Luther Blacklock

  • Practice makes permanent

    Written by Luther Blacklock on Thursday, 29 January 2015

    I first swung a golf club at the age of 14; from that very first time, I knew I’d found what I wanted to do for a living. As a junior member of Cradoc Golf Club, in the Brecon Beacons National Park, I started to practise every day. My first Slazenger practice bag held about 80 balls. If 80 practice...

  • Pre-shot Routines

    Written by Luther Blacklock on Monday, 5 January 2015

    One of my favourite teaching adages is that “90% of swing faults start at address – and the other 10% start at address as well!” Teaching golf at Woburn over the last 30 years, I have been amazed how many new pupils come to me with complex and varied swing thoughts, yet pay little or no attention to the fundamentals...

  • How a launch monitor can help you

    Monday, 8 December 2014

    Until the 1960s almost all golf coaching was via the spoken and written word. Good golf teachers would turn their spoken words into pictures by demonstrating the golf swing and various shots. Early photography, with limited shutter speeds, would often distort the shaft’s movement. The great Ben Hogan dabbled with early home cinema cameras and recorded his swing for posterity; his...

  • Reflect on your season

    Tuesday, 18 November 2014

    As the golfing season draws to a close, we can reflect on our achievements. They say the definition of madness is repeatedly doing the same thing while expecting a different result. If 2014 did not produce the improvement in your game that you had hoped for, try to do something fresh and positive this winter. Here, I want to help...

  • Introduce your kids to golf

    Thursday, 7 August 2014

    In these days of hi-tech toys and video games, which are often solitary and introverted, so many golfing parents are keen to get their children to take up golf. What better way to spend a summer than outdoors, in a beautiful environment that is safe and playing a game that demands good conduct? Some of my happiest memories are the summer...

  • Five key elements of the putting stroke

    Friday, 1 August 2014

    My mentor, the late, great Alex Hay, had two golden rules for putting: Keep the ball low; Don’t take a divot! It is a well-used cliché to describe putting as a “game within a game”, but it’s true. On the course, a weekend golfer might score 95 – 30% of those shots are likely to be putts. You can bet that...

  • How to play a links course

    Thursday, 24 July 2014

    One of the best things about golf is its living connection with history. A keen tennis player at club level might never get a chance to play at Wimbledon; likewise, a local level soccer player might never play at Wembley. Amazingly, amateur and professional golfers have access to historic venues such as Turnberry, Birkdale, Troon and St Andrews. Golfers from around...

  • Use golf technology wisely

    Written by Luther Blacklock on Saturday, 10 May 2014

    In the earliest days of ‘talkies’, the great Bobby Jones made a series of instructional clips for cinema audiences. To appeal to the masses, the instruction was in the form of a very brief comic story. Jones made a number of these little films, some using slow motion. He wore black and white sweaters and trousers. The clothes had one...

  • Task leads to technique

    Tuesday, 15 April 2014

    If I asked you to hit a fence post with a sledgehammer, you would naturally strike with a vertical movement. If asked to beat a carpet on a washing line, you’d do so in a horizontal plane. Two different tasks will lead to two different techniques – without conscious thought. Children skim pebbles across ponds without formal lessons, or a...

  • Give your clubs an MOT

    Written by Luther Blacklock on Thursday, 6 March 2014

    So many golfers turn up to the club with a set of clubs that are the equivalent of a 20-year-old Lada that would have zero chance of passing an MOT. If you’re going to get the best out of your golf, it’s essential that your clubs are in good running order – fit for you and fit for purpose. Your PGA...

  • Make the most of lessons

    Written by Luther Blacklock on Friday, 28 February 2014

    Any teaching professional must share with his pupil a total desire to make the lesson work. When a pupil gives me five purple pictures of Her Majesty the Queen, I want them to go home fully believing improvement is possible and sustainable. While I cannot always judge the timeframe required by the pupil, experience tells me what their potential is; I...

  • How to swing

    Written by Luther Blacklock on Friday, 28 February 2014

    When amateurs go to golf lessons they often have a pre-determined idea of how they should be swinging the club. Unfortunately, they are usually wrong – and these golfing myths are actually harming their performance. Myth 1: ‘Slow your swing down!’ I rarely tell a pupil directly to “slow down” their swing; in my experience, all that happens is they swing slow...