Archive for the ‘Golf’ Category

The Future Of Golf



During the Christmas period I watched a documentary about the future of golf, which I found quite thought provoking.  The programme made some interesting points about the transition period golf is currently in.

As a professional golfer and coach I have naturally followed golf and enjoyed the golf game since I was a young boy, however in that relatively short time I have seen golf morph into something very different to what it once was.


My original drive to get into golf was stirred by an encounter with the fantastic Spaniard Seve Ballesteros, dark and brooding he had an electricity around him that made everyone stop and stare.  As a young man I looked at him in awe, ‘please may I have your autograph Mr Ballesteros’ I muttered as he strode towards the practice ground. He snatched my pen and paper, signed and thrust them back at me!  I’m not sure I made much of an impression on Seve but he certainly left his mark on me.

Seve’s great friend Bill Elliot sums it up perfectly in his article in the Guardian in 2009

‘ He played golf like we all did, spraying the ball hither and thither, but, unlike us, he then recovered brilliantly. We loved him for his vulnerability. He brought a passion to golf that it never had before and has not enjoyed since. He made this stuffy old game seem sexy and exciting, so that men yearned to be him and women simply wanted to be with him.’

Seve’s passion and magnetism certainly increased my involvement within the game, however it was still a game that was elusive and impenetrable to certain groups and individuals.  Golf found it hard to shift its stuffy, elitist reputation.



Golf really came into its own and shifted people’s perceptions as we launched headfirst into the eighties with its yuppie boom and capitalism.  People who had previously dismissed golf as an “old man’s game,” a time-wasting, anaerobic, non-athletic activity suddenly invaded the courses and ranges.

Suddenly golf clothing became de rigour, Ralph Lauren and other designers made a fortune capitalizing on the increased interest in golfing attire.  Golf became a status symbol. Golf started to provide a relaxing alternative to the stressful city jobs and money making schemes of the week.  It also began to take over as the place to make your business deals.

Women executives would routinely treat clients to golf outings, and several petitioned the courts when they were denied equal status and favorable tee times by male-dominated country clubs.

Golf was dominated at this time by Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Seve Ballesteros to name but a few, all the fabulous legends of the seventies and eighties who brought a finesse and gentlemanly elegance to the game. Only for the game to be completely turned on its head by one young man….


Then came the 1990’s the Tiger era, another huge influence on my golf career and probably every other golfer in the country!  Tiger became an overnight sensation, the youngest golfer to ever win a Masters championship leading to him reaching world number one in 1997 .  He became globally recognised and he became the face of many well-known brands such as Nike, Titleist, Amex, and Tag Heuer to name a few. Woods held the title of world’s number one for the best part of ten years, he also dominated the world of golf till around 2009 when personal issues and injury began to effect his ranking.

Now we come to a time were Tigers future in golf is uncertain, after many surgeries on his back there is no timescale for his return to golf.  However with golf going hand in hand with Tiger for so long and owing a lot to the athlete in terms of exposure to the wider public, many have doubted the future of the game.

I think that golf has pushed its way through and risen triumphantly into a new period where young, passionate, driven men like Speith, McIlroy, Fowler, and Day inspire and lead the new generation of golf. These players are all in their twenties and provide a new thrill to the game. No longer is there a predictability like in the Tiger era, where if Tiger entered a tournament the mind set was that all other competitors where playing for second place.  The game has just taken interesting to another level for me.  I also love to see such fabulous, goal focused young men who are great role models not only to the young hopefuls trying to make it in the game, but also young boys like my son who will grow up aspiring to be just like them.  

If you want more easy to understand and informative tips especially on hitting the ball further then “How to crush the ball 20 yards further” is available NOW in the kindle store to download.

You can read the book on kindle by clicking >>>>HERE<<<<

You can also check out my Youtube Channel and subscribe for FREE by clicking>>>>HERE<<<<

Rickie’s Magic Golf Swing

What you can learn from Rickie Fowler – The Swing that won the 2016 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship

Rickie 1Rickie sets up to the ball in perfect posture, bent forward from the hips keeping his spine nice and straight and flexed at the knees. His arms are hanging freely down from his shoulders and away from his legs. Rickie’s set up is very athletic and dynamic and the other thing I really like here is how the clubhead is hovering just above the ground, this helps to reduce the tension in the hands, arms and shoulders which is key for longer distance. His body alignment is perfectly square with the feet, knees, hips, arms and shoulders all parallel to the target line.

