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Whilst I would be reluctant to advocate the use of the driving range for the first stage of a direct coaching engagement there are many situations where follow up work can take part on the range after an initial on course assessment has been performed. Whilst some further assessment will eventually warrant a return to the golf course to evaluate the progress with your goal, there remains many beneficial coaching tasks that can be performed on the range before that is necessary.
Our time on the range is where you as a golfer will experience many of the benefits of my coaching. We will work on the techniques needed to achieve your goal – all whilst being aware of the fact that successful completion of the goal is only confirmed when the goal is achieved on the course. Ultimately time at the range may relate to any and many aspects of your game. It may be driving, visualisation, fairway woods, short game, your pre-shot routine, emotional state management or practicing in-between shot routines. There are many coaching activities undertaken on the range – but what it will not be is what I refer to as ‘machine gun practice’ where you play shot after shot without a purposeful goal. This only leads to frustration and often injury.
You can expect, based on my experiences, an immediate improvement in your overall game very quickly. This may be through performance, learning or enjoyment. You can expect the coaching experience to be further supported by additional contact using email from which I ensure you continue with the range of activities as agreed at home, much in the same way that your physical game coach expects you to practice his instructions at the range. I will ask you to undertake the activities prescribed during our session and to feedback to me regularly.
I cannot predict at this point exactly what you will need from our coaching engagement, however I can confirm without doubt that your needs will be unique to yourself, just in the same way that you need to develop your own swing, putt or bunker shot. David Leadbetter, recognised as one of the best physical game coaches in the world admitted after many years of study “that there is no definitive method” when it comes to the golf swing. I would concur from the context of the mental game, there is no single approach that brings the golfer a concrete mental game to cover performance, learning and enjoyment. Whilst the psychological performance theories are consistent, their meaning, interpretation and ease of application will differ across the world of golfers.
One final important point to note is that the coaching will include an understanding of the benefits and dangers of the range. The range is a place where many golfers develop negative memories and anchors born through frustration and a perception of failure. We will discuss how to protect yourself from this, as the range is a vital part of your learning environment. If you don’t enjoy being at the range, your learning will stop, frustration will grow and your game will regress.