able to cover all the important things and I was able to give each of the people who attended enough time to work on their changes with drills.. I feel it was a great weekend. As the month rolled on I was able to continue all the good work with my juniors at Bedfordshire, it’s great to see the kid’s have fun and improve. On 9th September we held our Cambridgeshire Academy Programme junior talent day at Kingsway. We had around 50 children doing skills... not all about hitting golf balls but all working on balance, movement, throwing, kicking, running, jumping... it was great fun and then we had them play 9 holes on our par 3 course. It was great to see them all have fun playing and with all the drills. We now have a great bunch of kids to work with... This is the time of year I start to do a bit of winter learning and I went off to a Target Oriented Golf Workshop in Bedford, it was great to meet other like minded pro’s willing to learn new skills... all good fun.

Cambridge Juniors
The Cambridge Juniors

Cambridge Juniors
Juniours in action

The Ladies British Open was held in September and this year because of the Olympics and it was held at Royal Liverpool. It was a pity I could not make it “home” as I was busy, but what great golf in absolutly foul weather...all the girls did well in that wet and windy week.

Then off we go, it’s the Tarleton Festival week at Islantilla. The weather was good and the golf even better. We had 120 players playing different competitions every day. I got to play too, as part of the staff team in the Texas Scramble event... Brian Knight, John Barnes, Mike Hickman and me... what a laugh and how good did we play... we won too... (but no prizes for us, well you can’t can you..lol) as always it was a busy week and so so much fun for all the people who played.

Then came the Ryder Cup, what can I say... TEAM OF THE YEAR! I was just so proud to be British (well European) the boys did us proud each and every one of them; it was a great week to see fantastic golf... great win for us!!

The weather at home was a bit up and down but not so cold... that happened in the end of October... I have been doing a lot of group tuition, 3 hour clinics and a practice and play day at Kingsway. We started with long game then some pitching a cup of coffee then on course tuition. It was great to show my students the way I see the course, things like why I would tee up the ball in certain places because of the trouble on the course. So they all went off with new ideas and skills.

We held another CAP coaching weekend in October and I have to say the children were great, we really do have some great little players so I am excited to work with them and my fellow coaches over the winter. It’s great to see them be competitive with the warm up games and how much fun they had with learning new skills.

As we come to the end of October I am packing my case for my first winter golf school. Islantilla here we come! I really do love this place, it’s great for a school as the short game

July-August 2012

July kicks in and the weather, well it’s winter!! The amount of rain we have had, even some of the courses had trolley bans!! The big question is will we get a summer of some sorts?

I had my second session with the Bedfordshire county girls on 1 July. It was great to see the girls keen to work on their set ups and pre shot routines. We talked about just how important this is and how hard it is to remember to do the same thing all the time.  I gave them some examples of routines and helped them work out what is good for them. I talked about how important it is to practice their routines and not to just expect it will happen.  We worked on that on the range then we took it to the course. It was nice to see how the girls got on with their tasks, I now hope they can become more comfortable with their individual routine and take it to the course to improve their play.

My month of coaching is now getting busy. It’s great to see everyone getting out even in the wet weather. I have two senior groups now going, one at Kingsway on a Tuesday morning and the other at Bedfordshire Golf Club on a Wednesday afternoon. We have different tasks and topics every week, it’s a fun time with lots of banter and learning, almost as much fun as teaching the kids!!

I have had some great meetings with Brian from Tarleton as we are putting together our winter programme of golf schools and events; everything is looking exciting for the winter.

Then came Sunday 8 July. A date in my mind that will stay with me, I ran in the British 10k along with about 25,000 others. What an experience, the atmosphere was magic, most of the people were running for a charity, mine was Dyspraxia, I have to say I loved every inch of it even in the rain. While we were still waiting to start, the elite runners finished!! The first guy did it in about 28 min. Me I did it in 1 hour 3 min, I have to say I little disappointing but I was pleased to finish and feel well. The only other race I have done since leaving school was the 5k race for life 2 years ago and I did that in 25.25. All in all a great experience and I thank everyone who sponsored me, Dyspraxia Foundation were very pleased!

British 10k

The next day I have to say I felt fine, my legs a little stiff but all in all ok except for a bruised toe!

July is the month of the British Open, I just love going to see the best in the world play and I get the chance to work for the R&A and the PGA in coaching at the #swingzone. This is where 10 coaches teach all different sorts of people from kids to grannies and everything in between.  It is such a fab week where we get to coach in 4 and half hour sessions and help 10 people in 15 min sessions, a great week I have to say.

