Hello all!! Welcome to my new web/blogsite. Here you will find information about me, my golf, my lesson details and my general blog about golf and life. Please enjoy the site, have a look around and feel to get in touch with me on the link below. Enjoy your golf, Lew

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Wednesday, 12 January 2011

New year, new start....

Hi all, thought I would write this blog to explain the reasoning behind some pretty important decisions I've made recently. Several kind people have expressed concern/interest in these decisions so I thought I'd lay it down here.
Before I go any further, a disclaimer, this post is not intended in any way to put people off the PGA, professional golf or anything daft like that. I have grown to learn that social media can be a very dangerous tool so I can't say this strongly enough. This is purely my own experience and i'm fortunate enough to know many friends and colleagues who work in golf and absolutely love it.

Essentially, after probably more than 2 years worth of deliberating, I have resigned from professional golf altogether. In the last 7 days I have tendered my PGA resignation, applied for reinstatement of amateur status, joined a new golf course and also begun booking myself on university open days.

If I’m dealing with facts here, let’s start with the question ”Why did you turn professional”? My reason is simple, singular, honest and truthful. I want to play golf for a living. I took up golf because I loved to play and it became my dream to persue it as my career. At that point I definitely hadn't thought about working in a golf shop for 40+ hours a week for minimum wage and the prospect of doing the PGA Programme, I just knew that I wanted to play golf for a living and so this is what I would have to do.
With the exception of Mid Sussex Golf Club (a wonderful job with a great crowd of members and great colleagues I am still friends with now), the experiences of redundancy and a couple of other clubs I worked at definitely got me to thinking whether I was definitely in the right industry.
Also, the way I have played since I turned professional as well as the effect that the whole experience of playing professional golf  has had on me, has made me realise I am simply not currently good enough. I’m not ashamed to admit that and I have worked my hardest to try and make a go of it, to my detriment. The amount of pressure I have been putting on myself recently has gotten totally out of proportion. I’m not proud of that at all but I am learning from it. Hopefully now I can begin to rediscover the way I know I can play and who knows what the future may hold? I am every bit as dedicated to golf as I have ever been from this point of view and have very strong aspirations for my amateur career! Watch this space...

For a long time I thought that if the playing side of things didn't work out, I could make a career from teaching. Following my redundancy, I persued a 'decent' teaching job for nearly 2 years. Sadly, all I learned is that I am in a much more viable financial position working on a 26 hours a week in my dispensing job right now than to go back to working full time in the golf industry. And, in all honesty, I simply don't have the passion to do this that is required.
To illustrate this, I had an interview last year (I won’t specify who/where etc for obvious reasons) and here were the terms of the job:
- I must be on site 5-6 days a week (as opposed to my current 4).
- I am on no basic salary (I am currently on a salary that justifies my needs).
- I must give 30% + VAT on all my teaching revenues (lesson prices which I am unable to determine myself).
- I must generate £1000 in shop revenue monthly otherwise I get fined 10% of the deficit.
- I must pay £40 a month for external ‘training’ and I do not get to choose who I have the training from.
- I must wear clothing that represents the academy BUT I have to pay for this myself.

So, there it is. These are some of the events that have led me to where I am now. Among other highlights were an additional job in which I must work unpaid for 20 hours per week.When I eventually begun teaching at Cobtree Manor, I knew this would be the last roll of the dice for me in golf professionally and I got so tied up in knots that just knowing that I didn't want to be doing this anymore was beginning to make me ill. This was particularly the case with teaching juniors, it made me very anxious indeed worrying about whether someone would get hurt and I hated seeing pushy parents putting unbelievable pressure on their children to perform - I saw this a lot and could never come to terms with it.

So now, enough is enough and I am moving on.

Doing the Plane Truth Level 1 certification last year was by far the highlight of my golfing career. I am so excited to be a part of this and fully intend to continue as such in the programme. I love engaging on the forums and helping people that way, not to mention the wonders it has done for my own golf. I am very proud to be one of only about 10 certified plane truth instructors in Europe!

