Archive for December, 2013

A Christmas Story

Christmas Story You’ll Love to Share!

A man named Bob May, depressed and brokenhearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night.  His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing. Bobs wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer.

Little Barbara couldn’t understand why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad’s eyes and asked, “Why isn’t Mommy just like everybody else’s Mommy?” Bob’s jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears.

Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob’s life. Life always had to be different for Bob.

Small when he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys. He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He was often called names he’d rather not remember. From childhood, Bob was different and never seemed to fit in. Bob did complete college, married his loving wife and was grateful to get his job as a copywriter at Montgomery Ward during the Great Depression. Then he was blessed with his little girl. But it was all short-lived. Evelyn’s bout with cancer stripped them of all their savings and now Bob and his daughter were forced to live in a two-room apartment in he Chicago slums. Evelyn died just days before Christmas in 1938.

Bob struggled to give hope to his child, for whom he couldn’t even afford to buy a Christmas gift. But if he couldn’t buy a gift, he was determined a make one – a storybook! Bob had created a character in his own mind and told the animal’s story to little Barbara to give her comfort and hope. Again and again Bob told the story, embellishing it more with each telling. Who was the character? What was the story all about? The story Bob May created was his own autobiography in fable form. The character he created was a misfit outcast like he was. The name of the character? A little reindeer named Rudolph, with a big shiny nose. Bob finished the book just in time to give it to his little girl on Christmas Day. But the story doesn’t end there.

Rud

The general manager of Montgomery Ward caught wind of the little storybook and offered Bob May a nominal fee to purchase the rights to print the book. Wards went on to print,_ Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer_ and distribute it to children visiting Santa Claus in their stores. By 1946 Wards had printed and distributed more than six million copies of Rudolph. That same year, a major publisher wanted to purchase the rights from Wards to print an updated version of the book.

In an unprecedented gesture of kindness, the CEO of Wards returned all rights back to Bob May. The book became a best seller. Many toy and marketing deals followed and Bob May, now remarried with a growing family, became wealthy from the story he created to comfort his grieving daughter. But the story doesn’t end there either.

Bob’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, made a song adaptation to Rudolph. Though the song was turned down by such popular vocalists as Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore , it was recorded by the singing cowboy, Gene Autry. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was released in 1949 and became a phenomenal success, selling more records than any other Christmas song, with the exception of “White Christmas.”

The gift of love that Bob May created for his daughter so long ago kept on returning back to bless him again and again. And Bob May learned the lesson, just like his dear friend Rudolph, that being different isn’t so bad. In fact, being different can be a blessing.

Happy Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!

From Your Friends at Mark Wood Golf Academy

PS. Come down and tee it up to make some magic moments of your own. Check our website at 

www.markwoodgolfacademy.co.uk

Mark Wood

PGA Advanced Professional
UK’s No1 Golf Coach

The Best Golf Lessons in Sussex and Kent

PITCH WITH YOUR BODY

PITCH WITH YOUR BODY

The best short game players in the world all have the same things in common, soft hands, great instincts and a good understanding that short shots are quite simply miniature full swings. The fundamentals that must apply in good pitching are keeping your weight slightly left, keeping the body turning towards the target through impact as well as keeping connected – upper and lower body in sync.

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Poor pitchers of the golf ball are quite often out of sync during the downswing and through the ball, resulting in poor contact and poor distance control.

The normal things that happen to poor pitchers of the golf ball are –

  • They freeze the upper body in the downswing leading to an overactive lower body.
  • They don’t use there lower body and dominate the swing with the upper body
  • Weight falls onto the back foot.
  • Or they get handsy in their delivery of the club to the ball.

All of the above will make sure of one certain thing – poor contact and poor distance control.

When pitching try and keep the movement fluid and flowing, imagine some of your favourite golfer’s tempo’s and keep that in mind. This will help you keep everything synchronised and moving correctly. Feel as if you are using your big muscles – shoulders, chest, hips and especially the thighs to control the pitching motion.

Use the length of swing and loft of your wedges to regulate the distances – hip to hip swing, chest to chest swing and shoulder to shoulder swing. If you carry 3 wedges then you have 3 distances with each wedge, 9 in total.

From Your Friends at Mark Wood Golf Academy

PS. Come down and tee it up to make some magic moments of your own. Check our website at 

www.markwoodgolfacademy.co.uk

Mark Wood

PGA Advanced Professional
UK’s No1 Golf Coach

The Best Golf Lessons in Sussex and Kent

Happy Birthday Christy

Christy O’Connor (born 21 December 1924) is a former Irish professional golfer

O’Connor was born in Knocknacarra, Galway. He turned professional in 1946. Throughout the 1960s he won at least one professional event during each year on the British Tour, a level of consistent success matched by very few other players. During his early career he was known simply as Christy O’Connor, but his nephew of the same name also became a prominent golfer, and since that time they have been referred to as Christy O’Connor Senior and Christy O’Connor Junior, respectively. He was affectionately known as “Himself” among his golfing peers.

