This week, we find what Elie Development Centre Student Ryan Thompson would like to improve on over the close season and how coaching at the Fife venue over the last few years has boosted his progress as a player
Name: Ryan Thompson
Club: The Dukes
Development Centre: Elie
Favourite Golfer: Adam Scott/Sam Snead
This week in Development Centre coaching, my coach Ian Muir took a
look at my Trackman data. Before that, there were a couple of set
up issues we had to iron out first: my hands were too low at
address and my grip was too strong. Once we adjusted these minor
set-up faults, my swing was more on plane and I was able to hinge
the club easier allowing for a straighter and higher flight.
Ideally, this year I would like to gain some distance off the tee
by increasing my clubhead speed. I would also like to see
improvements in my pitching from 30-80 yards so I am comfortable
over any distance inside 100 yards. So, when I do find myself in
trouble on the course, I have the ability and confidence to still
make par if I need to lay-up.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned during my time in
Development Centre coaching has been the more fun and specific you
make your practice, the more you can relate it playing conditions
and the more effective it becomes. Especially with short game
drills, instead of just chipping 30 balls to a flag without any
real thought, I have learned to make it more
For example, for a 10-yard chip, I will set up a circle, radius of
3ft, around the hole and record how many out of ten finish within
the circle. By recording scores for each drill I can compare
my scores and benchmark my progress much easier as there are
statistics to prove it.
I first started going to Elie for off season coaching four years
ago, and have never really looked back since. When I first
started out I didn't have much of a swing, the words "short game
technique" didn't mean much to me and my putting was so-so.
However, I did have a love for the game and a desire to improve,
something I am grateful my two coaches Ian and David Patrick picked
up on at my initial assessment.
In the last four years I have developed a far more robust and
reliable swing, a consistent short game and turned putting into my
biggest strength. Ian has been crucial in enhancing my
knowledge of not just the mechanics of the golf swing but also my
knowledge of how to perform and take care of myself as an
At the same time, David's short game expertise and experience in
the professional game has allowed me to increase the repertoire of
my short game and he has provided great insight in to the
challenges and realities of becoming a tour player.
There is no doubt my biggest development is my confidence.
When I began, I was one of the weaker players in the group and I
seldom felt comfortable hitting balls or talking in front of
everyone. However, Ian was a huge influence in growing my
confidence and kept me motivated to improve and become one of the
more knowledgeable and well-rounded players in the
A phrase David said in my first year was: "Hard work beats talent,
unless talent works hard". It is something I have never forgotten
and continued to seek improvement regardless of what stage I am
at. The team environment keeps the sessions fun and
productive and I have met some talented guys who have continued to
push me along.
It is scary to think where I would be had I not went a long to
that assessment day in Elie. I cannot credit Ian, David and the
Development Centre set up enough for my success over the past four
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