R&A Swingzone British Open 2012

R&A Swingzone British Open 2012
with fellow coaches

Each day was different, one day the highest handicap I taught was 10, that day I gave a lesson to an ex golf pro and two assistant pro’s and a guy off scratch, wow what a day that was then the next just about everyone was new and had never had a lesson before so all in all between us we saw all different ends of the golfing spectrum and you know what, it was magic... roll on 2013!!.

Back home to start our kid’s summer camps at Bedfordshire GC, it’s great to give the kids different challenges and games to get them running around and having fun.

We had our Cambridgeshire junior CAP fun day on Sunday 29 July, this is where all the kids that have been in our winter coaching groups have a chance to play together in a fun competition.  What a great day seeing all the kids playing well and having fun. We now are looking forward to our talent days for our CAP sessions this winter and getting the kids improving over the winter season. I am pleased to say my group played well and came 2 well done you guys!

August is here and the weather seems to be improving, at last! I held my first Junior summer camp at Bedfordshire Golf Club.  It was great fun with the kids, 5 girls and 2 boys all new players too. We played some games, did balance skills, ran about and I gave them all some good challenges to do, boy it was fun!

Cambridgeshire junior golf players
my juniors!

The 5 August I headed down to St Pierre for our ladies pro-am girls reunion, what a laugh, really good fun with the girls.

On the Monday I was at a Disability / Inclusive training day... I do love to learn new things to do with coaching, so this day was full of good interesting stuff.
May-June 2012

We had 80 ladies at the Tarleton Ladies pro-am.  From my point of view this is one of the best weeks of the year as I get to spend time with some of my best friends such as Tina Selstad and Kristen Berg from Norway. I cannot tell you have great it is to spend time with these girls and the others from Denmark, Holland, Poland and of course the UK. I am pleased to say 2 of my Texas scramble teams did well. Just one of the best weeks of my year!

Tarleton Ladies ProAm teams 2012
the Tarleton Ladies pro-am teams

So after 3 and half weeks away it was nice to come home and sleep in my own bed! Please don’t get me wrong, I love my job and love going away, but it’s always nice to get home and have a curry!!

So it was back to my coaching at Bedford and Kingsway. It’s great to see how the juniors have been doing and to take them on a bit further on the road to better golf. I started a senior’s group at Bedfordshire which was nice as a lot of these guys have not had much help with their golf for a while, so some hard work is about to start.

We have just started a beginner’s group at both of my sites. Funnily enough the group is mostly ladies, so let’s see if we can get them on the course as soon as we can, I have to say they all look good prospects to me!

My Under 14 Cambridgeshire boys junior Squad had their first match of the season at Bedfordshire GC. It was great to see the boys all fit and ready to play on a nice but breezy day.

Cambridgeshire juior boys squad 2012

It was also nice to catch up with the CAP Cambridge juniors. We have some good juniors on our books so it is great to see them all making strides to becoming good players, we always give them some drills as home work to work on in between sessions and they do not let us down!

I also saw my under 14 boys for another session.  I talked to the boys about a recent match and what had happened and how they played.  It was interesting to hear what they said and work out what they needed to improve to go that one step further with their golf.  We made some great improvements in their thinking and worked out how to get the best out of themselves... the boy are improving!

It is always nice to get a chance to teach top amateurs, so I was really pleased to work with a 2 handicap man preparing to play in the English senior’s championship. We worked on routines and ways to improve his contact.  It’s always small things with top players, so a good session was had.

I then had the Bedfordshire Girls squad for a session on how to practice better and what to practice. It was great to see some lights “Go On” with the girls as I gave them something to work on in terms of how to think better and control their feelings after a good and poor shots. I really enjoyed the afternoon with the girls and so did they, I now look forward to our on-course session in July.

The weather then took a turn for the worse and it felt almost like winter. I have not seen so much rain at this time of year and a lot of courses were closed, not nice.

Certified Putting InstructorOver the past 2 months I have been working towards a putting certification and I am pleased to tell you I have passed with flying colours and I am now a Certified Frankly Golf Putting Instructor. This has given me more knowledge on putting, fitting and technique, so I am pleased to be able to pass my new skills onto you my students.

I will be running putting courses soon so I hope you will join me, as you know 45% of your game is the short game!!

So the month came to a great end for me.
March-April 2012

As March kicks in I am in Spain at Almerimar with a golf school. What a great group of people. I normally get the same group there; it’s now a bit of a club! Rae Alison Derek Alf Sally & Pat. These guys get there kick start to the season with me in Spain. It was a lovely week in nice weather. We were able to go through there passes in shorts!! Almerimar is in a sort of a valley with mountains around; it looks so beautiful with snow on the top! The group had good time as the week went on the sun got hotter. On the last day we did a skills test, it’s all about putting what they learned in to practice... in game like conditions and good fun too.

