A keen group for my final Golf and Coaching week overseas before summer in the UK met on Saturday evening for the first of our 5 star buffet dinners at the all inclusive Robinson Club. As good and consistent as always, this venue is ideal for these events. Everything on site, excellent food, good leisure facilities and golf & coaching areas, two very good but playable courses for all levels and a very friendly, quite vibrant atmosphere.
The forecast was for heavy rain and thunderstorms for the latter end of the week and so instead of having a relatively easy Sunday afternoon chipping and putting, following a morning on the range and too much all inclusive lunch, we ventured out onto the Quinta da Cima course for 18 holes in glorious sunshine. A look at swings on video before Monday mornings session on the range sent everyone off to practice with a picture in their minds and following 18 holes on the scenic Quinta da Ria course a few tired minds and bodies met for a welcome après golf drink on the pool side terrace.
It is so hard to find the balance of practice and play. My advice on golf and coaching weeks is try and be more in practice mode first half of the week, maybe play less (unless you are fit enough and most are not!) and don’t expect to play well with a head full of practice thoughts. Latter end of the week, don’t try and learn more, but think more of how to take what you have learned away and continue to benefit and how to take it on to the course in the future.
Tuesday we concentrated on short game. I’ve said more than enough recently on this subject but its essential to better and more consistent scoring. Technically, I seem to spend my life adjusting address positions, encouraging weight to be much more on the left side – at all times – and encouraging a good turn of the chest and shoulders through the ball even on a short pitch. Mentally, a player needs to be able to “see” the shot required, play the simplest one available and not attempt a shot they are not capable of.
While the weather became more windy and we did get some unseasonal rain, it was nowhere near as forecast and our programme was not really effected. I must say this group stuck to their task really well and following a little R&R on Wednesday I began to see good changes latter end of the week. I always try and get pupils to understand from their shots what causes it in their own case. We often don’t feel the fault, but the ball is telling us. So recognise it and remember the “fix”. To make changes permanent, you must keep practicing the drills!
Barney will continue his UK programme at Staverton Park throughout the summer, I shall do a G&C there August Bank Holiday and return to Robinson Club in the Algarve in October.
It would be great to see you at the Staverton Park Reunion first weekend in September and I can assure you the Hotel has undergone a good refurb and general upgrade under new management while the golf course condition has changed out of all recognition. While a reunion, please don’t hesitate to introduce your friends!
Hope to see you soon.