At the end of 2012 Australia has nine golfers in the top 100 in the World Golf Rankings. Leading the nine is Adam Scott ranked at number 5 and Marc Leishman ranked at number 87.
Moving into 2013 which of these players are going to contend for the majors and win on the PGA or European Tour’s?
Adam Scott had a really good year and it would have been a great year had he won the British Open. He is without doubt the one player out of the Aussie contingent, who has the game to contend and win a “Major” next year,
For him to do this he has to make more of those crucial putts coming down the stretch. Another area is his distance control with his wedges, which is not to the standard of the other players in the top 10 World Golf Rankings. Improve these two areas and he will win a major and a couple more tournaments.
Jason Day has had an ordinary year compared to last year where he was in contention at most of the majors. The main reason being he and his wife had a baby son in the middle of the year and his form deteriorated after this.
Soon after the birth Jason decided not to play the British Open to spend time with his family.
From a high of 9th on the money list in 2011 he has dropped to a low of 88th in 2012. His length off the tee where he ranks 7th at 308.6 yards combined with his putting where he ranks 14th in the strokes gained- putting category will allow him to be competitive on any golf course in any sort of conditions as he controls his trajectory very well with all his clubs.
John Senden has been a model of consistency in 2012 ranking 38th in the WGR. He played in 22 tournaments making the cut in 19 and with 5 top ten’s and 11 top 25’s it has been a good year for John.
Ranked 23rd in driving accuracy and 17th in G.I.R with an all round ranking of 13th makes John one of the top ball strikers on the PGA Tour.
It’s been said too many times but the “flat stick” has been his “Achilles Heel” throughout his career and unless he can make improvements in this stat he will continue to make a very good living on tour but find it hard to win tournaments.
Next in the rankings is Geoff Ogilvy (51st) and the only Australian winner of a Major this century when he won the US Open in 2006.
He too has gone through the adjustment of new additions to the family and I predict a strong 2013 from Geoff. With three World Golf Championship Tournaments under his belt to go with his US Open he is someone who thrives under pressure in the big tournaments.
One statistic that will need to improve is his Greens in Regulation where he is ranked in 128th position. This is his only weak area and when improved will allow him to contend week in and week out on the PGA Tour where he has played since 2001.
Marcus Fraser is the John Senden of the European Tour. Rarely misses a cut, most of the time is near the lead and finishes in the top ten but doesn’t win many tournaments.
Had a really good year on the European and Asian tour’s in 2012 and is 55tth in the WGR. A former world amateur champion in 2000, Marcus is at the stage where he has matured as a professional golfer and needs to make a break through just like Luke Donald did in 2010.
They both hit it the same distance off the tee but Luke has the superior short game and putting which separates’ them on the scoring and money list.
Greg Chalmers another consistent tour professional. Played twenty tournaments in 2012 and made the cut in twenty and had 7 top 25’s. He made US$1,166,627.00 and is one of the best putters and scramblers out on the PGA Tour. His WGR is 64th.
With a ranking of 164th in driving distance and 180th in the G.I.R statistic without that world class scoring game he would struggle to keep his card. I have known Greg since his junior days in Perth Western Australia and he has always walked off the course knowing that he has ground out the best score possible on that day.
A hard worker with an excellent attitude has enabled Greg to play at the highest level on the European and PGA Tour’s for a very long time.
Brendon Jones is a regular on the Japanese Tour where he wins multiple tournaments each year. He qualified and played the PGA Tour full time in 2005 where he finished in 144th position. Decided that his game suited the Japanese Tour and he made a commitment to stay and play in Japan.
Brendan’s WGR is 73rd and that will allow him to play in the USPGA in August 2013 if he maintains it. A good all round ball striker and wields a long ‘Broomstick” putter most of his professional career and has to 2016 to find an alternative method to get the ball into the hole.
Aaron Baddeley is ranked just behind Brendan Jones in 78th position in the WGR. Not a good year for ‘Badds” especially after winning last year and looked like he was back to playing his best golf again.
Still one of the best putters out there on the PGA Tour and ranked 6th but at the tail end in the driving accuracy 174th and G.I.R 189th makes it hard for him to win tournaments on a regular basis. I believe Aaron will have a strong year in 2013.
Marc Leishman is the last of the Aussie contingent ranked 87th in the WGR. He too like Jason Day has gone through the new parent stage and is ready to move up the rankings once again.
A winner on the PGA Tour for the 1st time at the Travelers Championship in 2012, Marc is ready to become a top twenty player in the world.
His game is suited to playing on the PGA Tour as although his stats don’t show it but when he is on his game he gets and stays in contention.
My prediction is that Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy, Jason Day and Marc Leishman will be the main guys to contend and bring the next “Major” to Australia. They all have the game to play Augusta and Adan, Geoff and Jason will have received their invitation by now as they are all in the top 50 WGR and Marc as a tournament winner in 2012 will also get his invitation.
It’s been a long drought since Geoff Ogilvy won the US Open at Wingfoot and a victory in one of more of the four “Majors” is long overdue.
