Archive for the ‘Golf Tuition’ Category

Pro Tips – Cure that Slice…

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

Fed up with wayward drives? Need to cure that slice? How about we get it fixed then…

In this month TSG Pro Tips,  I am going to cover a common lesson I give to all my students. Often when I see a golfer slice the ball, the clubface is wide open at impact (pointing right).

So today, let’s get that clubface pointing more at the target and stop that ball going right and cure that slice.

The good thing about what I’m going to cover here is that the fault comes from the takeaway – the reason I say this is, is that is often easier to fix, than breaking down the swing bit by bit and rebuilding.

Pro Tips - Cure That Slice 1

Pro Tips – Cure That Slice fig.1

Part One – How to cure that slice…

OK, let’s make some ‘takeaways’ checking the arc you make in the mirror behind you at your driving range. Whether you’re driving or playing your irons, swing the club to waist high and see what the club looks like.

Is it “open” where the toe end of the club is pointing behind you? (See right)

I’m going to give a quick explanation of how this causes your slice and then we will get it fixed!

When the clubface gets in this open position it will often stay open to the top. Now from here, you will often find the golfer tries to square the face with the shoulders.

What they in fact do, is make the club swing left and the face stays open. This club swinging left, face open combination is always going to give a horrible slice.

Part Two – How to cure that slice…

If we can get the club face in a better position as you swing back, then you won’t want to make the reaction where the shoulders swing the club down, therefore swinging the club left….

Pro Tips - Cure That Slice 2

Pro Tips – Cure That Slice 2

So how do we fix it?

When you take the club away, I’d like you to swing to waist high and have the leading edge of the club parallel to your spine angle (See right)

A simple feel to get the is to imagine the club face is looking at the ball as you swing the club back.

Do this till you get the feel for it and the face in a better position, then try hitting some half shots (waist high to waist high). If you do it correctly you should see the ball fly straighter.

Once you’ve hit a few half shots, take the ball away and create the same feeling into a full swing. If it feels different or odd – it’s probably correct!!

Now you have a feel for the full swing, hit some full shots, practice as much as you can at the range, and watch that ball fly straight…..and that’s how you cure that slice!


By Andy Clissold – TSG Head PRO

Pro Tips – Chip like Seve…

Saturday, July 18th, 2015
Chip like Seve

The set-up…

Your driving well, your fairway play is coming on but your short game needs help? It’s time to improve the game from 150 yards and in and learn here how to ‘Chip like Seve‘… are you lacking that magical touch around the greens?

Let’s look at the basics of chipping along with something 90% of golfers do. (and I’ve seen this in some very low handicap players I’ve taught!)

Chip like Seve – The Grip…

– As normal (refer to “Pro tips – Summer golf” for a refresher)

– Hold half way down the grip to give more control and feel to the shot

Chip like Seve – Stance, Ball Position, and Posture…

– Firstly – make sure you do this in the order set out here

– Stance width will be approx. 1 foot apart and I’d like you to pull your left foot back a couple of inches – as shown right

– Position the ball opposite your sternum

– Now lean slightly to your left with your upper body – once you have moved, the ball should now be just behind your sternum – as shown below. This will allow us to make a slightly downward blow onto the ball giving you that crisp, spinning chip.

Chip like Seve – Swing Technique…

Chip like Seve

Swing technique…

When we chip the ball we want a consistent strike and consistent loft. Both of these help to judge distances as if you get these the same every time, all you have to do is vary the length of your swing to hit the ball different distances.

A big fault I see when I give a chipping lesson is the golfer will try to help the ball into the air, destroying the strike and giving very inconsistent loft. In the finish and through impact you will see the club get ahead of the hands – as shown right

Often this is because the golfer is trying to use the hands and wrists to control the distance of the shot. Not only does this make it incredibly difficult to strike the ball consistently and create consistent loft, but also makes it very hard to get a consistent speed through impact.

This happens, as our hands have fast twitching muscle fibres which are difficult to control – especially under pressure!

Chip like Seve – Feeling it….

I’d like you to feel like the shaft of the club moves in line with the sternum as you swing the club back. To give an example I’m going to use Luke Donald – sure you will agree – not a bad chipper!!

Luke Donald Chippin

Luke Donald Chipping…

See how the hands and sternum are pointing parallel to each other.

This shows the body is more in control of the swing and allows him from here to keep the hands very passive and let the chest turn the club through the shot.

