Back again

It has been a week of being “back again”. For me it was back to Arcos Gardens and three very productive days with the coaches of England Golf. For others it was back to school, this time the Qualifying School of the European Tour. Every time I look at the starting list of the Tour Qualifying I am surprised by the number of very familiar names. This year the leaderboard looked like it was taken straight from a main tour event.

At Arcos Gardnes it was, as always when these people get together, an environment of sharing and learning. John Jacobs took us through how he uses technology and the wonderful world of the internet in his coaching and I think it is fair to say that we all now know a lot more about websites and tools that we did not know existed. Graham Walker followed that by talking about the needs for England players in terms of the skills they need to be able to compete at the highest level. In a way a very suitable topic on a week where reality is very close – have the players got the skills to get through Q-school? Paul Ashwell presented his theories on putting, David Ridley and Gary Smith shared their ideas on coaching on the golf course before it was time for the Masters Chefs to prepare the dinner for the night. The following day held a great technical debate on the driving range and an introduction to how to use the Zenio putting system. As I leave Arcos I am once again amazed bz the amount of knowledge in a group like this and the kind of environment that is created when the knowledge is shared. Great stuff!

The other thing that I cannot help wondering is what would have happened if those players that now did not make it through Tour School and perhaps not even made their Challenge Tour card would have had a chance to continue to tap into this knowledge. What if we had said that professionals are those that play for a living and have a Challenge Tour card or higher. The rest are just golfers and are welcome to compete for their county. What a different world it would be!

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