As I said good bye to that school I loaded up the van and set out for Islantilla for my next school. This road trip I have done many times and it takes around 6 and half hours with 2 or 3 coffee stops. The trip takes in Granada Seville Hulva and then in to Islantilla. My next group arrived on the Monday so this gave me time to catch up on things, paper work emails a touch of practice and a couple of runs...o yes and a nice rest in the sunshine!!

So they were really up for their school. Two friends of mine Jane and Jacky had brought along some friends so I knew it was going to be fun! As in all schools we covered everything and as the group was split in to two it gave every on some time to sort themselves out and to practice and rest. It was great to see them all improve as the video session proved invaluable. We had two birthdays that week, Francis and Jane, so it was party time!  It was great to see them tackle the drills test at the end....good fun was had by all. Both schools were full of great people who worked hard and played hard, just a joy for me to coach!

As I said good bye to this school I started to prepare for the Tarleton Mixed Pro-Am. I did have a chance to practice and play a bit before the group arrived. This was good as I had been suffering with a sore arm for some weeks, but the sunshine helps!! The group came in on the Thursday and met there pro’s, Lora, Deana, Alison, Carol and your truly. This is such a great event run along the same line as our ladies pro-am in April. We started with a Texas Scramble were all the teams were mixed up and they got a chance to play with another pro. Then we had a practice round with our teams and played a waltz, you know 1 2 3 then 1 2 3 scores to count. The first round was thigh with 5 points between us all and at that we were 4th....the only way is up! After the day of rest we were off and running, my team, well struggled a bit on the fast greens and we stayed in the same position, then it really was all to play for on the last day and we got off fast, and did 153 points and moved up over all to 3rd so pleased with that. The winners were Deana team who won by 6 points! A great week with fab people now they are all looking forward to 2013 I have to thank my team it was a blast!!

Home for me and I could not wait for a really hot curry and chilli the things I miss when I am away!

On the Saturday I had the Cambridgeshire boys county coaching, good fun with the boys in the sunshine. I talked to them about think box – play box and how important it is to keep stats, so we gave them plenty of home work, now looking forward to seeing them again!

It was my birthday too, so off I when to Linda’s house to let the fun begin... What a great weekend in London and dinner at the Landmark. I had a great weekend lots of nice things to eat and drink.

Now it was time to get ready for my long 3 and half weeks away. I started with a trip to Faro were I met up with Brian Knight of Tarleton were we then hit the road to have a look at some other venues for our schools and competition weeks. We then went off to Islantilla to pick up some of our work stuff, such as printer posters, Signe boards, boxes of prizes and shirts, oh yes and our trolleys. We then headed off to El Rompido to set up for the Ladies pro-am. 11 teams of 7, so that is a lot of ladies who are going to be ready for some fun in the sun. It’s such a great week, we get to meet up with some friends who we only get to see once a year, so let the party start!! We had ladies from Norway, Holland, Poland, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, the USA and of course England. It was a fab week with great girls run by a great company in Tarleton Travel, which I am lucky to say I work with. A great win by Lora’s team; it was hard trough for over 2 great golf courses at El Rompido, so now we are look forward to 2013! I had some time before my school arrived so Brian and I put all the office things in boxes for the next time. It is such a great week and now we both feel a little flat as the ladies pro-am is such a fast week with lots to do and then ends so so quickly. I had time to sort so things out before my school arrived. I know they will be up for a great week. They arrived in great sunshine, as I believe it had been horrid at home, so a school in the sun and they are able to do it in their shorts!! A great week were we were able to cover all the things we needed to and had a bit of fun doing it. The winners of the week were Barbara and Jan and Maureen were secret partners. I really enjoyed my time at El Rompido, I am lucky to spend time with great people and at nice venues.

January-February 2012

What a winter so far, one or two really cold days, but no snow (as I write that is...) so lots of time to play and practice. Mind you when it is cold it REALLY is cold. I have been able to get my 2012 school brochure out which is good and I have had some bookings for my schools with Geraint Dixon at Bedfordshire and for Staverton Park too. I am so looking forward to taking my Ladies Summer School there. It really is a great place with a good course and great short game eara, it also has a swimming pool and gym, so it ticks all the box’s....come on girls book in!!

Things have been going well at Kingsway and Bedfordshire. We have also started the Cambridge Junior CAP coaching witch I am pleased to say I am now one of the lead coaches. I am also proud to tell you that I have been appointed as under 14 Junior Boys Cambridge coach too, so I will be busy with the children this spring... we have so many good children on our books and especially the under 14 boys, I am excited to get going with the coaching.