David Milne and Lawrie Montague - Pro Tour Golf College
Your Success On Tour is Our Business
How to Practice Golf: Master Your Wedge Distances for Guaranteed Lower Golf Scores in the New Year
By now if you've followed my blog entries for a while you would know that at Pro Tour Golf College we take the lowering of competitive golf score averages very seriously.
We believe that whether you’re an amateur or professional that your scoring ability is the most important golf skill to develop.
As we’re coming to the end of another year of golf it seems like the right time to share a simple idea with you to help you to change the direction of your golf game in the New Year.
You see you’re only as competitive on the golf course as you’re willing to keep finding ways to lower your golf scores in competition.
What we've discovered working with many elite golfers is that it is much easier for them to complain about the state of their existing game rather than devising a strategy that leads to lower golf scores. The trouble we constantly face is a mountain of golf swing instruction that although is helpful for many golfers, for others it is more like a debilitating virus.
This is particularly true of very advanced amateur and professional golfers. It almost seems like the only answer to better performances on the golf course is perfecting some aspect of their golf swing technique.
Sadly with most of the focus on golf swing, it is difficult to work on the more important areas of mental skills development and scoring ability from within 100 yards of the pin.
The primary influence of this swing focus mentality is major media. And can you really blame them when it sells magazines and keeps advertising revenue coming into their business.
Personally I have been purchasing golf magazines since I was 12 years old so I've seen my fare share of golf swing instruction and the trouble with golf tips is that it is just that; a tip.
As an elite golfer you need a lot more than a tip from a golf magazine, golf telecast, or from The Golf Channel. You need to take a very close look at your game and decide on which are your weakest-most important golf skills for lowering your golf scores in competition.
Here’s an insight. From within 100 yards of the green what percent of the time do you hit the ball close enough to the pin and one putt?
To be competitive you have to be able to do this more than 50 percent of the time.Would it help if you could? I bet it would, and that would be a useful way to think about the importance of lowering your golf scores by becoming deadly from less than 100 yards from the pin.
Part 1: Wedge Distance Control Check
How do you determine how good you are with wedge shots?
This is important; by identifying the trend of your wedge shots you can make the adjustments that are necessary to improve your distance and directional control on that particular shot. You might discover that your 50 yards approach wedge is really a 45 yard approach wedge which means that this becomes your go-to-distance for this distance.
What this exercise will show you is what your ‘true wedge distance range’ is and it will help you to make progress in this extremely important part of the game.
Part 2: Wedge Distance Proximity to Hole Check
OK now that you have some idea about the average distance of your wedge shots in relationship to a target on the range.
Now if you can, hit 10 shots to a pin at one of those distances and get one of your friends to mark the finish position in relation to the pin with ball markers, coins or tee’s.
Once you have hit all 10 shots onto the green, using a tape measure record each distance location to the edge of the hole carefully and write it down.
Once you have all the distances marked down, average it out by dividing the total distance by 10 to work out your proximity to the hole with that shot distance. Ideally you will want to do this procedures with every distance from 20 yards to 100 yards (in 5 yards increments) if you’re serious about improving your wedge game.
Yes it is a lot of work but think about it, you’re going to keep practicing in the New Year anyway, so by changing your improvement strategy and carefully assessing your ability with your wedge shots you will very quickly gain the upper hand on the golf course in tournaments.
And become a deadly weapon when you have a wedge in your hand which wouldn't be a bad thing would it?
Lawrie Montague and David Milne - Pro Tour Golf College
Your Success On Tour is Our Business
“There isn’t enough daylight in any one day to practice all the shots you need to.”
One defining characteristic of every successful golfer from Ben Hogan to Tiger Woods is that they reached the pinnacle of their sport only after practicing long hours for many years honing their craft and developing their competitive powers.
They never got to a stage where they thought that they had practiced enough and they could cruise from that point onward.
Vince Lombardi the great football coach was once quoted as saying;
“The harder you work the harder it is to surrender.”
Practicing for long hours improves your success ratio on the golf course, where you turn ordinary golf shots into good golf shots, and good golf shots into great ones.
To practice your golf stroke correctly 100 times is helpful; to practice it 1000 times is game changing. To practice it 10,000 times is life changing.
How Much Practice Do You Need to Do?
We get asked this question by many golfers and parents of aspiring junior golfers; “how hard do you have to practice to become a professional golfer.”
It is an important question and very relevant if you have desires of becoming an elite level amateur or professional golfer. In fact elite level at anything!
The truth is that it’s not ability that stops most golfers from reaching a higher rung on the golf success ladder; it’s a lack of drive to practice more than the majority.
We continually reinforce this message with our students because without the drive to improve and the drive to master your physical and mental skills there is no hope of ever being able to compete with professional golfers.
I love this quote I found on the internet and changed the content slightly. We share it with the students at Pro Tour Golf College;
“Every time you stay out late; every time you sleep in; every time you miss a practice session; every time you don’t give 100%… you make it that much easier for another golfer to beat you.”
