Posts Tagged ‘PGA Tour’

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.

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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


Hit Your Irons with more Consistency

Hit Your Irons with more Consistency

It amazes me how many golfers don’t know how far they hit there clubs, when asked they normally respond “7 iron 150 yards”
This leads to inconsistency when hitting shots into the greens – mainly coming up short!!

I have put together a cracking video tip on how to control your distances with your irons.

It only takes a minute to watch so please watch it and leave me your comments below.

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