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European’s Leading the Way to Augusta

The first major golf championship of the year is almost upon us as we edge closer to the 2019 Masters.  There is just one stroke play event remaining before the players head to Augusta and that will be played at the Texas Open in San Antonio, one week prior to The Masters.

A look at recent winners of The Masters shows two of the three previous victors have come from Europe.  Danny Willett won in 2016 following the collapse of Jordan Spieth in the final round and Spain’s Sergio Garcia triumphed in 2017 to great fanfare.

The United States got back on top last year however, as Patrick Reed won The Masters with an impressive 15 under par, one stroke ahead of the runner-up, Ricky Fowler.  Still, there were only three American golfers in the top seven places at the 2018 Masters and we could be set for further disappointment for the home golfers this year.

One glance at the past three PGA Tour events prior to the World Golf Championship Dell Match Play shows three wins for European golfers.  Francesco Molinari won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rory McIlroy won The Players Championship and Paul Casey won the Valspar Championship, retaining the title he won last year.

That means European golfers have won three PGA Tour events in a row for the first time in seven years.

The only American golfer to hold his own over the course of the same period has been Dustin Johnson.  The official world number one finished T5 at The Players Championship and T6 at the Valspar Championship.  Johnson won the World Golf Championships in Mexico and has a T9 and T4 at two other PGA Tour events this year.

However, Johnson will not be happy with the way his tournament ended at the Valspar Championship, failing to register a single birdie as he dropped away with a final score of 74.

The defending Masters champion, Patrick Reed is yet to finish inside the top 10 this year and Justin Thomas appears to have faded after making a strong start.  The current PGA and US Open champion, Books Koepka has just two top 20’s to his name in 2019 and Jordan Spieth is still struggling to come close to the form which saw him win The Masters in 2015.

Form in the Florida swing of the PGA Tour does not always translate to success at Augusta but for the leading American players, their current form must be of concern.  Winning tournaments breeds confidence and that’s exactly what you need heading into the first major of the season.

Since the turn of the century, only two European golfers have won The Masters.  Come the end of the 2019 edition, we could have seen three European winners in four years.  This could be a huge year for European golf.

EGTF Teaching Professionals Needed

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I have attended a fair number of CPD Courses in my 10 years as an EGTF Professional, and so travelled through to Forthview Golf Academy for Stewart and Bill’s latest offering on Teaching with New Technology.

There were four of us on the Course, Betty Sworowski, Bob Lamb, Philippe Pineau and myself.  Since the four of us hadn’t met before, introductions took around 20 minutes.  Anyone who knows Stewart will understand that his introduction took about an hour!!


As usual, the information provided on the Course was first class.  Topics ranged from the Force Plate, D Plane and new Ball Flight Laws.  We discussed all of the above and more in detail as well as having to look at some of the latest training aids.  The one we were all impressed with was Swingbyte.  Swingbyte attaches to the club shaft and provides all the feedback you would require when analysing the swing.  The figures are not as accurate as Flightscope or Trackman but are in the “buffer zone”, so the information you get is more than good enough to work with.

As I said, I have been on numerous CPD Courses over the years and have never been disappointed.  This time proved no different .  The way GAASP and Balance provides the building blocks of the golf Swing, CPD Courses provide building blocks in your knowledge and ability to analyse and teach golfers how to enjoy and play better golf.  I would encourage all of you to put one or more of these days into your diary.  Neither you or your pupils will be disappointed.

Thank you again to Stewart and Bill for a great day.

Ronnie Martin – EGTF Teaching Professional

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