Why Stephen Gallacher sought out help of man who made Justin Rose world No.1

Stephen Gallacher has not ditched his coaching team
Stephen Gallacher has not ditched his coaching team
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Stephen Gallacher paid a flying visit to America to seek swing advice from Sean Foley, the Canadian coach who has helped Justin Rose become world No. 1 and also steered Danny Willett back into the winner’s circle.

Gallacher is still working with Davy Burns, who is based at Kingsfield Golf Centre outside Linlithgow, but the 44-year-old fixed up a three-day session with Foley in Orlando to seek some “clarity” about his swing.

He is hoping the trip can help him add to his three European Tour triumphs in 2019 and also keep him playing long enough to have a chance of beating Sam Torrance’s record for appearances on the circuit.

“It was brilliant,” said Gallacher of his time with Foley, who also worked with Tiger Woods for a spell. “It was probably the hardest I have worked since I worked with Bob Torrance. I must have hit 800 balls and made 800 practice swings over two or three days.

“It was food for thought. Sean made a lot of sense. I knew there was something wrong, but I couldn’t put my finger on it and I couldn’t feel it.

“It was pretty basic stuff, to be honest. But he’s very good at explaining things in conjunction with what the club can do with the body. It opened my eyes a bit. It was very good.”

Gallacher made the cut in his last nine events in the 2018 campaign to finish 82nd in the Race to Dubai, but he’s looking to get back in the mix in tournaments rather than finishing in the top 30.

“I just needed a bit clarity and he’s given me that,” he added. “I felt under pressure when I was in contention in the Dunhill Links this year. We had a hard left to right wind coming home and you have to be able to hit a certain shot. I felt I couldn’t do it and I felt I was giving away shots on the field.

“It’s no sleight whatsoever on anyone I have ever worked with. It’s my DNA. This is my swing and all Sean is trying to help me with is making it more compatible with my body.”

Gallacher will start his 23rd successive season on the European Tour in next month’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship before teeing up in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, the event he won back-to-back in 2013 and 2014. ‘I want to keep improving and get back in the winner’s circle, especially with the wee man (his son, Jack) on the bag,” he said. “I want to have four or five strong years and maybe contend for Sam Torrance’s all-time appearance record on the European Tour.

“That’s why I went to see Sean. He is probably one of the best coaches around just now and so I went out to seek some counsel. It’s more about what the club does when the body works properly and it was very interesting indeed.

“His father is from Glasgow and he’s got an affinity for Glasgow. I’ve known him since I went over to America and the work Sean has done with Danny Willett is brilliant. He’s also helped Justin Rose become world No.1 and I thought to myself, ‘I want to keep improving so let’s do this’.”