Golf coaches, golf teaching professionals and academia all have their own thoughts on how much their students need to practice to become very good and we’re no different at Pro Tour Golf College.
We have read much of the research on the amount of effort required to become an expert in your field and we use the findings to help us to design and drive our golf development program.
We believe that you have to practice golf like it is your job and today more than ever many junior golfers are spending a great deal more time practicing their skills to become a professional golfer.
6 Hours Per Day (Minimum)
At Pro Tour Golf College our students average 6 hours of practice each day from Monday to Friday during college time, and then they practice and play outside of those hours as well.
This 6 hour average (Total time) only accounts for the time where they sign on when they start practice and when they finish practice.
We also measure the actual total minutes of each training routine (Segment time) that they practice during those 6 hours and we expect that the total minutes of their routines when divided into 360 minutes (6 hours) to be better than 80 percent. (Segment time divided by total time)
What this means is that when they practice they are not checking their text messages or on the internet, or talking, they are going through their routines as carefully and deliberately as they can.
We believe that to make an impact on your game you have to control the external distractions, or forget about practicing because if you can’t control your ability to focus on the task at hand you will fail at professional golf.
Pro Tour Golf College Case Study - Sam Crawford
To give you an idea of how much our students practice, I have put together some tables showing the stroke volume and improvement of one of our former students Sam Crawford who attended our Tour Bridging Program and who we tracked for 7 semesters (70 weeks).
Over the 70 week period, Sam took more than 86,500 golf strokes, not including training drills and training games.
Short and Long Putts 1 Metre to 30 Metres
The first table is putts from 1 metre to 4 metres. These putts were practiced on level to extreme slopes (uphill, downhill, left to right and right to left) and putting surfaces with a speed from 10 on the stimp metre to 12.
The next is long range putting over varying degrees of slope (uphill, downhill, left to right and right to left) and the students practice from 10 metres to 30 metres to a target with a radius of 1 metre. These putts are quite challenging at the 20 plus metre distance, and the students aim to get at least 7 out of 10 into the zone.
Greenside Shots < 30 Metres
Greenside skills are all the shots played within 30 metres of the green surface. Our students practice low to high shots from tight fairway lies to deep lies in the rough to buried lies in the sand – basically every type of surface they’re likely to face on the golf course.
They also play to every type of pin position they are likely to face on the golf course so that they are being conditioned to mentally accept every type of situation they will face in tournament competition. The target around the hole is a radius of 1.5 metres so that the only shots that are scored are those that make it into this zone.
Approach Wedge Shots < 100 Metres
The next skill set is approach wedge shots from distances within 90 metres of the flag. We set up 5 specific distances each day and the target diameter is 2 metres x 2 metres. This target is the same for a 20 metre wedge stroke through to a 90 metre wedge stroke and the aim is to get a score of 7 out of 10 from each 10 ball set.
Full Swing Practice - Technical Verses Targeting
Sam has been working primarily on his swing technique for 70 weeks and so the ratio of technical strokes to targeting strokes is much higher on the technique side however this is starting to change and over the next 6 months the ratios will reverse.
His total stroke volume for full swing targeting was 4,350 strokes and his total stroke volume for technical strokes was 24,000 strokes. When Sam is practicing in technique mode he is not concerned about his ball flight as much as his ability to perform the golf stroke as close to the stroke pattern we have designed for him.
When he’s practicing his targeting skills he is focusing on controlling his ball flight trajectory and spin.
So all of this practice is fine and dandy but how is it affecting his performances on the golf course in competition?
Well, first and foremost when he competes as a student of Pro Tour Golf College every score he has in competition is accepted.
What I mean is we don’t choose the best cards and discard the rest.
We add every score to his score average which means that his responsibility is to always do his best on the golf course because every golf score will affect his score average. We have been witness to many elite golfers who only keep their best scores to protect their competitive score average and we completely disagree with this approach.
If you want to become a successful touring professional then you have to take the bad with the good so every golf score counts! When our guys have a bad day on the golf course in a tournament they know that they will have to accept that card and learn from the day.
Sam will be the first to tell you that he hates to put his high scores in because he knows it keeps his average higher than his goal.
But it teaches you an important lesson, acceptance. You have to develop the ability to be able to accept that sometimes your best is a long way from what you want. The key is to lower your high score average more than lower your low score average.
If you can keep your high score under control it makes it easier to lower your low score.
Basic Golf Course Statistics
To discard your golf score, or not complete your round, or to not play to the best of your ability is not an acceptable practice at Pro Tour Golf College. Keeping this in mind here are a few of the basic statistics from his competitive rounds over seventy weeks.
Our golf college philosophy is built around a simple idea. Your success in golf is equal to your competitive score average, and since the very best golfers in the world are brilliant from 100 yards and in, this is also our main point of focus in developing golfers for the pro tour.
In Sam’s case, he hit approximately 84,620 golf shots and the ratio of shots played inside 90 metres to outside of 90 metres is 66.4% to 33.6%. In other words he hit 56,270 golf shots within 90 metres of the hole and 28,350 outside of this distance range.