Rickie 2As Rickie moves the club into the take away, notice how he does this in a one piece fashion, this is where the shoulders, arms, hands and club move away from the ball together. Hovering the club at the address promotes this and this really glues the rest of Rickie’s golf swing together. This is one thing that Rickie and his coach, Butch Harmon, have worked hard on. Rickie used to take the club away from the ball very closed and outside the target line and this forced Rickie to re route the club in the downswing which forced him to attack the ball too much from the inside causing a lot of inconsistency in his golf.

Rickie 3This is a perfect check point of the backswing – When the club reaches parallel to the ground it should also be parallel to the target line. Notice how the toe of the club points up towards the sky – this is a square clubface. Rickie’s old position when reaching this point would see the clubface in a very closed position with the clubface pointing more down towards the ground and the shaft of the club would be pointing left of target line.

Rickie 4Rickie shows a great example of an on plane golf swing. This is when on reaching the midway point of the backswing, the shaft of the club is pointing directly down at the target line.

Rickie 5At the top of the backswimg Rickie has fully turned his upper body over a very balanced and stable lower body. Notice how Rickie has let his right leg straighten a little which is perfectly fine as this allows the hips to rotate in the backswing which is so important as this works hand in hand with the upper body rotation. If you try to keep the right knee to flexed it will block your rotation in the backswing causing all kinds of inconsistencies.  Another thing I like about the top of Rickie’s backswing is how the clubface matches up to the left arm, this shows that the clubface is once again square to the arc of the swing.

Rickie 6Rickie starts his downswing perfectly with the weight transferring across from his right side to his left. This is achieved by the knees and hips moving across towards the target. Notice how Rickie keeps his back facing the target for as long as possible as this keeps the club moving down on plane.

Rickie 7Rickie is still unwinding from the ground up and is delaying the upper body from opening up to early. The swing is on plane, the shaft of the club once again points at the target line. This leads to a great swing path through the hitting zone and a lot of power.

Rickie 8The club is arcing in towards the golf ball really well, the body is still unwinding via the hips and legs and this chain reaction creates a lot of speed in the upper body which produces a ton of clubhead speed and therefore explosive distance.

Rickie 9Through impact Rickie’s arms are fully extended which releases the club in a free wheeling motion through the ball, this is something that should naturally happen. A lot of golfers I see collapse there arms through impact which robs them of clubhead speed and therefore distance.

Rickie 11Perfectly balanced in his finish position, this is a good trait among all the good players on tour these days and something that many amateurs could learn from.

If you want more easy to understand and informative tips especially on hitting the ball further then “How to crush the ball 20 yards further” is available NOW in the kindle store to download.

You can read the book on kindle by clicking >>>>HERE<<<<

You can also check out my Youtube Channel and subscribe for FREE by clicking >>>>HERE<<<<

Golf Quiz

Golf Quiz

So how good is your Golf Knowledge, try this quiz from

  1. What is the name of the Amateur golfer who set the 1998 British Open golf tournament alight and has since gone to obscurity?
  2. Which golfer is known as the Walrus?
  3. Which course is the traditional home of the Masters?
  4. What is the name of the resort in Southern California that is generally recognised as the American Golf capital, due to the high number of golf courses and year round sun-shine?
  5. what is the maximum amount of time allowed to look for a lost ball?
  6. In 1967 which golfer made the first televised hole in one?
  7. Who won his only British open Golf Championship at Royal St Georges, Sandwich in 1985?
  8. Over how many holes is the British Open Golf tournament contested?
  9. Who did Nick Faldo sensationally beat to win his third Masters?
  10. In August 1996 who made his surprising debut as a pro in the Czech Open
  11. Which South African won the British Open in 1949, 1950, 1952 and 1957?
  12. Which trophy is played for by women golfers from the United States in competition with Britain and Ireland?
  13. Which US golfer had 11 successive tournament wins in 1945?
  14. Which US president’s home was alongside the course on which the US Masters is played?
  15. Who captained the European team to victory in the 1995 Ryder Cup?
  16. Who headed the European Order of Merit between 1971 and 1974?
  17. Who is nicknamed ‘The Great White Shark’?
  18. Who is ‘The Golden Bear’?
  19. Who opposed the US in the Ryder Cup between 1973 and 1977?
  20. Who was involved with John Daley in the 1995 British Open play-off?
  21. Who was the first Englishman to win the US Open after World War II?
  22. Who was the first German to win the German Open?
  23. Who was the first non-American post-war winner of the US Masters?
  24. Who won the English Amateur Championship in 1975 aged 18?
  25. Who won the US Masters in 1986 for a record sixth time?


