End of an Era

Today is Frank and Sheila’s last day at Deeside before Frank commences his much deserved retirement after 32 years service at the Club.

Frank gave me the opportunity to be his assistant twelve years ago this month, my first full time job, at arguably the best inland private members golf club in Scotland. During these twelve years I’ve grown professionally and personally under Franks reign.

Frank often says that all aspiring young professionals should have spent a week with Frank Rennie at Prestwick. In my opinion all aspiring young professionals should have spent a week at Deeside with Frank and I am privileged to have been the only one in the last twelve years.

We’ve had many good times in the Professional Shop. My favourite morning was always Tuesdays. Lucky for me it was a half day but for Frank it was the first day of his working week after only one day off (Monday’s). Quite often Frank would be met by several electric trolleys needing repaired; tens of emails needing his response; numerous phone calls plus Tuesday mornings are historically busy with ladies competitions & general play up until 13.00. Nevertheless we always got through it (just) and I skipped off home at 13.00 for a relaxing afternoon off whilst Frank played catch up.

Deeside is comfortably one of the busiest inland private members clubs in Scotland and this was always the case when I was on the driving range teaching. You can betcha that every man and his dog appeared at Deeside during that 30 minute lesson. Nevertheless on my return to the Professional Shop I would tell Frank to check his pockets as this would be the location he will have misplaced one of his PowaKaddy tools having spent the previous 20 minutes frantically searching the Professional Shop.

I’ll always remember speaking to David Murchie, Head Professional at Crieff Golf Club before I embarked on a career within Golf. On David’s first day as an assistant professional at Crieff, his boss John Stark took his set of golf clubs and stuck them in the cupboard… “you won’t be needing these again” he said. Right enough once you embark on a career in the Professional Shop you really don’t get to see much of the golf course despite the first tee only being a pitching distance away. I could count on two hands (in a good year) the number of rounds Frank played. His commitment and loyalty to the Club was second to none such are the number of hours he worked and lack of holidays he took. Hopefully in Franks retirement he can make up for the lack of rounds played and holidays abroad… I know he won’t miss his 5.30am alarm clock every Saturday.

Today marks the end of an era. Despite being unable to give Frank & Sheila the send off they deserve due to the pandemic, I’m sure we’ll all raise a glass (or two) for them whilst we reminisce about all the happy memories provided by the Couttsers during our visits to Deeside.

Frank & Sheila, thank you for everything you have done for me. I wish you all the very best in your retirement… you deserve it!

“Take time to smell the roses”.

Your colleague, your friend,



Increase My Speed

So the latest ‘phase’ in golf is speed & distance but is it all overhyped nonsense or something we should all be attempting to achieve?

Bryson ‘The Scientist’ DeChambeau figured out last winter and into lockdown that if he increased his ball speed this would ultimately lead to numerous positive outcomes. His world ranking went up 9 spaces to 5th between 2019 & 20 and he won almost $2 million more on the PGA Tour (despite a number of cancelled events).

For Bryson to increase his ball speed he’s worked on his body to increase club head speed and adjusted his equipment (longer shaft/less loft) to impart the optimal physics on the ball to maximise distance.

The average driving distance on the PGA Tour in 2020 was 296 yards (up 2 yards on 2019). The whole “drive for show, putt for doe” quote is now void due to the correlation between distance & earnings on the PGA Tour (highlighted in the picture above).

2021 is going to be an interesting year in terms of driving stats. I can see most tour players following in Dechambeau’s footsteps in an attempt to increase their speed and I believe most will be successful. I wonder what odds we’ll get on the average 2021 PGA Tour driving distance being 300+ yards.

So what about you, the weekly golfer? If you are a young, aspiring golfer I think most coaches would agree that speed is a skill that we can no longer overlook. For those past their peak (me included) whilst I think we could all make club head speed gains it’s whether you are prepared to invest in physical/speed training to reap some distance dividends.

I do believe we can all increase our ball speed (even if the above speed training doesn’t tickle your fancy). Very few of us impart optimal physics on the ball whether it’s technique, skill or equipment (including most scratch players).

If you wish to get some baseline numbers and improve your club &/or ball speed give me a shout.


Rolling Back the Ball

It’s a hot topic of discussion right now.

Did you know that Bryson DeChambeau (and some of his colleagues on the PGA Tour) are hitting it circa 310 yards on average? This has lead to a number of commentators suggest that it is time to limit the distance of the ball.

There’s the argument that because the best players in the world are hitting it further, courses have to be longer (?) which has multiple environment issues. Due to this the only answer to some seems to be rolling back the ball.

Surely we should be congratulating manufacturers for creating such advanced equipment that conforms to the rules of golf instead of trying to penalise them. Surely we should be congratulating the longest hitters on tour for getting into such peak physical shape and keeping the ball on the fairway.

Bryson DeChambeau hitting 200mph ball speed.

I’m completely against the idea of rolling back the ball. I think we should be embracing players who are knocking on the 185mph ball speed door instead of trying to hinder them. If these guys then proceed to win with a score of thirty under par then so be it. The thought of us all using limited distance balls (I doubt it would happen) makes me shudder as most of us could do with an extra ten (fifty) yards off the tee.

Hopefully the golfing authorities will knock this idea on the head and look to enhance the game instead of hindering it.


Frank J. Coutts Sale

Despite courses being open in Scotland, retail facilities can only offer a click and collect service.

Please see the video below for a selection of the items available for purchase at Deeside Golf Club.

We have 30% off all shoes including FootJoys, Under Armour & Ecco (sizes in video). We are also knocking 30% off Ping and Odyssey putters and Titleist Hybrids.

If you are after clothing we have ample ladies clothes at 40% off. We are now limited to small and medium shirts/sweaters for men, 1 xxxL Ping performance pullover and 1 xxL grey Turtleson lined sweater.

We have a handful of Oscar Jacobson and Under Armour trousers in various waist/leg sizes at 40% off.

Please contact the Professional Shop on 01224869457 or to enquire or book your click and collect.



I am a big advocate of setting goals whether it is personal or sporting/golfing related.

Now that we have welcomed in 2021 it’s time to write down some of your own.

Some examples of goals that you could set are as follows: to achieve a specific handicap index; to improve an area of your game; to win a competition; to play a couple bucket list courses.

To achieve the above ‘long term’ goals you’ll need to set some short & medium term goals. Whilst it may sound silly you are not going to be able to just turn up to a ‘bucket list’ course. There’s a process which will involve setting a potential date (short term) and completing the booking process (medium term) before you can achieve that long term goal of playing your dream golf course.

I want you all to write down two long term golfing goals for 2021 (feel free to share them with me). For each long term goal I want you to write a short and medium term goal to help you get to this final destination.

My two goals for 2021 are as follows:

1) To naturally fade the golf ball on the golf course. To get to this final destination I will need to practice more frequently, once a week (short term) and get my club path on Trackman to between -1.5 and -3 consistently (medium).

2) Improve my strokes gained putting performance. To achieve this I will need to identify and implement changes to my set-up (short term) and complete a number of target based drills to improve the launch direction of my putts (medium).

Whether it’s to improve your handicap index, win tournaments, have fun or increase your distance let’s work together in 2021 to achieve these goals.

Good luck!


Welcome to 21

I’ve had the website now for almost 8 years and have sadly infrequently made the most of it other than the odd blog post.

For those of you that have visited my website you will notice it’s had a small facelift in time for 2021. One of my goals for 21 will be to utilise this blog more frequently discussing various topics within the world of golf. If anyone wishes to contribute please feel free to get in touch.

2020 has been at best a shoddy year for the majority of us. One of the very few positive lights has been the impact Covid19 has had on the golf industry. With golf being a socially distant outdoor sport with many health benefits the industry has seen record playing numbers (despite zero golf in April & May and restricted golf throughout June). We made up for that at Deeside in November by quadrupling our average playing statistics. Even as I write this post on a sub zero Decembers midweek day we have over 150 people due to play our course. This is some feat considering it only gets light at 8.30 and is dark by 15.30 (at best).

As we close 2020 I just want to thank everyone for their continued support… here’s hoping for a better 21. Happy New Year!