So practicing golf to become a professional golfer requires an enormous amount of self-discipline to put in the required amount of skill practice as well as rounds on the golf course. Ideally, you will practice for a minimum of 6 hours per day for a minimum of 5 days.
If you're thinking that this is a lot of practice, you would be right but by providing you with numbers you can see where all the practice goes. The point here is that if you don't measure the quantity and quality of your work when you have to put in all this effort then you might not see the results as easily as you can in the above tables.
The ratio of effort to reward is heavily on the effort side. To extract improvement from your potential requires no less than the quantities you see above and your golf teacher or coach would I'm sure agree with us.
It's not the physical work that is the challenge; it is the mental ability to stay focused and give each set of golf balls your best effort.
So do you still want to be a professional golfer? We hope so and wish you the best of luck with it.
Lawrie Montague and David Milne - Pro Tour Golf College (Perth, Australia and Jakarta Indonesia)
The Professional Golf Tour Training College for Serious Amateur and Professional Golfers
Our Email Address is email@example.com Enter "I Want the Special Rate for the Tour Bridging Program" in the Header and We'll Email You Back A.S.A.P with the Special Rates for a Limited Time Offer.
PGA Tour: Tour Professional Australian Unho Park Has One More Chance To Capture his Asian Tour Card for 2013
Korean born Australian professional golfer Unho Park who lives in Singapore has this week Idzkandar Johor Open to win back his card on the Asian Tour.
The tournament is being played at the Horizon Golf and Country Club in Johor Bahru, Malaysia and the prize money is US$2 million dollars. It is the last tournament of the 2012 season and only the top 60 in the final Order of Merit get their full card for 2013.
Unho is currently in 66th position and on the outside looking in. He will first need to make the cut and then earn enough to pass the players in front of him.
The player on “The Bubble” which is the 60th position is Chawalit Plaphol from Thailand who is flanked by an Aussie duo of Adam Blyth (59th) and Adam Groom (61st).
The pressure on all players around “The Bubble” will be extremely high especially on players like Unho who cannot rely on country exemptions which only apply to the top players who don’t have a full tour card from the respective Asian countries.
Unho is from Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia. He was one of the top junior boys from Darwin and represented the NorthernTerritory in the Australian School Boys Inter State Team Championship.
He decided to turn professional and do an Australian PGA Traineeship which takes three years to complete and requires the trainee to work in a Pro shop, play weekly tournaments and pass assignments on business management, coaching, club repair and sports science.
This he did successfully and he headed up to Asia to teach and play in local tournaments before gaining his Asian Tour card in 1997. That year he finished 94th in the money list which wasn’t good enough to retain his card.
Continuing to teach and base himself in Singapore Unho’s game started to improve and he regained his Asian Tour card in 2001 and kept it until 2011. His best years were 2003 and 2006 where he finished 17th and 18th on the order of merit. In 2006 he also qualified to play in the British Open.
He finds himself in almost the same position (66th) as last year where he finished 68th in the money list and must do well this week to get his job back for 2013.
The start of the year was not good with a string of miss cuts. It was at the Handa Singapore Masters that PTGC Co-Director Lawrie Montague and I attended to work with our Asian Tour professionals and where Unho had a long session
with Lawrie discussing what he needed to do to improve his performance to score lower.
It was decided that Unho’s focus had been too much on his technique and that he needed to free himself up and just play golf. The result was him making his 1st cut of the year and a Tied 21st in the tournament.
Married to wife Serena and proud parents of two children. He is currently the Chairman of the Tournament Players Committee (TPC) on the Asian Tour.
The first round of the Idzkandar Johor Open has been suspended due to inclement weather but the good news is that Unho has shot a superb seven under 65 to trail leader David Lipsky by one.
We wish him good golfing for the rest of the tournament and that he gives himself an early Christmas present by getting into the top sixty on the Order of Merit.
David Milne and Lawrie Montague - Pro Tour Golf College (Australia, Thailand and Indonesia in 2013)
Your Success On Tour is Our Business
After gaining his PGA Tour card in 2006 Camilo Villegas has played the last seven years consecutively on tour. He has been very successful in that period winning three times (BMW, Tour Championship and the Honda Classic).
One of the most popular golfers on tour and renowned for his unique way he reads the putts (shown in picture) and given the name “Spiderman” as a result.
Born in Columbia thirty years ago Camilo attended the University of Florida (Gators) where he had great success winning eight collegiate tournaments and gaining All-American-Team selection four times.
He graduated with a business degree and turned pro in 2004. It didn't take him long to win as a pro and his 1st victory came on the Hooters Tour at the Forrest Oakes Championship.
In 2005 he started the year on the Web.Com with no status but earned Special Temporary Membership by finishing top ten five times in his first ten tournaments. By the end of that year Camilo finished 13th on the money list and promotion to the PGA Tour.
In his first year on tour he was achieving fame and fortune on and off the course.
His flamboyant style of play where attacking the golf course
appealed to many fans and off the course where People Magazine voted him one of their “Hottest Bachelors”.
