Oliver Foster is the Head Teaching Professional at Trump Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort. Based in the state of the art teaching facility, The Golf Academy at Trump Turnberry, Oliver is one of the industry’s brightest young talents. We spoke with Oliver to find out what inspired him to become a golf coach and what advice he has for people looking to improve their game.

When did you start playing golf and who was your first coach?

I started hitting golf balls at about nine years old, at a small driving range in Rugby. My Dad was my first coach until I was about 13. He was and still is a steady low handicapper, so he had a good idea of what I needed to work on from an early age.

What is the best golf tip you were given as a junior?

The best tip I was given is to practice as much as possible, especially the short game. I think it is important to gain an advantage with your short game as a junior.  At a young age, you don’t have the same amount of power as an adult to hit long drives off the tee, so you will tend to rely on pitching, chipping and putting a lot more.

The Herald: The Gold Academy at Trump Turnberry The Gold Academy at Trump Turnberry

The Golf Academy at Trump Turnberry

What inspired you to become a golf coach?

I was originally inspired to coach because I wanted to work in the golf industry; the game has always been my biggest passion. I stay motivated and inspired now by thinking about innovative ways to coach people. Whether it’s discussing different techniques with fellow coaches or players, to researching the latest coaching philosophies from around the world, there is always something new and exciting to learn. 

What’s the best piece of equipment you have at Turnberry academy?

Trackman is an incredible tool that we regularly use. The precise feedback is a great way of assessing someone’s swing and the ability to log data helps to monitor progress over time. Another fantastic piece of kit we have is Sam Putt Lab Technology. We can identify minor flaws in a client’s putting stroke that are often invisible to the naked eye or even on video.

The Herald: Trackman at Trump Turnberry Trackman at Trump Turnberry

Trackman in the teaching studio at The Golf Academy

What are some top tips for playing links courses?

One of the most difficult aspects of links golf is that you are often faced with windy conditions. The best tip I would give for dealing with that is to practice controlling your trajectory with all clubs. A good way to do this is picking a yardage on the practice range, for example 150 yards, and hitting a 4 iron, 5 iron & 6 iron to that yardage. This will help you control your ball flight in the wind, which is very useful when playing links courses.

Why do you think some golfers don’t improve?

The main reason is that they don’t practice enough.  If you want to change a swing or habit in your game, it is going to take consistent practice to improve. Even if the average club golfer could practice for 30 minutes three times a week, they would likely notice a big improvement in their game.

The Herald: Ailsa 10th Green Trump TurnberryAilsa 10th Green Trump Turnberry

The 11th green on the Ailsa course at Trump Turnberry

How often would you recommend someone gets lessons?

I would recommend once to twice a month, anything more may not be enough time to effectively change the technique before the next lesson.

If you could have a lesson from any golfer past or present, who would it be?

Ben Hogan. I have always admired the stories of his relentless work ethic towards perfecting the golf swing.

The Golf Academy at Trump Turnberry is one of the most complete training facilities in the nation. The extensive range of facilities includes indoor and outdoor driving bays, a world-class short game area, two extensive putting greens, and three top PGA Professionals equipped with the latest technology and training aids.

Ayrshire is home to many other fantastic golf teaching facilities including Gailes LodgeRowallan Castle, and Roodlea Golf Centre.  

To find out more, or to book a lesson, contact The Golf Academy at academy@trumpturnberry.com or call +44(0) 1655 334 190. For full details on Trump Turnberry’s fantastic golf offerings visit www.turnberry.co.uk.