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We all have the swing in us

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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We all have the swing in us | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Gilles Duboueix, a professional golf coach and mental trainer, claims that we all have the swing in us, we just need to discover it, and he’s here to help. Having spent the past seven years working both with amateurs and professionals, he shares the secrets of his technique with the Gazette, proving that the most important part of a golfers body is the mind.

What does it take to be the best in golf?
Gilles Duboueix: If your goal is to be absolutely the best player, the best in the world, you have to make a big change. Not only on the technical and physical side, this is something you simply have to have, but a big part is also mental conditioning – at the top level it’s as important as the other parts.
To be a winner you have to be very organized and not many people lead a very rigorous, strict lifestyle. At a high level you need perfect precision and to get it you need to have a clear mind and play with just your instinct. To get this moment of clarity you need to work a lot on yourself, you need to explore your feelings, discover what’s bothering you and find solutions. The more relaxed and free you feel, the more you can concentrate on your game and the better results you achieve. My task is to help players let go, clear their heads, which will let them perform better under pressure.

A traditional golf coach would spend time with the player on the golf course. What does a session with you look like in practice?
It’s mostly talking. They talk and I listen. We get to know each other, I evaluate their problems and gain their trust. I work to get to the bottom of their problems – with amateurs this is simple because most of the time the problem is technical and this is something I can quickly recognize on the driving range. With professionals I focus on analyzing the mind. It’s a very personalized therapy similar to when people end up on a therapist’s sofa. The difference is that we work on the golf course.

And once you get to the bottom of the problem, how do you solve it?
We spend a lot of time together on the course, but also at lunch, at dinner, during travel, after which I can provide the golfer with a solution. For example, I have many times worked with players who played very well with friends, in a relaxed atmosphere, but during the tournament, they just couldn’t make the cut. And in our conversations I discovered that they spent many hours a day on Facebook, or that their mother or girlfriend bothered them. When I hear this, it’s easy to make a connection because for golf, you need to be very focused on your goal. Going pro is taking a certain decision and you need to be serious about it. At this level, golf is a business and you’re the boss, you’re the seller, the marketing manager, you’re everything and you’re alone. It’s just you and the small white ball.

When did you decide to take up the mental side of golf coaching?
It has been seven years, but I have been playing golf for 35 years, since I was about six years old. And of course I also conduct traditional, technical training, I simply have to. But the mental training is gaining popularity, there are new big names coming up, new gurus, more books are getting published, and more players understand that they need a mental coach just as much as they need a physical coach.

So what is your success rate so far?
I have a good example here in Phuket. I worked with a Canadian player three years ago who was on the ADT (Asian Development Tour) and was missing a lot of cuts even though he was doing well at the driving range. We worked a lot together and now, almost two and a half years later, he finished in the top three of the Order of Merit of the ADT 2013 and he got into the Asian Tour, where he is playing this year. This proved to me that I’m not so bad at what I do. Three years ago, he was ranked 1,500th in the world. Today he is 500th. To advance by 1,000 places in two and a half years during which we worked on the technical side but also on the mental side, is a big thing. Normally it takes maybe five to six years to achieve the same results. To do that, we changed his life completely, we stopped his Facebook addiction, got rid of some false friends sucking money from him, fixed his mind and gave him space to focus on golf. I’m very proud of him and of myself.

Who is your target group, your potential customer?
I work with professionals but also with amateurs and with golf courses – recently I worked with a member of the Blue Canyon and got good results. My teaching technique is a bit special, it’s not something you find every day on the driving range. I do not give my customers a quick fix and leave them not knowing if they are ever going to see me again. When I teach amateurs, I try to have a connection with them, to find passion for golf, the fire for the game. I want to work with people who really want to improve and not just show off in front of friends. I respect that because golf is a fun game, but if somebody is not interested in progress, then they don’t interest me.

Do people enjoy working with you?
I think so because my approach is different, I make golfers feel free, not focus on all the parameters that come with golf. I try to make them understand their own bodies first because we all have the swing in us, it’s there but we don’t use it. We just need to find this automatic instinct. It’s like driving a car, you do it naturally and when you do it, you feel safe and confident. My goal is to do the same thing with golf.

To get in touch with coach Duboueix call 080-719 6373 or send an email to gillesduboueix@gmail.com.

— Maciek Klimowicz

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News

30 dolphins greet visitors to Similan Islands

Greeley Pulitzer

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30 dolphins greet visitors to Similan Islands | The Thaiger

Tourists were treated to the sight of a school of dolphins in the Similan Islands off the Phang Nga coast on Sunday.

Tour organisers said that around 30 dolphins swam close to the boat six or seven miles offshore, creating excitement for passengers. It was the first time dolphins had been seen in the vicinity since October 15.

The Similan Islands National Park director said they were bottlenose dolphins and were among several species now returning to the area following a five-year closure of the park for environmental rehabilitation. Food is again plentiful there for them, he said.

