GNGolf Podcast Seminars

To celebrate my 10 years at Deeside Golf Club (Feb 2009) I am releasing my first ‘Podcast Seminar’ series.

This idea came about when one of our members requested that I give a ‘presentation’ on golf coaching in the conference suit at Deeside.  I pondered what time/day to do the presentation as it would not suit you all.  With that in mind I decided to embrace online technology and team up with Skillest an online coaching app.  This will give you all the opportunity to watch and listen to each ‘podcast seminar’ in your own time.  You can pause, watch again and really take in the information that I am trying to convey to you all for better golf.  You will have lifetime access to these seminars through the Skillest app.

These seminars are designed for amateur golfers to learn like the Professionals and improve their knowledge on golf related subjects to improve their game.

The first ‘podcast seminar’ is on ‘Ball Flight & Impact Factors’.  This is the foundation of golf coaching.  It is what golf coaches are analysing before giving any feedback on what aspects of your swing/game to change.  If you the golfer can understand the ball flight and what factors cause these ball flights this will be a game changer in improving your game.

The second ‘podcast seminar’ is on ‘Course Strategy’.  Here we will look at ways of improving your score from a strategy perspective.  I’ll explain ways in which the best in the world are analysing their games.  We will look at ways of approaching your golf taking examples from Deeside Golf Club so that you do not throw away shots every round.  By simply improving your average score on each hole by 0.3 shots (e.g. instead of an average 4.8 on a hole, you average 4.5) can save you 5.4 shots per round.

The last in this ‘Podcast Seminar’ series is ‘Distance… How To Hit It Further’. We’ve all heard the saying drive for show putt for dough. Stats from the PGA Tour are indicating that distance is becoming a key element to better golf. If you can add 10 yards to your drive, you’ll be hitting a 7 iron into the green instead of a 6 iron for example. Statistics prove that you will hit a 7 iron closer to the target than a 6 iron on average thus giving you a shorter putt. The shorter the putt the greater percentage chance of holeing your putt. I will look at 7 different methods to hit the ball further. Combining all 7 methods will drastically improve your distance thus scoring.

The GNGolf Podcast Seminars can be subscribed to and watched on Skillest by clicking HERE. You will need to create a Skillest account and download the app (all very safe). Between 14th February and 1st April there is 20% discount and your chance to win a series of six lessons at Deeside Golf Club.

So what are you waiting for? Invest in improving your game with over one hours worth of golfing gold for the price of a 30 minute lesson.


3 Keys To Improved Golf

I’m forever getting asked questions about where people’s swings should be at certain parts of the golf swing. It is important to realise that as we are all different shapes and sizes ultimately there is no ideal swing as you can see below with Dustin Johnson, Shane Lowry and Jim Furyks swings.

What we should all be looking for is improved impact conditions. If you can improve impact the swing will fall into shape. So what exactly should you be looking for during impact to improve your golf? Here’s my three keys to improving your golf. 

  • Strike Point
  • Low Point 
  • Face to Path 

Strike Point – where on the club face the ball makes contact at impact. Top touring professionals are able to hit different parts of the club face (wood or iron) on demand. Most amateurs have very little control over strike point…the higher the handicap the wider the spread of strikes on the club face. Being more aware of where on the club face you are making contact with the ball at impact will lead to better golf, improved consistency and more distance. 

Low Point – the lowest point of the club head during the swing. Obviously we want the low point when hitting an iron to be after contact with the ball. Top touring pro’s will rarely hit the ground prior to the ball and if they do it will be minimal however the higher the handicap gets the further behind the ball a players low point can be. This will cause the thins and fats that I so regularly hear about in the Professional Shop. Working on low Point can help towards quality of strike and more consistent distance control. 

Face to Path – this is the relationship between the club face angle and the direction the club head is travelling in relation to the target through impact. Top touring pro’s manage this relationship extremely well thus the reason they are so accurate. Working on the face to path relationshipship will help towards better accuracy and more consistent distance control. If you swing the club head left of the target, getting the club face pointing closer to the path than the target will result in a ball that finishes nearer the target (all things being equal). The smaller the face to path relationship the less curve you will witness (presuming a centred strike)

These three keys to better golf will be training zones during my Supervised Practice sessions at Deeside Golf Club throughout November and February. To sign yourself onto one of these practice sessions please contact me in the Professional Shop.

Q&A With Evening Express



The other week I was asked to participate in a “Know Your Pro” Question & Answer session with Aberdeen’s Evening Express.  Thanks to Alan Brown, Sports Journalist at the Evening Express for the invite.

Q When and where were you born and raised?
A. Born in Sutton Coldfield, raised in Southampton & Aberdeen.

Q Where did you start playing golf as a youngster?
A. Stoneham Golf Club, Southampton

Q How old were you when you first broke par on an 18-hole course and where?
A. 14 years old at Crieff Golf Club. 

Q When did you realise you wanted to pursue a career in golf?
A. My life & existence has always evolved around golf since I was a young kid of 3 years old.

