I first saw Nick Faldo at the World Matchplay at Wentworth in the mid eighties and if you ever stood next to him he was much bigger than you thought,he was 6ft 3 in & 14 st, a very fit player.
He was a very focused golfer who was always trying to get everything out of his game that he could, he set about improving his technique with David Leadbetter, so he could be more consistent & win majors & he did achieve that goal, winning three US Masters, 1996 & two back to back 1989 ,1990 & three Open titles 1987,1990,1992. He came second in the PGA 1992 & US.OPEN 1988. He had 40 professional wins & was in eleven Ryder Cup teams & is the current highest points scorer in Ryder Cup history with 25 pts, & is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Nick Faldo was knighted by the Queen in 2009
He was known for his accurate iron play, particularly his long irons, and he was an excellent putter.
I have a good face on view of Nick playing an iron while preparing for the World Matchplay tournament held at Wenrworth, I hope you enjoy it.
Here is Simon Khan playing a 3 metal at Walton Heath in the U.S. Open qualifier.
His shot went straight onto the green at a short par four of 275 yds, he two putted for a birdie.
Key points for you to see are how he starts the centre of his body moving, his core and chest, his arms go along for the ride , everything has moved in unison, his right side, his hip and chest all turn away very smoothly.
This is a great angle to see his transition from upswing into his start down.
You can clearly see like all top players his lower half starts moving back towards the target first, transferring his weight onto his left leg, this gives him a great platform and stability, so he can swing down in the correct sequence to create his maximum power.
His wrists respond to this move, the club is being pulled or dragged downwards on plane into impact . He has not used his wrists from the top , he has retained their energy and used the correct sequence of motion in his downswing, which is feet pushing into the ground, to give stability for his hips and thighs to do their work, which in turn starts to unwind the core and the chest , which pulls the arms downwards, so the arms and wrists can transfer their energy into the club at the right time.
His swing is smooth and unhurried, no wasted motion and very efficient and deceptively powerful, everything is working in the correct sequence, that is why it looks so smooth.
What can you learn.
Start your move of trunk arms and club away from the ball in unison.
Let your right hip and shoulder turn, keeping your right leg in its flex.
Unwind in the correct sequence into the downswing, learn to use your powerhouse , your body, not your arms and wrists.
Wow what a performance! Darren Clarke Open Champion 2011
After all those years of trying to win the Open, Darren Clarke finally achieved his golfing dream!
To become the champion golfer for 2011 and go down in history as the Open champion.
He had control of his swing and his mind during those four rounds of golf played in atrocious and testing weather conditions.
What a deserving champion, we all know the hard times Darren has had to go through, and to come through all of that, come out the other side, and win now, must be even more special to him .
He was asked at the beginning of the week all about Rory, how is he playing etc, all the younger players were in the limelight, it was the new age of the young guns, so we were told, McIlroy, Fowler, Mannessaro, Ishikowa, Donald is world number one, Westwood was there, Poulter, Rose, Casey.
The Americans were out of it we were told. Well they were all over the leaderboard this year!
Good old Darren!
Golf is a funny old game, and just because we witness a sensational performance by Rory Mcilroy to become US Open champion, GMac wins the year before, Donald is world number one, Westwood is always around, Harrington won back to back Opens, the media tell us that the Americans are finished, rubbish!
A class act is a class act whatever their nationality. They have players coming through and they want to turn the momentum around.
European golf is outstanding, we are very strong, Ryder cup success, success breeds success. A fellow European tour player wins a major, the next guy says I can beat him, I play every week against him, and I have beaten him on the regular tour, I can do it again.
I think Rory Mcilroy has learned a lot from Darren Clarke, but Darren has learned a lot from a young gun called Rory, mainly, CONFIDENCE and FOCUS and BELIEF, he always had the skills, the ball striking ability, he won WGC event against Tiger several years ago.
Interestingly the swing I show you was taken last year when Darren had to qualify at Sunningdale to play in the 2010 Open!
Well an a amazing two weeks in California & Tucson, great weather early then snow!
Was not expecting the white stuff to follow me to the desert, and I think Rory & Tiger are considering paying me to not follow them again!
Record so far been at two of their tournaments and in the first one they both missed the cut, and in the second one they both lost in the first round!
I know matchplay can be a bit flukey but even so that is some record, I could even believe it could be a bit of a jinx?
Anyway the golf course at Dove Mountain is superb but vicious, greens are so hard, huge slopes and very fast, the course is very long for example a 536 yd par 4!
I got up close to all the players and got some great slow motion videos, including a last practice session with Rory before his first match on Wednesday.
He was hitting great shots on the range , drivers very long, he said he was hitting the new driver better than ever.
He gave an impromptu interview with Golf Channels Kelly Tilghman and she was asking Rory about his clubs, his new house, his girlfriend, and even wanted his phone number!
He is very popular in the U.S. large crowds following the world no1, he was looking composed and in control considering everything that has happened this year, and I believe the new clubs are not an issue at all.
I believe Rory is simply not swinging as well and of course their is huge expectation, which adds more pressure and that will not go till he wins with his new equipment.
