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Rob McNicholas

Saffron Walden Golf Club PGA Golf Professional

Get in Touch: 01799 527728
Website: PGA Golf Professional | Golf Club
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Hello and welcome to this week's newsletter. 

It's been a difficult week to get out and play with the weather the way it has been, but as I sit here the course, bar a temp on the 3rd is fully open.

Club news 

Yesterday saw the January meeting of the Slade which also welcomed in a few new members. I had the pleasure of playing with one of them, Kieran O'Reilly, who used to be important apparently, in freezing conditions but not as bad as we thought they would be. We managed to undo our good work of the front 9 where we amassed 22 points by managing just 15 on the back. This meant we lost our game against the steady Robert Register and his very reliable partner Vic Power by a point. 

Thankfully as the conditions were tough we managed to finish in the middle of the field. Top of the pile were Wiz and Raff with a very impressive 43 points, but propping up the field with just 33 points were Trevor and Nick and they thoroughly deserved the PPPP. 

Unfortunately for Trevor he is now in danger of winning three on the spin which means he gets to keep it.


Over the last few months we have lost a few members, but last night it was great to see a few old ones return. Graham F Smith made a welcome return to Slade as did Ian Beaton, and a particular mention must go to Terry Wilby. It was great to have him sat with us for the meal looking like his old self after what has been an incredibly difficult year. As his rehab continues he is looking at getting back playing later next month and I wish him all the best and look forward to seeing him out on the course again soon.

Some breaking news from the States

Arnold Palmer is being held hostage by three English golf Pro's. 

No one's quite sure how much they want for him or what they intend to do, but he's believed to be in the Bay Hill area.

From a slightly more realistic angle, Andrew George, Richard Morris (Pro at Enzesfeld GC in Austria) and Philip Davis finished a round at Bay Hill GC, and managed to bump into the legendary Arnold Palmer in the clubhouse for a drink after the round!

Tip of the week 

Following on from the breakdown of the grip last week, Aaron has some advice on the importance of correct alignment

Correct alignment of both the body and club are essential for accuracy and shot consistency.

Picture 1 shows the clubface correctly aiming square on a straight line to the target while the body is aimed on a parallel line next to it. The "body aim" should comprise of the shoulders, hips, knees and toes all aiming on parallel lines relative to the target (NOT aiming at the target! which is a common misconception)


Picture 2 demonstrates how good alignment makes it easier to make a better first move in the backswing. In both the backswing and downswing, when the club becomes level with the ground, the alignment of the club should be on a similar parallel line to that of the toes. The toe of the clubface should be pointing up and at the same angle as the body's spine at this point.

Poor alignment of both the clubface and body can create many swing inconsistencies. As shown in picture 3, the body is now aiming left and no longer on a parallel line. When the body is as "open" as this, it can negatively influence ball striking by moving the ball out of position and can cause postural problems mid-swing. Above all, alignment has a major influence on swing path. 

Due to the open stance here, the club is coming so far outside the target line and the body has to make drastic compensations to get it back to impact correctly.

On The Course Tip 

It is difficult to cope on the course as we rarely get a flat lie and have no range mats to help line us up. Aiming the body right of the flag with a clubface aimed at the flag results in hook spin on the ball, and the opposite results in slice spin. Getting the clubface alignment just right on course can be made easier by choosing an intermediate target a few feet in front of the ball on line with the flag e.g. a leaf or an old divot. Once the club is aligned correctly, then build your stance by imagining standing on railway tracks where your club aims down one track and your feet are positioned level on the other side of the track.

Next week Sarah will go over how to get a correct posture and why it is important for the balance and positions of the swing.

Click here to let us know how you get on with this drill.

Club News
Lots of people have asked which swing model they are and how do they know which one will suit them. Here is a straight forward test to see which model will suit your overall flexibility, strength and physical condition.Read more...

Club News
Two common faults I often see with a driver set up when teaching are; weight too left sided , and open shoulder alignment. These are both caused by the alteration with the ball position for the driver. As it's moved left in the stance for a right handed player, the weight tends to go with it, and the shoulders open at the same time.Read more...

I hope you like the rest of the newsletter and the articles I have for you below. Enjoy the read.
Grip basics: don't let bad habits creep in
Grip advice
Request a Lesson
PING i Series irons
New Year's resolution? Get fit
Callaway Great Big Bertha woods
Cambridge Spartans
Make a note of these dates in your diary
Who has been amongst the prizes this week?
Book a time and let us help your golf game
Instruction to help you enjoy better golf


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Saffron Walden Golf Club
Windmill Hill
Saffron Walden
Essex, CB10 1BX

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