Geoff Lound is the Head Teaching Professional at the Tourbound Golf Academy in downtown Chicago, which is home to the RoboGolfPro, a revolutionary robotic swing trainer. Geoff is also an instructor at Glencoe Golf Club throughout the warm weather months.
In the second part of our podcast interview with Mr. Lound, we learn:
- How the RobogolfPro provides the beginner a great start and correct movement to learn the golf swing faster
- When is the best time of year to make improvements to your game
- The one skill everyone can improve in the off season – even without swinging a golf club
- A simple drill to improve balance for golfers
- Geoff’s favorite courses in Australia and Chicagoland
Interviewer: Walter Lis. Running Time: 23:34
Chicago Golf Report: Another player that I believe is involved with RoboGolfPro and owns one or at least has it at his own training facilities is David Toms. Obviously with a younger plays, players new to the game, RoboGolfPro is a fantastic way to learn because it’s more of a feel process instead of strategic. How is it more with advanced players, how do you like teach advanced players with the RoboGolfPro?
Geoff Lound: That’s right it’s always an enjoyable thing to work with a better player. You know I’ve had a few of my former college teammates here and fellow professionals, as well as some really strong amateurs. And sometimes they need the smallest little adjustment that they just can’t work out, so even that small adjustment can make a big difference in their game. For the more experienced players they can get the movement or the feeling a little faster and maybe it’s just a couple of swings.
So again it’s fun and even for the beginner. Actually I saw a video, I think it was Tiger Woods. He was making comments in I guess the success in Korea – there’s a lot of young talent coming out there and he mentioned that there’s these schools where they’re just swinging indoors for months and I’m sure they use teaching aids and video over there. And from there they haven’t even got to the driving range or the golf course until they’ve got this competent movement. And I think what the robot does is provides that for a beginner. It provides them a great start and correct movement.
Now the RoboGolfPro, what’s unique about it and I think a lot of people when they first look at it may be shy away from it, the robot can create any swing that is needed. So it will match any body type or if someone has a lack of flexibility then it can make any sort of movement.
So for anyone starting out, you know I had a nine year old on it the other day who’s barely played. Then I had someone that had played at a very high level. You can get the correct movement straight away and so rather than that little bit of trial and error and moving forward with a couple of seasons or more with making some errors that are hard to un-train, it’s just giving you I guess that quality head start.
Anyway, golf’s still difficult. It’s not as if you’ll go straight to the course and you’re ready for the Tour, but short answer, again its giving you a pretty good head start as a beginner and then hopefully a bit of clarity or a little adjustment for a better player that’s just lost their way.
Chicago Golf Report: One of the things that Chicago golfers always have to deal with is the weather and the fact that our golf season can be somewhat restricted depending upon the length of winter. Having a RoboGolfPro downtown in the City of Chicago presents a unique opportunity.
How do you work with people in the off season? Is that a good time to be sort of working on the game with the RoboGolfPro? Or do you get more people sort of finding you during the middle of the season? What do you typically see or is it spread out throughout the year?
Geoff Lound: It’s spread out, but if I was going to have an ideal coaching strategy it would be to have people maybe enjoy a little bit of time and reflect on how the season went. I think the seasons here are great as far as breaking up the season of golf.
It’s a great time to reflect and sometimes people just need to maintain what they’ve done this year, you know they’ve played really nicely. Or some people might feel that they’ve not play to their full potential. So coming in before the holidays and certainly a good old New Year’s resolution, it’s the best time for me to make more serious, especially technical changes in the off season when you’re not playing.
The cognitive stage of learning or when you are thinking a lot doesn’t mesh well when you are going out to play. Ideally you get out there and you have a good pre-shot routine, good visual cues and just swing away. And hopefully your technique is good.
