Manchester Evening News: Elite Golf Performance

As I hinted in my last column, I’m going to be doing something new and exciting this year and I’m delighted to announce that I’m launching Elite Golf Performance Academy in partnership with Mottram Hall.

It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a good few years now and I can’t wait to get it up and running. 

I’m looking to maybe play a couple of tournaments at the end of the year but I’m taking a step away from competitive golf and my focusing fully on this next stage of my career.

We are doing something unique, including most aspects of the game including fitness, course management, psychology and simply getting to know your game better – every part of the game a player needs to improve.  

I’ve been a pro for almost 20 years and played in some amazing tournaments like The Masters and The Open but the nerves were very different when I was pitching my ideas at Mottram Hall. 

I was very nervous – at 41 it was something new to me – but thankfully Jason Davies, the Director of Golf there, got what I was talking about straight away. They’ve already got great facilities, but they have got more some exciting and ambitious plans since Champneys took over.

Having a family and winning golf tournaments are as good as it gets but helping someone with their game is also a really special feeling. 

It’s really rewarding seeing a difference in someone’s game and attitude and nothing would give me greater pleasure than a player fulfilling their potential, whether that’s winning the weekend comp at their local club or winning The Open Championship. 

The way I feel at the moment is a bit like my first years out on tour. I can’t wait to get into work every day and the beauty of this is that I’ll be working with different people every day and learning all the time.

I’ve always been interested in the fitness part of golf and since suffering a severe wrist injury I’ve been studying for qualifications, starting with the TPI course in LA as well as Level Four Golf Fitness NASM. I want to help with performance but also want to help injury prevention, so people are able to play for as long as they want. It’s a big part of the game now as the pros train as hard as they practice. 

Nowadays, a lot of the game is quite mechanical, and I want people to learn the art of shotmaking, bringing more feel back into their game. The course management side of it of EGP came from playing with really talented players, who have all the shots on the driving range but just can’t transfer that to the course. 

A lot of that is psychological and the processes and techniques - thinking about the shot, picking a small target, visualizing the perfect shot - I can pass on and will help with the players on the course instead of just standing up to the ball and hitting it without a thought. 

After 19 years of tour golf, I’ve played with some incredible players and have also worked with some good coaches but the best out there is Pete Cowen who I have worked with since 1992 I believe I have a lot to pass on and that I can help people improve. 

I’ve also been working a lot with life coach, Caroline Britton at Mind Mail in Hale, and she’s given me clear direction of where I want to go and made me very focused on what I need to do. 

I’ll always play golf and will miss the competitive side of tournament play but I’m really excited about what’s ahead of me as I go into the next phase of my life. 

For more information, please email Simon at enquiry@elitegolfperformance.co.uk

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