January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August  2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
2007 Draws
2007 Results
2007 Junior News
2007 Photographs
2007 County Rosebowl
Golf Tips


Golf Tips
Renfrewshire's Team coach Karyn Burns from Mearns Castle Golf Academy has some tips for 2007
Tip Links: Jan Feb Mar Apr May  June July August  Sept Oct  Nov / Dec

January Tip.

Karyn Burns (Mearns Golf Academy)So just how are you going to achieve that? We know it will not happen by itself so we must take the action now and get out there and do something about it! If you have been playing and practicing over the winter so far, congratulations and well done you! You should have a fair idea of were you are at with your game. If you have struggled to play or practice due to the weather or you have been too busy on the run up to the festive season, NOW is the time to begin making a positive difference to your game! Imagine what it would be like to have your best golf season ever! Wouldn’t it be GREAT???? It is only you who can really make that difference and the more you put in then the more you should expect to get out!

My Recommendations for the month of January are:

bullet Bring your Clubs out if they haven’t been throughout the winter and give    them a new year clean!
bulletEase yourself into practice, hitting as little as 25 balls at a time to begin with.
bulletDon’t get stressed if you are not striking the ball at your best.
bulletCommit to making your practice regular.


February Tip.

Following your practice sessions in January, you should now have an idea of what needs attention most in your game prior to the season starting. Is it your driving? Your iron play? Your pitching or putting? Or are there any shots you always seem to fail at or play poorly? How about your course management, do you have a ‘bogey’ hole?

It is very important that we highlight our strengths and weaknesses……you will have both no matter how good or bad you think you are. If you need guidance as to what you need to concentrate on to become a better player, have a lesson. You are never too young, too old or have too many bad habits for a lesson to help.

Once you have highlighted your weakness or weaknesses, you may begin your journey to improvement in your performance and consequently reap the rewards.

My Recommendations for the month of February are:


Spend time on ALL elements of your game.


Work especially hard on what you need to improve on the most.


Work to a timetable so that you can cover all areas with no confusion.


Keep a record if you can so you know where you are with your practice.

All of the above will give you the best chance of improving your performance for good!

March Tip.

You should be confident if you have been putting in the work we’ve planned over the past two months, even if you have just done a little!  Remember… ANY work, practice or effort that you have put in this year that you haven’t in the past will make a difference and lead you on your way to improvement, simply because you have changed your approach!  If you have recorded your practice sessions and the progress you were making this will be a good confidence builder for you, also, try to remember where your game was in December or January or even this time last year; were you as prepared for last season as you now are for the season ahead?  If the answer tells you that you are more prepared then Congratulations for putting in more effort, you have taken the first crucial steps to a better performance this year!

Do you know what your potential is?  If you have had a lesson you will perhaps have been given an idea of what this may be.  If you are trying to judge for yourself you need to recall your best round ever, which was possibly a bounce game and your potential is probably a few shots better still!  Imagine the possibilities!

April Tip.

PUTTING. ---- plus why not have a group lesson

Now that the greens are getting better it is time to focus on a sure way of reducing your score no matter what level or handicap you are at. I often ask people how there short game is and the reply is often ‘my short game is pretty good, it is my saviour’ or words to that effect. However, it is not in fact the case on a lot of the occasions, we almost don’t give enough credit to how the little shots can mount up because they are ‘little’ shots, they are, of course, a lot of the time quite costly! So if we can assess this area with our eyes open and attempt to improve it first then we will be on the motorway to success as opposed to the old zig zagging country road!

Putting is the easiest part of the game to control as it is played on the smallest area of the golf course. How many putts do you average a round? Have you ever counted? If not you are probably missing the reason your scores aren’t what you want them to be. Let’s go back in time for a moment to the last round or rounds of golf that you played: as many as you care to remember. Can you remember missing any putts you thought you should NEVER have missed? Well there they are….those stray shots that found themselves on your scorecard!

Let’s Reduce these shots by improving your putting.

Can you stroke your putter between 2 sets of tees/golf balls without hitting any? If not this is definitely your first port of call. Practice the following between now and next months tip where I will be covering putting again.
Putting Tip Slideshow -- CLICK HERE

Click to enlarge - April Putting Photo 1
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Click to enlarge- April Putting Photo 2
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Click to enlarge - April Putting Photo 3
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Click to enlarge - April Putting Photo 4
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Karyn can also do a ladies one day school which can be tailored to cover as many areas of the game as wished. If ladies get together their own group and call her on her mobile at 07720 442492 to arrange a suitable date. The day could last as long as 10am-4pm including lunch and would cost approx £60 per person - minimum of 4 people in a group.

May Tip.


Now that you have a solid putting stroke all you have to do is be able to judge 2 things: Direction and Distance.  Our natural instinct and ability can get us to the hole from a distance if we trust it, but how do we get to know the distance because the green speeds change under numerous circumstances?  All you have to do is develop your ‘feel’.

