Mar 1st, 2019
McDonald’s got Zen as golfers hit the slopes in South Wales
The premier indoor golf academy in South Wales now has an additional attraction – the Zen Green Stage.
Golfers can now ‘hit the slopes’ on the revolutionary equipment, seen by millions of TV viewers each month in Sky Sports Golf’s studio coverage of Tour events.
John McDonald, PGA Head Professional at Llantrisant and Pontyclun Golf Club, has installed the adjustable full swing and putting platform to his growing list of advanced golf technology in the John McDonald Golf Academy at the club, which lies ten miles west of Cardiff.
McDonald is dedicating his Zen Green Stage to putting coaching and putter fittings.
As well as enabling the experienced coach to train golfers in the art of green reading, stroke mechanics and the mental approach to putting, the Green Stage will also host sessions using the academy’s SAM PuttLab and GASP equipment.
“The Zen Green Stage is an unbelievable tool which makes coaching golf so much more realistic” said McDonald, who is a former Senior PGA Teaching Professional at Wales Golf and the Celtic Manor Resort.
“It is truly all-encompassing if you are looking to improve your putting, and I believe that it will attract golfers from many miles around to our academy here at Llantrisant and Pontyclun.”
The impressive collection of golf technology available at McDonald’s academy also includes Trackman and Boditrak. All coaching takes place indoors, making it a year-round resource for golfers in South Wales.
McDonald, who has recently been joined by PGA Assistant Professional Joe Francis at his Academy, feels that the Zen Green Stage is crucial to their shared vision for the long term.
“Coaching is my passion, particularly junior golfers” he said. “Our goal is to create the ultimate junior golf academy which will become the go-to destination in South Wales for young golfers looking to maximise their talent.
“Having the Zen Green Stage at the heart of our setup will enable us to deliver putting coaching to the highest-possible standard – in fact, to the same standard as Tour putting coaches such as Phil Kenyon, who uses the Green Stage to coach Major-winners.”
Speaking about McDonald’s choice of the Zen Green Stage, specialist putting coach Phil Kenyon said: “John recently saw the Zen Green Stage in action at one of our Putting Solutions coach education courses at Formby Hall Golf Resort & Spa.
“By introducing the Green Stage to South Wales he has shown terrific initiative, and I am sure it will become a popular and very worthwhile addition to his Academy.”
Speaking about Phil Kenyon, John McDonald said: “Knowing that Phil coaches some of the best golfers in the world on his Zen Green Stage, it was fascinating to see its versatility up close when I was at Putting Solutions with him. I had already started to think about getting one, but seeing Phil and the team put the Green Stage through its paces gave me added impetus.
“I saw how the Green Stage has become integral to the Harold Swash Putting studio at Formby Hall. It’s the ideal environment for a coach to capture your putting data, and putting lessons on it are both exciting and very realistic, whether you are a beginner or a global superstar!
“It will definitely inject some of that Tour golf magic into our Academy at Llantrisant and Pontyclun.”
Scratch golfer Ashlie Howard-Hobbs, a Glamorgan Ladies County player, is a pupil at McDonald’s studio, and has trained on the Green Stage in preparation for starting a university golf scholarship in the USA this coming August.
“The Zen Green Stage is like a flying carpet” said the 17-year-old. “I’ve never seen anything quite as high-tech in a golf studio before.
“I usually don’t like indoor putting practice, but on the Zen Green Stage you really feel like you’re outside on an actual green. With its variable slopes, which you can set anywhere between subtle or extreme, it makes you think harder about what you are doing. Plus the grass on the Green Stage is like a really closely-mown, tour-style putting surface – much better than the usual indoor putting turf.
“Can it help me to become a better putter? 100% yes.”
And whilst we're at it: