1st Tee Talk

Free golf tuition

Join the **LIVE** YouTube 2020 winter online coaching programme with Head PGA Professional Richard Harrison

I will soon be embarking on a regular winter programme of live online tuition, free to Members and very similar to the videos I posted during lockdown, which were an absolute joy to do and I loved the interaction with those of you who participated.

The videos have been viewed over 14,000 times and are free to review: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuNJ9YrriVnYau5-5EMc0gg/videos

 With this in mind, I would love for the Roehampton Club golfing membership to decide the topics for me to discuss for our winter programme, so please think of all the mysteries of the game and email me your questions: richard.harrison@roehamptonclub.co.uk

 Once I have read your requests, I will collate a programme and get us all started. The coaching is absolutely free, open to all abilities and questions can be as simple or complicated as you wish – this forum is entirely for you. 



Unashamedly technical article this week

Question: would you let me experiment on your swing if you were hitting the ball 275 yards in the air and 298 in total?


Don’t worry Dear Member, I can guess your answer! Since retooling my coaching beliefs and vocabulary three years ago, I have obsessed with gaining distance for Members. So who did allow me into their precious golf swing? Step forward Tom Reed, one of Roehampton Club’s Scratch Squad players and what a swing and powerful hitter. His data is below and it is comparable with the averages of PGA Tour professionals:


275 yards in the air, and 298 yards total. That is not exactly a polite request to the ball. It is a barked order.

This was Tom’s best drive during our measurement process, but not a lot different to his main body of shots, therefore Tom is a consistently long hitter. I am working with all the Scratch Team just now on their distance for our winter improvement programme. The premise to the work is that we simply experiment on discovering if extra distance is achievable for them. I have worked with seven of the team so far and each has found extra distance off the tee through one of several routes: 

  • Ball position change. Moving the ball a long way forward to meet the ball with an ascending blow.
  • Extra mass at impact, through a change in swing path. A critical measurement.
  • Change to upright in the plane of their swing (Tom). All the bombers have very high hands at the top of their swing.
  • Increased movement of their left leg and heel on the return to the ball. Active legs create so much force when used properly.

All of the above underpin the principles of power hitting. The Scratch Team have been open to experimenting, with many sizable gains off the tee for them, so a big thank you to them all and that shows the stability of their self-belief as well as their inquisitive nature to improve. A lesson for us all. 

So what did we do with Tom? In the pictures below, Tom’s new swing is left and his old swing is on the right in each of the double images below. Just check out the angle of his left arm, which has swung on a more upright angle by a whopping 29 degrees. This widens and steepens his swing arc, thus giving the club head more time and space to develop and increase its speed. The longest lever in the bag is from the left shoulder to the club head, so we worked on making that lever have as much range space as possible.