Pro’s Ian’s Helped Coached

Andrew Beal

PGA European Tour Professional Andy Beal is a fantastic golfer. He has also overcome an incredible obstacle of whilst being on Tour being diagnosed with cancer and he had to have his eye removed. In 1998, his best year on Tour, Andy earned over 100,000 Euro and finished 3rd at the Benson & Hedges Open. The fact that he returned back to the European Tour to compete again is nothing short of miraculous and is really the measure of the man who displays an inner strength and determination to make the best of what he has. “Bealy” spoke to me in the Spa at the Sheraton when we were alone about his cancer and he was so positive that he was going to try and play again. He went off to the US to work with Craig Farnsworth in America. Craig is a brilliant specialist not only with putting but like Phil Kenyon in Europe his understanding of visual and perception in second to none. A special golf ball was designed for Andy to play with which had red hexagons on (after his beloved Southampton FC) and watching and working with him really enhanced my own understanding of pace and…

Seve Ballesteros

8 Ryder Cups & 91 Wins Without doubt not a day goes by when I don’t think about Seve Ballesteros. The fact I actually got to coach him was a dream come true and I could write a book, no in fact two about all the things I learned from him. He was an absolute golfing genius, no question. I was fortunate enough to travel to such events like the US Masters at Augusta, The Open, The Dubai Masters, Portuguese Open and many other events in Europe and it was incredible to see the aura that Seve had around him. When he walked into a room it was like the room just went quiet and everyone knew Seve was there. The first time I had to coach him I flew in early to Dubai in 1998. I had been given a suite in the same hotel as Seve (The Jebel Ali) and on that day that we arrived we met up and we went swimming in the pool with Carmen (his then wife) and Javier his son. Seve was already showing me exercises in the pool for my back and I just couldn’t believe that I was swimming with my…

Elisabeth Esterl

2 Wins & Solheim Cup There were not many golfers I worked with that knew more about the swing than Elisabeth. Her knowledge of her own swing was infinite and working with her was good as the feedback you would get from Elisabeth as a coach was excellent and her feels and way of communicating it were superb. She was also a very hard worker and could change things very easily. Although not in her prime when I was with her, Elisabeth was still an extremely long hitter of the ball. I coached ‘Lisl’ towards the end of her career and spent lots of time with her in Portugal and Dubai and although she had other business ventures going she always worked hard on her golf and had some really good results, showing me what a good player she still was.

Matt Briggs

PGA European Seniors Tour Matthew Briggs came to me a very solid amateur. He was in his mid forties and has harboured a life time dream of playing on the European Seniors Tour. Already at a brilliant level of plus 2 and plus 3 (+2/+3) level you would wonder why you would drastically start to change a swing, however Matt had hip issues and was prone to shaping the ball far too much right to left. We started upon a plan of action which saw us completely overhaul his swing. Not only that, slowly but surely Matt turned into a much better ball striker and I taught him to play more varied shots with better trajectory. It took nearly four years for Matt to really feel comfortable with his new game, however under the sternest pressure he went out and gained his Tour card at first attempt. Many may say thats good however its incredible when you consider that only 7 Seniors Tour cards are available. Only then do you start to realise what an incredible story this became. I encouraged my Head Instructor at the time, Paul Cook  to get on his bag at Tour Qualifying which proved a smart…

Phillip Price

Ryder Cup Star & 3 Tour Wins Everyone will remember the day that Phillip Price defeated Phil Mickelson in the Ryder cup! Mickelson was World No.2 at the time and “Pricey” was not given a cats chance as they say. Well the rest is definitely history. That day I was an incredibly proud as alongside with Dennis Sheehy we had worked so hard the previous four years to get him to that point of being able to stand up and be able to beat the World’s best and my office wall at home is full of memento’s signed by Phil from that week. Also the week he won the European Open in 1993 (Michael Campbell was defending) was great as we had worked very hard at Celtic Manor in the period leading up to that win and to hear Darren Clarke say that he had never seen Phil hit the ball so well really gave me a lot of pleasure indeed. For me the most pressurised teaching situation in teaching golf is the final day before The Open. It can be even more pressure than a team event like the Ryder Cup or US Masters. Here below is a video…