So if you are working on your technique, if a small change or maybe a bigger one during the winter, hopefully then by the spring and hopefully having a warmer spring next year, hopefully by then you’re ready to play and that’s where I would start to do some on course coaching ideally. I would do some skills testing so you can hopefully transition that learned technical competence over the break, and actually turn it into good scores. Because it’s not just about having a good swing is about getting the ball in the hole.
So if somebody comes to me in the middle of the season and they are coming to start golf or make a change, of course we assess whatever we need to do and make the best of it. But again, the off season is great and being downtown in the loop in Chicago, it’s very easy to access for those who are working, or even public transport you know from the surrounds. So it’s a great set up and it’s fun to work with those, and again see some great results for them for the next year.
Chicago Golf Report: Do you have a go-to tip that you give to golfers, especially Chicago golfers when they’re in the off-season, leading into the next season? Is there something that you say, hey think about this as you’re starting off your new season?
Geoff Lound: Well I tell my students or anyone I guess that asks, that even if you can’t get out to play, go to an indoor facility. If you just keep swinging now, you might not even need a club.
Sometimes a wooden spoon, if you grab that and some of my more dedicated students, just having a golf club in your house if you’ve got room and you’re not going to break anything. If you can just keep swinging, one of the key things for me is balance.
If you have balance with your body you can have a chance to control your golf club, and then obviously the club face if you’re trying to hit the ball straight. So one of the things that I would encourage people to do is work on their balance while swinging.
So that could be one or two little exercises. Have your feet completely together, golfing posture, swinging backwards and forwards without stopping. So finish the follow-through and straight back through backwards and forwards, may be about 10 reps.
What that can do is without thinking too much, keeps you in balance. It keeps the flow in swing in golf. It’s very easy when you are starting to work on some technique, you think about positions and obviously one of them could be on that and swing through position.
So swing backwards and forwards with your feet together, or a very common exercise that is very effective is standing on your lead leg. So, if you are right handed, on your left leg, pull your right foot slightly back and barely any weight on that back foot. And again swing backwards and forwards trying to keep that in posture.
And again if you’re swinging backwards and forwards, your muscles, your brain is still keeping active and again balance. If you can have good balance you’ve got a pretty good chance of playing to the best of your ability.
Chicago Golf Report: So last question, I’d love to get your thoughts on your favorite places to play. I would like to get a course say from your home, I know you mentioned you played Royal Melbourne before and I don’t know if that would be it, and then a course or two here in the Chicagoland area that you really love to play.
Geoff Lound: Yeah, I was very fortunate to play at Royal Melbourne. Those that don’t know the course it’s beautifully manicured. It’s an Alistair McKenzie design, and it’s a little more of a links style course.
So depending on how the wind is playing it can really affect, and you can have a different golf course. You know, from the morning to the afternoon let alone day-to-day, the conditions are always wonderful and you have to be very creative in the different shots you have to play. It’s a little different than may be your more traditional American course, where the edge of the greens are closely mown, and they will usually go down into collection areas.
So again you play to be a bit more creative with your short game, and I enjoy that. But you’ve got a lot of great history there. When I did play there they had the Presidents Cup, so I think that is maybe the only time that the internationals have won that, so that was kind of fun.
But in the Chicagoland area we’re not short of golf courses here and there’s some phenomenal golf courses. I think probably the toughest is Butler National, and usually wonderful conditions. Its hosted professional events a few years back.
And I haven’t played it yet, but I’ve heard great things about Mistwood. They’ve done some great work down there, and made some changes, and usually great conditions.
I actually coach outdoors when the weather is nice at Glencoe Golf Club and for me not to mention there, I think the greens there are always fantastic. I’ve played some of the great country clubs here in the area and I think they are all very good causes. But, you know I find that Glencoe, their greens are outstanding, so I have a lot of people there that come up and have a great time there.
So again you’ve got a great array of courses in the area and which is great for juniors starting out to have the quality of courses in the area is wonderful. And even although living here or traveling, you can play at a number of different courses public or even some private. It’s just nice to have a slightly longer season as we did this year to enjoy them.