Over the last seven years he has won nearly US$15,000,000.00 in
prize money on the PGA Tour and that’s not including money won on
other tours where he regularly played and won (Columbian Open and Coca-Cola Tokai Classic in Japan).
So now that he doesn’t have a card to play on the PGA Tour where does he go from here?
By finishing in 148th position on the money list he has a conditional card which all players from position 126Th to 150th receive and this category does not give him automatic entry into any tournament in 2013. He will have to wait until there is a spot available or ask for a sponsor’s invite which means he can’t plan his year like he has been able to.
As a three time winner on tour that normally entitles you as past champion to have a spot in the field for that tournament. But as two of the tournaments he has won the BMW and Tour Championships are part of the FedEx Cup playoffs he will not get exemptions to play unless he qualifies.
It is hard to predict with no Fall Series events in 2013 but Camilo should get to play between eight to sixteen events where he has to take those opportunities to earn a spot inside the top 125 at the end of the year.
On the flip side he will have a full card on the Web.Com Tour where he would be eligible to play in all the events and gain a card and promotion back onto the PGA Tour.
I have no doubt that Camilo has the game to get back onto the PGA
tour with a full card and the game needs players like him who draw fans to tournaments by the way he dresses, looks and plays.
There are a few other former multiple tournament winners who are
in the same predicament as Camilo.
Rod Pampling, Billy Mayfair, Daniel Chopra and Todd Hamilton (British Open winner) are also at that crossroad in their careers where they have to dig deep and find their games and belief in themselves to continue to compete and succeed at the highest level which is the PGA Tour.
David Milne and Lawrie Montague - Pro Tour Golf College
Your Success On Tour is Our Business
Pro Tour Golf College Training Programs Create a Big Impact on Thailand Professional Golfers
The first anniversary of when the Pro Tour Golf College seed was planted in Thailand has just passed. This weekend’s results of the Asian Tour’s Kings Cup sponsored by Singha and the Ladies European Tour’s Hero Women’s Indian Open seemed like a great opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved.
2012 saw a soft launch of Pro Tour Golf College Thailand, – working in conjunction with SMG and Singha – we ran a series of clinics and camps between April and December, with a total of 36 players experiencing the difference our training brings – at least 10 coming on multiple occasions. There has been a nice mix of experienced professionals, young amateurs, caddies and TV stars – but it is what has been achieved that is most impressive.
First to show improvement was Pro Sherry (Tiranan Yoopan). By her standards she had experienced a poor 2011 and hadn't got off to a great start in 2012 – that soon changed as she got back in the winners circle at the Singha Pattaya Open in May and followed this up with the biggest win of her career to date at the Technology Cup on the Taiwan LPGA.
Her score average for this period (playing more than 20 rounds) was 73.84 reduced from 75.96 in 2011 – Wow!
An illness and an overloaded tournament schedule saw a slight dip towards the end of the year but the lessons have been learnt and the importance of a planned schedule is now understood – making the cut at last weeks LET Hero Women’s Open ends the season on a high note.
In August Wisut Artjanawat came 3rd at The Thailand Open, narrowly missing out on the coveted prize that all golfers want – becoming the champion of your own National Open.
He personally sited the training results at PTGC that highlighted a weakness in his wedge play and the subsequent improvement in this area as a major factor in his improved performances.
He only missed this weeks Kings Cup as he was selected to represent Asia-Pacific in OneAsia’s Donfeng Nissan Cup where he claimed 2 out of 3 points in a 14½ to 9½ victory. All PTGC eyes will be following his fortunes next week at the Thailand Golf Championships!
Another to shine on the major tours just 2 weeks after her first experience of Pro Tour Golf College was Pro Tap (Jaruporn Palakawong Na Ayutthaya) finishing tied 13th at last weeks Hero Women’s Indian Open, a feet matched by the very impressive Pro Jasmine (Thidapa Suwannapura).
However her real story is the season she put together on the Symetra Tour, finishing 4th on the order of merit and securing her playing rights for 2013 on the LPGA Tour. An amazing effort and she will now make up a quartet of Thai players who will be plying their trade full-time on the biggest stage in women’s golf in 2013.
Our marquee player for 2012 has been Thammanoon Sriroj, 5 time winner on the Asian Tour. However the last few years haven’t seen the best of Thammanoon and a look at his numbers below shows why:
In 2011 his scoring average on the Asian Tour was 73.74 over 16 events, he broke 70 on just 3 occasions with a low score of 69, he never broke 70 twice in the same tournament. His highest finish was Tied 14th at the Philippine Open and he was exactly 50% for cuts made/missed, however he made just 1 cut in his last 6 events.
2012 didn't start much better. In the first 9 events of the season (prior to his first meeting with Pro Tour Golf College Thailand) his score average on the Asian Tour was 74.85, breaking 70 just once (68).
He made just 2 cuts with a highest finish of Tied 29th, again at the Philippine Open.
