You, on the other hand, may be one of those golfers who is planning to take your clubs on regular trips to the driving range, determined to revamp your swing to ensure next year is ‘the year’ when you finally play, consistently, to your full potential.
It may have crossed your mind how much easier this would be to achieve if, like the world’s top Tour professionals, you had a coach constantly on hand to guide you towards your goal.
This winter, regular supervision will be available at the John Letters Academy at Direct Golf’s Stadium Driving Range, Huddersfield, for a price that puts such high-intensity coaching within reach.
Neil Reeves, the Academy Director, and Lee Shepherd, PGA Professional Coach, will each offer high-level tuition to 10 golfers from December 1 through to February 28, 2015, providing both lessons at the range and three 9-hole playing lessons – one a month.
The price per golfer will be £450 – a smaller investment than purchasing a new set of top-of-the-range irons or woods – and means that a half-hour tuition session which normally costs £25 would be less than £12 at a rate of three per week during the three-month period.
Four a week and the price drops to less than £9; five a week, and the price is just under £7.
“A lot of people do practise more in the winter than they do in the summer because they can’t get on the course if winter’s bad, but most of the time – if they are trying to work on their game – they are probably practising their faults,” said 46-year-old Neil, who has more than 20 years’ experience as a teaching professional.
“With this supervised practice, we’ll be looking at them every time they come to the range. If they practise on their own it is very easy to get bogged down and think ‘I can’t do this, I can’t do that’ whereas when we’re putting them on camera all the time and also talking to them saying ‘this is better’ they get with the programme much quicker.”
Neil has learned his craft under the tutelage of renowned golf instructors such as Butch Harmon, Sky Sports golf pundit and former coach to Tiger Woods, David Leadbetter, who rebuilt Nick Faldo’s swing and guided him to six major titles, and John Jacobs, Europe’s first Ryder Cup captain.
The John Letters Academy is equipped with the latest technology including the V1 Pro Coaching System which records a student’s swing, enabling them to view it both during lessons and on their home computer.
“Whatever videos we take of someone’s swing, we can email them to the student and when we tell them what to work on, they have a visual reminder,” said Neil.
“It also allows us to compare a player’s swing with the top pros’ as well as show them how they were when they first started lessons and how much they have progressed.”
Seeing your swing as others see it often proves something of a shock.
“I’d say 99.99 per cent are surprised to find they think they are doing something in their swing and actually they can see they are doing something completely different,” continued Neil.
“We can never see ourselves and what we are doing in that two-second slot that we have to swing the club.
“What we feel and what actually goes on are often two totally different things. We talk about impact and about the club hitting the ball – from the time of that impact to when we actually feel it the club has travelled a good three or four feet, that’s how fast the club’s working.
“Even with the best golfers, they obviously have mega talent and feel for the game, but sometimes their knowledge of the swing isn’t that great.
“It’s not to the level like someone who’s studied the swing like I’ve done, because that’s my job. They’re players – it’s two totally different things.”
The 20 golfers who take advantage of this winter offer will be able to take a maximum of one lesson a day, booked a week in advance on days that Neil’s and Lee’s diaries have slots available.