As readers of my blog will know, I used to play golf at a pretty decent level. Back then, I had a Coach, but that was rare for an amateur golfer. Not much has changed in the 13 years since then.
When I started bike racing, pretty quickly I found a coach who could guide me on this new journey. I was expecting a cycle coach to be the same as a golf coach, but nothing could be further from the truth! Whilst the vast majority of golf coaches are really just giving lessons – it’s almost all about technique – in cycling it’s about a long term improvement plan. That plan will include some technique work, but it will also include fitness, strength & conditioning, nutrition & hydration, lots of data analysis, and race tactics. We’d sit down at the end of every season and review the year gone by. We’d set goals and objectives for the years ahead, short & long term goals, and then the plan would be built around how we would achieve those goals. Each month my coach would send me my training plan, we’d discuss specific sessions and there would be regular communication & feedback, particularly after races. I’d maybe see Ken physically 2 or 3 times a year, no more.
But as I said, golf’s not like that. What I’ve just described as an athlete / coach relationship would be alien to all but the most serious elite or professional golfers. Many amateurs will say they have a ‘coach’, but really it’s just the local pro that they go to for lessons periodically. In the vast majority of cases there will be no structure to this. That’s not an improvement plan, that’s just taking lessons.
However, there is a new generation of golf coaches, Pros who think differently about the game and who recognise that the old model needs to change and who are innovating. I’m proud to say that my brother, Niall McGill, is one of them. Niall launched his new Performance Coaching website today. With Niall’s Ultimate Plan, at only £30 a month (which is less than I paid for cycle coaching!), enlightened golfers can now work with a coach who will help them to improve in a structured way, looking at all aspects of their game and using our LowerYourScores stats system to analyse their on-course performance.
Despite all of the technology in the game of golf, it’s still a very traditional sport that doesn’t like change. It will be interesting to see how long it takes golfers to adapt to this new way of playing the game. To me this is a no brainer. If I was still playing I’d sign up straight away.