Since August, and his first meeting with PTGC, there has been a marked improvement. He has played in 8 tournaments; has made the cut in 5 of them recording a scoring average of 71.88, breaking 70 on 5 occasions, most importantly these have been strung together, with a double in Macau and 3 consecutive rounds at the Kings Cup (66, 68, 65) where he gained his first top 10 finish since 2009.
So what does this equate to in real terms i.e. Money!
Thammanoon has to be one of the most popular guys out there on tour, the good will towards seeing him return to form and competing to add to his 5 titles is quite humbling – lets hope he can continue what he has started in the last 8 events if so win number 6 won’t be such a crazy idea – another one we will be watching at this weeks Thailand Golf Championships.
Of course it is impossible to mention everyone we have worked with, however a quick look down the Kings Cup leader board shows PTGC Thailand well represented. Piya Swangarunporn had an outstanding tournament – especially considering he had spent Tuesday evening in Hospital with food poisoning – joining Thamanoon in the top 10! In tied 11th was Pawin Ingkhapradit who attended the original camp.
Further down at 26th was the level headed and consistent Panuwat Muenlek, whilst Rattanon Wannasrichan and Wittawat Sae-Ung both finished in the top 40.
Away from the spotlight of the major tours there were also notable performances on the Thai PGA Tour and All Thailand Tour from Sattaya Supuprami who won at Royal Hills and Passamet Pogamnerd, with Pavit Tankamolprasert close to securing his playing rights in Japan for 2013.
We also saw some great emerging talent from the junior ranks, especially in the women’s game – they have also have several victories to report.
With all of this Thai golf looks in very good hands and to that extent it would be amiss not to mention the inspirational Thai golfers that have made 2012 the best season Thailand has had so far.
In the ladies game the emergence of Pornanong Phatlum has been the shot in the arm we really needed, her victory earlier in the year at the HSBC Brazil cup (an unofficial LPGA event) quite rightly caused a storm, she proved this was no fluke with a 3 shot victory at last weeks LET Hero Women’s Indian Open – a title she has won twice before, however those victories were before it was sanctioned by the LET.
As mentioned earlier, next year sees a quartet of Thai’s challenging on the LPGA tour and with Pornanong leading the way more victories are inevitable.
For the men as usual honour are split between Thongchai Jaidee and Thaworn Wirachant – the later looking certain to claim his 2nd order of merit title on the Asian Tour, he also recorded victories 13, 14 and 15, making him the most decorated player in the tours history.
Whilst Thongchai got his first victory on European soil, a major achievement that should provide the inspiration and belief for the growing band of players following through – Be noted, Thai’s can compete and win at the highest level in any conditions.
Bring on 2013!
We will be extending our programs for 2013, but the places will be limited so get in quick.
Andrew Knott - Director of Instruction (+66 (0) 89 913 5392)
Pro Tour Golf College - Thailand
How to Practice Golf: The Golf Score Factory or The Golf Swing Factory. Which One Do You Invest In?
"The golf swing factory uses high tech gadgetry to enthrall the audience with spell-binding and mysterious descriptions of magical movements that will guarantee tee to green success."
Whether we like to admit it or not we live in a golf swing culture that significantly influences how the game of golf is learned and played.
I sometimes wonder what the game of golf would look like if instead of a large number of driving ranges there were a large number of pitching and putting greens.
It is always refreshing to read statements like that of the late Earl Woods suggesting that his approach to developing young Tiger Wood’s game was the opposite of how Jack Nicklaus learned the game.
Where young Jack Nicklaus was advised by his mentor Jack Grout to hit it as far as he could first – tee to green game development, Earl Woods taught Tiger Woods to develop his game from the green to the tee. (Mind you both played in their early teens and were phenomenal golfers using their diametrically opposed game development strategies.)
Years ago Darryl Welch, the golf professional I was apprenticed to told all the apprentices under him the story of how a lot of Asian caddies in the 1960’s were taught how to play golf.
The instructor, a man named Chen Chin Po (also known as Papa Chen) started teaching the caddies a golf improvement strategy way ahead of its time, breaking the game down into skill sets that had to be mastered before you moved onto the next one. Much like how people learn martial arts.
1. The caddies had to master short putts
2. Then they had to master long putts
3. Then they had to master the chip shot, pitch shot & bunker shot
4. Then they had to master approach shots - half to full swing
5. And eventually tee shots had to be mastered
Then they would be taught the basic rules of the game and from there they would go play on the Asian tour.
This ‘green to tee development strategy’ makes perfect sense if you think about it.
The Golf Score Factory
I call this approach 'the golf score factory.' The golf score factory process is designed around lowering golf scores by improving the elements that have the biggest influence on golf score improvement – the short irons and putter. The emphasis of this approach is to develop the player's scoring skills more than the full swing skills.
This is the least popular approach to game improvement in Western golf culture and increasingly in Eastern golf culture with just a hand full of professionals who have devoted their time to this development pathway.
The Golf Swing Factory
The golf swing factory can be likened to the difference between David and Goliath in terms of proportion. The golf swing factory (Goliath) drives golf from grass roots all the way to the professional golf tours.
