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European Tour stalwart branches out
November 17, 2010

The European Tour is about to get a powerful new resource as Harold Swash Putting School director of instruction Phil Kenyon re-aligns his offering to professional golfers.

Kenyon has been a familiar sight on practice greens wherever the Tour competes - ordinarily seen next to Yes! Golf tour bags bulging with C-Groove Putters. He recently enjoyed a record Ryder Cup with 3 European team members taking coaching from him at Celtic Manor - Ed Molinari, Peter Hanson and Ross Fisher. His name is also indelibly linked with the more recent development of the Variable Shaft-weighting System - another genuine technological innovation - in 2008.

While the unique attributes of grooved face technology remain pretty much undisputed as the most important thing in putting innovation since 1995, Kenyon nonetheless feels he has taken his mentoring development as far as he can with this hardware focus and from next season he will be focusing his attendances on tour purely as a 'specialist putting coach'.

"Since Harold Swash first started coaching on Tour over 30 years ago the core principles of our putting methodology have remained relatively unchanged," explains Kenyon. "And they have remained unchanged because they are simply unique. For me Harold wrote the book .

"We haven't ever had to dilute our message, shift our philosophy or re-align our methodology just to outsmart competitors, because what Harold Swash discovered about putting principles 30 years ago hasn't changed. We've only translated our coaching into different languages for the countries where our accredited instructors now teach, while we have moved with the times and embraced technology to help get across the message and demonstrate what's fact or fiction."

It's a valid point he makes...

Whether manufacturers make drivers, shoes, technical apparel, wedges or whatever the basic rules of marketing warfare dictate that the combatants must operate with one eye on what the market wants and the other eye on what the competition's doing. That's all very well, concedes Kenyon, but when the two criteria are at odds, can any satisfactory result really come out at the end?

Either way, the putting guru from Southport feels more comfortable in his Harold Swash 'hat' than ever. A selection of C-Groove Putters will never be far from his reach, and players who benefit from using them will doubtless keep them.

However the representing a specific brand of hardware will now play second fiddle to the HSPSE method as far as Kenyon is concerned. One of the key benefits for him will be a Tour business community that will feel much less threatened by a competitor putter brand than they will by a coaching system that has no real peer.

Effectively his access to Tour players should now be eased, owing to the fact that lucrative club endorsements can return to being the property of the business managers and not need to be refereed on the practice greens.

For the immediate future, Phil Kenyon's time is taken up with winter coaching and meeting demand at his new HQ at Formby Hall from more club golfers than Tour players. That said, the new location has already had visitors that include David Horsey, Chris Wood and Edoardo Molinari - while Kenyon himself is scheduled to visit the UAE for the climactic Dubai World Championship.

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