Below we can see the finish position where the sternum, club, and hands are all pointing in the same direction. No flip, just a swing controlled from the chest!

Chip like Seve –  And finally…

– Feel the sternum move the club shaft back and through, and FEEL as though they stay in line through out.

So there you have it, get down the range and add some ‘Seve Magic’ to your game!


By Andy Clissold – TSG Head PRO

Pro Tips – Putting like a Pro…

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

If you struggle to hole your putts, specifically short putts (by this I mean 5 foot or less), this will be costing you a lot of shots and there’s no reason why you can’t be as good as Rory from these distances, here’s a few tips that will get you Putting like a Pro….

Putting Like a Pro 1

Putting Like a Pro…

Often golfers will move their body when making short putts, and in doing so it makes it very difficult to manipulate the face to point at your target. Often it is the lower body moving that means the upper body moves as a result.

So what I’d like to see is you try and stay still while you putt!

The thought, and the feel I’d like you to have, is that you keep the knees still and don’t watch your putt until you can see the grass under the ball.

Practice those Putting Drills…

To help you with those short putts under pressure – whether its to save par or win a match. Here’s a drill to help you cope with the nerves.

– Set yourself up 3 feet from a hole and try to hole 10 putts in a row. If you miss – start again. Once you get up to the 8th or 9th putt, the nerves will start to kick in!

– Once you have holed 10 putts from 3 feet, do the same from 4 feet

– Then repeat for 5 feet

Putting Like a Pro 2

But what about distance Putting….

Long putting is all about ‘feel’.

Trying to hit the ball the correct distance so if you don’t hole it, you can make the next one.

Similar to chipping, I see golfers try and putt with their hands and wrists. Why is this a problem?

Well, the hands contain fast twitch muscle fibres, and these are very hard to control to power and speed of consistently – especially under pressure.

The bigger muscles i.e. our shoulders and chest have slower twitch fibres which makes them much easier to control the speed of.

Putting Like a Pro 3

So it would make sense to use these muscles to control the speed….

– Get a good set up where your eyes are over the ball and the arms hang naturally

– Maintain the “Y” shape formed from the arms and putter shaft from set up and throughout the stroke

– You should feel as though the shoulders and chest are controlling the stroke and maintain a smooth stroke throughout

More ideas to get your Putting like a Pro…

– Putt from anywhere on the green to the fringe – you are trying to get the ball to rest against the fringe

– Hit some putts and try to do this, 3 balls max from any one spot – it is important you keep moving around hitting different distance putts

– Once you can get the ball resting up against the fringe from different spots, do the same thing but before you watch the ball, make a judgement on whether you think the ball is short, long, or on the fringe

When you can judge whether your ball is against the fringe, long, or short – you have tour level feel and to you’ll be Putting liek a Pro!

By Andy Clissold

Pro Tips – Summer Golf…

Sunday, May 17th, 2015
The Golf Grip

The Golf Grip

With the golf season now underway and the days getting longer, now is the time to start thinking about how you are going to prepare for your Summer Golf…

A great way to get back into the swing of things and get the rust off is to start with the basics. So lets go through them, along with some things you can do at the range to nail those shots….

Summer Golf – The Grip

Firstly, place your left hand (for a right handed golfer) near the top of the club. Let the club run diagonally across the fingers from the middle of your index finger, through to just above the little finger – as demonstrated above.

Summer Golf - The Golf Grip

The Golf Grip

N.B. Be careful not to let the club run into the palm!! Then wrap the hand round the club, and we should see 2 knuckles showing – as pictured right.

With the right hand, place this in the fingers, again at a slight diagonal and wrap the hand around the club. We should see the “V” formed by the right index finger and thumb point to the right ear.

Now – here’s the choice for you. Either interlock the index finger on the left hand, with the little finger on the right hand. Or let the little finger of the right hand rest on the index finger of the left hand…

Summer Golf – The Stance & Ball Position…

Summer Golf - Ball Position

Summer Golf – Ball Position

Stance should be shoulder with. If down the range, face the mirror and check how wide your stance is.This will help to give a good leg action in the swing and maintain balance.

For an iron, place the ball just on the left side of your sternum – as shown below. For a driver, place the ball in line with your left pec.

Again when down the range, have a look in the mirror to make sure your ball position is perfect to stripe it!

Summer Golf – The Posture…

This is one of the most important parts of the set up for me as I see so many poor golf shots come from poor posture. So make sure you nail this one!

Firstly, get the above three points good then, stand bolt upright with both your arms straight and the hands around waist high. The club should be parallel to the ground – as shown below.

