It’s been a while since I updated you (hello, anybody there?) with my golfing adventure.
Just to recap, the last time I wrote I was in the middle of having lessons and had just been out with a colleague from work for a round which went pretty poorly.
Well, the good news is that I’m still playing. The game has me captivated and isn’t letting me go. The not so good news is that I’m still not ready for the tour! Progress is, well, slower than I’d like. This is probably down to my natural inclination to want to be as good as possible at the things I do, and also down to the fact that I’m not a natural at coordinating the various parts of my body involved in swinging a club.
However, good signs are there and when the gods are smiling on me I can hit the ball very well. The lessons have been great, with Joe Murray from Hollystown doing a good job of focussing on the bits I’m getting wrong without rushing too far ahead.
We recently went out on the course for an hour’s lesson. I’d been hoping to get this in before our holiday in August, but that didn’t transpire. As such, thanks to the awful Irish summer and work I didn’t get much chance to practice and went into it pretty cold. After looking forward to it for a long time it came as a crushing disappointment to spend the hour fluffing nearly every shot I hit. Joe showed the patience of a saint as I hacked my way around a few hole, with us both knowing that mentally I wasn’t in a place to respond to any coaching. With hindsight it was a combination of too much anticipation, nerves (playing with a pro) and inability to take every shot as it comes. Lessons learnt, and not about my swing.
Since then the one lesson I’ve had saw hardly a bad shot get hit, and my practice on the range is coming on well. I’ve also played a few rounds and am now getting to the point where I’ve set a definite target of getting a score under 100. On Monday, during a day off work, I went round Hollystown during a fairly windy and overcast day in 109. Not the easiest conditions, and the front nine included two nines, and a nine and eight on the back nine too. There were three pars along the way. The problems could be narrowed down to noticeable areas:
- Inconsistency off the tee. On the Sunday on a nice day with not a breeze I was hitting fantastic 3 woods off the tee. Seriously good shots, even cutting the dogleg left ninth over the trees (and trying for it I might add) but couldn’t hit my driver for some reason. On Monday I therefore started off hitting the 3 wood, but the high ball flight saw it get taken wildly by the wind causing loss of distance and lost balls. On the par four sixth I realised that getting out the driver and teeing down to produce a low flight might be better and immediately got par. Pretty much every drive after that was good.
- Fluffed chips. Mainly due to not committing to the downswing and trying to lift the ball. There’s nothing like duffing the ball three feet forward or into a bunker!
- The odd poor iron shot. Although much better than previously I still have a tendency to get off plane on the backswing which is down to doing the wrong things with my wrists.
So, the hope is that by being a bit more conservative sometimes and focussing on these issues 100 should come soon. The other milestone will be my first birdie. I’ve had putts for it but they’ve typically been from distance.