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Rob McNicholas

Saffron Walden Golf Club PGA Golf Professional

Get in Touch: 01799 527728
Website: Golf Shop | Golf Club
Send us an email: Rob McNicholas

ECCO CAGE PRO Mizuno JPX900 Irons
Callaway Steelhead XR Pro Mizuno T7 Wedges

Welcome to this week's newsletter, as you may know Rob has been away this week on the adventurous Slade Tour so I'm taking over his newsletter for this week only - hope you enjoy!

One thing I've noticed this week is the drop in temperature, I've noticed many woolly hats coming back out around the golf club - we even had some snow left for us on Wednesday. Let's hope this weather improves for the bank holiday weekend, hope you have a good one…



Pros news 

Slade Tour



Competition news 

Outstanding Round Hands Walder the Friendship Cup

The Friendship Cup for members with handicaps of 20 or less produced some outstanding golf at the weekend with 19 players shooting nett par or less. The winner was Matthew Walder, who only joined Saffron Walden GC last year, getting his first official handicap in April 2016. His gross 79, nett 66 left him 3 shots ahead of the field, but this almost didn't happen when 2 shots in a bunker on the 1st hole gave him a poor start. However his driver and putter were both working exceptionally well, putting all but 1 green in 2 or less. "It's the best round I've ever played" said an ecstatic Walder. 

The minor places were all decided on countback, with Ben Head (nett 69) landing second, Daniel Coverdale 3rd and Colin Macdonald 4th.

Scratch Players Perform Well In County Foursomes

Our scratch team players performed well in the recent County Foursomes held at Saffron Walden last week. Early leaders in Round 1 were County veterans Graham Goodman and Steve Plumb. They were out in a disappointing 39 but recovered well on the more difficult back 9 holes to be home in a one under par 34. Favorites for the title were Dave Quinney and Nick Smits of Gog Magog and they went around late in round 1 to finish with a 69.

At the end of Round 1 the leaders were Quinney Smits 69 Goodman Plumb 73 Bell Temple 73 Tuck Reeve 74.

During the afternoon Tuck and Reeve turned it on for Walden and were 5 under par through 10 holes. Tuck only hit one poor shot all day and they finished on 142 and in 2nd place Goodman and Plumb were only 3 over par through 27 holes but on the 1st hole and their 9th hole of the afternoon they unfortunately played the wrong ball. Coupled by this and fatigue they finished in a well-deserved 9th place.

The eventual winners Quinney and Smits fired a 2nd round 72 with Smits holing a 20ft par putt for the title.

In the last warm up match before the scratch league starts Walden drew with St Ives 1.5 1.5. Burlingham and Brookes lost 1 down. Tuck and Reeve won 6 up and Goodman and Martin halved their match.

To see more images from the event please click here.

Improving your game 

Chesterford Research Park

For those who may not know, last year we teamed up with Chesterford Research Park to have the use of their par 3 course for only £5 per person! The par 3 course is open dawn till dusk from mid-April through the year until October. 

Here's a few reasons why it may be useful for you: 
- Both members and non-member can use the par 3 course, great for the family! 
- Good short game practice for those struggling with 100 yards and in shots. 
- It allows us to take our Junior groups over there to gain some course experience without putting them straight onto full size course. 
- The beginner groups such as the ladies introductory course and learn golf in a day course can be held there to give them some course management skills and time on a golf course. 

Because the Research Park par 3 course isn't a public course, to play, you must book through the Pro Shop 24hours in advance so we can let the security team at the park know you're coming. We just need the names who are playing, date and rough time you would like to play- payment of the £5 (cash or cheque) is also made in the Pro Shop before your game.

Coaching news 

Refreshers Guide To Golf

The next Refreshers Guide To Golf is being held on Saturday, 20 May, 1:30-4pm. As mentioned above, we have linked with the Par 3 course at Chesterford where this session will hopefully be held (a confirmation will go out nearer the date!)


