Quest to Single Figures: The journey begins...

The Scoop

It's time to start taking this crazy game seriously...

Golf is a tough game at the best of times – especially when you are trying to teach yourself.

In five years of playing I had never had a single golf lesson. But despite having little or no idea about technique, I still expected to hit great shots on a consistent basis. That’s all because I’m uneducated in the world of golf technique. Thinking like this is pretty much the same as trying to drive a car without having lessons. You have an idea of how to do it, but you’re not sure how to execute it.

I’m a big fan of most sports, and also a very competitive person (that won’t be a surprising statement to some). So when it comes to my golf I want to be able to compete with the best players and be taken seriously as a good golfer. I don’t want to be one of those players who gets a shot on a 140 yard par 3.

Despite playing some good golf over the last few months there’s room for a lot of improvement. Ultimately, my aim is to be a single-figure golfer. Is that realistic? Of course it is.

Firstly though, it will mean getting an official handicap. I currently play off a very questionable (according to my work colleagues) 17 handicap.

The reason I say questionable is that last week I was four over through nine holes at Ganton.. then I lost four balls on the back nine. There is definitely a good golfer there somewhere. I just need to find that consistency.

I’d rate my game like this:

Off the tee I’m quite confident, but have the occasional skied driver or an ugly pull. 6/10

My iron play is arguably the worst part of my game. I can hit a 250-yard drive right down the middle, set up for a routine 140-yard 8 iron and end up 30 yards away from the green. 2/10

I still have no idea what wedge set up suits my game. I would say I get more height than distance, which is great for flop shots and tight lies around the green, but anything from 40 to 100 yards leaves me in doubt. They go left, right, short, long, thinned and fatted. A big improvement is needed. 3/10

Chipping and putting is probably the best part of my game. Around the greens I’d always be quite confident of getting up and down from a difficult position. There’s always room for improvement though. 7/10

My first lesson

The first thing I wanted the pro to look at was my iron play. Pulling iron shots seems to be a more constant theme than anything in my game at the moment so that was a good starting point. He gave me some great advice.

 

My shoulder alignment was wrong to start with. From behind the ball the Pro wanted to see the logo on the left side of my chest. As was my ball position – too far forward.

Previously I had no idea these were big issues, but because that was the first thing I’ve been told to change, I guess they are more important than the swing itself.

That’s the big issue really. I’m severely uneducated when it comes to the technique aspect. Having lessons will hopefully not just improve me on the course, but will also improve my knowledge of the game itself.

So I went away and worked on the drills and technique he showed me at the range, and after a couple of sessions’ practice I could really start to see a difference. My posture, as well as my position at address felt a lot more natural. I was pretty surprised at how natural it felt considering I’d never been in that position hitting an iron shot before.

The main thing I want to change in my overall play is my mentality really. I want to be able to accept bad shots and not let them affect the rest of the round.

Lets see how I get on with the drills and I’ll check back with my second blog in a couple of weeks.

Happy golfing!

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