12 Mar 2020

Coach Jamie McConnell reflects on Toby Bishop’s record-breaking form

Toby Bishop has been in scintillating form recently shooting a sensation 10-under-par 62 en-route to triumph in the Saadiyat Men’s Open, which is a course record, and then following this up with victory in The Els Alliance against a strong field that contained the likes of European Tour professional Gavin Moynihan. ‘The Welsh Golfer’ trains at the Claude Harmon Performance Academy under the expert guidance of Jamie McConnell. The Golf Academy Director spoke to Worldwide Golf exclusively about the 16 year old’s development and potential.

“Toby (Bishop) has always been a slow and steady improver,” says McConnell. “We have been working together for almost seven years. He was my very first lesson in Dubai, which is quite funny looking back at it now. He is the most constant improver that we have really had. He does not jump very often – in fact going 10 under would be an unusual step because it is a big step. He has been training like that for a while and been working exceptionally hard on his game.

“His ball striking has been through the roof for a long time now and the short game work he has put in the last few weeks has come together with these two recent victories. All of a sudden something like 62 comes like it did at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club. But whether he shots 62, 72 or 82 it is the same person that is an exceptional hard worker who deserves everything that he gets in the game.”

McConnell, who also trains Arjun Gupta, knows Bishop’s game better than anyone and can identify areas where he is looking to improve to get to the next stage in his glittering career.

“I would just say that he should keep doing what he is doing,” adds the coach. “Improving his speed is one of his biggest goals and one of the things that he has worked hardest on. He has hit goals along the way and he is the one person I worked with that would always surprise me as he achieves big goals every single year and even when it looks mostly unlikely to beat them he does it. It is funny because one of the goals this season was to set a course record and that is a difficult goal for anyone but for him to go out there and shoot 62 is amazing.

“On that day I was away so I was in touch with the coach in Abu Dhabi and he was saying that Toby has been consistent and so I said that I would love to see him go low and then later on I logged on to check the results and I nearly fell of the beach chair when I saw the score!”

It’s tremendous for the UAE golf scene to have teenage talents like Bishop, Josh Hill, Gupta all competing together and spurring each other on to get better as they make waves in both the local and international golf spectrum.


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