Golf: Wentworth was great but coaching is where I’m at

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DAVID PATRICK enjoyed rubbing shoulders with the stars at Wentworth a fortnight ago but is now back to basics at his new base at Kingsfield Golf Centre outside Linlithgow.

The 37-year-old played in the same Walker Cup team as Luke Donald and Paul Casey as an amateur. He also won on the Challenge Tour after joining that pair in the paid ranks.

But, even though he enjoyed his taste of the big time after receiving an 11th-hour spot in the BMW PGA Championship, these days Patrick’s main focus is coaching.

His niche is the short game and the former Mortonhall man reckons he’s come up trumps at Kingsfield, where Stephen Gallacher is based and a number of Scotland’s other top coaches.

“It is an ideal fit for me as the short game is my focus and I think Kingsfield has the best short-game facilities in Scotland that are open to the public,” said Patrick.

“Seve Ballesteros was my hero and there was no greater short-game exponent than him. The short game is the easiest and quickest way to lower scores, yet so many of us neglect it.

“Even if you look at the Scottish players on the European Tour, they hit the ball as well as anyone but where they perhaps fall behind is the short game.

“I have had some great feedback from my lessons so far, which is very much appreciated and it is great to hear my coaching has made a positive impact.”

Patrick may have missed the cut at Wentworth, but he made sure that he squeezed everything he possibly could out of spending time on the range alongside the cream of European golf.

“Teaching is my focus so I watched and learned as much as I could,” added the three-time Scottish Young Professional champion.

“After doing my own practice routines, I took some time to watch at close quarters a few of the guys and learned a few things to take back to my players.

“As a coach you are trying to instil in them discipline and attitude, work ethic and how you go about living your life if you want to be the world’s best and it’s great to see the world’s best players up close and personal.

“It reaffirms your beliefs. The hardest-working guys I know, not just in golf, are the guys that do well. The right attitude will take you a long way.”

Patrick shot rounds of 77 and 79 in the European Tour’s flagship event to finish 12-over – just one more than three-time major champion Padraig Harrington.

“Playing in a pro-am at Buchanan Castle was not the ideal preparation for a tournament like that,” he reflected. “But it was a fabulous experience.

“I hadn’t played in front of crowds like that for a long time. I felt the butterflies to start with but they settled down and I tried to play to the best of my ability in both rounds.

“Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to catch up with either Luke Donald or Paul Casey but I did speak to Graeme Storm” (another member of the winning Walker Cup team at Nairn in 1999).