Tourists are forbidden to feed wildlife lest the free handouts alter the animals’ natural behaviour, and the park’s waters are also very sensitive to contamination from human disease and marine debris, according to the director.

SOURCE: nationthailand.com

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Patong

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms

The Thaiger

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Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | The Thaiger

by Sophie Deviller

Hotels on Thailand’s most popular holiday island are being forced to slash prices, with rooms left vacant and beaches sparse as Thailand’s tourism chiefs struggle with a plunge in Chinese visitors caused by the US trade war and a stronger baht. Phuket was the most visited destination in the country last year, after Bangkok, and a good gauge of the state of its crucial travel industry.

Tourism accounts for 18% of Thailand’s gross domestic product and Chinese holidaymakers make up more than a quarter of total arrivals. But while 2.2 million people from the country visited in 2018, according to official figures, the numbers for January-September were down almost 20% year on year.

Claude de Crissey, the French Honorary Consul in Phuket and owner of about 40 rooms in the Patong Beach area, says Chinese tourists are usually present even during the current low season.

“That was not the case this year,” he said, adding he had to lower his prices by as much as 50%.

The problem is not only in Phuket, with hotels also struggling to fill rooms in the seaside resort of Pattaya on the mainland and on Koh Samui.

Trade tensions with the US have already made some Chinese reluctant to take holidays owing to uncertainty back home, while the Thai baht has risen about 10% against the yuan this year.

A boating disaster off Phuket’s coast that killed 47 Chinese holidaymakers in July 2018 also scared some off.

“We are worried,” said an industry insider, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the topic in a country where tourism provides tens of thousands of jobs. Adding to the headache is the fact that more than 3,000 new hotel rooms are being constructed on the island, raising the question of who will fill them.

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | News by The Thaiger

“In terms of business, it’s not good,” said Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, vice-president of the association of hotels in Thailand and director of Vijitt Resort.

“Because … we have more hotels, more rooms to sell, we have more restaurants, more coffee shops.”

Still, tourism authority chairman Yuthasak Supasorn said he remained “optimistic.”

“We should reach our goal of 39.8 million foreign visitors.”

However, that is only up from 38.2 million in 2018, much less than the jump seen from the previous year’s total of 35.6 million.

Counting on India

Now hoteliers and tour package operators are targeting visitors from elsewhere, particularly India, which experts see as a huge untapped market.

A rapid expansion of the middle class in India, increased direct flights and visa-free travel have prompted Thailand to revise forecasts upwards.

It now expects two million Indian tourists this year, after an increase of nearly 25% on-year in the first seven months. But for now, the lower arrivals is evident on the streets of Phuket.

“I’ve never seen anything as bad as what it is at the moment,” said Paul Scott from Australia, who said he has been coming to Thailand for 15 years.

He mainly blamed the stronger baht for the drop-off but also the fact that Thailand wasn’t the untouched vacation paradise it once was. “Now it’s not so new … and it’s not cheap,” he said.

SOURCE: AFP

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | News by The Thaiger

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Events

The 15th Mai Khao Marine Turtle fun run attracts more than 4,000 runners

The Thaiger

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The 15th Mai Khao Marine Turtle fun run attracts more than 4,000 runners | The Thaiger

4,000 runners from Thailand and overseas took part in the 15th Mai Khao Marine Turtle Fun Run and Half Marathon 2019 yesterday, starting from the Phuket Gateway.

The event is expected to raise 700,000 baht for the charity, now in its 15th year. The money raised goes towards to The Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation, which is committed to protecting the marine and coastal environment, and ecosystems, for the wellbeing of sea turtles that nest in the Mai Khao beach and the surrounding areas.

The annual race also provides funds for thePhuket Marine Biological Centre’s Injured Turtle Rehabilitation Program and The Third NavalArea Command’s Turtle Hatchery Program.

The race was in its 15th year and runners of all ages and abilities took part in the race. The morning’s racing was divided into five categories – the 21.1km half marathon, 10.5km mini- marathon, 5km fun run and 3k family run and VIP participants for all the races. The route of 21.1 kilometre race took runners northwest along the Haad Sai Kaew beach towards Thao Thepkasattri bridge, past the rural road No. 3006, run along the road – Pi Lai viewpoint area returned back along the T. Baan Tha Nun to the iconic Sarasin bridge before finished the half marathon in the Phuket Gateway.

For Mini Marathon 10.5 km – Over all category, Mr. Chinnawat Changlek clocked 39 minutes and 40 seconds to clinch victory in the male half marathon, winning prize money and a trophy with the signature of Phuket’s Governor. The winner in the female mini marathon was Surakarn Wanna with a time of 47 minutes and 47 seconds.

Winners also received a prize gift voucher as well as a medal. Congratulations to all participants.

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