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

Mark Wood

PGA Advanced Professional
UK’s No1 Golf Coach

The Best Golf Lessons in Sussex and Kent


What’s in Woody’s Bag

Chris Wood

Chris Wood has got to be one of the tallest guys on the European Tour and it was great to see him win last week, here is what is in his golf bag……

Driver: Mizuno JPX-850 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana D+Plus 60TX
Length: 45 inches (tipped 1 inch)
Swing weight: D3

3 Wood: Mizuno JPX-850 (15 degrees, set to 13)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 85TX
Length: 43 inches (tipped 1.5 inches)
Swing weight: D3

5 Wood: Mizuno JPX-850 (18 degrees, set to 17)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 85TX
Length: 42.5 inches (tipped 2 inches)
Swing weight: D3

Irons: Mizuno MP-64 (4 iron), MP-4 (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Project X Flighted 7.0
Length, Lie Angle: +0.75 inches, 3 degrees up
Swing weight: D5

Wedges: Mizuno MP-T5 (52-09, 56-08, 60-05)
Shafts: True Temper Project X Flighted 6.5
Length: +0.75 inches
Swing weight: D5

Mark Wood

PGA Advanced Professional
UK’s No1 Golf Coach

The Best Golf Lessons in Sussex and Kent

Shell Houston Open 2015

Shell Houston Open 2015 – A look at J B Holmes and Johnson Wagner’s golf swing

What a great finish to the Shell Houston Open, it was unlucky for Jordan Speith but what a great performance by both Wagner and Holmes.

At one point I thought that J B Holmes was on for a 59 especially after a superb front nine of 29!!

Wagner so great determination with holing that 20ft putt on the last to get into the play off.

Lets take a look at what we can learn from both players.

Winners golf swing - J B Holmes

Winners golf swing – J B Holmes

At set up both players set up well but quite different in their posture. Holmes (right) sets up with a very straight back and arms extended away from the body and his weight looks set more into the center of his feet. Wagner (left) has a slightly rounded back and his arms hang straight down from his shoulders, his weight most certainly looks more settled into the balls of his feet.

Johnson Wagner Shell Houston Open 2015

Both players swing the club away very differently from the ball, Wagner (left) has a great one piece take away and keeps the clubhead out in front of him. Holmes swings back with the club moving very much behind him, alot more on the inside. He also stands up a little just before he swings back, you can see the difference in his knee flex between the 2 photos above.

A key check point is when the club reaches this position in the backswing, the club should ideally be parallel to the ground and parallel to the target line.

Johnson Wagner Golf Swing 2015 Shell Houston Open

As both players reach the top of the backswing they are both in very good strong positions, but once again very different. Wagner has his left arm more across the his shoulder plane and Holmes is much more upright. It would be fair to say that Wagner is much more of a rounded, flatter rotary player and Holmes has a much more upright action. Both players have a good full shoulder turn which is something that a lot of golfers should take on board, complete your shoulder turn in the back swing.

J B Holmes Shell Houston Open

As both players swing down into the “delivery position” they get into a great position to deliver the club into the ball. One thing that we could all learn here is by the time the club gets back parallel to the ground it should also be parallel to the target line with the clubhead just sat in behind your hands. Both players demonstrate this beautifully. The hips should be slightly open with a good proportion of your weight on the left side, your weight moves in the direction your swinging the golf club.  Another key thing here is that both players are still holding their original posture as they turn towards impact.

J B Holmes Shell Houston Open 2015

Both players in a great impact position, hips fully rotating, right heel slightly up, shoulders parallel to the target line with the right arm slightly underneath the left arm.

