Gary has 14 years experience of working with England's top amateur stars as an EGU Technical Coach, working with European Tour players including Danny Willett, Justin Rose, Chris Wood, Ross Fisher, Gary Boyd, Ollie Fisher, Richard Finch, David Horsey, Seve Benson, Nick Dougherty, Paul Waring and Gary Wolstenholme.
He is a Golf Monthly UK Top 25 Coach and has been awarded Advanced Fellow of the PGA for his knowledge and experience within golf.
Gary will take an holistic and inclusive approach to your total golf game, working with with you as an individual.
Join the 98% of Gary's students who significantly improve with his revolutionary Linear Approach to short game.
Gary will maximise your swing technique from tee to green.
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Gary has coached many Pro Tour Wins including: The Scottish Open, Italian Open, Portuguese Open and Australian Open plus 2 Dunhill Cup Selections.
Short game golf DVD/Video
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Gary Smith helps you perfect your short game with his simple Linear Method.
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Gary Smith helps you perfect your long game.
Short Game and Long Game - 4 DVD disc set
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Enjoy my top 25 golf tips to change your game for the better forever.
Iâ€™ll never forget seeing footage of 4 separate swings of Nick Faldo playing different shots at the 1992 Open at Muirfield. One was on the first tee of the first round and the final sequence of swings was on the last tee in the final round. So there were different pressures throughout the sequences. The amazing thing is all the timings of the swings from his identical pre-address position into impact position were within 3/10ths of a second. Pre-shot processes start by standing behind the ball looking at your intended target, seeing and feeling you hitting the perfect shot. This visualisation is very powerful in producing your best golf. Pick clear defined targets, consider using the shaft through the ball to on ground reference points â€“ a la Jack Nicklaus/Justin Rose â€“ to help with club face alignment and with a deep breath , exhaling with a key word (â€œcome on â€“ great swing!â€ or â€œYou can do it!â€) that gets you up to commit to the process, you begin your address and swing.
The process from final decision making into impact should take no longer than between 8-12 seconds. This is to avoid invading negative thoughts clouding your clarity and affecting your shot. So learn and practice a pre-shot routine that suits you and get into the habit of using it, no matter what the situation, on the practice ground, as well as on the course
See how simple it is to pitch over trouble consistently, conifdently and arrow straight every timeâ€¦â€¦
With over 98% of my students improving significantly when changing to the Linear Approach, this chip shots shows how simple and effective my method of chipping really isâ€¦
If you want to play your best golf and score low, then clever preparation is the key
1. Your Game â€“ practising the night before a big event doesnâ€™t normally do it! Getting your game in shape requires quality practice, working on the areas of weakness and based on the course youâ€™re going to play. Small greens means more short game tuning. A long course means get the driver working etc. The reality is that focused practice takes 4 â€“ 6 weeks to filter through into your game
2. Your Game Plan â€“ prepare the night before with an equipment check, balls, gloves, tees etc and of course 14 clubs max. A pre play warm up and stretch is normal behaviour for the pros and even more important for the keen club golfer. Physically and psychologically, this plays a powerful part in any pre game preparation. Plan your course management to suit the conditions â€“ hard and bouncy? Then plenty of irons and lofted woods off the tee. Think strategy and stick to it! Break the round up in 6 lots of 3 holes with a target score for each 3 hole stretch ie letâ€™s play the first 3 holes in 1 over your handicap as itâ€™s the start of the round and the second hole is really tough. Then re-group for the next 3.
3. Reaction â€“ whether youâ€™re 3 under your handicap or 3 over during a round, you have to keep control of your reactions. â€˜One shot at a timeâ€™ is a well used expression but stands true when you get excited or feeling down. Routines and rituals ie pre-shot habits should remain the same whatever the situation. Practice the routine thatâ€™s good for you. From behind the ball, looking at the target, with club and shot decided, allowing no more than 8 â€“ 12 seconds before the impact position is my recommended routine.
To psych or not to psych â€“ that is the question! To get the best out of your game, you have to get your head in gear, before, during and after playing and practising. To train the brain is not as difficult as it seems. Most top competitive pros would have in their support team a psychologist to help them with their reactions, planning, mental and physical state including breathing, positive visionary outcomes and maintaining their commitment to a process of improvement especially when things get tough. The question is should the keen amateur/club golfer make use of this hugely important skill? I think they should! Those that have read Dr Bob Rotellaâ€™s books, The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters or Every Shot Must Have a Purpose by Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott will appreciate the importance of thinking clear and the power of the mind. I have been fortunate to have worked with a number of psychologists including Dr Brian Hemmings and Peter Taylor, both outstanding in getting the best from their players.