O’Connor won the first £1,000 prize to be offered in British golf at the Swallow-Penfold Tournament held in 1955. O’Connor’s numerous tournament wins included the 1956 and 1959 British Masters. He also helped Ireland to win the Canada Cup in 1958 playing with Harry Bradshaw. He played in every Ryder Cup from 1955 to 1973, setting a record of ten appearances in the event which stood until it was surpassed by Nick Faldo in 1997. He was Irish professional champion on ten occasions, including in 1978 (when he was 53), and was twice (1961 and 1962) recipient of the Vardon Trophy for leading the British Tour’s Order of Merit. He tied for second place with Brian Huggett in the 1965 Open Championship, behind winner Peter Thomson.[1] In 1970 he won the John Player Classic, at that time its £25,000 first prize was the richest offered in golf (in those days, even the British Open champion received just a little over £5,000), it made him that season’s leading money-winner, although not Order of Merit leader, which was decided by a points system not directly related to prize money.

Later in his career, O’Connor became the leading “senior” player of his day, just before the lucrative U.S.-based Senior PGA Tour, now known as the Champions Tour, took off. He won the PGA Seniors Championship six times and the World Senior Championship in 1976 and 1977.

O’Connor was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2009 in the Veterans category.

www.markwoodgolfacademy.co.uk

Mark Wood

PGA Advanced Professional
UK’s No1 Golf Coach

The Best Golf Lessons in Sussex and Kent

Golf Lessons Sussex Golf Tips

PITCHING STANCE “SQUARE OR OPEN”

A way that pitching is still commonly taught is to stand way open with the ball deep back in your stance to promote a descending blow resulting in a ball turf strike.

If this is your way of pitching be careful as this will more often than not cause you to swing left down your body line, cutting across the ball promoting excessive side spin. I often find that golfers who pitch with the ball deep back in there stance will tend to favour the weight back too, resulting in a scooping action creating thin and very heavy shots.

“With the help of flightscope launch monitor and video we can now work closely with the player to get the maximum accuracy and control on these shots”

The modern approach to playing pitch shots is to stand square to the ball as this promotes many good qualities that good pitchers have –

  • They use the bounce of the club so the leading edge does not dig in creating heavy shots.
  • They stand square to the target line to promote a good swing path for greater accuracy.
  • They play the ball forward in their stance to promote the correct angle of attack to maximise spin control.
  • Their weight favors their target side and stays there throughout the shot creating the good ball turf bruising strike.
  • They have a shallow angle of attack.

Golf Lesson Sussex - Mark Wood Golf Academy

Ball forward in stance for a good angle of attack with the weight
on the left side.

 

Golf Lesson Tunbridge Wells - Mark Wood Golf Academy
Body Alignment parallel to target line for a better swing path.

A great way to practise pitching is to put a work station down so you can practise more effectively from a good square set.

From Your Friends at Mark Wood Golf Academy

PS. Come down and tee it up to make some magic moments of your own. Check our website at 

www.markwoodgolfacademy.co.uk

Mark Wood

PGA Advanced Professional
UK’s No1 Golf Coach

The Best Golf Lessons in Sussex and Kent

HOW TO FEEL A GREAT BACKSWING

HOW TO FEEL A GREAT BACKSWING

Being able to get into a good position at the top of your backswing is important as it gives you a better chance to make the correct downswing from the “inside”. A great drill to help you feel what a good top of the backswing position feels like is to do this simple exercise.

Take your normal regular set up to the ball, just as you would if you were about to hit it (photo 1).
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Then whilst you maintain your posture and body positions, lift the club up and rest it on your right shoulder next to your neck (photo 2). Your arms will be flexed at the elbow.
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From here make a full shoulder and boy turn away from the target, just like you would do in a normal full backswing (photo 3).
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When you have completed your body turn extend your arms and hands up and away from your right ear until your left arm comfortably straightens (photo 4).
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You are now feeling what a good position feels like at the top of the backswing. Practise this often, in front of a mirror, at the range and you can even hit balls like it.

It won’t take long for you to establish this as your normal go to position at the top of the backswing.

From Your Friends at Mark Wood Golf Academy

PS. Come down and tee it up to make some magic moments of your own. Check our website at 

www.markwoodgolfacademy.co.uk

Mark Wood

PGA Advanced Professional
UK’s No1 Golf Coach

The Best Golf Lessons in Sussex and Kent

STANCE

STANCE

The width of your stance is another foundation to get right as having a stance that is too wide will affect your body rotation.

Also a stance that is too narrow will affect your balance during the golf swing.

