Putting practice at Islantilla golf school, March 2019

Islantilla golf resort logo What a great week this has been, from the word go the sun came out! It is always nice to start a school, but particularly so when the weather is so good. I used the first morning to do some work on the short game and some on the range. We focused on set-up and balance as well as developing a check list to ensure the starting place is in the best possible position. After lunch the group moved to the challenging Yellow Course to get their heads back on playing golf.

Day 2 morning was allocated to the short game with the group working on distance control using a pitching wedge, and chip and run techniques using a 7 iron. Next, we moved over to the range working on improving their contact and direction with irons. These were particularly good sessions. We finished the day playing the Green Course, again in fabulous sunshine.

The school always devotes time to improving bunker play and we did this on the morning of day 3. It is always a good session as most players either choose not to, or don’t have opportunity to practice playing from bunkers. It was good fun getting the group to experiment using different face angles and lies in the sand. We followed these sessions over on the range improving the players swing. I did talk about the swing path and ensuring the club face arrives at the low point when making contact with the ball. After lunch we took the opportunity to play the Yellow and Green Course. I enjoy this as it gives me a great opportunity to see how what we have worked on is put into practice. The group could also see how their individual improvements were working out in practice.

Having worked over the 3 days the group moved away from golf to walk on the beach, wander around the shops and later put in some practice. It was a great day all round. I took the opportunity to have a run in the early morning, then breakfast and walk to the shops and on to the beach, lunch and some practice. All in all a very good day.

Day 4 of the school started on the putting green. Putting is that part of the game where scores can be made or lost. The seemingly simple task of keeping body and eyes absolutely still is so difficult in practice. The requirement is to wait to hear the ball drop in the hole. I believe the key with practicing putting is to have a plan and use drills to help create a consistently good technique. Some time hitting putts from the same spot helps through the repetition, whilst working from different spots helps judgment. In all cases it is essential to always ‘hole out’ so that the very short putts are not ignored. They need the same degree of concentration as do all others. It is very important to go through your tried and tested routine on every putt however long, short or tap in. Every stroke counts so don’t let complacency take over and unnecessarily add another shot. This is called practice as you play. Later the group moved to the range to work on drivers and woods, again as with a lot of practice sessions, using check points making sure the ball position and tee height are correct. After lunch we took on the challenge of the Green and Blue course.

As always the last day arrived too soon. We played a stableford on the Yellow and Green Course. Everyone kept a record of their putting stats. This is good to do so reducing targets can be set and hopefully achieved over time. If the number of putts per round is not reducing or at least satisfactory, it’s time for some reassessment. Nigel was the winner of the competition with 35 points beating his wife Wendy by one point. However Wendy won the putting stats with 32 strokes beating Nigel on count back After lunch I held a round up clinic going over the key points covered during the week as well as running a Q and A session. A great week with fabulous people. Everyone worked so hard on their golf with some great improvements.

Thank you all, you were FABULOUS.

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