Hi, Tiff, The Lady Golf Teacher, here today and I have a very special guest with me, my buddy, my mentor, Mr Rod Brown, who I had the privilege of learning to play golf from and also, he has given me the opportunity to teach.
If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t actually be here, sharing all my knowledge and insights about golf.
Firstly, thanks Rod for all you have done for me, I really appreciate it.
Rod: No problems at all, a pleasure.
Tiff: It’s been a great journey and continues to be. Today I’m going to have a quick chat with Rod and we’re going to get some insights as to what he sees with people out playing golf and who he teaches and so on. Then he’s going to share one of his little crafty tips on chipping. We’ll look forward to that one.
Tiff: So Rod, why don’t you tell us how you got started in golf.
Rod: Well, I started when I was 14 years old, quite a long time ago. When I decided to be a pro, I was an amateur playing off scratch and at that time I was 24 going on 25 and then I did an apprenticeship at the Elanora Country Club. I served a three-year apprenticeship there and then I joined the tour for about 12 years and after that I became a club pro. I was the club pro at Bayview Golf Club for 33 years (a long time, a long while). I’ve been a pro for over 39 years now, a long time in the professional ranks. I did learn a lot of things along the way and if I can help with any tips or anything along the way it would be great.
Tiff: Absolutely. We actually have something coming up really soon. Rod and I are going to share with you, at the end of this video, but you’re going to have to wait until the end to see what we are up to.
Tiff: Rod, over your 39 years of experiencing golf, is there common themes that come up when people come to you for lessons? Do the same things crop up?
Rod: Yes, probably the most important thing they always say is that they are not consistent. They haven’t got any consistency and they are always failing when they need that good shot or a good chip or whatever. They just haven’t go that consistent method to use and I think that’s where we can help them. There are simple ways of playing golf, it’s not that complicated. If we can get that message across I think everyone will enjoy their golf a lot better.
Tiff: That’s the biggest thing. People try to make it way more complicated than it really is or need to be.
Rod: That’s correct. There are ways when coaching that can get the client confused a little bit. I think we should give it a stock standard type of method that can be understood and simplified. As I said, the word is consistency.
Tiff: Absolutely. I did a survey las year, as I was telling you before, on everyone that follows me and the biggest word that came out was consistency. Everyone is looking for consistency and that’s always my plan when sharing videos and bringing people like you out here. That’s so we can help the person that’s sitting behind the camera there watching us now and going this is the answer to get consistency in a specific area of their game.
Rod: That’s correct.
Tiff: Do you find that usually what happens to people, when they are playing they are very inconsistent with their shots, do you find that’s it’s more of a mental kind of situation that comes up for them, that they are freaking out and therefore because their skill level is just not quite there anyway they can’t perform it?
Rod: Yes. It’s a skill level and basically when they are not confident, not confident about their technique, then that’s the sort of thing that starts to fail. What you have to coach to the client is really how to play that shot in a more simple term and in a routine fashion, so that they are not so confused and that will then bring confidence. They can pull off that shot. I think it’s important to get the feeling of being confident and they feel like they know what they are doing. That’s what it’s all about.
Tiff: That’s the biggest thing that I see. People just don’t know.
Rod: That’s right.
Tiff: They have no idea what they have to do.
Rod: They also listen to other people and stuff like that. Picking up a couple of good points that will show in the near future is that we are going to make things a lot more simple for them. Let’s see if we can get that consistency for them.
Tiff: I find that a lot of people don’t have lessons. They think they can pick up a golf club and off they go. (Rod laughed and I laughed.) What can you say to someone that’s quite proud of never having had a golf lesson yet they are still sitting on a really high handicap and think they don’t need lessons because they don’t want to be a pro. Really, that’s a load of, you know, BS isn’t it. What are your thoughts about that?
Rod: Well, as I say, the only way you can improve is to have coaching and coaching does help you get the consistency and also the confidence to play that golf shot. That’s what I keep harping back to, the coach does instill confidence to you and once you get that feeling you will go out and start to make those shots that you would really like to play. The bunker shot, the chip shot, the putt. Not getting over the ball and thinking, oh God, where the hell is this going to go. The thing is that coaching is so essential, even when I was a kid I had a coach, I had a number of coaches, and basically what they did was to always give me a confidence tip, every time, I always walked away with something in mind. That’s important in golf and in coaching, to always walk away with something confident in mind that you know you can play that shot. It takes a lot of practice. Practice certainly makes it perfect, there’s no doubt about that. To those people that think they can go out and play golf, maybe read a book or whatever, it doesn’t work.
Tiff: Reading a book is all up to interpretation. I know when I was starting, I read heaps and heaps of books, still have them at home. I used to read as well as having lessons and so on, but I was finding that I was getting pretty screwed up in my interpretation of what they were actually saying in the book, and how it was supposed to happen was very different, which I discovered. I am a big fan of lessons, my background is tennis and playing tennis and playing on the tour and teaching tennis and so on. When I took up golf I knew exactly how important it was to have lessons right from the beginning because I had a goal that I wanted to achieve, and got there. But, definitely, it doesn’t matter how old you are. That’s the big thing.
Rod: I’m still coaching people who are well into their eighties and that’s one thing I find that I have accomplished now is that I am getting a lot of clients who are elderly and that’s a little bit of my expertise, if you have an injury or something like that, don’t worry, you can still play golf. There are ways and means of being able to play golf and that’s something I can do, I work around that all the time. None of us are Tiger Woods or Karrie Webb or whatever, we all have our own little problems. A bad back or a bad knee or whatever. We have to be able to help to play golf under those circumstances. It’s not rocket science, but you have to be able to do what you can do and what you are capable of doing. You must have a coach.
