Luke DonaldLuke Donald, now 37 years of age, was world No.1 four years ago, but following a loss of form in recent the last couple of years, is currently ranked as low as 66th

That meant he was not guaranteed a place in the field at Chambers Bay for the second major of the season (June 18-21).

Luke just about sneaked through qualifying at the Bear’s Club in Florida. An even-par 72 in the morning round, meant he was in serious danger of not making it, but an afternoon 68, which included seven birdies, saw him finish top of the leader board alongside Andrew Pope and Jack Maguire.Lee Westwood

Lee Westwood announced earlier this month that he was “feeling old”. Maybe it’s time for a 'changing of the guard' in English golf?

Eddie24-year-old Eddie Pepperell (3rd) and 28-year-old Danny Willet (6th) both recently impressed in the Irish Open. Danny also currently stands second in the Race to Dubai Rankings (see left).

Tom Murray 2Also, the as yet little known youngster, Tom Murray, (right) a member at Headingley Golf Club, this week broke his home course record, carding a superb 63 to win his club's Scratch  36 Hole Medal. Although ‘one swallow doth not a summer make’, he may well be one to keep an eye out for in the next few years.

It took an exciting 5-way sudden death play-off on Buckinghamshire GC’s par-3 ninth, to determine the final two qualifying spots for next month’s US Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club, with 21 year-old Lauren Taylor from Woburn and Kylie Walker from Mar Hall finally booking their place.

Lauren TaylorLauren commented afterwards, “It couldn’t have gone better. I finished birdie, birdie and then to go into a play-off and birdie the hole was really fun.” Although some might consider her a bit of an expert when it comes to play-offs, having won both of her LET titles last year in similar circumstances, Kylie Walker spoke of the pressure she felt. “I tried to control my nerves and the tee shot was fine but when I realised this was to make the US Women’s Open I tried to get that shot out of my mind. It was a nice fist pump at the end.”

Previously, England’s Holly Aitchison (left) with rounds of 72 and 68, along with Scotland’s Heather MacRae, who followed up a rather disappointing 75 with a scintillating final round of 65, had qualified outright. Holly, who birdied the last three holes, commented: “Everyone wants to play in a major and this is going to be my first major outside of Britain. It’s going to be a really, really good experience and I’m very much looking forward to it.”


A golfer who wants to perfect his swing before addressing any physical shortcomings he may have that inhibit his ability to do so, might as well be trying to become a virtuoso trumpet player while still suffering from chronic asthma.

The only way your golfing dream can come true, is if you wake up. If you are like the majority of golfers, you probably need to wake up to the fact that golf is a sport and any sport is played by athletes. All athletes who want to improve their performance must be prepared to work on both their sport-specific fitness and their technique.

The best, if not the only, way to go about achieving real game-improvement with a carefully-planned, sequential programme of (i) physical conditioning (ii) technical skills coaching (iii) effective practice.

Dr Bob Rotella“Most swing flaws are actually owing to stiffness or weakness in some part(s) of the body. Improvement can be achieved simply by getting stronger and/or more flexible.” – Dr Bob Rotella.

[9] ETPI LogoThe European Tour Performance Institute recognises the importance of the above and screens promising young golfers to assess their physical fitness for golf and then provides them with a personalised conditioning programme based on the results obtained.

It is equally important that you too understand the current status of your golf specific fitness and then work to strengthen any areas of weakness and eradicate any areas of inflexibility.

TestsAccordingly, it is vital that you first evaluate the current status of your golf fitness by undertaking a properly designed screening programme that will pinpoint any areas of insufficient flexibility and/or strength.

Then you need to make a conscious decision and commitment to act on the data you obtain.

However, it is not enough to understand what needs to be done, you must also understand how to go about achieving it. This is where, as you will see, Fitter Golfers comes into the equation.

You should download our free self-assessments for the upper and lower body, which come with a comprehensive set of norms against which you can measure your results. Having pinpointed any areas for improvement, you can then select the appropriate conditioning modules to effect the necessary physical changes.

The Fitter Golfers conditioning modules are carefully designed to improve both mobility and flexibility in the ankles, knees, hips, spine, shoulders, arms/wrists and neck, along with further modules to improve balance and posture, enabling you to select only the modules that are relevant to your needs.

So that you appreciate the relevance of each exercise, we explain how each individual shortfall will potentially impact on the swing and the swing benefits to be obtained from improving physical capacity in that area.

Our overall aim is to ensure that when you take lessons, you will be much better able to perform the positions and techniques recommended to you and reap full benefit from your instruction, thus getting a better return on the time and money that you invest.

In my next post I will talk about how best to go about complementing your conditioning work by planning your technical skills coaching with a teaching professional via a programme of lessons.