I am just back from my skiing holiday in Filzmoos, whay a great week I don’t think in 15 years we have had such great snow, I am pleased to say well all came home safe and sound. It is great for me to have coaching, as I spend all of my time instructing, sometimes it’s good to be on the other side of the fence and be the student... I learned a lot from our great instructor Nina Mosa, she is a TOP SKI & COACH!! A big thank you to the Penny family... just FAB as usual!

Back home for a week to catch up. Plenty to keep me busy, I now look forward to Benalup, what a great place it is, a great course in just the best condition I have seen it in and the greens, well what can I say... just FAB for the time of year and considering we had a bit of frost on two of the morning but once it went is was great. We had lots of fun with drill and skills tests and I got the group to keep stats... now looking forward to 2013, as they all said the best value school ever and good food to boot!

Home and back to the UK cold, the place is covered in snow and I believe....I have to say the country side looked lovely coming in to lad at Stanstad! So home unpack and off to teach the juniors at Bedfordshire Golf Club. On the Wednesday the Golf Partnership set up a junior keep fit for golf day with Bob Wood... what a great day!! I and some of the coaches were put through our passes, it was such fun. It was great to see the kids get involved and we all learned a lot about fitness for golf!! Then at the weekend I was off to Brampton Park to do the Cambridge CAP juniors with Crage and Alistair, what a great weekend, we had a super group of children and I have to say we really do have some good little golfers with us. I set up some warm up games for them( I took some great ideas from the Bob Wood session I went to on the Wednesday... what a great day and I have to say my legs did feel it then next morning!!)

So now it’s time to get my bags packed again as I am off to Spain for 3 weeks. I have a school at Almerimar then I am off on my road trip to Islantilla which will take me over Garander through Savillsa  passing the side of Hulva in to Islantilla for a golf school and then the Tarleton Mixed pro-am...wooo hoooo what a busy girl I am, I just love my job!!!

November-December 2011

November starts off a bit cold, out comes the polo neck jumpers, here comes the winter!

I am working on my new 2012 golf school brochure, new venues and a new picture of me on the front, thanks to the help of Linda Clark for her patience in taking the photos and helping with the set up of the brochure.

I am packing my case to go off to Spain for my golf school with the girls from Oslo, Norway. This is one of the fun schools I do. These girls work hard and party hard too, so I know I am going to work hard this week. It is great to see all my friends form Oslo and put them through their paces and help them to understand the changes we are going to make. The golf courses were in great condition and we were able to make the most of the wonderful practice facilities of Novo Sancti Petri. We had two birthdays that week too, Mona and Kristin Berg who has been a long time friend and who is the organiser of their week with me... and it was a good one, thank you girls you were fab!!

So home and back to my normal week. I did my last 3 hour short game clinic of the year at Kingsway. It was in nice but cool weather. We covered long and short pitching as well as putting and chipping with drills to help the ladies remember their clinic... a great day was had by all.

November and December have been a little quiet, so time to get ready for 2012. I have had some of my pupils ask me to help them with goal setting for them and their golf. This is great as we talked together and planned their practice sessions and their practice rounds so the time they spend will be used to better their golf. I have talked to people about how they practice and how important it is to have quality practice and to practice with a real purpose. So many people forget after about 10 minutes or so on the range that they must hit to a target and keep this in mind. Let me ask you a question... ”Have you ever said to someone 'I hit it great on the range but seem to lose it by the time I get to the course...' so frustrating”. Well, what has changed between you hitting it great on the range to standing on the 1st tee?? The answer to that is YOUR STATE!! On the range you are relaxed, but by the time you get to the course you’re up tight and tense, so we have to keep that nice relaxed state you have practicing and take it to the course. Breathing smooth and slow will help... ”It is impossible to tense and to be breathing correctly” SO how do you breathe??? Try some deep breaths, I know this will help.

We in Cambridgeshire have now started our junior program for the winter and spring. It’s called the county golf partnership program. This year I am working with two top pro’s in Crage Watson and Alistair Currey and we will be working out of Brampton Park Golf Club. After our first session I must say I am so impressed with some of the raw talent we have, so I am looking forward to seeing these children grow into real golfers.

As it is the end of the year I look back to some outstanding results that some of my pupils have achieved. There have been some great changes in handicaps, names on boards in their clubs, winning their first competition and some of my newer players playing their first 18 holes and getting a handicap!!

I am so lucky to meet and be part of peoples leisure time and see them grow as players understanding just what they have to do and doing it and seeing results for their hard work, so I thank you all so much and wish you all the best for 2012.

So a big thank you for your time in reading my winter news letter and I look forward to meeting you in 2012, please let me know how things are going... I am here to help!!!

