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How Hulencourt Golf Club is helping golfers perfect their putting
Putting, the final act of any golfing hole, often looks like the easiest part because it involves hitting the ball a short distance on a flat green. That proximity is deceptive: all too often, even the best golfers misjudge the surface of those last few metres and miss the putt. However, at Hulencourt Golf Club in Walloon Brabant, a new tool is helping golfers perfect their putting.
The tool is AimPoint, which is an innovative method designed to help read every putt accurately and consistently. “It’s about reading the gradient of the greens,” says Peter Bacon, who is Lead Instructor at the Hulencourt Golf Academy. “Putting is about hitting the last two to six metres. But the difficulty is that the putting green is often sloped, so it is difficult to estimate how the ball will roll. Most golfers don’t aim where they think they’re aiming. AimPoint teaches the fundamentals for understanding and assigning a value to a slope, so you have a more precise location.”
He explains how AimPoint teaches skills of the three key putting performance elements: read, speed and aim. The first step of reading involves facing the hole and estimating the amount of slope in your putt by using one’s feet to feel the slope on a scale, usually between 0 to 6. The second involves using arms and fingers to determine where to aim the putt. And the third is about actually putting at the correct pace.
Combined with an alignment guide printed on the golf ball, AimPoint can dramatically improve your game. “If you can read the greens correctly more often, you will naturally aim the putter better, and start the ball on your intended line more frequently,” Bacon says. “By understanding the physics of putting and how speed has an effect on your putts, you will gain more confidence and be in a better position.”
Bacon is a huge fan of new sporting technologies, and also teaches members how to use the TrackMan, SamLab and SkyTrak golfing systems, all available at Hulencourt. Originally from Lancashire, Bacon, 37, comes from a golfing family: both his father and uncle are professionals. He joined Hulencourt in May 2019 after Academy director Jérôme Theunis invited him to oversee member instruction. “We share the same teaching philosophy,” he says. “My teaching beliefs are simple: I teach the person in front of me the fundamentals. Then you have people who need adjustments. The tech comes in when it is more advanced, and you just need improvements.”
Hulencourt, just half an hour’s drive south of Brussels city centre, is where Belgium’s top golfers come to hone their skills. Its numerous corporate facilities include multipurpose meeting rooms for groups of up to 180 guests and a restaurant and clubhouse set in the beautiful courtyard of former farm buildings. “Hulencourt is unquestionably one of the best golf courses in Europe,” Bacon says. “It is hard to imagine a better training facility. It’s packed with all the leading technologies. It is unmatched.”