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golf lesson

Lesson 6 – Balance & posture (10-week golf improvement)

As we reach the halfway stage it's time for James Savage to pick up the pace and sort out his balance and posture issues. Scott Oxley from J Whitaker Golf is on the case...
 

So the conclusion of lesson five marked the halfway point in my 10-week quest to achieve a lower handicap.

Scott Oxley from J Whitaker Golf has taught me an awful lot in a very short space of time.

What I think we have been able to achieve in the lessons so far is identifying exactly where my problems are and what I need to work on to really improve my golf game.

A better hip turn and trying to stay more on my heels rather than the balls of my feet were two things we worked on in lesson five and these were things I tried to take onto the course with me during a two-day trip to Spain with Callaway.

As you will remember, my starting point on this handicap mission was 23. I gave myself a handicap of 18 to see how well I could score.

The course at Los Naranjos wasn’t short at 6,700 yards and the previous week there had been some of the worst weather Marbella had ever seen. So I was slightly up against it and was playing alongside fellow journalists which always adds an extra element of pressure.

I was fairly pleased with my score of 28 stableford points and I wasn’t in any danger of finishing last. It actually turned out to be about an average score for the day. The winner scored 36 points.

The main positive for me was my short-game. The technique Scott had showed me really helped me use the bounce of the club and get a nice skidding action. I felt fairly confident of getting up and down from around the green or at worst a chip and two putts.
I’m realising now more than ever that these are things which are going to take blood, sweat and tears on my part to fix The negative was still my tee shots. I hit a few good drives but a few really poor ones. When I did get a good drive away I felt I had a chance of making par.

So what is causing my driving problems? I feel balance and stability is a huge issue for me. I still have a tendency to fall forwards slightly which then makes it difficult to keep the club on the right path.

There’s also an element of putting too much pressure on myself to play well and I’m thinking far too much when stood over my tee shot.

I need to relax a bit more, let the arms swing freely and trust that I have done my work in practice and just need to go out and swing with a bit less tension.

So on to lesson six, Scott thought it was time to really get to the bottom of these balance, posture and stability issues.

I’m realising now more than ever that these are things which are going to take blood, sweat and tears on my part to fix.

Scott can show me what I’m doing wrong but good balance and posture are not things he can dimly hand to me – I need to work really hard on them.

I’m determined to do so.

James Savage

Former equipment editor of NCG. Inconsistent ball-striker and tea-maker.

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