Roll on the good weather and thank you again!!!
September-October 2011

As September kicks in the weather changes, not nice for anyone! I did my usual “SOS.GOLF” day at Bedfordshire GC. What a nice day. Despite the poor weather in the afternoon we did manage to get everything done! A nice day with a good bunch of girls. Working on a great mix of long and short game alongside some skills tests we all had fun, so thank you to them for a great day!

My senior’s class on a Tuesday morning at Kingsway is as popular as ever. We started on a programme covering a list of topics which will take us right through till February, weather permitting that is!!

All is going well with me. I am getting ready for my winter season, I have my first  school at El Rompido in October, I am sooo looking forward to that as it is such a good venue with 2 great courses, it will be nice for me to play too, as we have our Ladies Pro-Am there in 2012.

But before then we have the Tarleton Festival week at Islantilla, now this is a fab week of competition in the sunshine of Spain, we normally have around 100 people playing in different formats, a fun week I must say.

September always sees me getting my new golf school brouchure ready for 2012, with the help of Linda (aka Zorro) Clark who takes the photos for me, we put it together along with the NEW dates for my UK schools at Staverton Park Spa & Golf Hotel along with my 2 day specials with my friend Geraint Dixon at my club at Bedfordshire Golf Club. it’s great to work alongside him. Geraint is a great club fitter, so if you ever need some new clubs just give me a call and we can sort you out. It is important to have the right clubs, so it is worth getting them fitted for you.

I have also delivered some 3-hour short game and long game clinics at Kingsway Golf Centre, these sessions are as popular as ever. I really do like coaching 2/3 hour sessions, as we can cover so much and still have plenty of time.

Half hour lessons are fine, but sometimes are over so quickly, its hard to change something and have time to feel secure in the new approach, so I feel we can accomplish so much more in an hour or more where you have time to properly “bed” the changes in. My personal trainer days are also great for people who want a good 1 to 1 session, to cover what you need plus video of course. If you would like me to do you a winter program please contact me. I will be doing a number of different sessions this winter such as a 3 month program where you have 10 hours tuition, video and supervised practice, a great way to kick start your 2012 golfing season, if you fancy that call me!

I am continuing my education as a coach by attending coaching seminars by the leading golf coaches It’s great for me to be able to keep on top of what is new in the world of coaching and improving my knowledge and service for my pupils.

My El Rompido golf school was great, we had just fantastic weather from +23 to +30! We were able to cover all aspects of golf with plenty of time to play & practice. It was great for me to get to play too. The courses (both of them) were good and the greens were very good, so we were able to do some great on course tuition, the group worked hard and we saw some great understanding and improvements. Derek Wittering won the competition with 38 points... all I can say is he gets better with age! Del’s form comes and goes, but his class is permanent! The secret pairs competition was won by Vivien Ward and Fiona Rae with 54 points. Well done to them all! See how it went...

For me it was home, get the washing done and pack for the Golf Show at Harrogate.

The golf show was great, I got to meet up with some great pro’s I have not seen for ages and friends in the golf business, reps, salesmen and women with whom I have done business in the past and will do in the future. Of course I got to see some of the new products on offer for next season.

I also got the chance to go to two seminars, I went to see Michael Hebron who is an NLP master practitioner and his talk was on Modernising teaching and learning.  The other one was with Ian Clark who is one of the busiest coaches in the UK and his seminar was on how to run a profitable and vibrant teaching business. I love to go to as many as I can, keeping up to date is so important in my business, there is always some new idea, some new skill I can learn which makes me a better coach. When I have been on these coaching conferences it just makes me more determined to keep improving ME, I get a big buzz out of it and cannot wait to get back on to the coaching tee!!

Back home to get ready for my school at Novo Santa Petri with the girls from Norway... bring it on!

A big well done to Sergio Garcia on the last two weeks of winning.....the boy is back!!!

July-August 2011

So is summer kicking in?? We all hope so! I am really enjoying teaching at Bedfordshire Golf Club and so nice teaching in shorts!!

I have been putting together a junior program for Bedfordshire; I am going to do a few drill and skills days, just to mix it up a little for the kids as after all it’s about having fun as well as improving their golf. So we will be having some fun and games with them I have some great drills for them too.!

I was able to get to The Open. What a great place to go watch, enjoy, meet old friends such as Sandy Lyle who won the Open at Sandwich in the 80’s who I have not seen for years, which was really nice, also I was able take some photos and videos and teach too!

