At Golf Monthly, we have always stressed the importance of lessons. Whilst information gleaned from the videos on this site and the pages of our magazine can certainly help increase your knowledge base and even provide the killer tip that cures your slice, there is no substitute for the help of a great coach. For this reason, in 2004, we established the first ever list of Golf Monthly Top 25 Coaches to celebrate and recognise the achievements of those responsible for helping us, here in the UK, play better. Since then, our group of coaches have provided the vast majority of advice you see both on this site and in our magazine.

For 2016, we felt it was right to make some important changes to that list. We wanted to recognise some of the new coaching talent to have emerged as well as introducing new faces with fresh approaches and different experiences. So at the end of 2015 we appealed to our readership for their nominations. The response was incredible, providing us with a broad spectrum of highly qualified and much-loved pros to choose from. Selecting just six for inclusion in the top 25 coaches list was always going to be hard.

How can you tell if one coach is better than another? Of course, judging the merits of prospective teachers is a largely subjective process but to help us make the right choices, we reverted to the process that served us so well in the very beginning. That is, we turned to the questionnaire first designed for us by Dr Paul Schempp, the man responsible for the research lab at the University of Georgia and the brains behind the US versions of our Top 25 Coaches list. His carefully devised, pointed questions would help us find the coaches that would move our instruction offering forward in the coming years.

Whilst nothing can replace a real-life lesson, we hope that in the coming months and years, the advice produced by Golf Monthly will be even more useful than ever.

What Makes A Good Coach?

Knowledge

  • Extensive knowledge of golf, students and golf instruction
  • Avid and enthusiastic listener and learner

Experience

  • Extensive teaching experience (minimum of 10 years)
  • Extensive playing experience

Teaching

  • Significant portion of lesson devoted to learning about the student
  • Sets only one or two goals per lesson
  • Analyses strengths and weaknesses, but only tells student what they do well and what they could do to improve
  • Finds the single, most important thing to tell a student that will make the biggest difference to performance
  • Uses few words, but can convey a single idea in many different ways
  • An intuitive decision maker
  • Has highly developed routines and rituals
  • Closes the lesson with: student success, a review of important learning cues, recommendations for practice drills (they realise that students only really learn skills by practising them, not by listening to teachers)

Perspectives

  • Teaches people, not golf
  • Accepts responsibility for student learning (successes and failures)
  • Measures teaching success through the learning of their students

Gary Alliss is the lead coach at The Belfry where he manages a huge team of top coaches. He is also the son of veteran golf commentator Peter Alliss

EGU coach John Jacobs is the Head PGA Professional at Cumberwell Park Golf Club

Paul Ashwell is based at Wyboston Lakes and is one of the EGU coaches

Barney Puttick is based at Brocket Hall GC and is renowned as one of the county's very best golf coaches

Having worked tirelessly at the EGU, Keith Williams is one of the most respected coaches in the UK. He is based near Woodhall Spa

Steve North is one of Golf Monthly's Top 25 Coaches. Steve is the Director of Coaching and is responsible for the delivery of coaching at St Andrews Links Golf Academy.…

Paul Foston has his own golf academy situated in the grounds of his home in Smarden, Kent, offering the very best in short and long game training facilities

Cliver-Tucker

Clive Tucker is based at Wildwood GC in Surrey and coaches Northern Irish star Graeme McDowell

Kevin Craggs has his own golf academy in Falkirk where he coaches players of all abilities

Graham Walker, one of Golf Monthly's Top 25 Coaches, is lead coach to the England A squad and technical coach to the Under-18 squad. He is also Head Professional at…

Andrew Reynolds

Golf Monthly top 25 coach Andrew Reynolds is a regular contributor to the magazine. He is the professional at Royal Cinque Ports.

Based at Wokefield Park near Reading and the Kendleshire, Gary Smith is one of the EGU's most experienced coaches

Neil Plimmer was one of five coaches added to the list in January 2007. He has been a consistent contributor to the magazine ever since

Andrew Jones is the head professional at Littlestone Golf Club and is a Kent County coach.

Golf Monthly Top 25 coach Neil Plimmer explains how to get power and control from your body

Golf Monthly Top 25 coach Neil Plimmer, takes you through the importance of good rotation in your swing.

Director of Junior Golf at Horsham Golf and Fitness Neil Plimmer takes you through the importance of maintaining good posture

Golf Monthly Top 25 coach Neil Plimmer takes you through the importance of good rotation in your swing