It’s always been done this way…..

It’s now a decade since I last played competitive golf. I’d grown up playing the game, my dad was the club captain, and my brother, Niall, became a professional golfer. On his day Niall could be as good as anyone.

However, I started taking the game too seriously – as many low handicap guys do – and stopped enjoying it. And so I stopped. I just quit playing competitively, then I found the bike and that was  that. A decade in the golfing wilderness, finding excuses NOT to play. I limited myself to a couple of games a year with my son and my brother.

Being the competitive type, I ended up becoming a competitive cyclist. This was a whole new sport to me, I had no idea where to start, so I got myself a coach. With no preconceptions about how you should do things, I put my faith in Ken, and over the past few years achieved more than I ever imagined I could. And now I’ve found golf again.

It’s funny – the way that people play and practice hasn’t changed in the time I’ve been away. The average handicap is still the same, and the majority of golfers don’t have a coach. They want to improve, some even set themselves goals and targets, but then blind faith takes over. And funnily enough nothing changes. As someone once said “if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got”. Range1

With my experience from cycling, I’m now looking at golf in a totally different light. I’ve got myself one of the best coaches (my brother Niall of course!), but also in Team McGill I have a fitness instructor a nutritionist and a mind coach.

In cycling we always had a training plan, so I’ve taken that and adapted it for golf. I even have recovery weeks built in! Fortunately Niall is a modern golf coach – a lover of technology and someone not afraid to challenge the status quo. And of course I’ll have our software system, to provide my team with performance data just like Training Peaks did for my cycling coach.

Just because “it’s always been done this way”, doesn’t mean that’s how we have to do things! Stay tuned……


5 thoughts on “It’s always been done this way…..

  1. The thought that comes from that for me is “Everybody needs a Coach”. Eric Schmidt of Google has a great viewpoint on this :

    Yes, I’m a business coach, but also a past performance athlete. Whether it be sport, business or other areas of life, it is powerful to have someone that can see things from a different perspective and help you help yourself.

    BTW, I have (at the current time) five coaches for different areas of my life. I practice what I preach.

    Look forward to reading your continued story !

    1. Thanks Tom. Totally agree with you, it’s amazing how many people just think they can do it all themselves (in sport AND business). Perhaps a mainly UK trait? I’ve seen a different attitude in the US….

  2. Great article. The average amateur has no idea how to practice, in reality most amateurs are wasting their time on the driving range, re-enforcing bad habits. It is important to practice efficiently if you want to improve your golf game.

    1. Thanks! As the owner of a driving range, I’m happy to see people hitting plenty of balls! However, for people who are serious about improving, then that’s never going to help. We have a job to do in the UK to re-educate, however there are a number of Pro’s out there challenging the status quo 🙂

  3. Yes – Practice does not make perfect, it makes permanent. Can’t remember who said it but it’s true – so you do need a good teacher or coach to make the practice worthwhile,

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