Development Centre Blog: Ryan Thompson

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
Age: 17
Handicap: 2
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 deliberate. 

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 athlete.

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 group. 

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 years.


If you are a Development Centre student and would like to contribute to our blog, contact [email protected]


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