I was among a team of teaching professionals teaching at the R&A swingzone, just at the back of the practice ground. We did sessions of 4 hours where we gave 15 minute lessons, so at any one time there were 10 pros teaching! Just a big buzz for me, the only downside was that I was only able to do it for 2 days this year, as last year I did the whole week... and of course in 2012 I will be there for the week!

R&W Swingzone, the Open 2011

It is such a great place to go, I have been lucky enough to get on to the practice ground and get up close to the players. For me it’s great to see my sponsors, Mizuno, it’s great to see what is new, and of course to say thank you to them for their continued support of me!

I love the Open - I am a big fan. My first was a long time ago at Royal Birkdale where I took time off school to go and watch and was hooked from there on in. I have been lucky to go to lots of them and to be on the first of the teaching set-ups, which has gone from strength to strength... so a full week teaching for me next year.

What a great win for Darren Clarke winning The Open.  What great skills he showed on the golf course; controlling himself whether he hit a great shot or not.  Links golf can be hit and miss ie. you can hit a great shot up the middle and end up in a bunker... that’s just the way links golf goes. But he carried on believing in himself, not getting ahead of himself and he had FUN out there too. What a great fella, a super win for the normal man, the question is, how long did the party last!!! Nice one Darren enjoy it all!

As the summer gets in to full swing I have my 2 day summer school at Staverton Park Golf & Spa golf hotel to look forward to and my 3 junior summer schools to do at Bedfordshire Golf Club and short game clinics at Kingsway Golf Centre...so I will be kept out of trouble this summer. At the same time I am working on my 2 day schools getting the dates all sorted out for the end of the year and next. This time of year I start looking at dates for my winter golf school program too, so I now have my dates out for schools in Spain. I will be going to El Rompido in October, Novo Sancti Petri and Islantilla in November. I am sooo looking forward to going to these courses, as I know them all and would recommend a trip there... all good hotels and courses with great teaching facilities.

2 day golf school at Staverton Park Golf hotel
Summer school at Staverton

Junior golf summer school
Junior summer school

In August some of the girls from the pro-am had a get together down at Bowood and Kingsdown Golf courses. It was great to see the girls, and needless to say we had a great time!! It was nice to play 2 good courses in great condition with fab people. I am pleased to say my team won the first day at Bowood, Loz, Elaine, & Linda played really well. So thanks girls it was a blast!!

Bowood golf course
The Girls at Bowood

So it was back to work after a little break, it was nice to see all the juniors working hard and most importantly having FUN practicing their golf. I ran a one day clinic at Bedfordshire G.C. for them and I am pleased to say the weather was kind to us and we were able to work on their skills. I set up different targets and flag positions on the range and short game area to test them, it was great seeing them all learn by trying different things, then we took them on to the par 3 course. A great day of fun was had, now I am looking forward to the next one.

The summer seems to have gone so quickly, it’s now time to look at my autumn schedule and get some dates for short game clinics and of course get my 2012 brochure out... much work to be done!!
May-June 2011

May sees me at the ladies pro-am in Spain, this is possibly the best week of my year, I get to play golf with my friends and get to meet other friends who I only get to see once or twice a year, as they live in Norway, Holland and Denmark... not forgetting all the ladies who live in the UK!

Its great fun, everyone is competitive, and wants to do well but at the same time they all let their hair down on the karaoke night, so take a look at the photos on my website and see the fun.

I then had a golf school, the week after which was also fun in the sun. Islantilla is one of the very few places where we can hit balls from the grass on the range and it also has a great short game area and two good putting greens, so a pleasure to be at!

The day after I got back we had the last of our Cambridgeshire Juniors CAP teaching days at The Gogs, it’s great to see all the kids improve and have some fun with the drills and skills tests.  Over the 6 sessions all the kids have improved so much that between them they have lost over 100 shots off their handicaps, so we are all very pleased for them.

May 21st and 22nd I had a golf school at Abbotsley, it’s always great to see new people and give them some advice on their game and clubs, so a great weekend was had by all.

Now for me it’s time to get my teeth stuck in to my new teaching role at Bedfordshire G.C. it’s a great place, we have a purpose-built covered driving range, plus we have an 18 hole golf course and a really good par 3 course.  In fact the last hole is 296 yards (par4) so a good challenge and the other holes range from 109 yards to 164 yards, so a real mini course and great for new players and fab to do short game schools on. We also have a large putting green and a large short game area with 3 bunkers and a big green to sharpen up your short game on, so I am looking forward to doing clinics and schools there.

A quick turnaround and I am off to Spain for the last of this season’s golf schools. It was at Valle del Este. What a pleasure it was, great weather great condition. My group were put through their paces in the Spanish sun shine. We covered all the aspects of the game and we did some skills tests, always good. The winner on the last day was Jan, the secret pairs were Fiona and Viv and the best putter was Debbie... a great week with fab people... I now look forward to the next one, in fact we are taking bookings for October, with my November “Girls from Norway” is now full!!! Woo hoo!!