I have put his swing on my Youtube channel and give my views and make a comparison with Justin Rose & Hunter Mahan who both swing the club on a consistent swing plane.
Take a look and see what you think and let me know.
The great Seve Ballesteros what a player, he had charisma, magic, you just had to watch him play because you never knew what was going to happen, something magical usually did !
My opportunity of watching Seve was at Wentworth in the eighties at the World Matchplay tournament played in October, all the superstars of golf played in the tournament then, I remember watching Nicklaus, Player, Watson, Miller, Trevino, Norman, Faldo, Graham, Marsh, Irwin, , these players were heroes, and there was an aura about Nicklaus, Player,Trevino, Miller etc, but none of these players had the charisma, flair and pure magnetism of Seve Ballesteros !
One year I went with my video camera and was filming the players and I went down to the practice ground and there was Seve just about to start hitting balls, there were barriers all round, but here was a great opportunity to film the man himself, I got up the courage to ask him if I could video him, he replied yes and told me where to stand. That is how I got such a great view of his swing down the line !
There are a few things to comment on, firstly the sound when he hit the ball, I hope you can here a bit of that, and his divots were so square , he moved so freely and fluidly during his swing,his rhythm, it was a gracefulness, but he had huge power as well, plus an amazing touch around the greens, with the looks of a hollywood actor, what a combination !
Here is a clip of Seve using a short iron, I was very fortunate because I filmed him hitting many shots from the same position, from wedge to driver, from the caddie leaving him the balls to start, to Seve finishing with his caddie collecting them all and just hitting a few more wedges at the end.
It was a great day for me, and he will be remembered by me as a golfing genius, and that I managed to see up close his remarkable talent !
I hope you all enjoy this clip, I just want to keep watching it !
There is so much misleading and contradictory information in the golf instruction world. No wonder golfers are not improving as they should.
Anyone who wants to improve their game and get better has to start by taking a very close look at how they swing the club.
See the reality. Usually how your swing feels is not for real, feelings can mislead. How can you analyse and get feedback while you are in the moment of swinging the club ?
Video analysis is where you must start, look at your swing, see it, picture it .
You now have a reference point, a starting point so you can move forwards.
You don’t have to do everything perfectly to hit good golf shots, just remember that when you are on the range trying to analyse every inch of your swing, no wonder there is a lot of paralysis through analysis out there.
The Master Keys as I call them or the DNA of your golf swing are crucial for your golfing improvement. What are they you might ask, well go to my website and you will get the information you need to lower your scores and enjoy your golf. Golf is meant to be enjoyed ! So take a look.
Your confidence will rise because for the first time you have a plan of improvement.Its just that learning, and mastering a move like the golf swing is not an instant thing , you have to have control over the four Master Keys.
I call it the Master Keys to good golf, and really its the DNA if you will, once you have learnt it, golf becomes FUN & you become a better striker of the golf ball.
I know it all seems great travelling the world, playing in exotic warm locations, and if you are good enough earning a living at it , and for a very special few a vast amount of money to be made! But take a look at the last tournament the flagship event on the European Tour, wow did things go wrong there! Firstly Sergio Garcia makes a very stupid comment about his great pal Tiger Woods, this was at the players awards dinner just before the event, then every player and his dog is asked to give an opinion on what was said. Then European Tour head George O’Grady makes a statement and gets that all wrong on Sky tv, and has to issue a apology. The weather is rubbish, its winter out there! I was there at Wentworth filming the players for my video channel, and it was cold, dull and windy, no fun at all, I can tell you! This year the BMW PGA had all of the triumphant Ryder Cup team playing at Wentworth, it was going to be a classic! Sorry No it wasn’t, the lead up to the event was marred by poor comments from people that should no better, ok the weather was totally out of anyones control, but I was at the course all day on the Monday & Tuesday , the official practice days, and I never saw Rose, McDowell, McIlroy, Donald, Westwood, Poulter, on the golf course at all!! Where were they? Its strange that McDowell, McIlroy, Donald, Poulter all missed the cut, and what should have been a fantastic tournament never materialised. I know McDowell won the week before, so he is forgiven, Westwood also put up a good showing, but the so called top players who were expected to fight for the win, all missed the cut! It was left to the lower ranked players to put on a show, and Marc Warren, and Simon Khan and Matteo Manassero certainly provided great entertainment during the last few holes, and of course the brilliant golf played by Khan and Manassero during their play off was enthralling to watch. So it was of to Walton Heath for some players to try and get one of the ten places up for grabs out of a field of around a hundred to qualify for the US Open at Merion this year. The weather was cold and very very windy, the greens fast, balls were being blown around, as Walton Heath is Six hundred feet above sea level, heather awaited any stray shots, players were nearly getting on par fours in one and then playing a 30 yd chip and watching the ball roll and roll straight over the green, and then dropping a shot! The wind must have been blowing around twenty miles per hour. Players started teeing off at 6.40 am in two balls. I saw the winner Simon Khan, yes he was there playing another two rounds and playing great golf for a seven under par total to win the event. Paul Casey had a poor start with a 74 but shot a fantastic 64 in the second round to qualify. So its not all glamour out on the European Tour, the competition is intense, the pressure never ending, and its all about the score and not making stupid comments! What surprises are in store for us next week? Please can we have a summer? Enjoy your golf!
