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Liam Frean

Handicap: 3

Home Club: New Club, St Andrews

Mizuno #YourGame2016 goal: To reduce my handicap and have a chance to win scratch events.

Back in April, GM reader Liam Frean applied successfully to be part of our Mizuno #YourGame2016 project as he sought to get down lower, but more importantly, challenge in some scratch events as he attempted to climb higher up the St Andrews University golf team. Kitted out with a full set of new Mizuno clubs as a result of the initial fitting session at Celtic Manor’s Mizuno Performance Centre, Liam had been making steady progress in certain areas of his game by the time of the next element of our Mizuno #YourGame2016 project – a coaching session with the LET’s Amy Boulden followed by a round of golf on the famous King’s Course at Gleneagles.

Catch up with Liam’s earlier progress updates and his original Mizuno fitting here, before finding out how he got on with Amy, and how his game has been since then…

Monday 3rd October 2016: final progress update

Well, after a long season and lots of ups and downs on the course, I’m pleased to report that to my mind at least, I have pretty much achieved the goals I had set myself as part of this Mizuno #YourGame2016 project with Golf Monthly.

Unlike my fellow #YourGame2016 campaigners – Dan Barlow, Peter Jones and Jezz Ellwood – my goal wasn’t entirely handicap-based, which perhaps allowed me a little more scope. While I was eager to try and get my handicap down from 3, the more pressing desire was to contend in some scratch events, and I feel that I did that on occasions this summer.

I’m part of the university golf set-up in St Andrews where things can be quite competitive, and having just returned for the new term I’m absolutely delighted that I have been moved up to the B squad, which is a really good move up the team and can only mean that my golf has caught the eye of those who make the decisions.

More importantly, my game has become much more consistent with my new Mizuno clubs, and I now feel well-equipped to press on further over the coming months.

Monday 5th September 2016: progress update

I’m absolutely loving my new Mizuno clubs now and played well with them on a recent golf trip to the Isle of Arran, and then during the pre-season for the Saints Golf squad at the University of St Andrews.

The ability to really flight my Mizuno woods has really helped me, and the main things holding me back in my last few rounds have been some struggles with the putter and with my chipping around the greens.

While in Arran, I played a round a day, and my pre-season prep involved a lot of practice for that week. I have tried to hit the links during the breaks too, but I’ve been so busy with that trip and the pre-season that I haven’t played much competitive golf of late.

But some good rounds on that Arran trip have left me feeling that my golf is strong at the moment and in a good place for the upcoming University season.

Monday 8th August 2016: progress update

The new clubs have been great – I now feel like I would not change one of them for any of my old clubs. The knock-down shots I need a lot in links golf are far better with my Mizuno MP-5 irons as the ball flight is a lot stronger and more controlled. My putter has been hot in the last few rounds too, which always helps.

The lesson I had with Amy at Gleneagles showed me that I need to work a lot harder on my posture, and not just with regard to how close I stand to the ball. Getting out of the bad habits I have developed is proving hard, but I can see an instant improvement in my consistency when I do get it right.

Amy Boulden demonstrates how she would like Liam to pitch with his hands a little further from his body

Amy Boulden demonstrates how she would like Liam to pitch with his hands a little further from his body

Unfortunately a shoulder injury has meant two weeks off practising, but I have tried to keep things ticking over on the putting green, and I hope to be back in action on the range again very soon. Before the injury I was playing about four times a week and practising a few hours a day.

Liam getting used to the new pitching action under Amy's watchful eye

Liam getting used to the new pitching action under Amy’s watchful eye

In my most recent competitions I shot 80 in a medal at Fortrose and Rosemarkie due to wasted shots off the tee. I also played in the Black Isle Open in horrific winds, which made it a non-qualifier for non-members. I thought my first-round 83 was actually quite good given the conditions, but the wind calmed down a tad in the afternoon helping me get round in 76.

I went up 0.1 for the day but I had been playing more social than competitive rounds of late prior to the injury in which I have scored well. I haven’t yet been able to translate those scores into competition rounds, but I’m hoping that may be the case once I’m back in full action.