Experienced coach Peter Ball is preparing to teach Britain’s golfers how to tee off like Tiger Woods at this month’s Open Championship at Muirfield.
The Sheffield-based PGA Fellow Professional will be among a number of PGA coaches giving spectators the chance to learn some of the techniques that helped their heroes reach the top.
Ball will be one of 23 PGA Professionals offering free tuition and expert advice to all ages and abilities at the R&A Swing Zone which includes nets and an all-weather putting green.
The coaches will give in the region of 2,000 lessons between 14-21 July with each coach having been specially selected to ensure they fit in with the PGA’s coaching vision of Right Coach, Right Place, Right Time.
They will help to improve the experience for spectators by developing their understanding of the game while the likes of Rory McIlroy and newly crowned US Open champion Justin Rose take to the fairways.
Ball, who coaches at Birley Hill Golf Club, said: “It’s always fun, you get the chance to meet other coaches, compare techniques and discuss any new ideas. It’s a learning environment for the coaches and those who come for the sessions, and I hope people visiting have an enjoyable day, gain new information and ultimately take some more lessons.”
Ball has spent much of his career working with young people, many of whom have come from difficult backgrounds, and he enjoys using golf to help support them and give them the confidence they need to move their lives forward.
He said: “We have had a lot of kids come to us that have really managed to use golf to turn their life around.
“It gives you a feeling of elation, to know that you have given someone the opportunity to build on their self-esteem.”
Much of Ball’s success is attributed to his unique method of coaching, which revolves around making the sport as fun as possible and getting everyone involved equally no matter what their level of ability.
“I’m not sure how I would describe my coaching style” he confessed, before turning to some of his pupils for assistance as they prepared to tee off, “Apparently I’m ‘different,’ ‘fascinating’ and ‘a tad eccentric’ – I think that gives you an idea!”
He will now hope to pass on the same ideas to spectators who attend the R&A Swing Zone at Muirfield, and he has one key tip for those who want to emulate their heroes playing at the Open.
“It might sound a bit odd, but start the opposite way round” he explained. “Start on the putting green and work your way back to the tee.
“In between lessons you can practise putting in your back room and chipping in your garden, which gives you more chance to learn before you take to the course.”