“To me, a serious golfer is somebody who is trying to shoot better scores,” says Robert Linville, who opened the Precision Golf School in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1989. “All the tournament players I teach are using Clippd,” he adds. “I don't take any new players unless they're willing to sign up.”
In his 35-plus years as a golf instructor and coach, Robert has worked with scores of top players including players on all major tours, as well as college players, elite amateurs and junior golfers. Most of his focus now is with female tournament players at all levels. During a 13-year career as Head Coach at Greensboro College, he led his team to a NCAA Division III Championship and was twice named NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year.
In addition to being a leading coach of talented female players, Robert is one the co-founders of the Peggy Kirk Bell Girls’ Golf Tour, the largest girls-only tour in the United States and the only one to be approved by the LPGA Foundation.
The tour’s mission is to create more effective competitive playing opportunities for girls, while focusing on developing tournament experience at the player's pace. Over 1400 girls who have played in Peggy Kirk Bell Golf Tour events have gone on to play collegiate golf. We caught up with Robert to find out how he is using Clippd.
Where are you getting the most benefit from Clippd?
Robert Linville: The greatest benefit is that I can see what we need to work on. I can help guide them in practice, especially if it's somebody that's not local and I don't see them all the time. We can talk about what we need to be doing.
One of my principles is that practice sets your ceiling, so being able to score practice is hugely important to me. Being able to see non-competitive play for competitive golfers is great. Non-Competitive play sets your standard and what we're trying to do in tournament play is get as close to the ceiling as we can get. By having numbers, I can show a player where we are in practice and where we are when we go play at tournaments.
"What To Work On is really one of the huge game changers in Clippd"
I maybe miss two days a month looking at Clippd. I look at it every morning to see what everybody posted the day before. Usually I'm looking at Clippd between five and 15 times every day, depending on who I have a lesson with that day and what we're going to work on. When a player finishes a tournament, I'll look more specifically at how that tournament went. So, it’s a lot like a college coach and a lot like a golf instructor, kind of a combination of the two.
How would you describe how Clippd helps college coaches and golf instructors?
Robert Linville: From a college golf coach perspective, it's right there in front of you. Golf is not like other sports where you are depending on your team-mates. All you can do is go play the best you can play. There's a team atmosphere and bonding and all of that, but each player has specific things they need to work on.
I know that Ryan Potter and Kim Llewellyn at Wake Forest are huge on each player having specific things they need to work on. Clippd shows you who's good in one area, who needs work in another area. From just the big picture of the numerical scale you can look at that as a team and see the standards where you need to get to. So, from a college coach perspective, it's so much easier to just say, ‘Here's what you need to work on. Here's what we need to work on as a team.’
"Clippd shows you who's good in one area, who needs work in another area"
From a swing instructor or teacher’s standpoint, it’s being able to look at what aspect that I'm working on and do I need others to help me or is this something that I feel like I can guide you in the right direction? That's what I'll do a lot on when somebody is coming for lessons. I'll look at the aspect of it and dive into the specifics.
Are you using What To Work On in Clippd for that level of information?
Robert Linville: What To Work On is really one of the huge game changers in Clippd. It says where we need to focus, whether that’s the Recommended view or it's under Quick Wins or Strengths and Weaknesses. Using all of those you can compile a plan.
With stats, we can look at where we are objectively rather than emotionally. After a big disappointment, it’s easy to think we're just not ready or we don't feel like we're good enough. But objectively, if we look at the bigger picture, we can see we only need to gain a half shot from 50 to 100 yards. If you look at the dashboard, maybe they’re hitting 70% of the fairways and they need to hit 75%.
"I'm a big believer in patterns. When there's a pattern, you can figure out why the pattern is there"
Clippd allows you objectively to look at each player and take the emotion out of it. We can ask ‘Where are you, really?’ That's a big thing. The number one thing is how we use data to help players to score better. It's not how we can use data to have more data.
What new features would you like to see in Clippd?
Robert Linville: I like the new update where you can compare with different players that are similar to where you want to be. The female golfers I teach are no longer just comparing themselves to a top-25 LPGA player. If you're a junior, let’s say, you can compare yourself to a Division I college golfer. I like that aspect a lot.
The enhanced putting in Clippd is also phenomenal. I can now see one of the girls I teach is hitting it too hard and not reading enough break from 15-35 feet. We’ve got a plan and we know what to work on.
As for what’s coming, seeing players’ tendencies in their approach play is going to be really beneficial. I'm a big believer in patterns. You're going to make mistakes, you're going to hit bad shots but when there's a pattern, you can figure out why the pattern is there. That's a huge one.
Clippd is only going to continue to get better. I'm not sure I've got anything that's not already in the works!
Find out more at www.precisioninstruction.com