So there you have it folks, my reality within the PGA and Professional Golf. Please don’t get me wrong, as I said this is not a rant at the PGA and certainly not an attempt to disuade people from persuing professional golf. There are people out there that are interested in retail, course design, psychology, technology etc who are having wonderful careers doing what they wanted to do.
But, in my case, all I ever really wanted to do was play the game and if I can’t do this then I now feel that it would be right to return to the ranks of amateur golf where I feel competitive and where I can just enjoy the game as I always did before.
In the meantime, my intention is to go back to University and persue a career working in computers. The thought of starting over and learning new things is extremely exciting and I cannot wait for what the future holds. From a golf point of view, with best will in the world I must say how nice it will be to be able to just ‘play’ and get the title/stereotype of ‘pro’ off my back.
There it is, thank you for your support......

Thursday, 23 December 2010

End of 2010 Blog....

Hey all, just thought I'd pen together my end of year blog before signing off for a short xmas break.

First of all, I would very much like to wish you all a very merry xmas, and a happy and healthy new year. I've had a great 2010, don't get me wrong it's had it's ups and downs but it ends in a great position to launch into a successful year in 2011.

The low point this year was almost giving up on all my hard work and returning to the ranks of amateur golf. There were many reasons for this, none of which had to do with my passion for playing and teaching golf. It was simply down to an effect of the current economic climate, lack of positions within the golf industry and just general confusion about where I thought my life should lead.

The year has ended on a high. Thankfully, I am very excited that I am now back in golf and in a position to begin teaching golf again. I am in absolutely no doubt that becoming a Plane Truth Instructor will lead me to helping many golfers next year and I cannot wait to play a part in helping people achieve their goals. I am fortunate also to be building a great network of friends and contacts in the golf industry and this is actually more exciting and fulfilling to me than the actual golf bit. The prospect of who I am going to meet and what I am going to learn in 2011 is thrilling!!

So, to 2011. What does it hold? Hopefully as the weather improves and the golf season gets underway I can really get my teeth into building up my teaching business. I will seek every opportunity I can to better myself and hopefully help everyone who also chooses to pick my brain. I am excited about driving forward the Plane Truth Brand because I truly believe we are developing the greatest team of golf instructors in the world. Not just from a technical point of view, but also from the point of view of building up a brand that is already on 7 continents and growing fast. To be part of this is thrilling.  There couldn't be a better promotion for Plane Truth than Matt Kuchar's playing season this year, despite people continuing to critique his 'flat' swing. This is a prime example of what we are about, creating correct and repetitive impacts (not PRETTY golf swings) and his work with Chris O' Connell has been very well documented. I guess it would be fair to say that Matt Kuchar's impact this year has been more correct and repetitive than most this year despite his 'flat' swing. It is not flat! If you dare to learn why, then watch Here and Here.

With regard to my own golf, I also plan to play tournament golf next year and build on my experience of playing competitively in this environment.
I am more determined than ever to play better next year than I have of late. I haven't applied myself properly and this must change. I have worked very hard but I definitely haven't worked on the right things. I feel that I know how to change this. My lifetime mission to build a 'textbook' golf swing is now over. Any work I do on my swing from now forward will be aimed ONLY at improving whichever impact/ball flight problem I am having at that time. I have tied myself up with swing thoughts over the years which has crippled my performance but thankfully I feel that I have learned this year how to actually get out of my own way and just play. This is what I want to do with my students.
I am going to work hard on my putting as it is simply the most vital component of golf and certainly the area I have worked on least and struggled with most!
I will certainly never be one of those golf professionals who doesn't actually play golf. I have met many of these and find it baffling that some of them just never play anymore. This is why I am in golf, it is the best game in the world! The day I stop playing golf is the day I come out of golf altogether. That day will NEVER come!!
I have struggled with nerves these last couple of years but I am definitely getting better at dealing with this. Getting back on the horse as many times as you have to is the only way to truly way to conquer nerves as far as I'm concerned. You can read textbooks, listen to experts etc but none of those substitute for throwing yourself headlong into the mix and enjoying making stepping stones, however big or small. I really buy into the philosophy that the journey is more important than the destination and this motivates me to keep trying, keep learning, keep dealing with setbacks and keep loving the game of golf.

To anyone that reads this blog and/or follows me on twitter (www.twitter.com/lcainsprogolfer), thank you for taking the time to get to know me. To any potential students who see this, get in touch, I'd love to meet you and discuss your goals. I promise that lessons with me are fun, unintimidating, productive and will be tailored around whatever your needs are. My email is lewiscainsgolf@gmail.com

Merry xmas everybody, see you in 2011!!!


