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Nick Bradley answers your questions
Justin Rose says that his recent revival was sparked by his new coach Nick Bradley.

Justin Rose
Rose says Nick Bradley has helped him simplify his game

Now you can get expert advice from Nick by reading the answers to some of the questions we received recently.

Nick will be answering more of your questions soon but don't forget you can check some of his previous answers by clicking on the links on the right hand side of the page.

And you can pose your questions using the form at the bottom of the page.

Jeff Carnage
My practice swing looks like Tiger Woods' swing, but my real swing looks like someone fighting a snake in a phone box. Have you any ways of transferring my practice swing to my real swing?

NB: The key to this is understanding why the practice swing feels to different to the real swing. From a feel point of view there will be something different in terms of your rhythm and in terms of your tension or tightness in the body.

It's interesting that you say you have Tiger Woods swing. Ask yourself do you have the physical make up to replicate this? It's good to have a practice swing before you swing for real but fundamentally you've got a technical problem. Go and see a professional to get it sorted.

John from Norfolk
How long should you keep golf clubs before you change them? Do they wear out after time?

NB: In terms of turnover, if you're playing golf once a week, you'd need to change your grips once every five months. For the shaft, most shafts will carry a life for about five and a half years, if you really like the club head. For the whole club well, Bernhard Langer played on tour with the same clubs for 15 years. But other players will now change their clubs every time there is a new model, so it's really up to you.

But I would advise you to go and check the lie and loft of your clubs every year, a seven iron could turn into six iron after repeated use.

Samantha, 13, from USA
I am just a beginner at golf and I practise everyday, but the longer I practise, the worse I get towards the end. Am I practising too long, or am I just doing something wrong?

NB: An effective practice session should end within an hour. You have physical shelf life and a mental shelf life. What's happening is you are getting worn out. Don't break it down into how many balls you are hitting, limit it to the time you spend on the range. The best practice session usually involve hitting 30-40 balls an hour. Concentrate on quality not quantity. Make sure you are practising the right things and good luck.

Not sure when you got involved with Justin, but do you think his game would have been better suited for the pro tour if he had played more golf on the amateur circuit before turning pro at such a young age? Would you advise others in a similar situation to wait a bit?

Nick Bradley
Nick took up golf when he was 16 and qualified as a PGA pro aged 20
He is a certified David Leadbetter golf instructor and currently coaches Justin Rose on the PGA Tour
He is author of the book The 7 Laws of the Golf Swing

NB: Justin had a very good pedigree as an amateur, he won lots of amateur tournaments well before his time and competed in the Walker Cup aged 17. Did he turn pro too soon? I don't think so. He's won four pro tournaments and he earned $1.3m last year. All the missed cuts are part of his journey. There's no perfect way to reach the top of the game.

As for other young players it is definitely a good idea to get a pedigree in the amateur game. If you can't compete and win there, you can't replicate it on the pro tour. Okay Ian Poulter had no amateur career but players like him are few and far between.

Albanian Swiper
Should you be having "swing thoughts" while on the course?

NB: Yes but they have to be the right ones. In order to play golf, you need a physical trigger to get some sort of motion going. Make sure that what you're thinking is accurate to what you need. Don't think about keeping your head still if it already is. Have one key thought for the round too, if you try and think loads of things at once, you end up forgetting how to play golf.

Antony B
Serious question and I really don't mean to be rude but, how can someone feel that they have become good enough to be a teacher to the pros but not good enough to win on the main tours where their pupils have? Which is the easiest, teach the 'best' players or be one of the best players?

NB: Good question. The two activities demand two totally different sets of skills. As a player you need the competitive spirit, you need courage, you need technical ability and you need physical strength. As a coach you need a fairly analytical mind, you need motivational dialogue and you need the ability to know what that player needs to turn the corner. In my opinion the worse kind of coach is the ex-player and the worst kind of player is the over-analytical coach.

Persian punch
I am fairly new to the game and have been practising a lot on a local pitch and putt course where I can play fairly reasonable.

As soon as I get to a longer course and need to hit the ball further, My swing just goes to pot. I start lifting my head too early, my posture goes completely when I swing and I think its just because I am trying to put power into the shot.

If you could give me 5 single hints to improve my swing what would they be?

NB: 1. Widen your stance and feel extra "squatty" at address.
2. Make sure that the handle of the club is held in the base of your palm and not high in the palm.
3. Make sure that your glove hand is showing two and a half knuckles i.e. so it's strong enough.
4. Wind your shoulders 90 degrees against some solid leg action. Don't let your knees give way, keep them steady as you wind against them.
5. Lastly check your hands at the top of your backswing. Ensure that your left wrist is not cupped. Try and feel that it is fairly flat at the top.

What handicap do you need to be to apply for a scholarship at a top American Golf College?

NB: You need at least first team county golf experience under your belt and a good education behind you.

Albanian Swiper
Sorry to be cheeky and ask a follow up, but if I want to improve my rhythm (I tend to rush a bit and make a hash of things when under pressure) does that count as a swing thought? Someone on this board suggested thinking "1, 2, 3" as you swing. Would that be better than just thinking something like "smooth and easy"?

NB: Try and make your rhythm a two-beat thing. So think: 'One and two' like a swing of a pendulum and use the 'and' as the change of direction.

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Your golf questions answered
24 Jan 06 |  Get Involved
Your golf questions answered
20 Oct 05 |  Get Involved

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