Butcher’s belief in Hutsby return

Sam Hutsby. Picture: Rob Atkins
Sam Hutsby. Picture: Rob Atkins
Harry Ellis. Picture: PA Images

Ellis crashes out of US Amateur Championship

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Martin Butcher believes Sam Hutsby is better equipped for his return to the European Tour after helping him go back to basics.

Butcher, the head professional at the Rose Bowl Golf Club, will be keeping a keen eye on developments with Hutsby in action today at the African Open in the curtain-raiser of the 2012 Race to Dubai.

The former Lee-on-the-Solent man regained his Tour card after breezing through Qualifying School recently.

And he put much of his success down to returning to a coach he worked with as a teenager.

And while Butcher is modest about his influence in Hutsby’s return to form, he believes the talented 23-year-old is ready to grasp his opportunity.

Butcher said: ‘Sometimes if you go through a bad patch, it makes you stronger. So it will probably do him good in the long run.

‘He will also realise he was a good player before.

‘He tried to get better by changing a lot of things quickly.

‘If you make too many radical changes, it can screw a player up but his general standard of play is awesome.

‘He’s worked really hard to get his game back into shape and if he gets off to a good start to the new season, that will give him huge confidence.’

While Hutsby’s game had not exactly fallen apart, Butcher felt some of the fundamentals had been forgotten during the time the pair had been apart.

Currently based at Meon Valley Golf Club while the Rose Bowl is redeveloped, Butcher helped him iron out some of the glitches using his high-tech swing analaysis which incorporates a 3D computer programme.

Butcher said: ‘It’s pretty nerve-wracking when you’ve got someone’s career in the palm of your hand.

‘It can be quite daunting when they put their belief in you.

‘The flip side is it’s really satisfying when it goes well!

‘But we just revisited a few of the things that had made him a good player in the first place – just simple things like ball position, posture and some sequencing on his swing.

‘We also did a bit of work on his putting because that was affected by his posture.

‘It’s easy for a player to slide out of what they do well without really knowing it.

‘Sam wants to get better and every golfer wants to improve but it’s important not to go backwards while you do it.

‘I would say 99 per cent of it starts from the address position.

‘When I taught Sam years ago, we used to spend hours on things like hip and knee alignment.

‘That meant he was free to use his talent and wasn’t thinking too much about the technical stuff.

‘A good swing evolved from those basic fundamentals but if those basics go, then you can find yourself in no-man’s-land.’

While Butcher revealed Hutsby’s confidence had been shaken by a poor year on the Challenge Tour, he knew it could be restored quickly.

Butcher said: ‘For the first time since I’d known Sam, there was a slight bit of negativity when he came back to see me recently.

‘But I suppose that’s natural when things hadn’t been going well for him.

‘The thing with Sam is that he soon bounces back.

‘He’s got a great temperament and he’s got that underlying confidence in himself.’

Butcher also works with amateurs and for more information, email him at coach@martinbutchergolf.co.uk