Q Who were your favourite golfers when you were young and why?
A. Ernie Els – His swing and tempo are exquisite and he has a fabulous demeanour.
Tiger Woods – Best golfer of my generation, always exciting to watch on TV.  His stats speak for themselves.
Seve Ballasteros – Every shot imaginable, he was a shot maker.  Truly inspirational!

Q How long have you been a professional at your club?
A. 5 years this February, have loved every minute of it.

Q What is your favourite experience on a golf course and why?
A. Playing a beautiful course, on a sunny warm day wearing a t-shirt & shorts…relaxing!

Q What is the best golf course in Scotland and why?
A. Royal Dornoch – The layout of the course is second to none, the views are fantastic, course is always in perfect condition and if you play on a sunny, warm and calm day…bonus!

Q What is the best golf course you have played and why?
A. Played Kiawah Island in an International Junior Golf Tour event.  One of the very few links type courses in America which we played off the back tees, 7350 yards.  Was a joy to play not long after they hosted the 2003 World Cup. 

Q What’s your favourite part of being a golf pro?
A.  The positive look on a pupils face when they hit their desired shot during a lesson.

Q What’s your best tip for curing a slice?
A. Visit a PGA Professional, one generalised tip alone would not cure a slice.

Q Which three players or celebrities would make up your favourite four-ball and why?
A.  Tiger Woods – World No.1.
Adam Scott – Arguably the best swing in Golf.
Ernie Els – Again great swing & demeanour.

Q What are your hobbies away from golf?
A.  Spending time with the family, watching football on TV and travelling the World…always on the lookout for the perfect beach. 

Q Who is your pick to win The Masters, Scottish Open and The Open next year and why?
A. Masters: Jason Day – He’s always there or there about at the majors, can see him making it two wins in two for the Australians at the Masters.
Scottish Open : Peter Uihlein – Knows Royal Aberdeen, I was impressed with his golf at this year’s Dunhill Links Championship.  I think he has something to prove at Royal Aberdeen after his Walker Cup defeat.
The Open: Tiger Woods – has had an incredible season, I personally think he still has several majors left in him starting at next year’s open.

Q  Why should an amateur hoping to improve their golf come to you?
A.  One swing does not fit all.  If you have a goal, let’s achieve it together.

Q What question have I missed that you would have liked asked? And answer it!
A.  Where can we find you Graeme? or Twitter @gnethercottpga


A Golf Ball Has No Eyes

One of my problems when I was a junior golfer was trying to perfect my golf swing. I had a visualisation of what the “perfect swing” should look like and my goal was to achieve this “perfect swing”. I used as much of the latest technology that I could, broke my swing down frame by frame and worked on getting into the correct positions in each frame.

Simple fact of the matter was I did not once give thought to the ball flight. I was under the presumption (believe it or not) that if I worked on perfecting my swing a good ball flight would come from it. Over the last several years, educating myself I learnt that in fact their is no general “perfect swing” and that every golfer is physically different – just watch all the different swings on the PGA Tour & European Tour. With this in mind the “perfect swing” I was looking for simply was not beneficial to me.

I came to the conclusion that despite my obsession with my swing, the golf ball really had no care for it. The ball certainly was not watching my swing thinking that’s a technically good swing, I will now fly straight towards the target. Do not get me wrong, obviously set-up, the swing etc. is very important to obtaining the desired ball flight but to just work on set up and the swing without giving thought to the ball flight is incorrect.

A golf ball has no eyes…it can only react to the physics that you impart on it at impact. Everyone is different and maybe those generalised magazine articles that discuss acheiving certain positions in the golf swing is not beneficial to you. So make sure you visit your local PGA Professional who will work on your swing, with the goal of obtaining your desired ball flight.

The Claw Grip – A Possibility?

Many of you will probably have negative feelings towards the idea of using the claw grip when putting; it isn’t exactly aesthetically pleasing to the eye.  However if you are struggling with your putting it may be something worth trying.  I changed to the claw grip at the start of the 2011 season and reduced my putting by 4 shots on average per round.

It was noticed that I had a small movement in my right hand while putting through the ball.  This yip or twitch was not visible to myself and was only noticeable if someone else looked at my hands throughout the putting stroke.  My distance control and accuracy was mediocre when hitting long putts.  My accuracy with short putts was poor, often struggling to hole anything from 5 to 12 ft and occasionlly missing putts within 5 ft.

To prevent this unwanted movement it was necessary to split my hands and I felt most comfortable with the claw grip method.  My left hand grip remained in the orthodox position.  I would place my right hand with three fingers on top of the grip pointing towards my target; my thumb would sit underneath with my pinky resting on the side of the grip.

Almost immediately I felt a positive difference.  I was comfortably holing putts from 5ft, my distance control and accuracy improved with long putts, often getting the ball very near to and if not in the hole.  Psychologically I approached each putt with more confidence believing that I could hole almost any putt on the green.

If you are struggling with your putting it would be worthwhile getting someone to check your hands throughout the stroke.  If you do have a twitch I would recommend using the claw grip method.  Mark O’Meara demonstrates and explains why he moved to the claw grip method above.