So if you want to max your game, get your brain trained!
A few yearsâ€™ ago I had a routine prostate check which was normal. I saw something on TV about it recently and although I had no symptoms, felt fully fit, regular jogs as normal, thought I should go for another check up. Glad I did! Following a diagnosis of prostate cancer, my op is in mid-April and prognosis is excellent for the future. Without this early intervention my Consultant tells me things would be very different. So many people Iâ€™ve talked to have been affected either themselves or with close friends or family. So my very important tip for this month is donâ€™t delay â€“ see your GP and get it checked!
More and more top players are setting up squarer in bunkers, and so should you!! An open stance with a cutting accross action produces fer less forward momentum due to the open clubface and a glancing contact with the ball. Far more effort/hitting is reqired to create any distance, resulting in a loss of control. Stand square and the body turns easier and the clubhead can be released far more efficiently and effectively.
To play your very best golf and to give yourself every chance of success, you need to stand on the 1st and be able to say to yourself, Iâ€™ve done everything I reasonably can to play great today â€“ â€“ I deserve to do well.
This means good preparation, confident practice, knowing the course and how to manage it but also having equipment that you know is perfect for your game and physique. Having your clubs custom fit by an expert is so important in the modern game. Shaft flex, kick point, grip thickness, length/lie/loft, swing weight, launch angle and spin rate are just some of the checks that an expert club fitter will test out for you and your game. So my advice is visit a respected and experienced custom fit expert near you. Golf Principles under Jason MacNiven is where I send all of my players who want the right advice for their game. Go see Jason!
Jason appears on my Long Game DVD/app â€“ giving excellent advice on the importance of club fitting
Check out the sequence below for the LINEAR APPROACH PITCHING action. 97.75%* have seen real improvement in their short game when changing to the Linear Approach. Join the short game revolution â€“ itâ€™s SIMPLE, LOGICAL and HIGHLY EFFECTIVE! Gary will transform your short game. Book a session today !
*89 responses from November 2013 short game survey
Use my favourite Line Drill to double check your set up technique. Mimic the photo below with ball position left heel, shaft parallel to and behind the ball/left heel line and sternum on top of the ball. When striking the sand, the focus is on the point 2 inches behind the ball. Practice this without the ball first and if strike is on the shaft line, or close to, try the ball. The sand divot should start straight through the ball target line and then exit slightly left.
To promote a great strike, especially with iron shots, keep your head level into the completion of the backswing. If the upper body loses its height it will cause a chain reaction of lower body instability (right hip kicks out away from the target), steeper tilted shoulder plane and lack of power and coil behind the ball. The result of this common fault is a lifting movement to regain the arc of the swing and a thrust of the arms and club at the ball due to lack of potential clubhead speed and therefore a lack of control. Heavy and topped shots will be common place as well as pulls and slices.
To ensure you have a powerful and consistent swing, engage the midsection muscles at address, which would be core, quads, glutes. You can then coil into the backswing on top of a solid base and then deliver the right side of the body into the ball, compressing the ball and the rotating into the finish.
This is one of my favourite sayings because so many people produce a collapsed backswing thatâ€™s too comfortable, lacks arc width and leads to huge inconsistency. Feel that your body is coiling patiently and powerfully on top of your legs towards an uncomfortable spring-like position at the top. Maintain the arm width and together with an adequate wrist cock, around 90 degrees between forearm and shaft, will not only maintain the arc width potential but produce loads of stored energy to uncoil the body and release the clubhead. The strike should be reactionary to the coil and NOT require great physical strength, but a simple uncoiling of the upper body and hand and forearm release of clubhead ie effortless power
The MySp Training Aid will help achieve the correct and more powerful backswing position and give you more consistency in your driving
US Open now under way â€“ June 2013 â€“ at the very tight, heavily roughed, cleverly bunkered Merion course in Pennsylvania and the person who will win is the one who can keep the ball in play off the tee but as importantly, get up and down from around the green. Current leader after one round, Phil Mickelson, is carrying 5, yes 5 wedges and has taken out his driver. Is this a lesson you could take on board for your game? So my advice is carry a minimum of 3 wedges but consider introducing more scoring clubs and less long distance clubs if you want to lower your scores. Allow 4 degrees between each club but maximum 5 if youâ€™re carrying only 3 wedges.
