This week Ryo Harada played the EaglesDream Golf Academy Junior Open in Timacuan Golf & Country Club. With an excellent first round of 67, Ryo finished with two consecutive great rounds rounds of 70 and 72. Winning by 5 shots gave Ryo more confidence to push and work towards his goals. Fall semester looks promising and Ryo is full of excitement about his improving game. Here are some thoughts from Jonathan Yarwood, who has coached Ryo for the past nine months.
Ryo came to Bishops Gate Golf Academy with the greatest of enthusiasm and a definite goal in mind, to shoot under par in a tournament. He had the vision, but did not have the golf game to execute this. He came shooting in the 79-82 range in most of his events. So I assessed his game using out BGGA blueprinting methods. We got data on his swing via video, his body via 3D analysis, his golf ball via Trackman and his putting from the SAM device. Of course, I also used twenty odd years of coaching experience to get to know Ryo, recognize the creativity in his game, the quality of his short game and his course management. From all of this analysis, we were able to create a personalized development program, enlisting the help of other BGGA professional staff where needed to create the new golfer. The goal was not only to get Ryo to shoot under par, but to do it consistently. Additionally, it was important to me that I created a golfer who was capable of functioning independently through quality education. I like to create performance by design, not luck.
Firstly, we set about fixing Ryo’s swing . Keeping things as simple as possible. His over-riding issue was the sequence of his swing. He would get very ‘early-turned’ in the backswing and ‘lean’ into the shot in the downswing. This led to a multitude of errant shots. We fixed these issues to the point that he could control the ball. Once this was achieved, we changed his full swing practice into a blend of technique and random target practice.
The biggest improvements have come from his putting, course management and short game. We created a bullet-proof putting stroke that can repeat under pressure. The SAM putt lab really helps allied to some artistic putting exercises. His short game was initially very stiff and one dimensional. We used tour proven methods which can be found at BGGA, to not only enable him to be consistent but to allow the creativity needed to come to the fore. Lastly, he has spent a lot of time on the golf course. The advantage at BGGA is the course is a training course. So the player can use it to transfer his skills from the range and translate them into scoring. We altered his personal program from the start of the year to ensure he understood the course management system we advocate. This involves understanding and exploiting the DNA and composition of the golf course.
Overall, Ryo has done incredibly in a short period of time. His record speaks for itself…..win, win, second, win, seventh, win in some big events culminating recently in his AJGA EagleDream win with a super low score of -6. From a total unknown in Japan to a multiple tournament winner and shooting under par consistently in events, I think it shows that when a great student meets a great academy magic can happen!
BGGA Senior Coach