Summer Golf - The Posture

Summer Golf – The Posture

From here keep your back straight (very important) and bend from the hips till the club touches the floor. Imagine your belly button is pointing more towards the floor. Now put a touch of knee flex in. Be careful with this bit – the knees should be bent but the thighs should still feel “lively”.

A checkpoint to get the correct amount of knee bend is to have the knees over the middle on your feet – as shown right. N.B. This isn’t an absolute checkpoint as it will depend on your height and leg length but will certainly most of you a good guide.

Summer Golf –  The Alignment…

I see many swing faults again develop from poor alignment and poor alignment often results in offline shots (and not always the direction you are aiming!) So firstly get the face of the club pointing where you want the ball to finish.

Next you want to get your feet, knees, hips, and shoulders parallel left of this (as above). A good routine to get this good is when you do the posture routine (above) when you stand bolt upright, start with your feet together and point your feet at the ball. Now imagine a straight line across your toes and step your feet along this line. Hey presto! Your alignment is perfect!

Summer Golf – Putting this into practice…

Now that is a lot of information to take in all at once but re-read this a few times until it sinks in. And next time you go to the range, just concentrate on a maximum two of these at a time (i.e. grip and stance).

Each time you go to the range. Three practice sessions through the month and the basics should be feeling comfortable and natural and you’ll be enjoying your Summer Golf even more this year and who knows it may even improve your nerves on the first tee!

#Good Luck

By Andy Clissold

Pro Tips – First Tee Nerves…

Monday, April 20th, 2015
First Tee Nerves

First Tee Nerves

It’s a balmy Saturday in Summer and you are about to play in your first TSG official event. How are you feeling on the first tee? Are you suffering from first tee nerves? Just want to get it away? Make sure you don’t top it?

You are not alone…

If any of these thoughts sound familiar then lets get you feeling more comfortable on the first tee. The first thing to realise is everyone feels it! If you ever get the chance to read an interview with a tour player, they will tell you they too get first tee nerves. The difference is they are trained on how to hold those nerves.

Addressing your first tee nerves…

What we are going to talk about in this blog is a really good visualisation technique to improve your confidence. It is something you can do at home, five minutes a day that will transform the way you think about your golf.

Firstly you need to get yourself relaxed, so have a few deep breaths and close your eyes.

It is important to build the picture first and uses ALL your senses; imagine the first tee, you’re walking up to the first tee, feel your legs moving, the weight of your bag, you can see your mates, hear the crunch of the gravel, smell the freshly cut grass, taste the coffee on your tongue as you take a sip.

And now on the tee…

Now you’re on the tee, as above, hear, see, feel, smell, taste everything, from you putting your bag down, getting a ball out your bag, teeing it up.

From this point, I’d like you to imagine yourself feeling confident, standing tall!

Go through your routine and picture a pure, high drive down the middle. (Be realistic with this, there is no point imagining a shot you can’t hit!).

Feel yourself being confident as you stand to the ball and feel a really good swing, hear and feel the connection with the ball. Imagine seeing your shot flying into the middle of the fairway – your friends saying “shot”….no first tee nerves here!

The more times you do this, you brain will think its real, believe it has actually happened! So when you come to do it for real, your brain believes you can hit a good shot, in fact, it won’t expect anything else.

Give it time and be patient….

First time you try this you may find it is not overly effective, but visualisation is a skill that you need to work at.

As I said, five minutes a day is all it will take and over a week or two the images will become more and more vivid and real. The more real the image, the better for helping improve your first tee nerves and building your confidence.

So FIVE minutes while you’re waiting for the bus, FIVE minutes a day not using Facebook – do some visualisation and start nailing those first tee shots!

By Andy Clissold

Pro Tips – Driving it longer…

Thursday, March 19th, 2015
Driving it longer

Driving it longer

I’m sure we all dream of hitting the ball further than we ever have before, but how often do we actually stop to consider, how we start driving it longer?

First thing to do is make sure your driver is right for you.

If you haven’t been custom fitted for your driver, it is something I would highly recommend! (Plus it’s an excuse for a new driver). Your local pro will be able to give you some advice, or see someone local to you that specialises in custom fitting.

If you need a recommendation, feel free to message me and I will advise – Andy Clissold

What in your swing causes loss of power?

In an attempt to hit the ball longer, many golfers will try to hit the ball with the hands and arms, rather than using the whole body to generate power and speed.