Sunday, 28 November 2010

Christmas Lesson Promotions.....

Hi all,
I am offering some special promotions for the Christmas Period. Why not treat yourself, or a friend relative to a golf lesson or even a series of lessons and get your new year off to a flying golfing start. I am really keen to get some beginners into golf so if you know of anyone who may be interested in learning the best game in the world, then please get in touch. If you are already a golfer, why not book some tuition with me and get your game off to a head start for the 2011 season. Here are my christmas prices:

1 X 30 minutes - £19.50 (NORMALLY £23)
1 X 60 minutes - £32 (NORMALLY £40)
EG PAY £78 FOR 5 X 30 MINS OR £128 FOR 5 X 60 MINUTES

9 hole playing lesson - £50

6 x 1 hour beginner course - £35 per person (minimum 4 participants)

To book please email me now on lewiscainsgolf@gmail.com or call me on 07961585033.

Merry Xmas everybody!!!!!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

What have I learned this year??

Hello all!! Thought I'd do a blog this evening and talk about some of the things I have learned this year. It's been an exciting year of learning for me. To be honest this is only the start of the journey, and I cannot wait to see where it goes. I went to the Belfry in May to do my level 1 certification Plane Truth Instructor course and the information delivered to us was, I believe, unarguable, logical, easy to understand and easy to apply.
The problem is that there is an older generation of golfers out there (pro and amateur) that are very stubborn and refuse to accept that times have changed and the game is being taught differently now because simply we KNOW MORE!
For example, I learned this year that there are 2 sets of fundamentals to the golf swing - one plane fundamentals and two plane fundamentals. They are totally different and must be taught differently, there is not a 'one swing fits all' theory as many seem to think but each individual has a swing that fits themselves. 1 plane swingers bend over and swing their arms around their body on the same plane as their shoulders (Matt Kuchar, Fred Funk, Lee Westwood, to name a few) and 2 planers stand upright and swing the club up and down in front of their body (Davis Love III, David Toms, Tom Watson ie the 'traditional golf swing'). If you can honestly say that these two types don't have different swing shapes then it may be time to consider the possibility of learning something new.
Let me give you a concise example: turning the body at the start of the downswing. Classic golf instruction says that you must not do this. Correct, if you are a two planer! If you are a 1 planer, very incorrect! The 1 planer is swinging their body and arms on the same plane so they must turn as hard as they can to get power. In a 2 plane swing, if the arms are above the shoulder plane and they turn the upper body hard - then YES this will slice the ball majorly. Try it yourself! Here is a classic example of a piece of information that is incorrect for one swing type and correct for another. Imagine trying to teach it to everyone you see! You may fix 50% of your students but that will be it.
Are you a one-planer or a two-planer? One will feel more comfortable and if you learn to apply the relevant swing elements to your swing type, you can't help but improve.

I know I have spoken about the two different swing types so far but the biggest thing I have learned is how to analyse impact. This is where I believe is the most important, yet misunderstood are of golf instruction. I have learned that a swing does not have to be pretty to be effective provided it produces an impact that is CORRECT and REPETITIVE. I have definitely given poor lessons in the past in which I have focused more on making a swing look attractive than actually concentrating on the faults linked to the impact. I believe that by learning to correctly diagnose impact (through divots, ball flight and sounds) that I can help pupils improve immediately! This is a Plane Truth mission statement. We don't want people to improve in 6 weeks while in the meantime they play badly with a swing that feels alien. We want to improve their impact NOW ie with the next ball and once they do this, then practise can help their more correct impact to become reptitive.

I would urge all serious golfers to have a look at the Plane Truth Website now. Look at the blog, forums and other areas to find out about the Plane Truth and it's philosophies. I would urge any golf instructors to have a look at the instructor programme too.
Any questions welcomed folks.

All the best,

Friday, 5 November 2010

Welcome to my website!!

Hello all!!
Welcome to my brand new website. Here you will find information about my golf lessons, me generally and my thoughts on the world of golf. Please enjoy and feel free to comment on any posts.

Many thanks,