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On the range with Ross Fisher's coach

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Rob Hodgetts | 14:42 UK time, Sunday, 6 September 2009

Ever wanted to know what a top pro does when he goes to meet his coach? Me too.

So I fixed up a meeting with Ross Fisher's swing guru Kristian Baker, the head of instruction at Wentworth.

This is the man who has coached Fisher from a raw, big-hitting amateur to fifth at this year's US Open, topping the greens in regulation stats for the week.

Fisher also led the Open by three shots early in the final round at Turnberry, only to slip away, but he has won twice on the European Tour in only five years as a pro.

So what's the secret? How often do they meet? What do they focus on? How long is a practice session? Is it just the swing, or do they look at other things? How long does it take to make changes? Is it just like a lesson you and I would have with our local professional?

I'll aim to get to the bottom of all of these questions and see if I can't bag a few swing tips to share around while I'm there.

So if you want to know how you build a top Tour pro, what makes Ross tick, what a typical coaching session is like, or just get some advice on your own game, send your questions in and I'll put the best to Kristian.

And if we all come out of the exercise having shaved a couple of shots off our next round, it'll have been worth it.


  • Comment number 1.

    I find the biggest distance gap of all my irons is sand wedge to pitching wedge.

    I don't always get the full distance from my sand wedge and sometimes come up short.

    What practises help maximise distance from the sand wedge.

  • Comment number 2.

    Please advise, can you suggest a way in which to slow my golf swing down. I find that when I try and slow my swing down I lose distance and when if I return to my normal swing my shot fades to the right.

  • Comment number 3.

    My position in the upswing should be decent (I think), as I try to ensure full turn of hips and shoulders. However, it seems that I have some difficulty to create `lag`, with which I would like to get some more distance. Which exercises can you advise to improve `lag`?

  • Comment number 4.

    Ho w do You get full distance with your wedges and ensure they don't just go skywards?

  • Comment number 5.

    I have been playing a lot over the last week and in poor conditions (strong wind and rain) the fairways are very soft and my approach shots usually hit "fat". When conditions are like that what adjustments to the position of the ball in the stance would you reccommend to avoid large divots and shots that just don't get there? If you move the ball back in the stance should it be more open to compensate?

  • Comment number 6.

    Hi, Do you have any tips on using long Irons (3/4) or fairway woods off the fairway? With other Iron play I take divots which isn't normally a problem as I still get the distance, but when it comes to using the longer clubs it is. They also have a tendency to go right more often than not and the swing still feels the same? I've tried moving the ball forward, but still have the same result.

  • Comment number 7.

    Hi all,

    Cheers for the questions so far. I'm seeing Kristian on Tuesday so if anyone has any more to put to him, get them in quick.


  • Comment number 8.

    I have been struggling with my golf game for over a year now. The reason being is that I do not strike the ball clean enough and find that I tend to cut/slice/shank the ball as result of hitting with the shaft/heel. My backswing seems good enough(on mobile video) but seem to come down on a different path than the backswing. When I try to stand further away form the ball I end up hitting the ball off the toe of the club, causing me to lose distance etc.
    Are there any excercies that you can suggest to help strike the ball clean from the middle of the club and create a draw?
    Do any of the pro's which you coach get any of these problems?!?!

  • Comment number 9.

    In the past few Ryder Cup years, many leaing British pros set themselves nonsensical schedules, Westwood in the past, Casey, Poulter, Rose more recently, in every case to the detriment of their form.
    What advice do you give Ross in compiling his schedule at a time when so many goodies (Ryder Cup, WGC events, R2D, etc, let alone the Majors) conspire to ceate conflicts for all but the most disciplined pros?

  • Comment number 10.

    Hi, I'm working on restricting my hip turn and am trying to get some ideas on what to visualise (or feel) and any drills you could advise. I'm pretty flexible so it's not a problem to get a full shoulder turn. Thanks.

  • Comment number 11.

