Time to have a playing lesson.

Time to have a playing lesson.

It would appear winter is here then. Not sure if you’re finding it the same on your courses, but it’s tough out there at the minute.

Having had some reasonable practice through the week, and a good lesson with Ryan at JWhitaker Golf, I was looking forward to Saturday. Unfortunately, we’d had a lot more rain during the week, so I knew the course wouldn’t be in the best shape.

It was a Stableford competition at The Manor last Saturday, and despite a reasonable weather forecast… it was raining! As suspected, the course was really wet, and really muddy! It’s probably the worst I’ve seen it so early in the winter. It’s not a good sign. That said, we plodded on.

Winter golf is hard, and the scoring was really tough. Yes, the course was really bad. There was so much mud and standing water. Even the winter mats are wrecked.

Playing Lesson_Manor-Mat_Muddy-fairways

It made getting a reasonably steady stance to play your shot difficult. You were slipping a lot, hitting it heavy and the ball was plugging on the fairways. I think that’s the most frustrating thing… you shouldn’t lose your ball when you hit a fairway! However, I can’t just blame the course.

My golf game is just not there at the minute. I’m hitting it well when I’m practicing and during lessons, but I’m struggling to take it onto the course, and that is NOT good for the challenge. So, this week I’ve really tried to get my swing into a consistent place. As well as an early range session, some great golf specific strength work with Rachael at Dynamic Golf, I also went up to see James at JWhitaker Golf at Moor Allerton GC.  We’d chatted about my issues earlier in the week, and he suggested I should have a playing lesson. I couldn’t agree more!

I was the first time I’ve actually played the course at Moor Allerton, and my first impressions were brilliant. I can totally see why it’s rated as one of the best in Yorkshire.

But, this was not a time to get giddy about the course. We were only playing a few holes, and this was about me having a playing lesson and trying to fix my on course issues.

Playing lesson – Issue 1 – Driver off the tee.

For the last few weeks, I have been poor off the tee. They have either been high and right, or low and left. Nothing in the middle. Here’s what happened on the playing lesson with James.

Playing lesson – Issue 2 – Irons out of the rough.

With my irons, I’ve been hitting them really heavy. Yes, the poor course condition isn’t helping, but it’s mostly due to swing inconsistency. James had a good tip for me here…

Playing lesson – Issue 3 – Playing off the winter mats.

This one seems so obvious. I’ve struggled with my alignment a lot recently in general, but it’s even worse when I get on a mat (which is almost every hole at The Manor). Not only that, I struggle with losing my footing a lot.

So, having a playing lesson was really good, and James had some great fixes that seemed to work and make a really positive impact immediately. It seemed much easier to understand what was happening and how to then implement the adjustment out on the golf course, probably as it’s a more realistic situation.

I just need to try and do the same thing on the course without James being there at hand to give me advice. Hopefully I’ll get a few holes between now and Sunday… the big game of the weekend for me. It’s the Winter League, and we need a win!