The Machrie Masterclass

Words by: James Wilson
Photography by:Jason Jahnke

A few beers, two espresso martinis with a shot of baileys (try it), and a local Islay whisky is not how most golf lessons start. They don’t normally take place in the living room of a five star hotel and it’s rare for one man to coach 10 people at once. But most coaches aren’t like Josh Park.

First let us rewind a little: after travelling by ferry from Tarbert to Islay the MANORS team made their way across to The Machrie - one of golf’s great getaways. A remote island golf course, nestled into the Scottish Hebrides with spectacular ocean views.

Perched at the top of The Machrie's beautiful clubhouse, with floor to ceiling windows and an expert curation of rare golf related art, lies the dining area. An array of locally sourced dishes followed. The wine and whisky flowed with it. As is inevitable amongst any travelling golfers, the conversation soon made a beeline for the golf swing. The disappointment of missed putts, hooked drives and shanked irons from our previous rounds quickly bubbled to the surface. As our banquet drew to a close, we made the sensible decision to retire to one of The Machrie’s cosy drawing rooms, where Josh was preparing to take this emotional bull by the horns.

Josh Park is a California based swing coach to the stars. Given his handsome following on Instagram, you might be tempted to call him an influencer. He’d recoil at the thought. But Josh’s hands-on approach to the golf swing and his mission to improve the knowledge of his students makes him an influencer in the purest sense of the word.

One by one the cast and crew of the MANORS Hebrides shoot were invited to take to the floor for 10 magical minutes with JP (get your minds out of the gutter folks). From beginners to seasoned professionals, Josh ducked and dived between flying right elbows, impossibly inflexible hips and cupped wrists in a bid to remedy the ailments of the group.

Here’s what the students had to say about their experience:

As much as he’s a golf instructor, he’s a therapist and a chiropractor as well - the guy’s a genius. - Harry Clements

What an experience. He only saw me swing once or twice and it was enough for him to know what to do. - Jake Baker-Cliff.

“He simplifies it. He knows what language to use and what method to use with each person. Wow, what a communicator.” Kareem Smith

Josh’s ability to adapt to each player was impressive to say the least. It’s no surprise that the likes of Bruno Major, Salim the Dream and Margaux Brooke are drawn to Josh’s expertise and charisma. He’s every bit as much of a star as they are. His intuitive switch between entertainer, educator and humble listener makes for the ideal instructor.

“He’s got no ego - if it doesn’t work for the player - he adapts to find something that will” James Wilson

“Depending on if you were a visual learner or an audible learner he would change the way he taught each person.” Jason Jahnke

The students of the Machrie Masterclass are smitten with their new coach. Once you’ve had your ten minutes with Josh, its tricky to go back. We’ve been pestering him like a needy ex ever since.

“I need Josh back in my life” - Jake Baker-Cliff

Josh Park is at the beginning of a short journey to the top of his game. We’re buying a ticket, and we suggest you hop aboard.