End of season report – did I improve my golf handicap?

End of season report – did I improve my golf handicap?

I’m sure many of you are now in the same position as me; the dreaded winter mats have been brought into play, meaning no more handicap adjustments. That signals the end of the season and the end of my challenge for this golfing year.

If you have been kind enough to follow my journey to improve my golf handicap this season, thank you. I really appreciate you taking the time to read it. Also, thanks for all those that sent me tweets, messages etc along the way. It’s been nice talking to lots of you all trying to do a similar thing and improve your game, and hopefully we helped each other a little.

Ok. Lets get to the main event. The challenge was to get to a single figure handicap, after starting the season at 21.6… so how did I finish?

Well, I didn’t get the single figure as you have probably guessed if you read my last update. I just ran out of time. It’s bloody annoying that it has ended now as I’m just finding my flow again and I know the good rounds are coming! Damn seasons!

After my last handicap qualifying round, I finished with a golf handicap of 16.0.

The lowest I got to was 15.4, but didn’t manage to get it any lower. Lots of people have said to me that it’s still a good achievement, but I still feel a little disappointed that I didn’t at least get a little closer to a single figure handicap. So, why didn’t I get there this season, and what have I learnt about how to improve my golf handicap…?

Lesson #1

Try and not let work get in the way! Work became a real problem in the last few months of the challenge. Running your own business (mine is in the early days too) can be very time consuming, and if you run your own ship you’ll totally understand this. When work comes in, you take it on regardless how busy you are. Then, you worry about how you make it happen, usually because you always fear the ‘quiet patch’. That often means you work incredibly long hours to get the job done. Subsequently, that has meant my golf has suffered, especially over the past three months. What it also meant in the last few months, was I never got to spend any real time with Ryan. We couldn’t find times that fitted us both. So, those moments when you know you’re struggling and you’re not hitting it well, when you go and see your coach… that’s what I didn’t do. Any free time I had, I tried to spend it playing, which often meant I ended up slipping back into ‘old bad habits’ as I tried to find shortcuts and quick fixes. None of these worked!

Lesson #2

After I scored my best round, I rather foolishly changed my clubs! Yes, bad move! At the time, I thought it would improve things, despite many of you warning me to wait until the end of the season. Did I listen? No! The temptation of hitting those shiny new Nike Forged Irons was just too much, so in the bag they went, and more lovely golf game stayed with the trusty old Mizunos! Only now am I really getting used to them, and subsequently hitting them great. Lesson learnt!

Lesson #3

And finally…and this is the BIG ONE. My own (tiny!) brain. Yup, the mental game. I never really gave this one the time & credit it deserves. I did some sessions with David MacKenzie from Golf State Of Mind, and listened to Bob Rotella audiobooks a lot, but I struggled to implement any of it. My routine was not solid enough, and as soon as I hit a bad shot, the routine fell apart, and my round quickly followed.

Am I happy with the progress made? Yes, of course. Working with Ryan has helped me achieve a swing that for the most part is repeatable, and in general, my game has improved a lot since I started this last year. He managed to turn a very bad golf swing into one that looks pretty good.

Did I improve my golf handicap - swingDid I improve my golf handicap - Golf Swing

That said, I’m still a little disappointed. So, as one season ends, the work begins again with a slightly adjusted goal, that is probably even more difficult than the last one…

Can I get to a category 1 golf handicap?

For those like me who didn’t know what that means – can I get a handicap of 5 or under. Essentially, I’ll be going from the Rabbits team to the Scratch team. It’s not going to be easy, going from 21 – 16 was hard enough!

I’m also going to be working with the team at JWhitaker Golf this year, at both their Moor Allerton GC and Howley Hall GC locations. Not only are they a team of incredibly well respected coaches (and with great history of success!), but I think they have the best facilities in the West Yorkshire area (Click here and have a nosey at their website and you can see for yourself!). Both locations have lots of great practice areas, but crucially have indoor Trackman Performance Centres, which given what I’ve seen will absolutely make a difference in achieving success this time.

Did I improve my golf handicap - JWhitaker Golf

I’m also going to be working with Dynamic Golf Fitness, who specialise in fitness for enhanced golf performance. Hopefully that will help my body work better!

I have to say, I’m pretty excited to get going again and looking forward to starting this week with a Trackman Combined Test to see what shape my game is really in, and to hatch a strategic plan to improve my golf handicap enough to be a category 1 player.

I just need to make sure nothing gets in the way this time!