Ryder Cup 2014: catching up with Claude…

Tour coach, and son of Butch, Claude Harmon III
(Image credit: © ROLEX/Phil Shephard-Lewis)

My Ryder Cup trip with Rolex has not only given me a great experience at Gleneagles, but also the chance to catch up with one of the game's leading coaches...

I may have been here primarily to watch the Ryder Cup action this week at Gleneagles on a Rolex media trip, but one of the highlights for me has been the day we spent at St Andrews with Claude Harmon III, Butch’s son.

Tour coach, and son of Butch, Claude Harmon III

Tour coach, and son of Butch, Claude Harmon III

We were fortunate to benefit from the wisdom of his coaching expertise, and much more as we played the Castle Course at the Home of Golf.

First of all, he confirmed much of what I already knew about my golf swing – that I lose power and timing with little extra unwanted moves here and there.

GM's Jezz Ellwood benefits from Claude Harmon III's expert advice

GM's Jezz Ellwood benefits from Claude Harmon III's expert advice

He really encouraged me to think about the move back to the ball needing to follow a very set sequence of movements to generate maximum power.

The belt buckle should move first, then the chest, then the arms and finally the club in response to all that has gone before.

I got it right… occasionally! But then went on to play some pretty decent golf on this spectacular course set above the famous golfing town in a moderate breeze.

All the while, and again over dinner that night, Claude regaled us with tales from the tour, how he goes about his coaching business, his famous father Butch, and one or two little tour snippets that just give you extra insight as to what goes on in the game at the very highest level.

I was fortunate to get the chance to interview him too, and the accompanying video provides an interesting insight into his coaching style, his relationship with his father and much more…

Jeremy Ellwood
Contributing Editor

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and instruction. He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, a highly regarded trade publication for golf club secretaries and managers, and has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played well over 950 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, right across the spectrum from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.

Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf

Jeremy is currently playing...

Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft

3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft

Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft

Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)

Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response