Peter Baker

Ryder Cup Star & 3 Tour Wins To this day Seve Ballesteros apart, I would have to say Peter Baker was the biggest talent I have ever had the pleasure of working alongside. Great ball striker and not phased with anything, “Bakes is just Bakes” and has never changed. He amassed 9 Professional victories and over €4,000,000 in prize money. Two highlights stand out for me and it was in 1993 a year I was with Denis Sheehy on Tour working with Denis and Peter when he won the the Dunhill British Masters with incredible rounds of 67,64,72 and 63 at Woburn to shoot 22 Under par. I remember how hard Peter worked all that week on the balance and stance of his putting stroke helping him hugely. Later that year I was at the Ryder Cup to see him take 3 points from 4 defeating Corey Pavin in the last day singles. “Bakes” played brilliantly and was not phased at all by the occasion and that week his ball striking was sublime. Ever the gentleman, Peter was on hand just a couple of months ago to offer some valuable advice to my young son Ben who wanted to ask…

Bradley Dredge

PGA European Tour 2 Wins Bradley Dredge is still playing some of his very best golf today and it seems he has been around for a long time now. When I first worked with him he struck me immediately as a top class ball striker and also a very long and straight hitter. He was at the time a little hung up on drawing the ball and I spoke at length to his mind/mental manager Roger Manners about getting him to see the game with more of a safe fade. To Bradley’s eye it was not his natural shot however with his prodigious length it was a safer shot and one that he could repeat more often. After a bit of work it was great to see him actually have perfect control over the ball both ways. Roger Manners was brilliant to work with and showed me how important it is to work as a united team for the benefit of “The Player.” No egos in that team there with Roger and Eddie Hearn, just a lot of people pulling to turn Bradley Dredge into the great player we all knew he was.

Per-Ulrik Johansson

6 Tour Wins & 2 Ryder Cups Per-Ulrik Johansson had the most perfect golf swing I ever saw. It was a privilege to stand behind him and watch him hit ball after ball. The biggest compliment I can pay him is he was the closest thing to a robot I have ever seen. Per-Ulrik went to Arizona College with Phil Mickelson and the two are great mates. Ironically in 1995 at the Ryder Cup the two played against each other. I had the chance to work with Per when he was working closely with Denis Sheehy. Den asked me to look after Per as he had other players to look at that week and It was the English Open at the Belfry. He was having issues with his grip and his normally arrow straight driving was slightly off. Previously I had followed Per in 1997 at Kiawah Island in the World Cup when he shot an incredible 64 at The Ocean Course. I remember thinking then it was probably the best round of golf I had ever seen on an absolute brute of a course. I knew then that Per Ulrik was the real deal. Per was brilliant to work…

John Hawksworth

PGA European Tour 1986-2000 Along with Stephen Ames, John Hawksworth is the funniest player I have ever worked with. Joke after joke and witty beyond belief, it is little wonder “Hawky” has gone on to be a TV commentator and a great after dinner speaker. He is also the best pool player I have ever played against. Trophy as he is affectionately known (When his hair was short his ears stuck out a bit) was very serious when it came down to hard work on the practice ground and the measure of his ability is that he played for 14 years on the European Tour. I remember well working with him and he really did understand his swing technically and even when he was fighting to keep his card you could see the determination he had to get his swing right, John had a lot of self belief in his own game and as well as being super funny he had a very serious side to him as well. His favourite saying to me was “Ian, did you see that little Gentleman’s persuader I hit out there” meaning fader (Fade shot) and once he ran into the clubhouse after hitting…

Simon Hurd

European Tour Professional Simon Hurd is no question the most confident player I have ever coached. Confident in his own game, confident as a person and if you spend time with him you start realise it is definitely not a front. In fact Simon Hurd probably has more self-belief than any other golfer on the planet. I realised very quickly that Simon had talent and ability, however what struck me was a great inner determination to get to the top and nothing would stop him. A good practiser and great to be around, he was always willing to help younger “would be” Professionals and I really liked that in Simon, it is a quality missing in many today. One day we were working on the range and Simon said “Godley lets go into the bunker and see what you are made of.” At the time I was known for my bunker game and felt pretty good accepting Simons challenge. What played out after can only be described as the most esquisite and most impressive bunker display I had ever seen as Simon proceeded to name shot after shot and there execute them perfectly one after the other. I stood in…

