Brocket Hall Scholars are Given a KhanDo Attitude by Tour Star Simon
The 2010 BMW PGA Champion, Simon Khan, met with the five new golf scholars at the prestigious Brocket Hall Golf Club and gave them a simple message: work hard and believe in your ability.
Two-time European Tour winner and club ambassador Khan, 42, helped launch the Brocket Hall scholarship programme at its Palmerston Academy earlier this year, and five talented youngsters – aged between 13 and 18 – were selected to receive 24 months’ membership at the historic club with coaching from renowned head professional Simon Garner.
Khan visited the Hertfordshire venue to meet the quintet – Ashley Chambers, 13, from Brentwood; Rory Superfine, 16, who lives in Harpenden; Robert Shaw and Harry Cater, both 17, and both from Welwyn Garden City; and 18-year-old Anna Collis, from Letchworth – for the first time and to offer some words of guidance and inspiration.
He explained: “I am here to provide insight to the Tour and its practice schedule, and to offer general tips and recommendations and to stress the importance of the mind game. The scholars have their own coaches, so I will just explain and show what I do – which works for me – but they may want to incorporate and use things as they wish, as they develop.
“In terms of their swing, I’ll have a look and provide any obvious ‘tips’, but do not want to get technical as that’s their coaches’ role.”
Essex-born Khan turned professional at 18, but did not experience his first full season on the European Tour until 2002, aged 29. This gives him a unique insight into the travails of a fledging professional golfer, enabling him to offer a valuable perspective to young golfers looking to pursue a career in the sport.
“There were various pieces of advice that helped me in the early days, but for me, personally, it was some simple advice on my swing that actually got me to click into place and get my card. That advice was only useful for me, so my personal advice to the scholars would be to have a proper practice schedule and routine and keep it simple,” he added.
“Listen to your support structure, but find what works for you. Also, write everything down in a notebook, as there is often so much to digest and so much to forget!
“For me, personally, visualisation and proper preparation assisted me, a lot like a Formula 1 driver or skier plans the route on their course. I want to be able to explain and highlight the whole journey, yet discuss likely tests and challenges they will face, but also to stress the importance to stay calm and not panic.
“Although it’s easier said than done, if you’ve prepared well, then it may not be so alien when the adrenaline starts pumping. However, a lot of these lessons are learned by being in the mix on a Sunday afternoon. In simple terms, the message is work hard and believe in your ability.”
Unsurprisingly, the five youngsters were delighted to meet the European Tour star and learn from his wealth of experience.
Scholar Harry Cater said: “It was very useful for getting key points to help me improve and using this information in the future. I think the bit of information that has stuck with me the most, is to review myself after each practice session, or round, to see how I did, and if there was anything I could improve on. I will definitely do this and set myself smaller goals for the next day to complete, helping me improve on this aspect.”
And Rory Superfine added: “It was a privilege meeting Simon Khan for the first time and finding out some crucial information. I learned to have resilience and more self-belief, because when it comes to what you want to do, ‘you become what you think about’.
“I need to remember that it is you versus the golf course at the end of the round and you should not let anyone faze you; that you should always picture yourself on the course and how you play each hole, when you are at home; and stick to a routine so that you have control of your game.”
Situated within 22 acres of woodland, the Palmerston Academy boasts some of the finest practice facilities in the country. Golfers can hone their skills on a mixture of its par-three short course, extensive driving range facilities and indoor golf studio.
Brocket Hall’s two 18-hole championship courses set in stunning 18th century parkland are famously named after the prime ministers who once resided there, Lord Melbourne and Lord Palmerston.
Opened in 1992, the par-72 Melbourne Course is set in magnificent surroundings, crossing the River Lea several times before a memorable finish in front of the hall after a short ferry ride to the 18th green.
In contrast, the Palmerston Course – designed by Donald Steel – is a challenging par-73 woodland layout, with rare Hornbeam, Scots and Corsican pine and 300-year-old oak trees creating a memorable test for professionals and amateurs alike, and is ranked in the latest ‘Top 100 Golf Courses in England’ by Golf World.
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