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.
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.
Hard to believe it was one year ago on Monday 7th May 2011 that Severiano Ballesteros passed away.
My tribute to Seve is to show again my video that I took of Seve at Wentworth practicing, it was a great experience to watch the master at work.
Here is my post on Seve and my video.
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.
What a story Simon Khan wins BMW PGA tour event at Wentworth, goes from 473 in the world to 105, wins the biggest cheque of his career £640,000, all on a sponsors invite! Ryder cup team beckons, wow what a turnaround to a career.
Simon then without much sleep goes to Walton Heath to try and qualify for the U.S.Open, arrives very early in the morning, tees off and scores of 67 and 70- total 7 under par for 36 holes gets him into a six man play off for five spots, he pars the first hole and is out ! How cruel this game can be, but the positives far outweigh the negatives.
He is playing the best golf of his career so far, and as I watched him at Walton Heath he looked so composed, relaxed, and hit really pure straight shots.
This is the 5 iron into the par five.
What can you learn?
1. Simon has a very relaxed style of play, again is very fluid, fine balance, rhythm. Sets up to the ball with good balance and alignment, very relaxed posture, no stiffness in his set up.
2. Starts club back with chest and arms, very smooth flow into the backswing, no rushing at all, wrists hinge gradually and automatically, and it is all smooth and controlled.
3. As with all tour players Simon uses his lower body to start the club down, a great transition, and as you saw in Rory McIlroy a slight squat as he starts down, showing you that his lower body is working first, which then creates the correct sequence of motion for the rest of his body, feet, knees, hips, trunk, arms, wrists, club, its like going through the gears in your car, accelerating in each gear and then flowing smoothly into the next one to maximise power.
4.He keeps rotating through the ball, into a full free finish, great poise and balance. He keeps the club on plane really well throughout his swing.
There seems to be a theme to these swings of Rory and Simon, fluidity, relaxation, rhythm, balance, uses the body really well, great pivot action back and through, and great body sequencing throughout, developing hidden power, which is transferred through the arms into the golf club.
One player a boy prodigy with fantastic natural talent, another a mature tour pro who has experienced the ups and downs, who has been to the qualifying school ten times, and is now playing the best golf of his life.