“People will judge you on the players you work with and the success they have, but that’s not necessarily your success, that’s their success. And I think sometimes coaches get too much credit, and conversely, sometimes they get a little bit too much blame.” – Phil Kenyon
Philip Kenyon is one of the most sought-after putting coaches in the world. His client list reads like a who’s who of the world’s best golfers and includes Rory Mcilroy, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood, Louis Oosthuizen, and Martin Kaymer.
Prior to his career as a putting coach, Phil was a talented golfer himself. He completed around the world as a Tour professional, though he always enjoyed the coaching side of the game. So strong was this passion that Phil completed a Masters Degree in Sports Science before he started his career as a professional golfer, before later completing achieving his Honours in Applied Psychology and Sports Science. This academic knowledge combined with personal experience provides him with a unique skill set, and ability to help other players.
Phil is also the principal owner of the Harold Swash Putting School of Excellence, which was created by his mentor and putting coach legend Harold Swash. On top of this, Phil is the creator of Visio Putting, a leader in the industry of putting aids.
In this episode, Phil tells us his story, from how he initially got into coaching to how he helps many PGA professionals today. He also provides us with some actionable tips to improve our own putting, including the putting gate challenge, performing under pressure, and dealing with the yips.
- Phil talks about how he transitioned from playing professional golf into coaching it, and the help he got from coaching legend Harold Swash. [1:00]
- Different approaches to coaching, including how to find the balance between delivering too much information and not enough, and whether a one-size-fits-all approach works for putting. [5:40]
- The three most important elements of putting, and how to develop them. [8:40]
- Bad advice about putting which Phil commonly hears. [15:00]
- Surprising stats about putting. [16:40]
- How much of coaching players about putting is related to mental factors, and how much is technique based? [19:10]
- Chris discusses his own putting philosophies with Phil, including the idea of not practicing it, and how to measure your own putting performance. [20:50]
- What separates the best putters Phil has worked with from the rest, and how to perform better under pressure. [25:30]
- What are the yips, and how to get rid of them. [30:30]
- Phil talks us through his average day, including how he balances his numerous relationships with players on tour, and his hardest working clients. [34:10]
- How does Phil help his clients after a tough day on the greens? [38:00]
- How much of a golfers practice time should be devoted to putting? [41:20]
- Chris asks Phil some rapid fire questions, including his favourite books, how his beliefs have changed over time, and how he defines success. [42:30]
- Phil Kenyon’s action challenge [51:00]
Phil Kenyon’s Action Challenge
- While practicing your putting, line up a putt as you normally would.
- Place two tees (or anything you can stick into the green surface) on the green about 10cm apart, on the line that you intend to hit your putt.
- Putt your ball through the ‘gate’.
- This provides you with great feedback on whether you can start the ball on the right line, and match your speed to the line you choose.