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I'm still here!
Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I must apologise for the rather large gap between my updates, 2011 has been such a busy year so far, all of it success too!

My coaching role at Stonelees has worked out wonderfully and I am building up a very strong customer base, several of my pupils have reduced their handicaps more than what they had aimed for and have won various club competitions in the process. The centre's management had asked me to design a short game practice area for the facility and I'm overseeing the construction work on that now. We should have it open ready for next Spring.

I have also been involved with reviving the Junior section at the club which is called the Young Eagles. We offer the children unlimited golf, a free golf lesson, discounts on range balls and have been running Trailblazers competitions for the under 13 year olds. Please visit for more information. The section also has a Facebook page "Young Eagles at Stonelees" and a Twitter page @YoungEaglesSGC.

Away from work I have just bought my first property and on the day we got the keys I proposed to my now fiancé Lucy! We plan on getting married in 2014. Buying the house was very stressful and was one of the main reasons for me not finding time to update you all on my progress. To make things worse for my stress levels at the time, less than 2 weeks later I was involved in a car accident on the way to a tournament and had my car written off. No injuries, but no car meant no golf tournaments unless I got lifts...

My tournament golf has been very poor this season, I have won very little money and as a result have had to ease up on how many tournaments I want to play in.

Since we had the Open Championship in the county last month, my diary has been almost fully booked everyday, so I am taking this opportunity to earn as much money as I can from my lessons and then focus hard on my golf when I have more time. I am still playing in events and trying my best; I have events throughout September so I have not given up trying!

Hopefully next time I write it will be more about my success on the golf course! JJ

PGA Winter Series at the London Club
Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I have played a lot of golf at the London Club so was confident that I could do well in this tournament, I had played the course twice in the week prior and had played very well. My day didn't go as well as I wished, but my result was still acceptable.

I played my front 9 which was the course's back 9 in 2 over par, I made 2 birdies in the first 6 holes but bogeys at the 3rd and 9th plus a double bogey on the 8th did not help me. My double bogey was very poor as I 3 putted from only 3 feet!

I knew I still had a chance of getting under par if I could take advantage of the par 5's I had left and maybe make some birdies elsewhere, but I just couldn't get the ball in the hole, I kept missing the fairways with my driver and watched birdie putts miss on the 10th, 11th and 13th. Another missed fairway on the 14th meant I faced my second shot with a ball lieing badly and covered in mud, I missed the green with a 7 iron and failed to get up and down after trying hard not to fat my chip shot!

The 8th at The London Club's International course

I was now 3 over par and only 4 holes left, I kept telling myself that every hole was a birdie opportunity and I could get under par, but all I could do was make pars and had to get up and down for my par on the 16th. Another birdie did come on my 17th hole (the 8th on the card - pictured above) which was a 185 yard par 3 over water, where I struck a 4 iron to 4 feet and managed to roll the putt in. I then again had to get up and down for my par on the last hole and managed to post of score of 74, 2 over par.

I walked off the golf course feeling exhausted, everything had just been so difficult, I was fighting with my driver and was still frustrated on the greens with my putter, so 2 over par wasn't really the end of the world. I finished tied 20th out of 77 players and missed out on prize money by just 1 shot and this was with my B game, so I'm looking forward to getting my A game back ready for my next tournament in 2 weeks time. JJ.

A positive start
Monday, January 24, 2011

Prince's Golf Club was the venue for the first event of the 2011 PGA season and the weather could not have been better, it was cold, but the wind was low. The event was to be played over the Shore and Dune's with my tee time being at 9:30am off the 1st of the Shore. I was hoping for a really fast start over the first 5 holes as they were playing down wind and although I had good birdie chances on 4 of the greens, I didn't make any of them. My par run continued for the rest of the front 9 until I short sided myself on the 9th hole, I nearly holed the chipped, shouting at my golf ball to hit the stick, but it the hole and ran out to 4 feet. I missed it, for the first dropped shot of my round.

The back 9 started like the front, PAR, PAR, PAR, PAR and I've missed 2 good birdie chances on the 11th and 12th (I missed from 2 feet on the 12th!). I hit the green in regulation again on the 14th but 3 putted for my second dropped shot and then a pulled drive into deep rough on the next also saw me make bogey. I was now 3 over through 15 and slipping down the leaderboard, but my first birdie came on the 16th after a driver and a 7 iron finished very close. I left my birdie putt on the 17th hanging on the edge of the cup and watched my 12 foot birdie effort on the last shave the left edge of the cup.