The width of your stance will vary a little depending on what shot you are playing, chip, pitch, mid iron to a driver. A good general guideline which will give you both balance and mobility during the golf swing is roughly shoulder width apart for a 5 iron. This means that the insides of your heels should be the same width as the shoulders.

To help you establish whilst you are practising at the range or even at home, is to take a club or alignment cane and hold it across your shoulders to measure the width off. From there you can drop the alignment cane down to create the same width in the stance. This will insure that your heels are shoulder width apart.

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When you are practising you should be regularly checking your stance width as well as the other areas of your set up as most swing faults can be traced back to a poor set up position.

A common misunderstanding among a lot of golfers is where to aim your feet, hips and shoulders. More often than not golfers align their stance at the target as opposed to “parallel left” to allow for a good dynamic swing plane.

From Your Friends at Mark Wood Golf Academy

PS. Come down and tee it up to make some magic moments of your own. Check our website at 

www.markwoodgolfacademy.co.uk

Mark Wood

PGA Advanced Professional
UK’s No1 Golf Coach

The Best Golf Lessons in Sussex and Kent

Happy Birthday Luke

Luke Campbell Donald MBE (born 7 December 1977) is an English professional golfer who has been the World Number One. He plays mainly on the U.S. based PGA Tour but is also a member of the European Tour. Donald had an outstanding year in 2011, winning several tournaments and awards. He won the PGA Tour money list and European Race to Dubai to complete a historic double, becoming the first player to win both money lists on the PGA and European Tours in the same year.[1] He was named the PGA Player of the Year and PGA Tour Player of the Year, becoming the first Englishman to win either award. He was also named the European Tour Golfer of the Year. He also became the first Englishman to win the PGA Tour’s Vardon Trophy and the first golfer other than Tiger Woods to win the Mark H. McCormack Award for the most weeks at number one during a calendar year. In May 2012, Donald was awarded honorary life membership of the European Tour for his achievements in 2011.

luke

In May 2011, Donald became the number one golfer in the Official World Golf Ranking after winning the BMW PGA Championship. He held the number one position for 40 weeks between May 2011 and March 2012 before being briefly dethroned on 4 March 2012 by Rory McIlroy. Two weeks later, Donald regained the number one ranking with his victory at the Transitions Championship on 18 March 2012. McIlroy regained the top ranking on 15 April 2012, only for Donald to claim the top ranking for a third spell on 29 April 2012. He lost the top spot again the following week after McIlroy’s runner-up finish at the Wells Fargo Championship. Donald regained the world number one ranking with his victory at the BMW PGA Championship on 27 May 2012. He held the position for a further 10 weeks before McIlroy displaced him again after winning the PGA Championship on 12 August 2012. Donald has spent a cumulative total of 55 weeks as the World Number One and has spent over 160 weeks in the top-10.[2] He was awarded an MBE in 2012 for services to golf.

www.markwoodgolfacademy.co.uk

Mark Wood

PGA Advanced Professional
UK’s No1 Golf Coach

The Best Golf Lessons in Sussex and Kent

Build Your Work Station

AIM
Establishing and building great foundations is so important otherwise you will most certainly make compensations within the golf swing.

Firstly we are going to look at establishing good aim.

It is important and easily achievable in creating the perfect aim and alignment, you cannot afford to skip this as getting this wrong will impact on your golf swing. I always say that quality is always better than quantity; I much prefer to see someone practising quality for 10 minutes as this will be much more productive than countless hours of poor practise.

To help you practise more precisely I strongly suggest that you set up a “work station” to practise from, this includes laying clubs or canes down on the ground that parallel to your intended target line.

BUILDING YOUR WORK STATION
In the picture below place a cane on the ground just a few inches outside the striking area which is parallel to the target line. Place a second cane down just beyond your toe line which is also parallel to the target line. This will help you achieve a good square alignment ensuring that your feet, knees, hips, forearms and shoulders are all aligned parallel to the target line. Practising like this is 100% productive and will give you a good strong sensation of what a rock solid square alignment feels like.Mark Wood Golf Academy

“Placing canes on the ground parallel to your target line provides a great reference that enables and guarantees you good alignment”.

SPOT ALIGNMENT TIP
Stand behind the ball and pick out a spot on the grass about two feet in front of the ball that is online to your target. This can be an old divot or discoloured piece of grass. When placing the club in behind the ball, aim the club directly at this point as this will give you a square clubface to your intended target. It will also help you massively on building a good square set up.

From Your Friends at Mark Wood Golf Academy

PS. Come down and tee it up to make some magic moments of your own. Check our website at 

www.markwoodgolfacademy.co.uk

Mark Wood

PGA Advanced Professional
UK’s No1 Golf Coach

The Best Golf Lessons in Sussex and Kent