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100 shooter to 72 in 2 years.

A case study of Jamie Kidd

 

This case study is not a blow smoke up the proverbial of either Jamie or I…..

It is just an honest account of Jamie Kidd and I’s journey together and how Jamie has improved over that time. About 2 years ago Jamie Kidd came to me with his golf in pretty bad shape. Regularly shooting in the low 100’s and generally not enjoying his golf.

Jamie is in his early 30’s, 6ft 2inches with no history of injuries and played multi sports when growing up. Jamie also has a full time job.

Jamie came to me with a pretty horrendous slice, especially with the driver, and the quality of strike was pretty poor with all clubs.

First out we did some fairly simple technical interventions to turn the slice into a fade and help Jamie find the middle of the face more often. The first one was to get Jamie turning on the backswing, Jamie had no turn at all on the backswing. Result = downswing that moved much like a cut shot at table tennis or tennis and a ball flight to match!

At that start Jamie came in every few weeks and we found, together a simple swing cue that got him turning on the backswing. The cue was turn your back pocket towards the target. We refined this over several months.

To do this however we also had to change Jamie’s posture as the way he setup to the ball was more akin to someone relieving themselves at the toilet. Using analogies again the one that worked the best for Jamie was pretending he was holding something heavy over his toes (I gave Jamie a heavy bag of golf balls to hold). We tried all sorts of analogies such as standing like a goalkeeper (failed miserably as Jamie used to be a Goalkeeper) and this is what resonated the most.

For you Trackman lovers out there Jamie’s path went from about -15 left to about 3/4 left and has pretty much stayed the same since.

In the first few months the slice became more of a fade, Jamie also had homework to do at the range with foot spray and little games to play on gaining awareness of where he hit the ball on the face of the club and club face awareness/control games. I am keen for most players to do this whom I spend time with (gain awareness of strike and club face control), because ultimately it helps you to be able to teach yourself on the golf course, again which I am very keen on.

Once Jamie’s slice turned into something more manageable we spent a lot of time on the golf course together. Coaching Jamie all the various different shots that arise on the golf course and exploring course management and decision making. In the winter months we just refined Jamie’s skills with various drills on distance control and shot shaping. All the while still using face spray to determine strike.

What sort of effort has Jamie put in in this time?

Well over the Summer months (4/5 mths in Scotland). Jamie is playing a minimum of 4 times a week and probably closer to 5/6 times a week.

In the winter months Jamie is at the range 4/5 times a week with about 100 balls per session. When Jamie is hitting balls he is not merely bashing balls, each session has a clear purpose, which we plan together. I would rather Jamie hit 20 balls with intent than 100 balls with no intent.

In between lessons Jamie and I are in regular contact with each other via text.

One of the great things of having a long term coaching relationship with Jamie is to build a team around Jamie. I am a great believer in if you don’t have an area of expertise, work with someone who has.

I am lucky as I coach beside one of the best club-fitters in the world Scott Gourlay. Scott and I have worked closely together over the two years making sure that Jamie’s clubs suited him as he developed his game.

We have also had a session with a Bio-Mechanist Mark Bull in this period, just to check if Jamie was on the right track and not making any injurious movements. Has it all been a bed of roses?

Well no. Long term development never is.

Jamie just came back from a 2 week holiday and shot 87.

First lesson back after the holiday and after the 87, it was easy to see why. Jamie had just fallen back into old habits and was standing at the toilet again. Because we had spent a considerable amount of time with each other the old habit was easy to see and easy to resolve. Sometimes all it takes a familiar set of eyes to nudge you back on to the fairway!

Indeed Pete Cowen, Henrik Stenson’s coach was asked a few years ago on the 10 year anniversary of the two working together what exactly they were working on. To which Mr Cowen replied, 'Pretty much the same things we were 10 years ago, because we all have habits!’

So 3 weeks on from Jamie’s old habit rearing its ugly head, where are we? Jamie just shot his lowest round of 72, which included a hole in one. Jamie is now playing of a handicap of 7, is a regular for the Craigmillar Park gents team, taking a few scalps on the way already (3 handicapers).

As someone that has shared this journey with Jamie, all I can say is how impressed I am at his work rate and drive to get better. How much investment has Jamie put in in the last few years?

Jamie has had over 50 hrs worth of coaching in the last 2 years. With a split of on-course and off course coaching. Swaying now towards far more on-course work.

Jamie Kidd smaller

Here’s Jamie's side:

‘I started my lessons with Pete in June 2015 after spending too many years frustrating myself on the course.

As has already been explained I had a fairly bad slice that I didn't have any idea how to fix, it was really good to find a nice simple analogy with back pocket which would start to address this, every time I set up to a ball then on the course or the range I was reminding myself about the back pocket. As things progressed and we moved on to fixing other parts of my game these 'items to remember' kept coming and my game kept improving- I still think of the throwing a Frisbee action today and we did that one early!

These analogies have really helped and are a great way to remember what we had been working on. I take notes on every lesson we have as a reference, quite handy if things are going wrong to remind yourself.

I have put quite a lot of work in myself in-between lessons, sometimes going to the range on a rainy Tuesday in December when I'm not sure I have the energy, but it keeps the hand in and definitely has helped, like Pete has mentioned I would always go with a purpose rather than just hitting balls into the distance.

Continuing to play through the winter I also think is a must, not much point in playing decent golf up until October then putting the clubs down until April. Finally whilst I have worked hard myself I've seen such a difference from Pete's lessons, each session I always come away with something positive or something to work on, the games/drills to take away from the lesson have been really helpful in particular.

Pete is always on hand for a quick text conversation in between lessons too and never quite gives you the answer direct, but helps you figure it out for yourself which is a great way to learn.’

Jamie Kidd

 

So now you have heard Jamie’s story.

Hard work + commitment = lower scores.

Are you committed to shoot your lowest ever scores?

If so I am here to support you.

 

 

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Craigmillar Park Golf Club, 1 Observatory Road, Edinburgh, EH9 3HG

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