JOHN PHILLIPS, PGA Teaching Professional and Club Repair/Club Fitter at Oakridge
What is your favorite part of the game to practice?
The short game is my favorite to practice. Putting and chipping practice provides the greatest return (saving strokes) for the time spent.
What is the part of your game that needs the most attention?
Since I am playing fewer competitive rounds, putting becomes more important for me to practice. Speed control is not as consistent, as number of rounds played is reduced. Speed control is vital to reading putts correctly.
What is the one way a student can practice better?
Students should practice chipping and putting three times as much as full swing. These are two areas where the average player can really excel if they commit to practice.
List your top 3 teaching specialties or favorite skills to teach:
I enjoy teaching the scoring shots, hybrid and iron swings along with chipping and putting.
What are your preferred training tools or technology?
My new favorite teaching tool or technology is "Swing Smart", a small device attached to the golf shaft beneath the grip. It shows an animated 3D figure imitating your last swing. The animation shows swing speed, path of club head on both backswing and downswing, club face position at impact and amount of hand "flip" at impact. It also measures your swing tempo. All of this can be pulled up on your Iphone or Ipad. It's a great teaching tool!
What percentage are you teaching a new concept to a student and what percentage are you coaching that student?
Every student has certain negative tendencies or bad habits which must be identified and corrections made. Once the corrections have been implemented, then the coaching takes over to keep re-enforcing the changes that were made. Every student is "taught" initially and the follow-ups are "coaching".
What are your goals as a teacher and coach?
My goal as a teacher is not only to improve the playing ability of my students, but also to give them a better understanding of their swing dynamics and the ability to read ball flight as related to these dynamics.