Steve Lewton

2014 Taiwan Masters Winner Originally from Woburn and now based in Australia I tell everyone that Steve Lewton is really a fantastic golfer and one that I still feel has unfinished business out on Tour. I was thrilled when he won the 2014 Taiwan Masters and he immediately thanked all the people that had helped him. It was a class act from a class person. Stevie came to me as am amateur already playing off +3 and he had issues with a long arm swing. His father Mike, who sadly passed away was a huge influence on Steve and I worked a lot with him over a two and a half year period. Steve bounced between me and Denis Pugh for a long time and slowly but surely his arm-swing improved, his short game tightened up and he gained his European Tour card, something that Mike his father was incredibly proud off. Keep an eye on Stevie for the next season or two as based in Australia now, I really do expect him to kick on, not many people deserve it more than him.

Gareth Paddison

Top NZ Touring Professional I first stated working with Gareth in December last year (2014) and instantly we gelled. He has a very open approach and sounded quite surprised that I would communicate so easily with his Aussie coach the brilliant Dennis Mcdade (Marc Leishmans coach). Gareth has to be amongst the very hardest working Pro I have seen and he eats, gyms and does the whole thing like the great professional he is. I think he is a fantastic role model of how to conduct yourself on and off the course. Technically Gareth has improved heaps in the last nine months and from his perspective he has really started to understand and start to “own” his own swing. In the past I get the impression that he was not really addressing the main issues in his swing and rather treading around them. I went in and really looked at the nuts and bolts of his swing and in Australia Dennis was delighted that I saw it virtually identical to how he did. Slowly but surely Gareth is getting back on track and has had 3 great opportunites to Win on Tour this year. I am sure 2016 will be…

Nicole Gergely

French Open Winner 2009 Nicole Gergely came to me in 2011 because her game started to become inconsistent. She turned Pro in 2005 and by 2009 she had become a solid performer on the Ladies European Tour with a spectacular win at the 2009 French Open at Arras cementing her position as Austria’s No.1 female golfer. We worked a lot on the backswing and tried to get the club up and down the line more. We also tried to hit a safer “fade” shot as she was long enough in the first place to not have to hit it right to left. Nicole was brilliant to work with, worked exceptionally hard on her game and when she hit form she was a superb ball striker. Also one of the very nicest and most genuine girls I have ever met on Tour and it was a real pleasure not only to teach her but actually count her as a good friend. Nicole Gergely is a real class act.

Jessica Ji

Korean LET Tour Professional If ever there was a nicer girl on Tour than Jessica then I haven’t seen her. Jessica was the first real Korean Professional I had ever coached and what made it difficult was the fact that she hardly spoke any English and her mother actually spoke none. Jessica really worked hard with me for a long time and slowly but surely became a lot more confident in her game and in herself. Not a long hitter however very straight and she possessed a great game from 100 yards in and a silky smooth putting stroke to match. Even when Jessica went back to Korea she would often send me her swing on whatsapp via her IPhone. I would look at her swing and whilst she was still practising I would get back to her and she would continue practising the right things. With Jessica a ‘new system’ was born, one that many professionals use with me today to keep on track during their and my travels. What impressed me most about Jessica was her calmness and persona on the course. A lot of people could really learn from watching players like Jessica and how they react…

Paul Way

Ryder Cup Twice & 4 Wins Paul Way was a fantastic golfer. When he made his debut in the Ryder Cup became the second youngest Ryder Cup player after Nick Faldo. Very strong and a good ball striker with a short game to match Paul for a long time looked the most likely player to take the mantle from Ballesteros and Faldo, he was that good! I worked with Paul for the first time at the 1995 PGA Championships at Wentworth and then again for a period in 2003 and by this time Paul had already been to see David Leadbetter out in Orlando. Wentworth was the scene of Paul’s phenomenal win over Sandy Lyle where a 66 on the final day saw him make a play off in which he defeated the great Scotsman. Its remarkable to think that Paul won on Tour aged 19, in his first year when he secured the KLM Dutch Open. He was heralded then as the next superstar of golf. Way came out to stay with me for a week in Portugal once and told me some amazing stories about Seve Ballesteros and the Ryder Cup. Way made his Ryder Cup debut in…

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