After this weeks competition round of golf, I’ve realised that winter golf is a totally different game. The challenge was always going to be tough, but I’m sure trying to do it through winter is making it tougher!
Had a couple of great sessions at the range this week. Winter golf doesn’t seem to make a difference on there. My back swing is pretty repetitive now so we’ve been mainly working on the downswing and hip rotation. I’m hitting the ball really consistently with my irons now which is great. Feels really solid too. Nice high ball flight, starting straight with a slight curvature. Still lots of work to do in making sure the hips are cleared to make room for the club to exit left, but we’re getting there. The main thing is, I’m hitting the ball well and doing it consistently. At least I am on the driving range!!
Let’s talk about taking this great solid swing onto the course. Oh, hang on a minute, it would appear I’m not. Must be leaving it in the car!
Here’s the thing. I’m not seeing that much improvement out on the course, despite how well I hit it at the range. Today after a nice par to start, I played pretty poorly, especially in comparison to my range performance. A few holes were ok, with 14 being a particular highlight; par 3, playing around 165 yards. Hit a great 6 iron to about 10ft, putted for birdie. Actually, when I say a few…that and the par at the 1st was probably it.
So, is the reason for my poor course performance the challenges that come with winter golf? It’s pretty tough going right? Lots of layers (base layer, polo, tanktop, fleece, wooly hat), make it tricky to swing the club properly, and there’s the cold balls (golf balls that is!) so it doesn’t go as far. I think the biggest issue I have with winter golf is how wet and soggy the ground is. Pretty much every time I hit the ball off the deck with an iron, I take a divot the size of a deeply filled doner kebab. Is this just me using winter golf a lame excuse for my poor performance?
Is it more realistic that I’m struggling to take my new golf swing to the course, especially with the pressure of a competition? I’ve read that many people suffer from this too. It’s another example of how big a part the brain plays in golf. If that is the case, how do I make it stop?
Whether it’s the winter golf conditions or the issue in my brain causing this inability to actually play well on the course, it needs fixing!
Today I finished 6 over my handicap, and that’s with just the 16 holes that are open. A long way from the target of mid teens by the end of Jan. I need to make some serious steps forward in 2014…
Of course, before all that I’ll be stuffing myself with several Christmas dinners, lots of chocolate, copious amounts of alcohol and a few crappy Xmas movies.
If you want some top tips for playing in the cold, a great article here from Paul Kaster on Golf WRX.