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Harold Swash Putting School pioneers new vision
December 10, 2010

Last summer saw an entirely new dimension introduced by the Harold Swash School of Putting  (HSPSE) as a result of a collaboration with the Michel Guillon Sports Vision Clinic.

Interested onlookers would first have seem some strange activity on the practice putting green at Gleneagles - if they were there at the Johnny Walker Championship - as some of the players embraced 'eye tracking technology' to help them understand more about what brings success on the greens.

Phil Kenyon is director of Instruction at HSPSE, and he introduced the new coaching component as a result of his experience of how players sometimes struggle with alignment and the finer points of putting mechanics. Michel Guillon has helped introduce some revolutionary technology, into an already established coaching programme, that helps assess how the eyes work during the stroke. Used in conjunction with the SAM Putt Lab system and hi-speed video this enables a thorough understanding of how a golfer might do things in certain ways.

Interestingly, one of the golfers that embraced the new technology at Gleneagles was Edoardo Molinari, who is a long-standing pupil of Phil Kenyon's.

"It keeps the Harold Swash School at the top of the game when it comes to putting science, both within the professional game as well as for more serious club golfers," explains Kenyon. "Our clients share with us an innate understanding of putting mechanics and a grasp of how important putting is in golfing strategy and course management.

"This depth of understanding flagged up ophthalmic peculiarities of individual players as an important variable, and when players like Ed Molinari become interested so quickly we know we're on the right track with our coaching development."

Michel Gullion, is first and foremost an expert in sports vision, and this is his first incursion into professional golf. Put simply, the system offers a screening to establish the visual health of golfers, and how aspects like stigmatism and blurred peripheral vision might affect how different individuals manage their alignment. As a baseline assessment it will often have the most fundamental bearing on how a golfer is coached in use of his or her putter.

HSPSE founder Harold Swash introduced the world's first putting coaching methodology in the form of a documented training philosophy whose accredited coaches use the same methods worldwide. It has caused a paradigm shift in the way Tour golfers hone their putting skills, due partly to the fact that its mechanical consistency means players can get the same skills reinforced anywhere they compete - be it Hong Kong, Perth, Scotland, Dubai or Carolina. The philosophy is now being driven by Swash protégé Phil Kenyon who coaches many of Europe's leading players such as Ross Fisher Darren Clarke and Chris Wood on their putting.

Swash also invented the concept of the C-Groove Putter, a technological benchmark that stands out as one of the very few genuine golf innovations of a generation.

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