A new approach on the golf course
Time to get serious about my game, and get scoring on the golf course. I decided that this week would be the week I got the challenge back on track.
Over the past few months, I’ve worked lots with Ryan on my swing, and feel pretty happy with it… most of the time! However, when I’m out on the golf course it doesn’t hold up too well under pressure or when I hit a bad shot. I figure, the only way to get through this now is practice… and lots of it.
I started on Monday by going to the range and just trying to go back to the basics of what we’ve spent the last few months working on. The hardest thing about working on your swing on your own, is the ability to video it. I’ve had many situations at the range when I’ve tried to cobble together some random contraption to balance my phone in. As I mentioned in my last post, I now have this ace little contraption:
It’s my Focal Golf smartphone holder! What this has highlighted is that my swing falls down if I start my takeaway incorrectly. I have a tendency to start with arms and hands and DON’T have any shoulder / torso rotation. Oh, and I sometimes slide my hips forwards rather than rotate!
I checked in with Ryan and we worked on having a feeling of creating a circle. This really does help me visualise it. What I also found helped, was this swing from Adam Scott! He probably has the swing that is closest to ‘how it should be done’. Watching this over & over has helped drill it into my somewhat woolly head!
Hit the range again on Tuesday, but this time added in my routine before every shot to try and replicate what I’d do on the golf course. It’s a simple one, which it has to be or I’ll forget it! Essentially, I have a practice swing outside the ‘zone’, away from the ball. I then stand behind the ball and focus on my target. Pick a spot on the line 6 inches from my ball to line up to. Stand to the ball, get everything set and make sure I’m all lined up. Then I literally take one heavy stare at the target, so I can visualize it when I’ve looked away. Then, that’s the only thought I have. From that point on, I just hit the ball. Sounds simple right?
On Wednesday, got onto the golf course and played a few holes with Ryan which was great.
This highlighted a further few places that may not be helping. My alignment is way out!
Whilst on course, Ryan had me line up and get ready to hit the ball. Then, he’d put the alignment sticks down and show where I’m really aiming! Turns out, I have a major issue! When I feel like I’m aiming left of target, I was actually aiming way right! So, I really need to focus on alignment. The other thing we worked on again was my golf course management. Trying to take the risk out of my shots and stop trying to use my driver every time!
Finally, this week I’ve given my fitness some attention. I know it sounds like all this may be extreme, but I need to make sure I give myself the best possible chance of achieving my goal. As Rory McIlroy will agree, fitness is key to that. I’m not a naturally fit person and I’m a big fan of cakes, wine and carbs. These are not part of a high performance athlete’s diet! However, I know I need to get fitter and stronger.
I’ve been working with Miles at MPFit, who is a specialist strength and conditioning coach. He’s designed me a routine to work on in the gym that will specifically work on the movements I need for a golf swing. As well as improving my overall standard of strength and fitness, he has built me a program to really improve the ‘explosiveness’ of the golf swing. A lot of it is using this contraption, not to be confused with a device of torture!
As well as the actual training, I’ve also tried to ‘eat cleaner.’ (that’s what all the cool gym kids call it!). Essentially, that means trying to avoid the vino (Mrs P & me could easily do a bottle a night!), stepping away from the cakes and trying to eat like a caveman (if its not been running in a field, swimming in the sea or grown in trees / on the ground then I don’t eat it). Obviously, I’m also realistic and realise I’m unlikely to achieve this all the time. However, I have certainly eaten a more healthy and balanced diet this week. I’ll tell you what too, I feel lots better for it!
If you want me to have a look at the golf specific program Miles has done for me, ‘subscribe’ and I’ll email it to you all. Or, if you want Miles to have a chat with you and design one specifically for you and your swing, contact him via their website.
Finally, I went to the range again today. Hitting it ok again and worked some more on my routine. It really does feel like things are coming together. See what you think:
So, as you can see, I’ve worked pretty hard on my game this week. I just need to be mentally stronger whilst out on the golf course. Here’s a great quote I heard this week on Fred Greene’s ‘Golf Smarter’ podcast:
“Never follow a bad shot with a stupid shot”.
In recent weeks this has been me all over. One other thing I’ve talked about a lot this week is this – Just enjoy it! This is supposed to be something we love. So, don’t get angry. Accept the bad shots, move on and enjoy the game. Lets face it, I could be out doing the big shop!!!
Onwards and upwards…’TO THE GOLF COURSE’.