Peter Knight: Rethinking Golf

Peter Knight is a coach and performance motivator willing to venture outside the square. In the modern world of professional sport, players are seeking to gain every advantage they can both on and off the course. This is where Peter Knight and his business "Golf Possibilities" comes into play.

Venture on to the range at main professional tournaments on the Tuesday and Wednesday and you'll be awash with the level of sophistication and professionalism your eye is confronted with. Players are but a speck on the range as they work with swing coaches, motivation experts, launch monitors and any other gadget or person to give them the perceived 'edge' over their colleagues.

The modern day era of professional golf includes a full network of individuals working tirelessly behind the scenes. It's a team approach in full operation, like a perfectly synched watch never missing a beat. Golfers know they need the advice and full range of services if they are to remain competitive.

"Golfers are certainly considering more broadly aspects of their game and how to improve performance," says Knight, who was heavily involved with the NSWIS, AIS systems and Golf Australia before his current venture with Golf Possibilities at Yarra Bend Golf Course in Melbourne.

"Players are not just focusing upon swing techniques. Some of the biggest breakthroughs I've had with players have been when we've addressed non-golf issues."

According to Knight, who is only one of two members of the PGA of Australia to hold a Master Professional accreditation, his business is also aimed to deliver modern coaching and servicing to national and state squad programmes. Given the recent poor run of Australian team performances in the World Amateur Championship, this is one huge void to fill.

"Over at least the past 15 years, I have watched as teams comprising individuals with loads of talent and promise fall short in national and international competition," says Knight.

"This makes me somewhat sad for those players who may take years to find the information they could so easily acquire. Most of the information regarding contemporary ideas about training is readily available. The important thing in determining desirable results is the application of this information."

Knight focuses upon delivering benefits to all levels of the game, from tour players to weekend club players wanting to improve. His methods apply a holistic approach towards the game, from physical fitness, swing techniques, to getting a player's emotional side in check to improve resistance to external disruptions.

"Everyone can improve by harnessing the power of intention," says Knight.

"So long as targets are set correctly, your intention is to achieve those targets and you believe you can achieve them, you probably will."

For those of you who often wondered why your Saturday round was such a disaster after a horror week at work, well according to Knight if you address life issues, your game will also improve.

"Attitudes to sport and life are linked," he says.

"You think and act in a way that is consistent with your self-concept and self-image and this is reflected in your learning and performance. Often the greatest advances which occur primarily to improve your golf, also impact and improve the quality of other areas of your life."

Golf Possibilities has been in operation now for the last 12 months and has gone from strength to strength. Knight has in the pipeline an international rollout of his module with coaching summits and information sessions for golf coaches, both locally and abroad, planned for 2011.

"Coaches are recognising the importance of information dealing with best practices," says Knight.

"This is with performance coaching and life coaching. I plan to work with and develop key information for coaches that will enable them to apply techniques to their players."

Australian golf programmes have long been the envy of other countries around the world. With coaches and support services working together with the golfers, winning teams and golfers have occurred out of proportion with the golf population of Australia.

Knight wants to ensure all players have access to the right information to enable them to achieve their goals and get the very best out of their game and keep Australia's record going with producing fine golfers across all levels.

The services under Golf Possibilities include physiotherapists, biomechanists, sports psychologists, strength trainers, dieticians, coaches, player managers, equipment manufacturers and club fitters. The full gambit is there, ready for the player to explore and work with.

"Clients who participate in this form of coaching can expect to gain clarity around the reasons for their current performance blocks," says Knight.

"They can also expect to become clear on what is required to move forward and to establish specific tasks to ensure progress is made."

Peter Knight's program is a type of 'dare to be different' approach, yet one that's consistent with what is evolving overseas in Europe and the United States where no rock is left unturned in the analysis of a player's performance.

If Australian players are to maintain their reputation of boxing well above their weight internationally, then more attention needs to be given to taking a holistic approach to the game. Results will be waning otherwise.

With only one Australian graduate from the Nationwide Tour this year progressing to the PGA Tour, the first time this has occurred since 1998, coupled with recent world rankings both from an amateur and profession position, there is much work to be done and to continue with defined performance management for our players.

Knight appreciates the ongoing challenges our players face on tour and through his program is aiming to add these additional services.

"We use contemporary information and embrace the advice of experts in the field of development for golfers," says Knight.

"Having a shortage of talent hasn't typically been a problem for us, yet many of our players don't live up to their potential in tournaments. That's were coaches and motivators come in. Professional golf is a full on business and needs to be approach in that manner. To do otherwise a player will not develop into the best that they can."

Peter Knight is about creating opportunities and being there when needed.

Australian golf presently needs professionals of Knight's ilk as they develop the best systems and procedures for all golfers, both for the professional and the weekend warrior who simply loves the game. It's a dare to be different approach, but one worthy of following.

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