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The need for speed...

I HOPE 2019 has started exactly how you wanted it to and you’re already on your journey to achieving your goals and dreams for this year. And how are those New Year resolutions going? I’ve stayed pretty strong so far with my diet plans and I’ve certainly upped my training, which started back in November with my new fitness coach Mark Parry. I want to make a difference to myself this off-season and doing that will have plenty of positive effects on my golf going forward – more speed, more power, more self–confidence, all of which will hopefully drag my career out for longer. I’ve not had a long off-season for a while, and even though this one is through negative reasons after losing my card I feel it’s a blessing in disguise.

I get to spend time with my family, and also make some technical and physical changes. Fitness and nutrition are certainly things I wish I had taken a lot more seriously at an early age. Looking back to when I was 18, and knowing now what benefits there are from both fitness and nutrition, it seems stupid that I didn’t work harder on this area. It’s certainly a piece of advice I would pass on to any keen up-and-coming players: “Seek advice from a golf specific expert, take it seriously and work hard.” I’m now playing catch up with the new young breed of golfer coming through the system, and I don’t want to get left any further behind. There is no getting away from the fact that times are changing whether you like it or not. In another five years there will be a load more Cameron Champs and Brooks Koepkas. So, welcome Mark Parry to Team Hanson – and feel free to get in touch with him on Instagram/Twitter (@markparrygolf) if you have any questions about what we’re up to or specifically about what he does. Mark is a freelance personal trainer based in Estepona, Spain, but he’s also a specific golf trainer working with clients from beginners to Major champions, and he also competes in Long Drive Championships. So, what have we been doing? Well it started with testing my mobility, strength and power. You have to understand what you can and can’t do, and set some benchmarks so you can plan and push towards some goals. Also, how do you know how much you have improved if you don’t get a starting point? Okay, you kind of know and can feel a difference, but personally it’s great to see numbers, as they certainly don’t lie. So, the basic plan is to get four gym sessions per week planned in around my golf practice and playing, and along with that three cardio sessions, which for me involves running. I try to run between 3-5 miles each time, and make one of those CV sessions an interval sprint session. I really hate doing cardio work in the gym; I like to be outdoors exploring – and running does that for me. It’s so flexible; all you need are a pair of trainers and off you go wherever you are in the world. Here’s Mark’s take on it so far. “Having started working with Chris in early December, it’s been great to see him apply himself to the programmes I’ve set. He really knows what he wants to achieve and is well on his way to smashing his goals, and I’m sure we will be resetting those goals sooner than we thought”. The gym sessions all include strength and speed training. They target my physical limitations and challenge my stability and mobility in all exercises. The aim is to build a solid foundation of strength followed by speed, from where we can then move on to more power–based exercises. So, my goals to the end of February are to: n Increase driver swing speed to 120mph n Have a more stable lower body in my golf posture and takeaway n Be able to make an easier/longer backswing turn with my irons n Make a difference to my physical appearance n Create some good food and drink habits in terms of meals, snacks and hydration. I’m already on target to achieving some of these goals. Along with technical work on my swing, I’ve been doing specific sessions where speed has been my main focus. I still make it a performance test, but on Trackman I do a 10-ball test where I try to complete my routine and perform well on the test, but my intentions are to swing the club as fast as I can. I then take my high-speed score, my average speed score, and the test score. It’s fair to say I’ve been enjoying my training lately and also the technical work I’ve been doing. I seem to work really well when I’m set a challenge or a target, or have to change something; it seems to focus my mind better and makes it easier to drive me towards my goals. I know it’s extremely early days and a long way off before I start to compete again, but I’m super excited about the year ahead, and I hope you’re looking forward to this next chapter in my golfing adventure. I’m certainly looking forward to sharing the journey back with you.

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