Home to rain, but it did not stop the Cambridge CAP kids enjoying their competition day at Malton Golf Club. It was great seeing all the kids we have been working with enjoy playing and really thinking about their strategy around the course in the Texas Scramble teams....really had a great time!

As the days get hotter..I am pleased to say more people are around and playing more golf. I have just started a beginners group at Bedfordshire, it’s great seeing people get excited when they start hitting the ball up in the air and remembering what they need to practice... also we have started a new junior Saturday group, the Future Stars, again it’s great to see the kids enjoy their challenges that I have set them.  So things are going well at Bedfordshire Golf Club, I am getting to know more of the members and picking up more lessons, I am really enjoying my new challenge and working with Geraint Dixon the head pro.

I am continuing to keep my education up with keeping on top of what is new in the world of golf. I attended a Stack and Tilt teaching conference at Hemingford. It was great to be with like-minded professionals all wanting to keep learning and improving so WE can help the people we teach, it was a great day... just keep learning!!!

As I came to the end of June I am preparing for my weekend schools at Staverton Park and my 2 day school at Bedfordshire GC working with Geraint Dixon. These weekends consist of a mix of tuition, play drills and club fitting... something new and I am sure we will be doing more next year.

I have got myself a new toy... the ipad2 this is going to be great for me on schools away, as it is much lighter than a lap top and being able to use my new Casio EX-F1 super fast camera too, all working with the now famous V1 video software, is a great new thing for me and my school in Spain, as at home of course!

March-April 2011

As March kicks in I was still in Spain at the end of my school in Almerimar, now what a great week that was. It is always good to meet new people but even better when I get to meet and coach new people as I did this week.

Then I came home to catch up with things and get sorted at Kingsway, which is now the main place I teach and is a great golf centre with very up-to-date facilities. I teach the seniors on Tuesdays and that is always good fun, we work on a different topic every week so we can cover everything over the course of a few weeks! The group are also talking about doing a 4-day trip to Islantilla in Spain for a mini-school in October or November.  It would be great as it would be good to see the guys on the golf course, so I am looking forward to that one already.

I will be offering these 4 day schools to everyone and we will be taking groups of only 6 people so I can get to give everyone some real special time both on the course and the range.  I know sometimes it’s hard to get away for a week, so this could be the one for you if you fancy a mini school in the winter with some friends then get in touch with me and Tarleton and I will do the rest!

12th & 13th March I was working with some fellow pro’s at the Gogs teaching the Cambridge Juniors on the golf partnership scheme. We are there over the weekend with a great bunch of kids doing skills tests, long game drills and warm up exercises, what a great weekend that was.

The weekend of 19th & 20th March we did our 1st golf school weekend at Bedfordshire Golf Club. This is a new venue for me and it was great to put the people through their paces. Geraint Dixon, the head pro there, did a club check for the people on the school which was very interesting for one and all to see the difference that correctly adjusted clubs can make. It’s great seeing people on the course as it’s so easy to line up on the range mats but not so easy on the course, so lot’s of good work done that weekend!

On my birthday I headed out to Spain to play in the Tarleton mixed pro-am at El Rompido. This is a 5* Hotel with 2 great courses, in good condition. I had a great day with every one being so kind to me... my room was huge, a suite with a jacuzzi in it... very nice.

My team and I were defending our trophy and we were certainly up for the challenge.  I had 4 out of the 6 team members from last year, Rod & Sue Brown, Roger & Janet Poat and our two new ones were Cliff & Marilyn Davis... what a dream team hay!

After the first round we were in the lead by 17 as we scored 159 over the North course. In the 2nd round we scored 158 as Cliff played a blinder and was cut by 2 shots.  Now I think that made him even more confident to play the next round and as sure as eggs are eggs he had 40 points. Cliff was really the star of our team and I am very pleased to say we won!! We had 156 on the last round to win by 30 points.  The whole team played their part in our great win, every one had shots of brilliance, shots of real quality and we holed some great putts, on the fast, great greens.  I really loved the week at El Rompido, it is definately one of my favourite places to play and to do golf schools, so a big big thank you to my FAB team for a great week in the sunshine of Spain.

There were 3 birthdays that week, mine on the 24th, Sue Brown one of my fab ladies on the 26th and Brian Knight the MD of Tarleton Golf, the organisers of the 2 pro-ams we do and the golf schools I do... so a special week I must say, what a great job well done by all the pros; Lora Fairclough, Ali Johns, Nicky Lawrenson, Carol Pope and Jo Pritchard, and of course all our amateur players too... looking forward to 3 wins in a row next year!!