Shell Houston Open 2015

Both players finish in a great balanced position, fully rotated through and holding that finish.

Mark Wood

PGA Advanced Professional
UK’s No1 Golf Coach

The Best Golf Lessons in Sussex and Kent


One for the Bucket List

One to add to your bucket list this year……………………………….

The World’s Most Dangerous Golf Course!

I have discovered a great website called

Which has some great funny golf stories and jokes and the following article describing in their opinion the world’s most dangerous golf course, this is defina

Play with Care!


Will and Guy feel that we have found the world’s most dangerous and frightening golf course. It can be found in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea at Panmunjom.

The course is in Camp Bonifas and sadly only offers one hole: a 192-yard par 3. We can add that it provides the US soldiers, some 50 strong, with fun activity.  We ought to include the fact that it has live landmines scattered throughout the rough!

“Danger! Do not retrieve balls from the rough; live mine fields” greets visitors before they step onto the course, which contains an AstroTurf putting green and, for some reason, a gun tower. The minefields surround the hole, and at least one mine is said to have exploded due to an errant slice.

The course was named after the late U.S. Army Captain Arthur Bonifas.

Mark Wood

PGA Advanced Professional
UK’s No1 Golf Coach

The Best Golf Lessons in Sussex and Kent






In the Bleak Midwinter a joke to raise a cheer……

In the Bleak Midwinter a joke to raise a cheer……

joke 1

Just thought you might appreciate a funny golf story to make you chuckle on a cold, bleak February day.

Does this story remind you of anyone you have played with…………..

While sitting at a table in the clubhouse after a game, Padraig remarked to a fellow club member’, I’m not going to play golf with Jim Lawler anymore. He cheats.’

‘Why do you say that?’ asked his friend.Joke 2

‘Well, he found his lost ball two feet from the green’, replied Padraig indignantly.

‘That’s entirely possible’, commented his friend.

‘Not when I had his golf ball in my pocket’, retorted Padraig with finality.

Some Great Caddy Comments


  1. Golfer: Think I’m going to drown myself in the lake.
    Caddy: Thinkyou can keep your head down that long?
  2. Golfer: I’d move heaven and earth to break 100 on this course.
    Caddy: Try heaven, you’ve already moved most of the earth.
  3. Golfer: Do you think my game is improving?
    Caddy: “Yes sir, you miss the ball much closer now.
  4. Golfer: Do you think I can get there with a 5 iron?
    Caddy: Eventually.
  5. Golfer: You’ve got to be the worst caddy in the world.
    Caddy: I don’t think so sir. That would be too much of a coincidence.
  6. Golfer: Please stop checking your watch all the time. It’s too much of a distraction.
    Caddy: It’s not a watch – it’s a compass.
  7. Golfer: How do you like my game?
    Caddy: Very good sir, but personally, I prefer golf.
  8. Golfer: Do you think it’s a sin to play on Sunday?
    Caddy: The way you play, sir, it’s a sin on any day.
  9. Golfer: This is the worst course I’ve ever played on.
    Caddy: This isn’t the golf course. We left that an hour ago.
  10. Golfer: That can’t be my ball, it’s too old.
    Caddy: It’s been a long time since we teed off, sir.

(Jokes and storys from

Why not come and cheer yourself up a bit more by booking a lesson with me and make sure you are not the butt of a funny story this year!!

Mark Wood

PGA Advanced Professional
Worlds Leading Expert on Curing a Shank

The Best Golf Lessons in Sussex and Kent.

Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 Fairway Woods and Hybrids

Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 Fairway Woods and Hybrids


New for 2015 Callaway have followed on from the Big Bertha Alpha 815 and Double Black Diamond drivers that they brought out in October and introduced, The Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 hybrid and fairway wood.

I have high hopes for the new 815’s which promise to make a difference to the more seasoned player, I looking forward to giving them a try. Just thought I would give you a little info on them so that you can put some hints out to your wife for a valentine present!