I finished with a score of 74, 2 over par, I had only made one birdie in my round and had missed a hat full of chances with the putter. I missed a high percentage of my putts right of the hole and I could feel that I wasn't even start my putts on line, I've got a good idea that I had not been releasing the putter face through impact, so once I've finished this I am off to work on the putting green.

My 74 was good enough for a tie of 6th place, but 8 other people had the same score as me, so we shared all of the prize money from 6th to 12th place (that's as far as the prizes went down to), it meant that the 9 of us walked away with only £43.33! This was very disappointing, but I have to take the positives from how well I hit the ball and just think that I've started the season with a top 10 finish. I'll try and warm the putter up for the next event at the London Club on the 8th February. JJ

2011 at Stonelees - new year, new job!
Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year to everybody - I wish you all the best and hope everyone's golf improves this year. Make it your New Year's Resolution to fix all those faults in your swing!

Joe Jezzard at Stonelees Golf CentreI haven't updated the blog for the last couple of months because I haven't had anything very interesting to say, the snow was mostly to blame as it stopped me from working for almost 6 weeks, but here is something that may interest you...

I have started the New Year with a new job, tomorrow is my last day working for Jude Read at the Walmer and Kingsdown Golf Club and I have taken the plunge to become self-employed and coach full time at the Stonelees Golf Centre. I will be working 5 days a week at the centre with most of my teaching hours being in the evening, this will free up many hours during the day for me to work hard on my own golf and also my fitness. I now have plans to play in over 50 tournaments in 2011 on the PGA South Region Tour and the 66 Pro Tour (see my early season schedule here).

Many young golfers or even professionals who are reading this (and if you know a bit about me now) may be thinking, this guy has gone from Royal Cinque Ports to Walmer and Kingsdown and now on to Stonelees. Well yes, the prestige of the golf clubs has gone downward, but my earnings and more importantly my quality of life has increased. And I would also add that Stonelees is expanding fast, and is actually the most forward thinking golf course in the area. It's how golf should be learned and played, hassle free and fun!

Being a PGA Professional gives you many roads to walk down and opens many more doors for a career, many club pros will try to earn money from many revenues such as retail, coaching and playing, Ian Poulter is a PGA pro and just earns his money from playing and I have decided to earn my money from coaching and hopefully playing too.

Retail for a PGA Professional has become very difficult since the increase in Internet usage and the likes of American Golf etc, club pros are made to price match and feel as if they must hold a huge amount of stock, and with staff their overheads become massive! Unless you land a job at a very busy golf club with members that have money to spend I think it will be very hard to earn a decent living.

When it comes to coaching, and take Stonelees as an example, the average standard of golf is quite basic, and a large percentage of the customers there are new to golf. They all need and want lessons! My overheads will be very low, very close to zero and if my diary stays busy I will have great earning potential.

I am going to play a lot this year and will hopefully make a profit, but I will probably spend over £3000 in 2011 on expenses such as entrance fees, travel and hotels. The standard of golf even at my level is still so high, I played with and against pros in 2010 who will be playing European Tour events this year, they really are that good! So to make a living from playing is also a tough deal.

What I am trying to say - and this is my personal opinion, some people won't agree with me - but I feel that making a living from retail and playing is so hard and only a small few manage to do it. You might think well do all three like a club pro, but this is where it gets difficult again, because the club pro spends so much time trying to make the shop work, he/she gets only a few hours a week to teach (so his/her coaching suffers) and very little time to play let alone practice (his/her own golf suffers the most), so although the club pro is doing everything the retail side becomes the most important because he/her is employeed by the club to provide this service to the club's members.

I am now in a lucky situation where I can coach at very busy facility and teach as much as I want. In today's climate you have to go where the money is and think about what you want from life, not what other people think about where you work.

If you are looking to improve your golf please come and see me at Stonelees, visit my website and get in contact. Lesson costs at Stonelees are very reasonable, at only £20 for half an hour (£10 for 16yo and under), or a course of 6 lessons for £100 (£50 for juniors).

Or if you are looking to turn professional and do the PGA degree or even if you are already a professional and would like some advice, please also get in touch, I would love to help!

All the best for 2011! JJ.

To read Joe's 2010 blog, please click here

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