WOODHOUSE OUSE ENJOYS THE WIN
Richard Woodhouse oodhouse not only coaches hes Daniel Nisbet, 2018 NZ Open pen winner, but is also making king a name for himself in Australia.
Richard Woodhouse has been Daniel Nisbet's coach for five years so it was pretty special for player and coach to be celebrating the lifting of the Brodie Breeze trophy. Richard is originally from Nelson, having started playing golf at the age of thirteen at the local Nelson Golf Club. He was coached by the local golf professional, Ken Allan, and he represented Tasman in many junior provincial events. After leaving Nelson College, he took up a PGA Traineeship with Ken and spent the next three years learning everything he could about the golf industry and how to help golfers all over the district improve their golf. In 2005, he was named NZPGA Trainee of the Year and the prize of an invite to attend the Australasian PGA Golf Teaching Summit would be a catalyst in changing his life.
Listening and meeting some of the famous names in the golf industry gave Richard the confidence to see that this was his future. He had the opportunity to chat with Hank Haney and engage with some of the other key presenters. It was this exposure that solidified his goal of becoming a fulltime golf coach. Realising that there were limited opportunities in New Zealand to fulfil his dream, he took off to the Gold Coast and he was soon coaching at Royal Pines, working under the Aussie legend teaching pro Mark “Gibbo” Gibson.
A key part of working at Royal Pines was that it was home to the PGA International Golf Institute (IGI) programme that is part of the Australian PGA education programme associated with Griffiths University. So a lot of his time was spent coaching and developing golfers that were looking to make a career out of the game. This led to combining two of Richard's passions – working with elite players and leveraging golf technology to enhance player performance.
As Richard's reputation grew and the quality of his players developed, he was soon part of the Queensland Golf high performance coaching panel which led to roles as a Queensland State Coach and to leading the successful Queensland women's golf team. During this period, he was recruited be the Director of Coaching at KDV Sport Golf Academy, right in the heart of the Gold Coast. This $25-million facility is a world leading, golf instruction environment where golfers of all levels are now coming to develop their games. The facility has a focus on golf and tennis and includes a ‘state of the art' fitness centre, swimming pool and recovery centre providing a holistic and total-body approach to sport. The goal is really around player development and creating a pathway model which allows for an 8 or 9 year old to grow and develop into a world class player. Richard always had a focus around fitness, training and body development and the programmes at KDV are very much based on the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) programmes.
Richard and his three senior instructors along with two strength and conditioning coaches enjoy the state of the art facility equipped with 40 bay range, short game training facility, trackman, 3D, balance labs and fully equipped gym. They are experts in biomechanics and with the 3d analysis they combine the player's physical attributes and golf skills that are enhanced with specific strength and conditioning programmes. Golfers like Daniel Nisbet have really embraced the game development approach especially around technical swing measurements but at the same time with the emphasis in scoring and coaching plans to assist the players to understand their own “golfing model”
But Richard's success is not just based around Daniel. He has established one of the strongest stables of Australian golf talent with top players now seeking him out or stopping by to be a part of the environment at KDV. The current top Australian PGA Tour players working with Richard include Dimi Papadatos (2014 NZ Open winner), Brett Rankin, Tim Hart, Lincoln Tighe and Ray Beaufils, along with former NZ amateur player, ShinAe Ahn, who has played for the last 10 years on the KLPGA and Japanese Ladies' tours wining the prestigious KLPGA Championship. Just recently, one of his other star amateur students, Rebecca Kay, won one of Australia's elite amateur trophies – the Riversdale Cup. In 2016, Richard was recognised as the Australian Teaching Professional of the Year, with his students winning on six Pro Tours world-wide.
Richard married his wife three years ago, but when Richard was first introduced to Allison, he knew her first as a dentist and a good golfer. However, he quickly discovered she had played golf for Australia and attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, on a golf scholarship. Today, she plays off scratch at the Sanctuary Cove Golf Club. Her understanding of his role in golf has been vital as he now spends many weeks a year on the road following golfers, leading golf teams or speaking at coaching summits around the world.
According to Richard, Daniel's success has really come about after a great period of development and also maturity on and off the course. Daniel's wife Ashley, who plays golf professionally, is also a fitness trainer. She has been important in keeping Daniel developing as a player. Richard and Daniel really worked hard on improving his 3-D measurement data and improving his ball flight. “Daniel is a perfectionist and always wants to understand the numbers; once we got him moving in an effective sequence, it wasn't about teaching but more about coaching and monitoring. One great attribute Daniel has is that he could always back himself to go low” and that was very much the case at the NZ Open.
In 2016, Daniel's first big win came at the PGA Tour of China event at Clearwater Bay. Then, through the second half of 2017, Daniel's game showed some positive signs at the Australian Open and the Australian PGA Championship that was played at nearby Royal Pines. Unfortunately, an elbow injury flared-up so Daniel rested for most of December and January before picking up the momentum leading into the 2018 NZ Open.
On the Tuesday afternoon, from the driving range, Daniel shared some swings and feelings with Richard who was travelling back from Germany. Richard had been one of the marquee speakers at the German PGA Coaching Summit. The pattern that Daniel slips into is an early pulling down on the grip in transition leading to the swing getting steep on the downswing, hitting blocking shots out to the right. So the “swing feel/awareness” for the week was to make left arm - one arm practice swings that helped to get the club shallower through the bottom of the swing.
Richard and Daniel continued to stay connected throughout the week and they talked about “switching on and off” between shots. They also knew it was important for Daniel to keep his mind engaged and lock in the positive thoughts. After the Saturday practice session following the third round, Richard could sense that Daniel was fired-up and ready to attack the course on Sunday.
Richard was disappointed he couldn't be at Millbrook for the tournament but it was great to see Daniel win the New Zealand Open. “As a Kiwi, it was thrilling for me to play a part and see him lift the trophy that I grew up idolising!”
Richard Woodhouse working with Daniel Nisbet.
Richard Woodhouse coaching.