If you use the hands and arms in an effort to hit the ball further, you will often find you release the club early. This means the hinge in your wrists is released well before the club hits the ball and all that stored energy is lost.

Storing Energy in Your Swing - Luke Donald

Storing Energy in Your Swing – Luke Donald

How do we keep the stored energy?

We want to maintain the wrist hinge for as long as possible in the downswing. Simply trying to keep the angle can result in some horrendous shots! Believe me, I’ve seen it!

As with most things in the golf swing there is often a cause for the early release, and as mentioned earlier, it stems from trying to use the hands and arms to hit the ball. In doing so, the body doesn’t move properly if at all.

From the top of your swing, I want you to start down using the lower body. Start by bumping the left hip left, towards the target.

Above is a picture of Luke Donald, on the left at the top of the swing and on the right, as he starts down. I’ve drawn a line to show how the left hip has moved left onto the line.

Driving Tips

Driving Tips

From here the left hip will go slightly more towards the target but more importantly, will start to turn. This will bring the upper body, arms, and club with it. At impact you can see below that the left side of his body is all in one line.

This is great as he hasn’t pushed the hip too much or too little.

Driving it longer…

The feel I’d like you to have is bumping the hip left, then rotate the hip behind you, and at impact, feel as though the left side of your body is solid. Like hitting into a brick wall.

Give this a go and watch those drives sail past your mates!

By Andy Clissold

Manchester Golf Show at Event City …

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015
Manchester Golf Show Putting

Manchester Golf Show

The Manchester Golf Show at Event City returns on the 24-26 April 2015 with a one-stop-shop for every golfer to who wants to see and try the latest gear, receive world class golf tuition and talk to some of the finest courses and clubs in the UK…

Now in its third year, the show gives golfers from all across the north of England a chance to immerse themselves in golf for the whole day.

There will be hundreds of brands on view and its your chance to meet the exhibitors and take part in the demonstrations.

You can also take advantage of custom-fit advice and there will be opportunities from the leading manufacturers, expert coaches and even  a dedicated ‘Golf Tourism Show’ to peruse.

Many of the most prestigious brands from the world of golf will be showcasing their latest products at the show, with experts on hand offering custom-fitting for visitors, from everything from wedges to drivers all our bespoke indoor driving range.

Andy Gorman

Andy Gorman – Putting Coach

Where is the show taking place?

Manchester Golf Show at Event City at The Trafford Golf Centre once again plays host to the event, and there will PGA qualified coaches on hand to meet all visitors looking for a quick fix on their golf swing plus free golf tuition for all.

Yes, the Trafford Golf Centre team will be giving any lapsed golfers or those new to the sport a FREE golf lesson, plus a promotional voucher, allowing you to redeem 5 golf lessons for only £25 – part of an England Golf initiative to encourage greater take up of the game.

What else will be going at the Manchester Golf Show at Event City?

Dean Davies Trick Shot Show

Dean Davies Trick Shot Show

The Manchester Golf Show at Event City will also feature the Golf Tourism Show which introduces visitors to fabulous overseas golfing destinations, including presentations on the main stage from exhibitors. sit back and enjoy a drink whilst your learn in the venue cafe.

There will also be golf trick shot shows, expert advice and competition to win prizes.

To see all the latest gear on show from the games biggest names, get yourself a free golf lesson or even your first ever golf lesson and find great new places to play golf here in the UK and overseas, book your tickets to the Manchester Golf Show at Event City or call 0844 858 6749.

TSG Manchester Golf Show 2-for-1 Ticket Offer…

For all TSGers wishing to book their places at this year’s Manchester Golf Show at Event City, why not take advantage of our superb offer. Yes, all TSGers can purchase half price tickets (based on standard full adult entry fee) via the show website, using the following code: TSG241

And we look forward to hearing your feedback on the show via the TSG forums…

Happy Golfing!


Pro Tips – Practice at the golf range ….

Monday, February 16th, 2015

This is the first in a series of monthly columns by TSG Head Pro, Andy Clissold…

Golf Range Practice

Golf Range Practice

What happens when you go to practice at the golf range?

I’m guessing it’s a large bucket of balls and repeatedly hitting 7 iron and driver? Am I right? While this can be good when you have just had a lesson or have something technical to work on, but simply hitting balls won’t improve your golf.

I will briefly run through how to practice after a lesson and then go on to how to not only make your practice more enjoyable but also more effective for your golf.

