Hopefully you have seen him around already but last month we welcomed to our team Jason Clabon. Up until recently Jason was a full time fireman and is now retained but with his keen interest in golf has started working here full time at Westridge Golf Centre. Jason currently plays off a handicap of 16.3 and with our help is keen to reduce this and get his handicap as low as possible. As for all of us time is at a premium and with a wife and young child Jason is no different so needs to make the most of any practice time available to him. With this in mind I asked Jason if he could set aside a realistic target of 5 hours per week and told him to help reduce his scores that 4 hours of that time should be spent on his short game (within 100 yards of the green)

Obviously the full swing is very important too, but a good short game can get you out of trouble on the course even if you are not hitting fairways and greens.

To see where Jason’s short game is currently at, I made him do a Par 18 short game challenge. What this involves is placing 9 balls in various spots around the green then simply chipping them onto the green and seeing how many shots it takes to get them all in the hole. Obviously Par 18 would involve getting each ball up and down which would show a very good short game, but whatever the score it gives a benchmark of where the player currently is in terms of ability.

I won’t post his score for the first time he did this but I will say there are some improvements that can be made, which highlights straight away where we can shave some shots off his rounds.

Saying all this we had his first lesson the other day and we focused on the full swing for this one. Jason has had a couple of lessons in the past and I think he will say the same that at the time they worked nicely and improved his accuracy. He had a slice and the drills and advice he was given helped to alleviate this so that he hit the ball much straighter. At Westridge Golf Centre our coaches understand that people want results instantly and the lessons we gave allowed him to play to his handicap and below it on several occasions whilst not having to spend hours on the range bedding it in. However now with more loftier ambitions in the game we took the decision to change his swing with a more long term view of improving his distances and consistency throughout his long game.

Below are some images of Jason’s before and after swings, the left hand side is before the lesson and the right hand side is after the changes had been made.

As you can see Jason has a good posture and set up, however his grip was slightly weak which caused shots to go right of target at times. His backswing took the club very much around his body and this restricted his backswing length costing him potential power and distance. This also created the issue of him getting stuck with the club too far behind him in the transition from backswing to downswing which meant his hands moved forward as he started his downswing and a lot of shots were coming out of the heel, particularly with the longer clubs in the bag.

So we got Jason to take the club away a lot wider in his backswing and you can really see the improved position at the top of the backswing, the swing is a lot fuller, his hands are higher and this allowed his hands to drop slightly into the downswing meaning he was on plane much more during the whole swing. This doesnt look like a massive change to have to make, but ask Jason and the exaggeration he has to feel he is making to get the club in this position has thrown him quite a bit, and his short term ball striking may be a bit indifferent, which is why he will need a good short game! He had his first competition yesterday and wasn’t pleased with his score, but we took some statistics to review and will hope to make some progress with these soon.

We will continue to document Jason’s progress with his golf so keep your eyes peeled for further updates.

If you would like to put a plan together to help your golf then please do not hesitate to get in touch and we can get a structure in place to make sure you improve your scores and performance.