Big Driving Lesson by Gunn Charoenkul ～Alpine Golf Club～
Gunn Charoenkul is qualified to play the first half of this season by being the 3rd place of the final QT for the Japan Golf Tour, and with the 3rd place for the All Thailand Tour QT and the second place for the Asian Tour, he is gaining the attention as an up-and-coming player. This time, the 26 years old long hitter with 300 yard drive and using a driver directly from the ground instead of #3 wood gives you a special lesson.
■No more #3 wood!?
The Alpine Golf Club, located about an hour from Bangkok, is the place he gave the lesson to us. The Johnnie Walker Classic of the European tour has been held here and the course is well known for Tiger Woods won the tournament at this venue in 2000. Many has said the course is one of the toughest courses in Thailand by the undulated and a highly strategic layout. He showed the “using a driver directly from the ground” we are talking at the tough hole for finding the fairway.
■Had good start with tied 7th at the opening tournament
Charoenkul finished at tied 7th with 8 under at the season opening tournament, the SMBC Singapore Open 2019. He played very well by his “driver directly from the ground” and shocked the TV analyst.
■”The using driver directly from the ground” tips directly from Gunn!
・Start with a low tee-up.
・Shot like normal driver shot.
・Once you are comfortable with the shot from the low tee-up, place the ball on the thick turf and practice the shots.
・Focus to hit by descending blow, not scoop the ball up.
・Swing as always without the fear of thin or fat shot.
・Swing through with good imagination and confidence.
We asked to Sally Yoshida who has coached Gunn for his good point for the game.
“His swing is solid, and as he has an intelligence to make the swing by himself, I just focus on checking his swing and not giving the tips. Also, his strong torso makes his swing stable, and that is his best strength. That’s the reason he can hit it with the driver directly from the ground while not having thin and fat shot.”
■Winning the Masters is his dream! Special interview with Gunn.
Q. What’s the schedule for 2019?
A. Will play 9 tournaments in the first half, and play for the Thailand and the China tour at open weeks for Japan tour.
Q. What do you think of the Japan tour?
A. The course conditions are brilliant. The fairways are so tight while those in Thailand are wide. While the greens has been always well maintained perfectly, they are usually not as fast as the greens in Thailand and had struggled to adjust the speed. The players on the tour are highly skilled and so many times I had felt the level of my game is lower than those of them, so gotta to catch up them in short time.
Q. Why did you start to use a driver directly from the ground?
A. In one tournament, I lost 9 shots by using #3 wood at the tight fairway with ponds on both side of it when I was inside the top 10. So, I actually broke the #3 wood for not missing the shot anymore. As long as you don’t have #3, you don’t hit with that club.
Q. So, you don’t need new #3 wood?
A. While having looked for the replacement and still not been able to find the right club and had no choice but to hit the driver directly from the ground, I have gotten used to my driver shot directly from the ground with my confidence.(laugh)
Q. What is your goal?
A. Want to win the tournament in Japan this year as I’m much more confident on my game. And, I want to win on the PGA tour, the majors, and eventually the Masters. My growth for the game may be slower than other players, I hope my dream comes true one day.
Born in April 10th, 1992 in Bangkok, Thailad. Turned to pro when was in the Bangkok University in 2011 and won twice on the PGA tour China. His best record is 2nd at the Queens Cup on the Asian tour in 2016.
■Hironori #Sally” Yoshida (Right)
Born in February 11th, 1971 in Hokkaido. Former Japan alpine ski national team member and won twice at the All Japan alpine ski championship. Turned to pro in 1994 and has played the Asian and the Japan tour since 2000. Won the Singha All Thailand Challenge in 2008.
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