So that was the end of March, we all came home with a nice sun tan.  I went off to join a new gym as I have not been able to do any running or gym work since Almerimar as I have had a chest infection and bad cough - that nasty thing that was going around, so I was not looking forward to what the coach would have me do, but I must say it was great to get back into it, what a great gym, they have spent 3 million on the refurb, and it’s great, so I am looking forward to using it a lot!

April kicks in and so does the nice weather in the UK. So it’s great to teach in weather when you don’t have too many jackets and over trousers on.

Getting busier at Kingsway with group lessons, ladies, seniors and individual tuition too. Now the Masters has got everyone excited and out on the course.

I am now preparing for the ladies pro-am, I would say the BEST week of my year, 80 ladies have fun in the sun....and Oh boy they will I am sure have great fun.

I am excited also with the fact I will be doing weekend schools at Staverton Park Golf and Spa Hotel this year. We have been working hard on getting this all sorted for this season, with Brian and John from Tarleton.  So here are the dates so far... and I would say if these dates don’t suit you and your group of friends just let me know and we will see what we can do to get the days YOU WANT.

The start of the ladies pro-am has come, all the build up, what fun we had! It’s great to see all my friends, and meet new ones.  See how it went... Now we are all planning 2012, I know we have just come back but we need to get sorted as it’s such a important week it has to be right...

The week after the pro-am I had a school at Islantilla wich was great, the weather got better and the sun shone all the week.  My group was put through their paces and we did some great work. The winners were Lin and Bridget... so for me it was back to the UK to teach the Cambridge juniors and get ready for the first school in the UK at Abbotsley, so it’s all go.

January-February 2011

January started much better then last New Year, a great party with my friends!

The down side was that this was my first year without my Mum, so every New Year will be difficult.

I’ve been working hard to get my brochure out, with all the dates of my UK schools. I have a new venue at Bedfordshire Golf Club working with one of my previous assistants Geraint Dixon who is now the Head Professional and General Manager there. We are going to run three 2-day schools at Bedfordshire with the first one in March. It will be great to work alongside Geraint again and these schools will be a little different as it’s not common for two pros to work together, both bringing their different expertise to help a group improve their golf.

Geraint Dixon and Denise Hastings
Geraint and Denise

My first school of the year was at Benalup, it is the Fairplay Golf and Spa Resort, near Jerez in Spain. A great place and it ticks all the boxes as it is a true 5 star resort, one not to miss next time as I go there every year just after Christmas!!

It was then a quick turn around for me as I was off on my holiday skiing at the fabulous Filzmoos in Austria. The weather could not have been better -12 degrees with plenty of snow. So a great chance to do some real off piste skiing. It is great for me in many ways, as I am not the coach, I am being coached, a big reminder on how it feels to be on the other side...

So now I’m back and in the swing of teaching at Kingsway, we are re-launching the teaching side there and it’s really exciting, we want to get more people into golf, and I will be working hard to get more ladies, we have lots of good offers, so watch this space.

Still continuing with my gym work and running, but it is hard on some days but I feel so good when I’ve finished!!

I am sad to say I now have moved from Abbotsley for my day-to-day teaching...but I am still doing my 2 day and summer schools there. I will miss seeing all my friends and all the members there, as I have spent a long time teaching there. I am looking forward to spending more time at Kingsway... which is only 25 minutes from Abbotsley, so I will still keep in touch with those I teach and see all my friends.

The new website for Kingsway is now live and you can book on-line. I look forward to seeing you there. I will continue to do my personal trainer days and V1 video lessons there, so you will receive the same high standards but at a new venue. I am so looking forward to my new challenge there.

I have also been asked to work with the Cambridgeshire Golf Partnership (CAP) junior programme as part of the coaching team, which is great.  I have taught CAP sessions at Bourne G.C. and Gog Magog GC and it was good to see so many young people really enjoying their days and all the fun things we put them through.  The next sessions are on 12 & 13 March and I’m very much looking forward to another enjoyable weekend.

I have just come home from a great golf school at Almerimar in Spain. I had 16 great people working their little socks off with their new ideas and drills. We had a good week in nice weather, so we were also able to cover a lot of aspects of the short game which I really like. I was able to show them their swings on video and it was a real revelation to some as they had never seen themselves on video at all.  Talking them through the video gave them a really clear picture of what they need to do now! A fab week with great people, I thank you all! See how it went...

Then it was back home and no time to rest as there was open weekend at Kingsway, so my Sunday was busy.

© Denise Hastings 2017
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