To do this we need to practice our pace putting as set out below, but we must practice in different conditions:

bullet Different Times of Day
bullet Different Weather Conditions
bullet Different Directions
bullet Different Surfaces (if possible)

Set up a semi-circle with a 2ft Radius around the hole, (or an object representing the hole if you are indoors or on an artificial surface), Then set up stations between 3 paces and 15 paces from the hole.  To begin with putt 5 balls from each of your stations, score yourself 5 points for holing the putt in one and 1 point for putting into the semi-circle.  Then putt just a single ball randomly from 5 different stations using the scoring method from above.

REMEMBER: Keeping a record of your scores will give you feedback of your strengths and weaknesses and will allow you to build your confidence as your scores improve.


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Once you have improved your feel you will have minimised the probability of 3 putting for good!

June Tip.



Click to enlarge -- Don't Do (a) Click to enlarge --- Don't do (B) Click to enlarge Don't Do (c)
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Similar to putting, distance judgement is vital if your pitching is to be good enough to help reduce your scores.  However, distance judgement in pitching relies on a good contact with the ball.  As we know, thinning, blading and topping the ball while pitching is extremely destructive (SEE PHOTOS ABOVE) so here are my checkpoints you should look out for to ensure a good connection with the ball:


Click to enlarge --- Tip A Click to enlarge- Tip B Click to enlarge-  Tip C
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bullet Stand with your feet closer together (narrow stance).
bullet Lean a little on your Left side – 60%Left, 40%Right.
bullet Your weight should stay on your left throughout the movement.
bullet Your hands should now be ahead of the ball which is opposite the centre or back of the stance.
bullet Swing your required length for the distance of the shot keeping the left arm and wrists fairly firm through impact with the ball.
bullet You should take the smallest divot or at least see the root of the grass from underneath the ball if your contact has been good.

 Once your connection has become more consistent, you can now practice your distance judgement similar to the putting practice.  Set up a 6ft radius circle around the hole this time and practice from 5 yards to 50 or more yards with ten balls at a time. 

 Once you have improved your feel for pitching, you should find yourself getting ‘up and down’ more often!

July Tip

It is now a good time to re-assess your game.  For your next 6 games record the following:
bullet Fairways hit from the Tee.
bullet Greens hit in YOUR regulation**.
bullet Putts taken.

This simple exercise will give you an indication of where your score may be being won and lost, consequently we must show attention to our weakness in an attempt to move forward and improve for the remainder of the season.  Some people keep these statistics for every game; statistics can be a good indication of where your game is at but over assessment will not always tell you the true story as circumstance always plays a big part in the game of golf.

NB: ** YOUR regulation is how many shots you are capable of hitting the green in assuming you are playing the beat shots you are capable of.

August Tip

Hopefully you managed to assess your game since last month and have addressed any issues you came up with from that.  This month the tip is fairly short and sweet:


How tight is your grip on a scale of 1-10 where 10 is the tightest???? Possibly off the scale at 12?  You may have to wait until the next time you have a club in your hand.  Your grip tension should be no less than 4 and no more than 6 on the scale.

   1 =        Lightest you can grip the club without it dropping from your hand.
             10 =      Tightest you can squeeze the grip.

Most people tend to grip the club more tightly when they are trying hard to play the perfect shot or when they are looking for more distance.

Gripping the club with the correct tension will allow:

bullet DECREASED Poor shot quality
bullet DECREASED sore or tired hands, arms and body.

September Tip.

Distance and Power.

Distance is probably the most sought after thing in golf, yet to me it is not the most important thing by far as you can probably tell due to the fact it has taken me until September to bring it up!  Unfortunately there are too many influencing factors on how far we hit the ball for me to write a quick tip for.  These factors include:

bullet Clubs and Equipment
bullet Physical Fitness (including strength and flexibility)
bullet Set up Position
bullet Swing technique
bullet Weather and Ground Conditions

The best thing to do if you are unsure or disappointed about the distance you achieve is to have a lesson.  Your coach should be able to advise you if the distance you are currently capable of is your limit or how you could improve on the required elements to increase your distance.

October Tip.

Now is a great time to evaluate your game and the success of your season to see whether you have made progress towards your potential.  Once you have reflected on your evaluation you may begin to make steps to improve things for next year (you may want to discuss this with your coach).  Many people come for lessons in April to begin their preparation for the season – this is way too late especially if you want or need to make any technical changes to your swing or physical changes to your fitness.  So don’t put the improvement of your game until after the winter, use the winter as your relaxed work time!

November / December Tip

Winter is here!
Just a few important things for you to remember:

bullet You will lose distance with the climate change, on average we get 20% loss of distance in the winter as opposed to the distance your are capable of in the summer.  Ground conditions may affect this even more so don’t panic and think you have lost your swing or your power!
bullet Try to stay ‘golf fit’ by devising a practice plan (ask you coach for help with this).  If possible, try to work on all areas of the game including putting, invest in a putting mat for indoors and use the driving range at least once a week to do pitching and full swing when you can’t get on the course.
bullet The winter will fly by so you definitely need to be prepared for the season ahead!
This page was last updated on Monday January 14, 2008 09:54