Stephen Hayes keeping golfers winter ready

Stephen Hyes has launched his winter coaching programmes at Cork Golf Centre.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

PGA Professional Stephen Hayes is planning for a busy off-season, he’s developed a new golf coaching plan that should allow golfers to improve over the winter months.  After a busy summer, Hayes has switched up the coaching options, focusing on a structured approach that takes in four sessions over the course of a number of weeks.  “I came up with the Long Game Winter Assessment as a way of structuring a lesson and practice plan for my students over the winter” explained Stephen.  “The first step is carrying out a 90 minute assessment with the students which includes a TPI movement screening, Trackman video and data analysis and a Trackman combine test.  The second step is then sitting down with the student to go through the findings and agree on a plan going forward over the winter. The student can then choose option of five lessons, they can also choose the length of each coaching lesson; 30, 45 or 60 minutes.”

The TPI screening, developed and pioneered by the Titleist Performance Institute has become the industry benchmark for fitness, strength and mobility and once that’s completed then it’s onto hitting some balls.  Hayes, who has been based in Cork Golf Centre since the start of this year explains the steps involved in the screening process.

PGA Professional Stephen Hayes.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

“The TPI movement screening is a number of exercises which allows us to see if there are any movement limitations which might be connected to your swing characteristics.  The video analysis allows us to see your swing characteristics and the Trackman analysis allows the capture all of your club and ball data. The Trackman combine test is a standardised test that we use with Trackman 4 which gets you hitting a total of 60 shots to different distances varying from 60 yards up to your driver.  It allows us to identify the strength and weaknesses in your game.  We can also use this as a gauge as to where the students game is now and retest again later in the off season to see the improvements.”

Golf has gone through a boom in the past three years, and that has meant that courses and ranges have been busy places.  There are also far more golfers playing all year around meaning there’s still a large number playing and practicing.  And it’s not just about hitting a bucket of balls on the range with many golfers working on their short game.  Hayes has developed a name for himself as one of the top putting coaches and in addition to Trackman, he also uses Sam Puttlab when coaching.  His putting journey goes back over 12 years to his first job as a qualified PGA professional.  “When I worked in Rathsallagh with Brendan McDaid he was one of the first PGA Professionals to purchase a Sam Puttlab, so I was lucky to have the use of that technology during my lessons when I was there.  I would have also followed Harold Swash methods at the time having been to one of his seminars, Harold was one of the top putting coaches at the time.  Then around four years ago myself and 3 other PGA Professionals booked putting guru Phil Kenyon for a day to learn a little more on putting and I was blown away with his knowledge and expertise.  I then completed his Putting Solutions certified course. This gave me a better structure to my putting coaching and I pushed this side of my coaching more over the past few years. I use Sam Puttlab and Trackman during my putting lessons.”

PGA Professional Stephen Hayes pictured at Cork Golf Centre.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

Stephen has gone one to gain additional qualifications for putting, in addition to Keynon’s Putting Solutions qualification he also holds Level 1 certification for Sam Puttlab.  Cork Golf Centre has become one of the leading putting centres in Ireland with Stephen and fellow PGA Professional Wayne O’Callaghan offering a number of coaching options.  With five teaching professionals working out of the Inniscarra range.  Hayes is the latest member to join the team, after 11 successful years in Douglas Golf Club, he’s now solely focused on teaching and has settled into the new way of work.

“I have settled into the Cork Golf Centre very well and have had a great first year there.  David Keating and all the team there have been very welcoming to me.  It is a fantastic range and David is constantly making improvements there which is great.  It’s a great teaching facilities with two spacious teaching bays both using Trackman technology and two Sam Puttlab studios also.  It is a great place to coach and a good learning environment for students.”  Stephen can be contacted on social media, while Cork Golf Centre is open seven days a week, and is open until 9pm from Monday to Friday.