Tiff: I’m with you. Rod is going to share with us one of his little tricks today, a special treat for you. What are we going to be looking at today Rod?
Rod: A simple pitch onto the green. This is where people have problems, they duff the shot or they hit the ball in the belly and it goes careering back over the green into the bunker, or whatever, down into a hazard. The trouble is that nine times out of ten they grab their putter and hit through the long grass and think that it’s going to go onto the green. It doesn’t happen. You have to be able to use a wedge or a sand wedge so that the ball is lofted by the club, the club loft itself rather than thinking about having to get under it. The golf club does all the work for you. It’s only a matter of having a very simple technique to make it work.
Tiff: The ball basically just hits the club face, doesn’t it? That’s all that it has to do. You don’t have to do anything special with it.
Rod: Correct. We’re so lucky these days, we have all the particular clubs that have a beautiful bounce on the back of the wedges, it’s so much easier than the days when I used to play. The sand wedge was like a knife, it used to cut the ball in half. The clubs now are designed to make it easy for you.
Tiff: Just quickly, because I’m sure that there are people out there that don’t know. You mentioned bounce on a wedge. Could you explain that so people can understand what that actually means.
Rod: You’ll notice when you see good players that they can actually open the blade up when they are playing a high shot. What happens is, what we call the bounce of the cutaway at the back of the club, helps to glide the club head under the ball and what happens is it spins the ball. The whole idea is that it gets the ball up for you. You don’t have to think about the leading edge hitting the ball or hitting it in the belly. You have to be able to use that bounce to get the air ball.
Tiff: Also, there are different degrees of bounce as well. What’s the difference between something a four degree, and eight degree or a twelve degree bounce?
Rod: The more degree the club has is the more bounce you can have, the more loft you can get.
Tiff: Is that easier for the club to slide under the ball? The higher the degree?
Rod: That’s correct. It helps to slide the club under the ball. Especially bunker shots and things like that. The whole thing is with the design of clubs now. If you don’t have wedges with this type of technology you really are behind the eight ball. That’s what you need to have, something I always recommend to my clients.
Tiff: Also, with regards to the bounce, is there a particular degree of bounce you should have on the grass compared to the sand? Should you have, I guess for the average golfer who only plays a few times a week and is not going to practice, is there a particular degree of bounce they should have for their club?
Rod: It’s basically a stock standard four degree and that caters for both. If you start tinkering around with the others, then you will get different types of effect on your shot. Basically, around the four is about the standard where you can actually play an array of different shots.
Tiff: So, the higher the degree is more specialised for bunkers?
Rod: That’s correct.
Tiff: Just so you know. Okay! The bounce is talked about a lot but most people don’t know what it actually means. It’s great that we have Rod, Mr Expert, here to explain it for us.
Tiff: Okay Rod I think it might be time if we can beat this rain, to go into a tip.
Rod: The important factor about this particular shot, pitching the ball onto the green, is to use the loft of the club and the bounce. The whole idea is to make a swing. The whole idea of pitching is basically letting the clubhead do the work rather than trying to design the shot. My simple tip is this; place the ball about a ball width inside your left heel which will make the club sit nicely on the ground and keep the shaft straight down. The stance should be quite square to start target, gripping down the club a bit further if you wish, depending being comfortable over the ball. The whole idea about this shot is to make a normal swing and make sure that you direct the right knee through the shot. Just like you’re throwing a ball. If you throw a ball underarm, what do you do? The right knee goes with it!
That’s the same effect we should have in this shot. If your legs stop, you’ll hit behind it, you’ll guts the ball, and do all sorts of silly things. Simply get the club, the ball position just inside your left foot, square stance, keep the shaft nice and straight down and then just make a swing back and through, making sure that your right knee goes through, throwing the ball at the target. And that wasn’t a bad shot either!
That’s a simple tip but there’s going to be a lot more to tell you in the near future.
Tiff: I hope you enjoyed that tip from Rod and there’s going to be a lot more coming up in the near future. Rod and I are going to put together the PCP technique which is coming up in a clinic we’re going to be launching very soon. What we would like is for you to keep your eye out for the PCP technique. We’re not going to tell you what it is because you will have to wait and see. Wait for it! Absolutely!
Rod, is there anything else you would like to add from what we discussed this morning.
Rod: The whole thing is, if we can help you improve your golf, especially coming to our clinics and so forth, I think you will not only enjoy it but you will learn a lot of good things in making the game a lot easier for you, so you can be that consistent golfer.
Tiff: Thanks Rod for coming out. Rod is going to be a guest speaker in future tips as well. We’ll bring him in every so often and get more information about golf and get his insights which I am really looking forward to. I’m really looking forward to doing the PCP technique, with you too, it will be good fun.
In the meantime, enjoy your day and please leave comments, we would love to hear what you liked best about what you saw today and remember, tee it high and let it fly.
Rod forgot what he was supposed to say! (Drive it long and putt is strong!)
Rod: I told Tiff that recently and I’ve already forgotten it.
Have an absolutely awesome day, take care, and remember; Tee it high and Let it fly.
P.S. If you want to find out how you can start taking shots off your handicap today, make sure you sign up for your free three lesson mini-clinic. Click here to find out how!