You are!! Then consider the following. ~ * BE PROACTIVE and find a COACH and NOT a teacher. * Ensure that they have experience, a proven track record and/or come recommended by someone you trust. Arrange a GET TO KNOW session and check to see if they * initially LISTEN MORE THAN THEY TALK * Promise UNREALISTIC OUTCOMES * Ask for info on your PHYSICAL LIMITATIONS and past / current INJURIES * Offer you an ONLINE SUPPORT facility * radiate a GOOD GUT FEELING * Ask you to sign up to MASS OVERKILL SESSIONS. If you are satisfied with all of the above then COMMIT TO THE PROCESS, BE DEMANDING (but realistic) of YOUR COACH and YOURSELF and ENJOY THE JOURNEY to BETTER SCORES and a LOWER HANDICAP !!
Working on your stroke mechanics to improve your TRUE end -over- end roll and avoid inconsistent putter face path /loft /angle of attack is the key !! Get expert help together with drills and video analysis to hole more putts and lip-in rather than spin-out !!
There a so many problems associated with standing open, with your hands ahead of the ball when close to the green,including: poor posture, leading edge digging in, grip driving at impact causing a lack of control, wrong shoulder movement,(up and left of target), a defensive negative approach to the shot etc,etc. Try standing at, or slightly right of target,70% of weight on the front foot with your hands directly over the clubhead and the ball opposite the left heel . This promotes a better posture ,positive right hand delivery, and target focused body turn into the target â€“ everything you need for great short game performance.
If you are about to make a powerful yet controlled golf swing,and you also want consistency you HAVE to coil from a strong athletic and stable posture. To check if YOU have the ideal set-up take your stance and JUMP vertically up and you should land in perfect balance.
I bet your course if playable is saturated and the bunkers have taken a hammering. With compacted, wet sand make these changes and youâ€™ll pop out beautifully every time! Stand taller and more over the ball with your weight on the left ball of the foot, almost toppling over on to the toes. This allows your hands to drop more vertically underneath you. You can now set the club up with an early wrist cock, steeper in the backswing. From here allow the right hand to deliver the bounce directly behind the ball, with a positive, aggressive release and body rotation into the finish. Job done!
When looking down the line check to see if your forearms are in-line wth the shaft or do you stand with your hands too low at address? This can cause a wristy action and likely poor control and inconsistancy with your stroke. The photo left allows my shoulders to be in charge and so a far more solid and reliable action
Next time you have a chance to play 9 holes and are up for trying something different then give this great on course challenge a go. This test is designed to focus your game not on your score but on a DISCIPLINED APPROACH TO COURSE MANAGEMENT and SOLID TEE TO GREEN PLAY AND PUTTING. As England technical coach for 14 years this test was used regularly with the England Elite Squad. So if you can keep the ball on the short grass and own an effective short game then your performance, like world class player and former Elite Squad member JUSTIN ROSE can reach new heights as well !!
I love using my lob wedge and 56 degree around the green but I also understand that to make this part of the game simple and effective, I also use all the clubs in the bag, except driver and 3 iron. Don't be one dimensional because with every situation around the green, there's a club in your â€˜tool kit' that gets the job done more effectively than another.
Take a look at short game specialist European Tour multi winner, Brett Rumford, to get his take around the green. NOTICE HIS LINEAR APPROACH SET UP!!
Work on a pre-putt ritual that delivers the strike of the ball within 8-12 seconds of arriving at your final decision of line and pace. Short term memory weakens by 20% every 8 seconds, so don't delay, follow Rory McIlroy's lead and see it, feel it and once you've decided DO IT!
For all short game shots, including bunkers, the right hand is dominant in delivering the clubhead and bounce (the sole) under the ball; the left hand is just a passenger. If your grip tension is only 1 out of 10 in the left hand and never more than 3 out of 10 in the right hand, the clubhead can be released creating effortless speed. The loft can then be delivered, the bounce can help you slide the club under the ball and you wonâ€™t have to drive the grip to create clubhead speed which is main cause of poor striking and difficulty with distance control.
For any full swing, set up with your feet slightly turned out and your knees apart, pointing in line with your feet. This strong, athletic posture stabilises the pelvis and allows you to coil your upper body on top of your lower half and at the same time stay in balance. The perfect launch pad for power and consistency.
To produce more clubhead speed with a driver, a squarer ball strike and correct clubhead rise angle into impact; position your sternum/chest 6 â€“ 9 inches behind the ball at address, with your weight 70/30 on your right side (the ball position just inside your left big toe). Fire the clubhead fast and free on a slight upswing, with your head behind the ball at impact. The body should turn into the finish, following the clubhead release.