Karl’s blog: A case of self-diagnosis

From Zero to Hero: Karl takes another step forward on his quest for golfing mediocrity

I don’t want to get carried away here, but something a bit momentous occurred last week.

Now let’s preface this tale by the fact that before I started lessons, like two months ago, I barely knew which end of the club to hold.

I could get the ball from one end of the course to the other, but I didn’t have any sort of technique as I had no real knowledge, and my ball striking definitely wasn’t consistent in any shape or form.

I’d play a round and my friends would say ‘your wrists are breaking too much’, ‘you aren’t turning your hips’ or something of a similar ilk. But let’s be honest, I didn’t know what they meant, and for the large part neither did they.

Yet now, after just a few lessons with a pro, I’m able to diagnose myself if I hit a bad shot.

Let’s make this clear – there are still a lot of bad shots. However, the difference is now I usually know why I’ve hit them badly.

I’m developing a greater understanding of the game, and for me this has proved way more interesting than I expected. I’m really enjoying being able to analyse my own game.

For the first time, I actually feel like I’m making progress.

‘For the first time, I actually feel like I’m making progress’
Things culminated this week at my latest lesson with Joe Feather, at the Leadbetter Academy at Leeds Golf Centre.

I told Joe that I felt there was too much of a gap between my pitching wedge and my gap wedge (52 degrees). This led to me struggling when I was around the 100-yard mark as a full pitch would go 120 yards, but with my gap wedge I would struggle to get 80.

This became especially evident when I played the Queen’s course at Gleneagles last week [CLAAAAANNNNNNG – name drop]. While beautiful, the layout is very short and a decent drive would usually land me in that black hole between 80 and 120 yards.

Now previously, I would have expected this to be an excuse – I’m not hitting it correctly and as a result I’m taking it out on my equipment (because after all that’s easier than blaming ourselves).

And yet, after hitting a few strikes during the lesson I saw Joe nodding his head in agreement.

I’d actually spotted an issue with my equipment, and here’s a professional telling me I was spot on!

I just want to get things straight – I’m still pretty crap at golf. I’m getting there, but I’ve a long way to go. I may be hitting the ball ‘better’, but that just means I’m finding more trouble further along the course, and so my scores haven’t clicked yet.

But for a complete hacker like me to have accurately spotted a gap between my clubs, and to have fixed this problem (my wedges were all bent forward by about three degrees to plug the gap), is something of a small victory.

Hopefully, after the bank holiday weekend I’ll be able to report back with some good news about plummeting scores. Fingers crossed.

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