Player-turned coach Zane Scotland reveals how a Motocaddy electric trolley has helped to transform his game and life after a career-threatening car accident
Zane Scotland was billed as Britain’s next big thing when, aged 14, he won a national newspaper competition to find the next Tiger Woods. Within two years, he became the youngest English player ever to qualify for The Open Championship in 1999 and was soon snapped up by IMG, the same agency that managed Tiger.
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A successful amateur career followed but just weeks before he turned pro, he was involved in a car accident which knocked two vertebrae out of place in his neck and left him unable to practise properly.
It would take another four years before he graduated to the European Tour in 2007, the same time as Rory McIlroy, but his stay there was short-lived. Scotland fell £50,000 short of keeping his card and never did win it back.
“Most of my early career was spent playing through injury,” he admits. “Over time, my neck has got better but the trauma and wear and tear of practising has taken its toll on my lower back. It got to the stage where I couldn’t play because I couldn’t swing the golf club at any sort of speed…”
Faced with the prospect of surgery, Scotland started working with Charles Marshall, physical performance coach at 360 Health & Performance, and has managed to extend his playing career thanks to a new warm-up routine and a timely gift from Motocaddy.
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“If I’m honest, I never really looked after my body at an early age. I’m 38 now but I was part of a generation who carried their golf bag all the time and it was only when I won an electric trolley on the PGA EuroPro Tour, which Motocaddy sponsored, and started using it that I realised how much strain I was putting on my back by carrying.
“Before I used to really struggle to get out of bed the next morning and almost accepted that I was going to be unable to take on certain shots because of how I was feeling. If you would have told me then that I would be able to give it a rip – pain free – on the 18th tee and then feel like I could go and play another 18 holes I wouldn’t have believed you.”
Scotland now uses a Motocaddy electric trolley almost every time he plays and sticks rigidly to a routine of doing yoga two-to-three times a week and warming up for at least 10 minutes before every round. It’s a formula which has helped him break the record for the most wins (10) on the Mena Tour and while he has no intention of retiring from competitive golf just yet, he is now using his experiences to help coach and mentor the stars of tomorrow.
“Looking back now, I wish I had paid more attention to the physical side,” says Scotland, who runs the ZS Golf Academy at Bletchingley Golf Club. “That’s what I try to get across to all the golfers I work with. There’s no point having a great swing if you don’t look after your body. Growing up, I always had a quick warm up and was very stubborn about carrying my own golf bag.
“But now that I’m older, I really recognise and understand the health benefits of warming up and using an electric trolley like the Motocaddy M5 GPS DHC. My body feels a lot better for it and I think the easier we can make the game, the better for everyone.”
Five warm-up exercises you should use on the range
Place your feet shoulder-width apart and hold on to the Motocaddy for support. Slowly lower your bum down towards the floor, making sure your hips go back and knees go forward at the same time. Go to a depth that is comfortable for you and then return to the start position. Repeat eight times.
Forward Lunge With Rotation
Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart and imagine your feet are in train tracks. Lunge forward, keeping your arms at chest height and elbows in tight, and turn your chest towards the Motocaddy. Hold this position, using the Motocaddy for support, for three seconds and return back to the start. Repeat five times on each side.
Spinal Roll Downs
Stand tall with your arms by your side. Pull your abdominals in and slowly inhale through your nose. As you start to exhale, reach down towards your toes and allow your spine to fold in a slow and relaxed manner until you reach a comfortable end point. Reverse the movement until you return to the start position. Repeat five times.
Single Leg Aeroplane
Stand with your feet together and bring your right heel up, with your knee slightly bent. Keeping the left foot glued to the floor, hinge forward until your chest is parallel to the floor. Bring your arms out to the side – mimicking an aeroplane – and try to rotate your upper body up towards the sky. Hold for a few seconds and return to the start position. Repeat four times on each leg.
Golf Posture Rotations
Set-up in your golf posture with a club across your shoulders. Step forward with one leg and turn your chest until the shaft of the club is parallel with the front foot. Make sure your head stays still and the rotation is performed in a controlled manner. Repeat five times on each side.
Exercises provided by Charles Marshall, physical performance coach at 360 Health & Performance
How to play smart and think smart with Motocaddy
There has never been a better time to invest in a new Motocaddy electric trolley – and not just because of the practicality and savings you can make in the long-term.
This year’s range includes a brand-new line up of M-Series models with automatic downhill control, which helps to make those hilly courses a little easier and bearable on the legs and body. The M1 DHC, M3 Pro DHC, M5 GPS DHC and the premium M-Tech trolley also come with an electronic parking brake, and share a ‘slimfold’ design that offers a smaller folded footprint for easy car boot transportation and storage.
Both the M3 Pro and M-Tech models also feature a high-resolution, full colour LCD screen, while the award-winning M5 GPS version represents the world’s first compact-folding electric trolley to include a fully-integrated GPS system built into a touchscreen display, viewable in all weather conditions.
“Extending the DHC models across the M-Series provides golfers with more than just a greater choice of styles and functions to confront slopes on the fairways,” says marketing manager Oliver Churcher.
“DHC trolleys can also help them avoid potential injury by reducing the strain on knees, hips and ankles when going down hills. That’s one of the reasons why the popularity of DHC trolleys is rapidly growing at pace, especially in the UK market.”
All Motocaddy M-Series trolleys are built on a super-efficient 28V platform and powered by lightweight, waterproof Lithium batteries. A USB charging port, adjustable distance control and free accessory station are all included as standard.”
You can view the full range online by clicking here.
TG recommends: Motocaddy M5 GPS DHC
An upgrade on the Motocaddy M5 GPS trolley which featured in our Editor’s Choice Awards 2020. This version is just as sleek and adds downhill control, an electronic parking brake and all terrain wheels to a wide‑range of tech found on the world’s first touchscreen trolley.
As well as boasting 40,000 pre‑loaded courses, the M5 displays front, middle and back distances and gives you the ability to move flags, measure and track shots, and check for any hazards on the hole.
When the trolley is connected to the free Motocaddy GPS app, golfers can even view smartphone notifications such as missed calls, texts, emails and messenger alerts. It also includes built-in Wi-Fi for instant updates, plus there’s a USB port so you can charge your phone while you play.
Prices start from £799.