Lynn Marriott and Pia Nilsson have quite a CV. They are currently the top two ranked female coaches in the US.
They coach an array of golfers from the top level and they formerly coached arguably the best women’s golfer of all time, Annika Sorenstam.
They are also the founders of VISION54 which has won awards like ‘The Best Golf School in America”
So, it was a pleasure for me to do this interesting Q&A with them to understand in more depth their coaching methods/beliefs and I think there are a things here that could make you think differently with your own approach to golf.
1. What are the main beliefs/messages of your world-renowned academy, VISION54?
For golfers to play better ON the course and enjoy their golf more. Here is more:
2. The number One mental mistake you see from amateurs on the golf course?
Not paying attention to something productive as they are swinging. Something sensory is far more optimal than internal thinking. Things like…
- Feel a constant grip pressure throughout your swing.
- See the ball flight.
- Sense 75% tempo during the swing.
- Feel balance at finish.
3. The number one mistake you see when golfers are practising?
Thinking too much while they are swinging instead of an athletic feel/sense.
4. Could you give a brief summary of what a golfer would learn from reading Be a Player?
Very applicable explorations of what you should do before, during, after and between shots to find what works best for you on the golf course.
You can find ”Be a Player” here.
5. Why do you think so many golfers focus on technical skills and ignore the mental/performance side?
Because that’s what is being taught, what is talked about on TV and written about in the media. It’s also where all “faults” becomes observable.
6. Greatest ball striker/s you have ever seen?
Tiger and Ariya Jutanugarn.
7. You have worked with many tour pro’s, so do you feel a different sense of pressure when you are working with the elite?
No not really. The scores are a little more important though! And it can challenge our competence more, but it makes it exciting for us.
8. A 58 has now been accomplished by Jim Furyk, so do you truly believe somebody one day will shoot 54?
Yes, we don’t know when, and it doesn’t matter when…. but we do think it’s humanly possible. Many 26’s and 27’s have been shot on the tours for 9 holes! It will take more time until more players believe it’s possible and they train even more integrated (technical, physical, mental, emotional skills)
9. What would be a typical day at one of your VISION54 Schools?
A mix of practice, presenting and on course training.
10. When I read Be a Player – the one thing that has really stuck with me is the memory box concept. How important is it for somebody to become self-aware of their actions after a shot?
Extremely, since what you tie emotions to, will be memories stored for ALL future reference.
11. What are your opinions of having swing thoughts?
Not optimal, you don’t want the cognitive mind to be active during execution. You can have a swing feel and you want some target and shot sense as well.
12. How would your average golfer go about working on their tempo?
First learn to feel the difference between slow, medium and fast. Which makes you swing your best?
13. Lots of our audience are UK based, so do you offer an online coaching program?
14. Other than your own great books – what are your top 3 golf books you would recommend (anything golf related)?
- ”Swing the Club head” by Ernest Jones,
- Harvey Pennick’s ”Little Red book”
- ”Golf in the Kingdom” by Michael Murphy
15. Best golf course you have ever played?
St Andrews Old course…due to the history
16. Do you use any training aids in your coaching or on your own game?
We are experts on ON course training, so no teaching aids. We like the Orange Whip for warm up.
17. What do you think made your former pupil, Annika Sorenstam one of the greatest women’s golfers ever?
Her vision towards excellence (Shooting 54), her honesty, her work ethics and her persistence.
18. If a golfer is really struggling to improve – where should they look first?
Go beyond technique. Start with BTT – balance, tempo and tension awareness.
Balance – Hit 3 shots with your feet together and finish in balance. Then hit 3 shots using only the left foot and then the right foot.
Tempo – Hit shots with slow, medium and fast tempo. Which is best?
Tension Awareness – Hit shots with a soft, medium and firm grip pressure. Which is best?
Tension Awareness – Hit shots with supple, medium and tight upper body. Which is best?
Here are some YouTube videos to help you with this.
19. Where can golfers find all of your great content, books, programs etc?
Hope you enjoyed that quick fire interview. I have studied lots of Pia and Lynn’s content and they are masters at ensuring golfers perform where it matters, the golf course.
Lots of golfers struggle to transfer their skills to the course often enough, so if this is you, I would certainly recommend delving into their content to learn some practical skills to help you achieve the scores you crave.
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Currently a low handicap golfer who is striving to become a scratch player. I have a very keen passion for the mental side of the game as I feel this is holding lots of golfers back from fulfilling their potential (as it did me) and also stopping them from enjoying this awesome game it as much as they should.