It is big and its control is obvious. Magazines focus most of their energy on golf swing factory and the golf score factory fights a continuous losing battle against it.
The golf swing factory uses high tech gadgetry to enthrall the audience with spell-binding and mysterious descriptions of magical movements that will guarantee tee to green success.
It is sexy and virtually everyone wants some. Scientists are involved along with many experts from different fields all focusing much of their energy on golf swing perfection. The result is that today there are many wonderful examples of silky smooth-perfect looking golf swings on the tees at amateur and professional golf tournaments. Mission accomplished.
But the reality is that for every perfect looking golf swing there are golf score averages that simply are not good enough to make the grade.
Now I’m not talking about the average amateur golfer here, who doesn't hit many fairways and greens, I’m talking about the elite golfer who isn’t shooting low enough golf scores. There are exceptions, and here’s one worth noting.
Rory McIlroy in the past three years has found a way to improve his score average per round by 1.5 strokes. In 2010, Rory was ranked 33rd on the PGA Tour with a scoring average of 70.35.
In 2012 he had the lowest score average on the PGA Tour which was 68.87. Of all the stats worth noting his putting statistics have improved the most whilst his increased driving distance has actually led to less fairways hit and a lower ranking than previously.
Read more here. http://tourreport.pgatour.com/2012/12/04/shotlink-mcilroy-by-the-numbers/
With nearly all the professional qualifying schools over with for the year what can we learn from them.
It’s simple; you only get playing privileges on a professional golf tour if you can shoot low enough golf scores.
Now I know that everyone knows that but I don’t think they see the connection between lower golf scores and how they are produced.
The message is getting distorted by the noise created by the golf swing factory. And if you’re listening to it, then you should know that the likelihood of you ever becoming a low score amateur or professional golfer is unlikely. So do yourself a favor and practice your short-game skills at least 70 percent of the time, and your long-game skills 30 percent of the time.
This will be a huge challenge, because the pull of perfect golf swing gravity is strong and most can’t resist its pull. Sadly some don’t even realize that they are caught in its field and happily spend most of their time perfecting their swing to the exclusion of everything else.
Don’t let this happen to you. If you want lower golf scores and more success in golf like Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy then you need to become world class from 100 yards and in.
You do NOT earn a penny for a pretty golf swing, but you WILL pay for it!
In the New Year learn the valuable lessons of Papa Chen and Earl Woods and build your golf game from the putting green backwards to the tee and you will find your way to lower golf scores and a lot more success.
Lawrie Montague and David Milne - Pro Tour Golf College
Your Success On Tour is Our Business
Learning and improving your golf game is really about how you learn to construct useful habits. By useful I mean that these habits help you to move towards the things that you want or need.
Everything you do in your life is either an existing habit or is becoming one, and in today’s article I want to share with you the strategy you need to build new habits.
So let’s start with a simple definition of what a habit is: A habit is an acquired pattern of behavior that you become almost unaware of.
So habits are the things that you do every day that lead you in the direction of the things you want as well as the things you don’t want. Some you have more control over and others less.
The thing about habits is that many of them are learned naturally over time and as such are quite difficult to remove when you decide that they don’t provide you with the value you desire. This is the same of golf skill habits.
Many golfers struggle with golf skill habits that hold them back from making progress in their game and golf instructors have the task of helping the golfer to acquire more useful and helpful habits.
Quite often the first question that comes to mind for many golfers when learning to improve their game is how long it takes to develop a new habit. We always say that it takes a lot longer than you think.
There are quite a few references on Google search to habit formation and the consensus seems to be that it takes around 3 weeks or 21 days to change a habit.
But from our experience at Pro Tour Golf College this is a long way from what we have experienced.
The success of habit formation in golf depends mostly on the complexity of the skill being learned and how well you perform it each time. There is no fast-track, just repetitions correctly applied.
Some recent research on habit forming suggested that automaticity (doing without thinking) is reached at around 66 days. But this was dependent on the task being performed and who was performing it. (Lally et al. 2009). Read more about it here: http://www.spring.org.uk/2009/09/how-long-to-form-a-habit.php
Any serious golfer should understand that in any model of change time and repetitions are the key elements of the recipe if they seek continuous improvement. We have found that motivated ambitious golfers are not frightened to attempt change to improve their golf skills, it’s just that they quite often don’t realize the full extent of the change process.
How Do Tour Players Learn New Habits?
Like everyone else; slowly and steadily. One of the tour players we work with Brent McCullough has been going through a golf swing change with us at Pro Tour Golf College and we have been monitoring his progress closely over the past few months.
The change we are making is changing the direction of his hand path on the downswing to change the way his golf club releases through the golf ball.
To reach the stage of automaticity (Doing without thinking) he has been working on one drill routine for the past 16 weeks and only in the last 2 weeks is less conscious of the changes in his swing when he is performing under pressure. Video evidence has shown him that the change is part of his down swing (most times) however he realizes that he will have to continue practicing his hand path drill routine to keep his hands travelling on the path that leads him to more consistent shot-making.