‘The new fairway woods are packed with adjustability features. Two sole weights—3 grams and 30 grams—can be swapped to change launch angle, spin rate and ball flight. (The Gravity Core plays a similar role in Big Bertha Alpha 815 drivers.) Positioning the 30-gram weight closer to the face results in lower-spinning shots while the 30-gram weight in a more rearward position means higher launch and more head stability. In addition, Callaway’s OptiFit hosel provides eight combinations of loft and lie angle. The company’s Forged Hyper Speed Face Cup—the face gets welded to the crown and sole rather than to the top and bottom of the face—flexes more, especially on shots hit low on the face and boosts ball speeds over a larger area of the face. The heads have a traditional shape and attach to Fujikura Speeder 665 shafts. Lofts: 14°, 16°, 18°.

Designed for better players, the Big Bertha Alpha 815 hybrids have a low, forward center of gravity to promote low-spinning shots and a boring ball flight. These hybrids come standard with Fujikura Speeder 865 shafts and feature the same Forged Hyper Speed Face Cup and adjustable OptiFit hosel as in the fairway woods. Lofts: 18°, 20°, 23°. Available January 16’

Why not book a lesson in with me and see if these clubs are the way to go forward into 2015!

Mark Wood

PGA Advanced Professional
Worlds Leading Expert on Curing a Shank

The Best Golf Lessons in Sussex and Kent.

Will a Shorter Driver Give You More Distance


Will a Shorter Driver Give You More Distance

The standard length of a driver is 45-46 inches in length, it is believed that a longer shaft will give you more distance as the swing arc will be wider and therefore you will create more clubhead speed. As you know i use a flightscope and have proven so many times that hitting the center of the clubface will give you more distance rather than improving your swing speed by a few miles per hour. It is much easier to hit the center of the clubface with a shorter club than a longer club, therefore if you feel like you are struggling with your current driver here’s a few things you can try before you cut that driver down or order a new one.

1. Get yourself some Dr Scholl powder spray to spray on the face of your driver as this will show you where you are hitting the ball out of the face. Experiment going down the grip a little and see if that improves the center strikes out of the clubface. If you find that you are finding the middle of the clubface with a shorter length shaft then you need to get this looked at.

2. Most three wood shafts are 43.5 inches which is the old standard driver length. If you have an adjustable driver and three wood, put the three wood shaft in you driver and hit a few shots and see if you find any difference.

3. Book a lesson and get fitted on a launch monitor as we can check that you have the correct length shaft and correct loft to create the perfect launch and spin rates for you. The correct length driver will make it so much easier for you to control and maintain your body angles throughout the swing and as a result you may pick up distance as a result of better swing mechanics.

Mark Wood Golf Academy is based at Dale Hill and provides the best lessons in Sussex.

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

Mark Wood

PGA Advanced Professional
UK’s No1 Golf Coach

The Best Golf Lessons in Sussex and Kent

Ian Poulter Ryder Cup

‘Ian Poulter says he would ‘love’ to captain Europe’s Ryder Cup team’

So Poult’s fancy’s a shot at being captain to Europe’s Ryder Cup team one day. If there is anything you can say about Poulter is that he is very passionate to the cause and never shy’s away from displays of excitement and competition.

Fresh from writing his autobiography ‘No Limits’, which has been touted as an entertaining read, not surprisingly the outspoken Englishman is coy in an interview with the Telegraph giving his rivals too much advice on how to discover the winning formula

“I’m not sure I would like to give them titbits,” he says. “Obviously they don’t have the right blend, they haven’t got it right, they’ve had issues, that was apparent. But no, hell, they’ll just have to figure it out themselves.”

Poulter who seems to work better as a team and has had a really bad year as a result in part to injuries sustained, seems to be in his element when working for a victory for Europe. He does indeed put on a great show of patriotism, but as do some of the most reserved players like Seve, Faldo, and Monty

However the three likely candidates seem to be Jiménez, Darren Clarke and Thomas Bjorn. Poulters vote is with Darren Clark for the 2016 Ryder Cup and he claims he would prefer to play a few more before putting himself forward as Captain.

What are your thoughts on Poulter leading Europe to victory one day? Who would you like to see heading the Ryder Cup in Hazeltine, Minnesota in 2016?

Mark Wood Golf Academy is based at Dale Hill and provides the best lessons in sussex.

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

Mark Wood

PGA Advanced Professional
UK’s No1 Golf Coach

The Best Golf Lessons in Sussex and Kent