Practicing after a lesson…

Yes, you do need to hit 7 iron, driver or whatever club your pro has told you to use, do the drills, and engrain the movement. This is what we call block practice – hitting the same shot, same swing, over and over.

It’s really good for getting the swing engrained and making a change but as soon as you are faced with a variable – an awkward lie, a longer club, a different wind direction etc., it can be counter-productive to keep making the same swing. When we play golf – we don’t hit the same shot twice…so why practice the same shot twice?

I like to have my pupils spend 50% of their practice session doing block practice after a lesson, to get a feel for the movement and make the change. The other 50% of the practice session, I like them to do variable practice.

Practice at the golf range

Practice at the golf range

Variable practice at the golf range…

If you don’t have lessons but love to get down the range between games – spend all your practice time doing this. Especially if you are playing well!

Variable practice is hitting different shots, creating different scenarios for each shot, playing games! This practice relates much more to playing golf and can create pressure like you will get on the golf course.

What can you do to have variable practice Sessions…

I am going to give a few drills you can do next time you practice but don’t be frightened to use your imagination – I’d love to hear any suggestions or variations you have tried yourself…

  • Drill 1 – Pick a target and a club – depending on your level, aim to hit, for example, 4/10 balls within 40ft of the target. Once you hit the goal, increase the number out of 10 or decrease the target size (i.e. 40ft down to 30ft). This will help you improve your focus and get you zoned in.
  • Drill 2 – Get 3 balls, aim straight and try to start one ball left, the next one right, and the third – straight! This will start to give you good clubhead control.
  • Drill 3 – Short game – play “Par 18”. Hit 9 completely different chip shots i.e. 3 chip and runs, 3 difficult chips to a tight pin, 3 average chips. Do one shot at a time and don’t repeat the same shot twice. The idea is to chip the ball to the hole and putt out. Record your score. The idea of Par 18 is each “hole” is a par 2 so you want to get up and down. Record your score and keep trying to improve on your score – a great one to do with a friend (loser buys the beers?).
  • Drill 4 – This next drill is great for better players but also good for higher handicap players to learn how to get out of trouble. 4 balls – 1st ball draw, 2nd ball fade, 3rd ball high, 4th ball low. Good for lower handicap players to shape the ball into pins. For higher handicaps you will learn how to hit different shots and maybe instead of chipping out the trees – you can produce your own Seve magic!

By Andy Clissold

Friends of The Social Golfer…

Monday, May 19th, 2014

TheSocialGolfer.comWelcome to our The Social Golfer page where we let you know about great companies and websites that can benefit your golfing life.

We call them ‘Friends of The Social Golfer’ or as those that know us well, ‘Friends of TSG’ …


Friends of The Social Golfer – Golf News…

Golf News – The Biggest Golf Newspaper in the UK –

Golf Assessor – Providing independent golf equipment reviews & comparisons.

Women & Golf Magazine – News, Fashion, Equipment, Travel & Lifestyle Magazine –

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FORE!WOMEN – Website dedicated to promoting women’s golf, making golf even more attractive –



Friends of The Social Golfer – Other Golf Media…

2-fore!-1 – 2 for 1 golf discount vouchers – save 50% on 700 golf courses in the UK with 2fore!1 –

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Friends of The Social Golfer – Travel…

Golf Escapes – Official Partners of The Social Golfer – Experts in golf travel  –

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Friends of The Social Golfer – Events, Tours  & Trophies…

Trophies & – Trophies, medals, shields, plaques and glass & crystal awards and free delivery on orders over £100-

Golf Empire – Search over 10,000 amateur open golf competitions at more than 1,500 golf clubs… all on one website –


Friends of The Social Golfer – Golf’s Governing Bodies/Associations…

European Disabled Golf

Disabled Golf Association – PAN disability organisation –

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British Inclusive Golf – The Drive behind Disability Golf –


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Friends of The Social Golfer – Media/Marketing…

MC2 Marketing – Marketing, Media, Content, Creative & Websites –


Friends of The Social Golfer – Personal…

Roger Hurcombe – Disabled Golfer and all round good egg –

Ian Halliwell – Stroke Victim, Charity Fundraiser and all round Golf Nut –

Ian Halliwell – My Golfing Travel Journal from Wigan to the World and back –

AmateurGolfNet – An amateur golfer’s personal narrative of his golfing experiences. –

The Kirstie Charity – TSG member Gary Wilson fundraising for Cancer Research –


Happy Golfing!


Ian & The Social Golfer Team