The afternoon is a great coaching afternoon lead by Sarah and also offers a chance to get onto the golf course to get practicing everything learnt. It's a fun way of learning golf, meeting others at your level and improving your skills for only £22 for the afternoon. 

The maximum number is 10 to the group and there's only 6 place left so book quick by contacting

Ladies Introduction Course

The ladies introductory course has got off to a fantastic start with 14 new and previous years ladies joining the Tuesday evening class. During the coaching session this Tuesday evening we covered the back swing, and well done to all the ladies who braved through the rain we had too!

The course is ran over 7 weeks covering all aspects of the game and finishing on the golf course playing a few holes. If this is something you may be interested in, please talk to the pro shop team.

Coach corner 

Flatter is not Better!

A lot of people have the misconception that flatter is better. Here you will see the problem with getting too flat in the back swing.

Damian is part of the Jock Stewart squad and has worked hard on his game. The problem with his ball flight when he's not playing well is too much height and no really consistent energy in the strike. As you can see from the first swing in the video the arms work very low and across him causing him to cast from the top to try to find a path back to the ball and an exaggerated move to save the shot on the way through. 

What we have worked on is swinging the club higher and longer on the way back to set it steeper and on plane. This gave the club a more direct path back to the ball creating a much better launch, spin rate and dispersion with the ball flight.

Swing Analysis by PGA Professional Aaron Howard - James Marchant 

James comes from a keen golfing background and is quite athletic due to playing lots of other sports. He has given me one month to improve his golf as he is on holiday abroad soon and has a target of playing well at this time.

Due to James' athleticism he can hit the ball quite a long way but struggles with consistency and direction. In the top photo, the ball is too far forward, leading to him hitting behind the ball and topping the shot. As he shifts his weight and lower body through impact his head and upper body fall backwards creating a "Reverse C" swing position in the follow through putting pressure on his lower back. With this swing, James has to actively use his hands to square the clubface and can hit it both left and right of target.

One of the things we did to improve his action was to move the ball back into the correct position for a mid-iron. Secondly, we have worked on getting James to move both upper and lower body together through impact. As shown in the lower picture, his head and upper body are now more "on top" of the ball leading to better ball compression and shot accuracy as his weight moves properly to the finish.

If you are struggling with any part of your game, please come and have a chat with a member of the pro shop team or click here.

Demo day 

PXG Demo Day

The recent demo days have become very popular and brought lots of you to try new equipment for the season ahead! Our next Demo Day is to introduce one our new brand for this year PXG. This is being held on Monday, 22 May 10-3pm.

Shop news 

Free Custom Fit & Lesson Offer

This new offer is available over May/June and is great for those who are looking to improve their game ready for the season ahead. For those thinking about purchasing any new equipment from Callaway, Mizuno, PING & Titleist it's important to get the correct clubs for you-as every swing is different. 

This is why we're offering FREE custom fitting on all new equipment purchased and a FREE lesson afterwards to iron out any swing faults! 

It's a great package, so if you have any further questions please pop in the pro shop to talk to the team.

FJ shoe size challenge

Challenge yourself

We’ve had good fun with those of you who have already taken up our Shoe Size Challenge, not to mention some of the surprise results. We’re only running this challenge until the end of April so make sure you don’t miss out.

Learn more here

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...

The answer is yes!
Mizuno Article
Request a Fitting
FootJoy Shoe Size Challenge
What's the loft of your PW?
Callaway Wedges Article
Request a Fitting
Free ECCO shoe bag
PING Web Article

One of the biggest advancements in recent years is the increase in the number of options available to golfers when it comes to custom fitting, as well as adjustability. Take PING, with the fantastic G line we have three different models for you to choose from.

PING Web Article






I hope you have enjoyed this weeks update.
We hope to see you soon
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Rob McNicholas, Saffron Walden Golf Club, Windmill Hill, Saffron Walden, CB10 1BX

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