David Bown PGA AA Golf Professional Authorised Golfing Machine Instructor contact firstname.lastname@example.org 07973746872 To view my website. www.bowngolf.com Youtube channel David Bown PGA
This Hi -speed video of Bradley was taken at the Open qualifier at Sunningdale on Monday 7th June, he is hitting his first tee shot of the afternoon round on the Old course, on his way to a 65, and it was a perfect shot , straight and long, in the middle of the fairway.
This is a really good angle to see his sequence of movement throughout his swing. Which as you can see is superb.
His posture is balanced and the angle of his spine and knee flex are perfect, he is balanced, athletic, he is grounded and ready to move into his swing.You need a strong base, and be well planted if you are going to generate power in your swing, and Bradley does this so well.
He starts his movement superbly, his chest, arms and club are perfectly synchronised as he move into his backswing, he is just coiling up his chest and his hips are responding to the turn. He has a great backswing wind up, is well balanced and has more weight on his right side .
Watch his transition closely, you can really see how his hips move first on the downswing, and his upper body is still coiled, he is not starting down with his arms or wrists, they are trailing behind.
The club is lagging behind, as his body moves left and starts to unwind, incredible energy is being stored by correct sequencing of his body . A major key in accuracy and power.
He has power, rhythm, great balance, athleticism, a superb golf swing, I wonder why he is not in contention more, it may be putting and short game that is just holding him back or maybe the mental side, but the swing does look very good. A very good model for you to see, very sound technique with great power.
Lee is now ranked number 3 in the world, and he has got to that ranking by performing at a very high level consistently.
I was watching him practice at the BMW championship at Wentworth, and you can see the hi -speed video I took.
Here is a player who has got a lot of confidence in his ability at the moment, his all round game is very high, his driving is his strength, his putting has really improved and so has his short game.
What can you learn from Lee?
He is very precise with his set up and alignment, has great rythm and balance and has worked very hard on his weaknesses which were his pitching, chipping and sand shots. Now these areas of his game are much improved, his consistency in his scoring has greatly improved as well, so when he hits the errant shot he can get up and down and keep his score together, which breeds more confidence.
Watching all these top players at Wentworth , it is such a small margin that divides the winners, the losers, the players that make the cut, and the ones that don’t, they all strike the ball so well on the range, it is how they play the game on the course that makes the difference . How do they cope with a bad swing, a bad bounce, wrong club selection, bad luck, the conditions of the course, can they continue to play their game under pressure, how is their confidence, do they believe they can win, believe they can make that crucial putt, can they take the chance when it comes, have they got the inner strength to keep going. do they really believe in themselves?
It is US Masters week very soon and it is my favourite tournament of the year, the golf course is stunning, the weather is great ,its the first major of the year, and it usually has an exciting finish.
What more could you want?
Well when I think back over all the Masters tournaments I have seen, for a european, seeing Seve striding the fairways, playing sublime golf in a matador style, hitting iron shots, drives echoing through the trees, putts holed, recovery shots, it was fantastic to see, here was a golfer that was not afraid to win, believed he could win, and he was just so good that he could win anywhere!
Seve led the way for the europeans making a huge impact at Augusta and beyond.
Here is my recollection of a great day at Wentworth in the early eighties.
Back in the 1980s Seve Ballesteros was the most exciting player on the planet, and your best chance of seeing him in the UK was at the OPEN or at the World Matchplay tournament in October held at Wentworth.
i had been going to the World matchplay for over thirty years and seen Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Johnny Miller, Tom Watson, Tom Weiskopf, Gary Player, Tony Jacklin, Tiger Woods,Ernie Els, the list goes on and on.
But Seve was different to them all, not just in the way he played the course, there was a magic a charisma about him, you just had to watch him play golf to understand., you never new what was going to happen next, and even the impossible seemed possible back then.
I was there on a practice day so you could get much closer to the players, and on this occasion I had brought my video camera, and low and behold here was the master just arriving on the the east course eighteenth hole to start his warm up and practice.
There were only a handful of people there at the start and I thought here is a great opportunity, so I just asked Seve if he would mind if I filmed him practicing!
He said it was OK in his spanish accent and I was their like a bullet, right down the line, I was there with a friend and there are some classic comments on the video , such as,” it makes a different sound to the others”, “look at how square his divots are”, “pure”,” it makes me want to clap” “all I need to do is watch this video all night and tomorrow I will play great ”
This is what effect Seve had on us , I was frightened to take my camera of him for a second, because I knew this was very special, you might see the camera move left slightly as I was getting distracted , but a nano second of thought told me STOP you are kidding THIS IS THE PLACE TO BE!
I was so right.
I hope you take a look at the gracefull, flowing swing, his great rhythm, balance, power, a real genius of golf, he was an inspiration to many professional golfers who are playing right now and SEVE will rightly go down down as one of the greatest players in history.