    Hi, In recent years my handicap has unfortunately gone up from 8 - 12! I think that the biggest factor for this is that my enthusiasm and motivation to practice has dwindled. Have you got any tips on how to freshen up my approach to practice so hopefully I can turn things around


  • Comment number 12.

    A big question for me that I never see covered in magazines is how to actually make swing changes. Obviously this assumes you already know what you want to change but I have several questions on this subject:

    a) How to make the changes in practice the most effectively? (ive tried all the following with varying degrees of success: drills, camera work, tell a friend what you are working on, swings at half speed, practicing without a ball??)
    b) How to play (well) in competitions when trying to make swing changes?
    c) How much can a person actually change their swing and how much is just natural swing DNA (I get frustrated about how much effort I put in and how much the swing looks the same - also drift back to old habits)

    For the record I play off 6 (trying to get to cat 1). I'm trying (and have been for some time) to change my takeaway. Basically my hands come away from my body (causing a poor swingplane) and I have a tendency for my left wrist to loose the angle with the forearm (causing a closed clubface)


  • Comment number 13.

    hello i am a golf fanatic as well as other sports such as football and tennis but i play a lot of golf especially with my girlfriend who i introduced to the game of golf in the past year and to my surprise is a born natural she has a very athletic swing and has hit some amazing shots the thing i was wondering is that i believe she has the talent to make it in the ladies game as she hits the ball harder and crisper then i ever will but i don't know how to get her noticed as golf memberships are very expensieve nowadays which means she is unable to enter competitions and she could really do with someone from the world of golf guiding her as i believe she is a find for the game and being English we need some more success in the womans game hope you can help will be a major waste of talent otherwise

  • Comment number 14.

    Most of us know that the correct shaft to any club is the key to the start of stricking the golf ball to the best of our individual abilities. However there appears to be no standard in the different golf club staft manufactures ie. a regular shaft made by one manufacture could be regarded as a stiff shaft by another. Does this mean we must continue by trial and error to achieve a club that suits us as individuals. Rob I would be interested in your comments.

  • Comment number 15.

    I have a natural upright swing. I have recently been working hard on trying to achieve a flatter and more correct swing plane. I am having difficulty in finding a consistent plane. Are there any drills to groove a feeling of being in the correct position at the top of the back swing?

  • Comment number 16.

    i have been told me right knee collapses as i hit the ball and hit the ball heavy. the problem is it does not happen all the time, but when it does its a card wrecker. Do you have any tips or drills on maintaining my height so i can stop this happening. Lookng forward to your comments.

  • Comment number 17.


    Whaat area of the country do you live in?

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    Mclarenm 23 the area of country i live in is the south east i beleive 20minutes away from wentworth actually which is why you can see why i say it is so expensieve for a golf membership especially around the south east where some clubs can charge up to 5000 a year membership fees and it really is a shame for my girlfriend who's talent will be wasted down to the costs of playing the game, travel, clubs, competitions, clothes of which she cannot afford let alone myself, why is it you need to know what area i am from?

  • Comment number 20.

    Hi, for an amateur looking to get down to a single figure handicap. What would you recommend is a good balance and effective use of time between practicing on the range and actually playing on the course. Currently I go to the range for around 2–3hrs a week and play every other week. I just wondered how much time the pros spend practicing as apposed to actually playing? Thanks

  • Comment number 21.

    Hi, in a typical practice session with Ross, as a percentage how much of this practice time focuses on the short game and wedge play (i.e from 120 yrds and within) and how much time is spent on Ross's long game, particularly his driving? Also how often would you recommend a single figure amateur should have a session with a pro to check and monitor the progress of their swing? Thanks

  • Comment number 22.

    Hi all,

    Thanks for all your questions. I saw Kristian on Tuesday and will post his replies in due course. Suffice to say, I'm not going to be breaking 80 anytime soon.


  • Comment number 23.

    Hi I have been playing golf for about 4 years (age 56) .My handicap has dropped from 30 to 15 . I generally strike my irons very well and get good distance .In order to be lower in the handicap I need to use my driver, but I am hopeless with it .Is there something different about playing with woods in general?.In the main I slice with them.


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