The level of complexity of this change process would be described as moderate to high for a number of reasons-the main one being that he is playing full-time on a professional golf tour so incorporating this change has to be managed carefully and thoughtfully.
Brent acknowledged that the change was necessary as his golf shots under pressure were hooking more than he wanted and this was leading to a higher score average in tournament play. I explained that his old golf swing pattern was literally the product of thousands of repetitions and as such will be a very strong habit to change.
I suggested that the key to developing this new golf swing habit was to focus on changing just one important aspect of his swing at a time and in this case it was his hand path. We devised a simple but suitable drill using a simple alignment stick to move him through the the stages of habit development from the cognitive/associative stage and into the autonomous stage.
Brent is an extremely committed individual like most tour professionals we've worked with and knows that to be able to hit the shots he wants to under pressure requires thousands of golf swing repetitions. They know that there are no short-cuts to success in golf, just hard work continually over an extended time period.
The takeaway here is that you to should understand that repetitions correctly applied over time is the key to success at building lasting and useful habits.
If you want to develop useful lifelong golf habits then keep your change process simple. The more parts you try to incorporate into your golf technique the longer and more difficult it is likely to be. Add one part and take it to automaticity.
Then add another and so on. By applying effort carefully and deliberately you will learn the habits that will help you to be more competitive in golf tournaments. Especially the one's that matter the most.
Remember, there are no short-cuts; just lots of repetitions correctly applied is the answer to building great life long golf habits.
Lawrie Montague and David Milne - Pro Tour Golf College
You Success On Tour Is Our Business
There have been many golfers who have played on the PGA Tour who have had to overcome adversity to succeed at the highest level. But none in my opinion can come close to what Erik Compton has had to contend with!
Erik is literally on his third heart as he has undergone two heart transplants. In 1992 at the age of twelve and suffering viral cardio-myopathy he underwent his first heart transplant. As part of his rehabilitation he took up the game of golf.
He suffered a heart attack in 2007 and soon after had his second transplant in 2008.
The most amazing thing though is five months after the operation he was invited to play in the Children Miracle Network Hospital tournament on the PGA Tour and he made the cut finishing tied for 60th position.
Erik holds dual citizenship as his father is American and his mother is Norwegian. Six years after taking the game up Erik was the #1 ranked junior in the USA and won the 1998 Player of the Year in the American Junior Golf Association Rolex awards.
As one of the top juniors in the USA he received a golf scholarship with the University of Georgia where on two occasions he made the NCAA All-American Team.
This resulted in Erik being selected and playing for the 2001 US Walker Cup Team against the Great Britain and Ireland team, also made the Palmer Cup team the same year.
In 2001 he made the decision to turn professional and played the odd mini tour event, the Canadian Tour and had his rookie season on the Web.Com Tour in 2002.
In 2003 he won his first pro event on the Canadian Tour (Michelin Guadalajara Classic) and the next year followed it up with two more victories (E-Loan Central Valley Classic and MTS Classic). These two wins plus other high finishes
enabled him to win the Canadian Order of Merit in 2004.
Erik had playing privileges on the Web.Com Tour in 2005 and 2006 playing 19 and 21 tournaments respectively in those two years finishing 72nd and 88th on the money list.
In 2005 got an invite to play in the King Hassan Trophy in Morocco and won it plus a cheque of US$200,000.00.
The Golf Writers of America during the Masters week present the prestigious Ben Hogan Award and Erik was the worthy recipient of that award in 2009. It is to acknowledge a golfer who has stayed active despite a physical handicap.
I was fortunate to be at the 2010 US Open with one of my players (Michael Sim) which was played at the famous Pebble Beach Golf Course and met Erik through his coach Jim McLean, and he came over as a regular guy excited to be playing his National Open at a course so rich in history.
He played behind us in the practice round and for a guy 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing in at 150 lbs he is long off the tee averaging 297.2 yards with the driver. This ranks him in 33rd place on the PGA Tour driving distance statistic.
Getting back his full playing card on the Web.Com in 2011, Erik started the season with a 4th position in Panama.
He built on that good start and when he won the Mexican Open by two shots he was on his way to secure a card to play on the PGA Tour for 2012. He finally finished in 13thplace.
Playing in twenty six tournaments and making the cut in sixteen this year he has earned US$359,765.00 and position 165. This means that he has to go back to Tour School and earn back his playing privileges for 2013.
Married to wife Barbara they have a two year old daughter Petra. During any tournament week Erik can be found volunteering his time promoting organ donation and transplant awareness to the public.
He also spends his spare time visiting hospitals meeting transplant patients and their families giving them hope of a better life.
This week Erik is competing at the toughest week in tournament golf.
It’s final stage PGA Tour School where 172 professional golfers play six rounds of golf to win their job back otherwise its back down to the lower tier tours for 2013.
He has started well with a five under 67 in the opening round and we wish him all the best. He is an outstanding example of not giving up, not making excuses, and playing with all your heart!
David Milne and Lawrie Montague - Pro Tour Golf College
Your Success On Tour Is Our Business