Archive for the ‘Tour Coaching’ category

Steven Giuliano – Improvement Process to Lower Scores

September 29th, 2011

Steven Giuliano, from Melbourne, Australia, wrote a wonderful piece I wanted to share about using a process to lower scores. I thought it was excellent and wanted to share it hear. Steven has a great blog and I would highly recommend checking out his archives. You can find him at Thanks Steven for letting me share this.

“Here’s an article I wrote recently for Golf Infuzion Magazine on ‘Statistic Apps for Golf’

Let’s look at the minimum stats you should be keeping:

- Driving Distance
- Driving Accuracy
- Greens in Regulation
- Scrambling
- Total Putts
- Putts Per G.I.R

Recently fellow golf professional and good friend of mine Derek Hooper from the Lake of Isles put together a very informative video on ‘The Improvement Process’. In this video Derek explains the importance of establishing a plan for improvement with your coach, disussing the importance of keeping stats to track your progress.

So I thought I’d share with you a simple statistical model I found on the AimPoint Technologies website. It’s designed to predict your score with 90% accuracy and help you to identify the keys stats and areas of your game you need to be focusing on. This can be a great help to you and your coach the next time you head to the range or for a lesson.

I’ve used this score predictor to track LET player Stacey Keating who I’ve been coaching for over 7 years now and the results have been spot on. By targeting three key areas of Stacey’s putting from technique, green reading and the focus-band work she implemented with her mental game coach Jamie Glazier, she has reduced her putting stats from a 30.60 average for her first 31 rounds (see score predictor below) to 29.05 for her last 4 events (see score predictor below). More importantly Stacey’s scoring has turned the corner, for her first 33 rounds this year Stacey had broken 70 eight times and in her last 14 rounds she has broken 70 four times.

It was quite clear that by using the ‘Score Predictor’ putting was the key indicator of the potential improvement in Stacey’s game.

Keeping stats is one thing, though knowing how to use them to improve key areas in your game is another. I think you’ll soon realise what many of you already know, that gaining an extra 10-20 metres off the tee will have little to no bearing on your score. Vast improvement in iron play, specifically your ability to hit a higher percentage of solid shots, all round short game improvement especially your putting will ultimately allow you to lower your scores.

Of course there’s many scenarios when it comes to stats and how they can play out, but as Derek Hooper has mentioned in ‘The Improvement Process’ you need to establish a blue print and plan for improvement. Keeping a regular log of your stats and using the ‘Score Predictor’ is a great way to get started.

Good golfing”

As a side note, this player has had 4 sub 70 rounds since 9/19/2011 the writing of this post. Her Stats are down about 1.5 shot per round and in her last 14 rounds sub 70 eight times and first 33 sub 70 4 times. Steven attributes part her success to Focusband and AimPoint Green Reading which were components of her putting improvement. Here’s a look at her improvement since AimPoint (click on picture to enlarge). Astonishing.

Steven Giuliano Student Stats

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Update:  Here’s an updated stat list. Just keeps getting better.

Stacy Keating Stats

Golf Swing – How to Curve it the Right Amount

March 21st, 2011

Push DrawControlling the curve. A sign that a player has control over their swing. Curving the ball a predictable amount is one of the features that separates the best players from the rest of us.  This post is going to talk just about the math behind the relationship between the path and face to hit curving shots that return to the target. For each of these shots, we will presume a centered contact and either a push draw or pull fade.

The picture of Sergio (created by James Hirshfield) has been floating around the internet for quite some time and in fact was the start of a major learning moment for yours truly.  When I first saw the caption of this picture, I thought that this shot would be a hook and not a shot that landed on target. It lead me to research what is the right relationship needed to curve a ball but still have it land at the target. Was this the right relationship? We all know that no one swing 20 degrees right that plays for a living but is 2 to 1 ratio the correct ratio.

The answer is yes and no. It depends. It depends on the amount of spin loft.  Spin loft is a Trackman term for the difference between Dynamic loft and Angle of Attack.  Remember, path below is the path of the club at impact and centered contact is assumed.

Here are some hard numbers from Trackman:

10 degrees of Spin Loft (Dr or 3wood) path needs to be 1.5 times farther from the target line than the face

20 degrees of Spin Loft (3I-6I ish) path needs to be 2 times farther from target line than the face

30 degrees of Spin Loft (6I-9I) path needs to be 2.8 times farther from the target than the face

40 degrees of Spin Loft (9I-PW) path needs to be 3.8 times farther from the target line than the face

50 degrees of Spin Loft (SW) path needs to be 5.6 times farther from target line than the face.

This info should tell you a few things. The first being that controlling the curve with longer clubs is much more difficult. Like we needed this information to tell us that. Secondly, it is more difficult to actually curve the ball with lofted clubs. Lastly, controlling the face and path relationship is constantly changing through the set.

Does this mean you shouldn’t try to curve the ball? I don’t think so. It should just give you a better idea of what you need to produce to get the correct face and path relationship to start the ball away from the target line and curve it back to the target line. It should also give you an idea of how to prevent the ball from crossing over the target which typically causes big issues.

I hope this information helps you understand better what needs to happen to create what you want regardless of your system for pattern development. Please consider sharing with your students and other coaches by forwarding the email or by using the social media icons at the bottom of this post.

Coaching from the Tour – Measuring Success

February 21st, 2011

Coaching Tour PlayersCoaching on the PGA Tour or European Tour is something many of us coaches have set as a goal for ourselves.  I wrote a post a few weeks ago about one of the downsides of working with tour players that you can read here by clicking on the title: Coaching the Elite Golfer.

This post will provide you some information to help prepare you for discussions with your player when perception and reality don’t match.  On tour, I believe many players don’t use statistical analysis in a very productive way. The standard programs for stat comparison simply don’t take into account how they played relative to the rest of the field. So, it doesn’t take into account how difficult the course was or the weather played in.  Here is a picture and graph of a tour players stats before and while working with a new coach. The data in the next two examples are provided by tour coach James Ridyard and represents one of his experiences.

Tour Player Stats

Basically, you can see that statistically speaking, this player was playing similar to the level he was before and during time with the new coach. But is this the true story? Let’s look at the data below from these events as it relates to this player relative to the field over the same time period.

Tour Player Stats - Relative to FieldNow, this data paints a much different picture of this player before and during the time with the coach.  A very clear picture of improvement is shown relative to the other players he was competing against. Isn’t this how a coach and player should be evaluated?   As a coach, it is critical to not only show the player how to improve their score (however that may be) but it’s also critical to show the player how they are actually performing relative to others. This gives the player and coach the best information to move forward and I think this second set of information is critical during renegotiation and evaluation.
Now this doesn’t stop the whispering that happens in the locker room but it may just quiet the little voices of doubt in the player or coaches head.  This peace of mind and confidence from proven improvement may just be enough to allow them to play even better golf.

Now this isn’t designed to say that improved ball striking guarantees a players or coaches success. However, this can be the measuring stick that is used to assess the coaches ability. If a coach is hired to work on ball striking and the coach can show improved ball striking but the player still doesn’t have success, wouldn’t the coach/player want to know that. Once again, it helps with what area’s need further attention and provides a clearer pathway to lower scores.

Isn’t this what they both want?

Please pass this on to players and coaches that could find this information useful or valuable by clicking on one of the social media buttons at the bottom of the post. Please also considering forwarding the email to whomever you think would like to read it. Thanks for reading.