Development Centre Blog: Matthew Palin

In this 2nd installment of our Development Centre student blog, we talk to Kintore's Matthew Palin, who takes part in coaching at Meldrum House. The focus this week - short game.

DC Blog 2 (1)

Name: Matthew Palin
Age: 15
Handicap: 17
Club: Kintore GC
Development Centre: Meldrum House
Favourite Golfer: Sergio Garcia

"We practice almost every kind of shot, whether it is a 40-yard pitch or driving the ball 250 yards"

I started the ClubGolf programme four years ago, completing two years, which gave me an excellent introduction to playing and understand the game. I have now started playing in the adults' Saturday Medal, ending the season with a handicap of 17 off the gents medal tees.

This weekend, I attended my second Development Centre session, which I have really been enjoying. Over those two weeks, we had our first skills assessment on the short game and, although I didn't do as well as I'd hoped, it was still very interesting and has given me more ways to practise and test my short game.

For our assessment, we measured out distance that varied from 10-50 yards. The type of shot we had to play also varied. We had to play shots from high lob-like shots to simple pitch-and-runs.

This was good as it allowed us to practise the different types of shots we could play and see what we are good at and what needs improved. I really enjoyed this assessment, and hope we can do it again soon.

I also had my first session with my coach, Iain Donaldson, and we worked on my posture. I discovered I need to make sure my back is straighter as I set-up, which will lead to a better swing and shot.
 
We've been doing a lot of work on the range, which is great and very enjoyable. We practice almost every kind of shot, whether it is a 40-yard pitch or driving the ball 250 yards.
 
I, personally, really enjoy the freedom we are allowed as well. We're allowed to go onto the short game area or the range whenever we want. We are also allowed breaks which is a big help especially when we've been practising for a while.

I hope to carry on what I've been doing, learn new things and just continue to enjoy myself playing golf, which I think will help me to improve a fair bit.

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