Guiding improvements to your golf game

By Stuart Robertson, Doctor Golf Academy, Ufford Park

There are different ways to help someone improve their performance.

Published in Suffolk Director Magazine, Autumn 2021
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Doctor Golf Academy: Ufford Park Woodbridge

There is positive encouragement – the carrot – where you are shown and recognised for all the things you have done well, to get you to repeat that behaviour is probably one of the best for nurturing talent.

Then there is negative enforcement – the stick – which can help certain people to change their behaviour in a positive way, but works on highlighting all your weaknesses and the things that weren’t done correctly or efficiently enough, so you definitely won’t want the same situation to arise again.

Teaching is about giving knowledge to someone who may not already know those facts. Coaching is more about helping someone to become resilient and adaptable to changing situations, so they can cope with whatever is thrown at them. Guiding someone through some major changes in their work or home life can be a daunting task, but ultimately helping them reach their goals or targets can be very rewarding for all concerned.

This approach is reflected in the sporting arena, and I have seen it first-hand in the golfing world where I spend a lot of my time.

So, let’s ask the question.

How does a new golfing student become the next champion?

The first step is to understand the equipment, Putter, Driver, Wood, Iron, Wedge and what each club can do.  

Next, we need to consider the environment we are playing in: How level is the ground? What length is the grass? What are the moisture levels on the ground and in the air? What’s the wind strength and direction? What’s the proximity of any hazards around where you want to play to?

Then we need to plan your strategy around what you can and cannot do. For instance, it might seem obvious, but if you aren’t good at a certain shot or playing with a certain club, try not to get yourself into those situations!

Once the plan is agreed, develop your own confidence in your ability to play the shot you want; are you more than 70% confident of achieving it? If not, don’t attempt it, or practice it a lot more until you are that confident.

One thing you can be sure of is that your game will constantly evolve, throwing you different hurdles and challenges to overcome. Expectation levels will fluctuate, confidence levels will rise and fall, and coping with these mental challenges can be particularly difficult if you don’t keep an eye on the end goal.

For this very reason, it will be so much better for you to find someone who may be able to guide you through all these changing patterns, rather than suffering through them alone. Reaching out and finding a mentor, or a coach, whether in sport or business, can be your strongest strength and should never be considered a weakness.

Remember, none of us know everything. So, be humble and put your faith in someone else to help guide you. I’m convinced you will achieve more, and much more quickly than you would on your own.

Stuart Robertson, PGA Golf Professional and Director of Golf at the Doctorgolf Academy, Ufford Park Woodbridge. T: 01394 383480
E: or visit 

Table of Contents

A Guide to improved golf

Responding to golfers’ needs

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