A new approach to golf

Interview with Scott Dixon

Konect March 2015

The first rule is, there are no rules.” Not precisely golf coach Scott Dixon's words, but definitely the gist of his approach.

“The perception is that golf is an incredibly complicated and frustrating game,” he says, “and in many ways it is. But I allow people to explore and experiment rather than getting hung up on what is technically 'correct'”.

I met Kirknewton-resident Scott at his base at the Dalmahoy Golf Club. He's a keen sportsman who has taken up every sport that came his way - anything to do with hitting or kicking a ball, and has even dabbled in running (gaining a decent marathon time before abandoning it); and golf is the sport that has endured for him.

 He became addicted as a teenager, spending many hours on the course with his mates. A PGA Professional, he is a full time coach at the Dalmahoy Golf Club where he has been employed for nearly 20 years. And in his spare time? “I play golf,” he says, looking at me as if it were a crazy question...

Scott's coaching philosophy is based on his experience of nearly losing his passion for the game due to getting too fixated on technique. “I loved golf until the day someone said to me that I had a fault in my swing that needed to be fixed. From that day I became obsessed with technique and would come away from coaching sessions in a worse state than before.” It changed when someone gave him a totally different lesson; rather than talking about fixing faults it was all about how the ball and club worked, so that he could start to work out the best way for himself. He got his passion back.

“I coach children a lot, who are fantastic the way they learn. Adults tend to think they need something more complex, but in fact we need to break it down into making each task simpler and keeping it fun. Observing the way children learn is a great lesson we can apply to adult coaching too.”

This year Scott is experimenting with alternative forms of golf so people can enjoy it without being intimidated by it. “Golf is struggling with reduced membership of clubs across the board, and it's struggling for a reason,” Scott says. “If you look at other sports there are often different versions - such as tennis/paddle tennis - to appeal to a broader range of people. I'd like to see that for golf. In the past in my coaching sessions I've used bigger golf balls and higher tees which is great for building confidence and getting gratification more quickly.”

And finally, what sets golf apart for him? “It sounds like a cliché but it really is a game the whole family can play together. You're on the course together, you're outdoors spending quality time – that's the essence of good golf.”

Kids Golf Camps 2015 at the Marriott Dalmahoy

Five day camps in July and August at Dalmahoy Golf Course. All coaching from PGA Professionals on a 1:8 ratio. Ages 8 – 14. We believe in the kids and their ability to work golf out through play, experimenting and exploration. We provide the tools, the place and the support to let the magic of your child shine with discovery and talent. Book now for the summer. For more information please call or email Scott on 07931 176 154 scott.dixon@marriotthotels.com.

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