I need some swing fixes… anyone help?

I need some swing fixes… anyone help?

The golf challenge has hit a bit of a plateau at the minute. Actually, no it hasn’t, it’s hit a bloody great big wall! No joke, I’m struggling and am in serious need of some swing fixes.

I’ll be totally honest with you, it really pains me to write this update after the pre holiday highs and the form I was carrying. It never came back with me, nor has it returned since. I’ve played 4 rounds since last Saturday and my last update. Surely my swing has kicked back in by now?

Let’s start with last Sunday. I played a round with Rick from Stromberg up at The Manor. It was a beautiful day and I decided to hit a few on the range, try and figure out my ball striking. It was ok, but thats as complimentary as I can be. We went to the first tee and get ready for our match, loser gets lunch! Firstly, I had home advantage and secondly it was his first game back after an 8 week lay off due to injury. So, easy pickings right?

Wrong! I was hammered! He did play exceptionally well, in fact he played 7 under his 10 handicap! I was particularly poor off the tee, but generally I never once felt comfortable with my game. I was messing with my swing throughout the entire round. I was doing all the things you shouldn’t do; having lots of swing thoughts, trying to change things mid swing, not thinking about targets, no consistency in my routine etc etc. I finished with a 92, 2 over my handicap. Rubbish and even more convinced I need some swing fixes, and quickly! Also, watching the way Rick hit the ball made me feel a long way from a single figure golfer.

On Monday, I played again, this time at Howley Hall in our first League to Dubai match.

The format was betterball 3/4 handicap stableford. Me and my partner Russ (12) played a 7 & 18 handicap. On the first, we all hit poor tee shots. Phew. For Russ and I, it just didn’t get any better! Except for a short burst mid round, neither of us played well. In fairness, the course was in surprisingly poor condition. The 1st cut just hadn’t been cut, so if you were just off the fairway, your ball sat right down in the long grass giving you an impossible shot. That’s if you found it in the first place! The greens were shocking too…they were like dried mud greens!

Swing Fixes - Howley Hall Greens

Yes, they’d had some serious rain over the past couple of weeks, but so has The Manor. Our course has never ben a course that drains well, but it’s in much better condition than Howley. It’s a shame as I was looking forward to playing it too.

Back to the round though! Thankfully, on the front 9 not even our playing partners played well so despite being 3 points down we still had a chance. On the back 9, they completely kicked our asses! We were consistently poor and subsequently lost the match, a match that lasted 5 hours!

On Thursday, I had another match for The Manor in the Rabbits league (matchplay v Halifax GC; my opponent was Nigel, a 16 hcp).  Again, I had absolutely no confidence in my swing when we set off, but was determined to try and keep a clear mind. It was actually better during this round, certainly off the tee. However, I could still feel myself tinkering with my golf swing and the cardinal sin, having swing thoughts at address. For the most part I got away with it and after 7 holes I was 4 up. It didn’t last though and as we started the 18th I was 1 down. I somehow managed to win the hole and halve the match. Off the tee was I was hitting it well, I hit nearly every fairway. But my iron play was massively inconsistent. I also had two many 3 putts, some unlucky, some daft.

Then, came Saturday and another medal. I started off in a distinctly average fashion. I wasn’t striking the ball particularly well, but was just about getting away with it. After 9 holes I was 1 over my handicap, but it was scrappy as hell. I was constantly messing around with my swing, a massive no no! As I got to the 10th I gave myself a little talking to, knowing that I could still turn it around. The tenth can be a card wrecker. Short par 4, but narrow. Take a mid iron and aim right towards the tree.

Swing Fixes - the manor 10th

This hole in summer always has a huge kick left and if you hit the middle of the fairway you can often head into trouble. I hit my tee shot really well, a nice 6 iron to the right of the fairway that kicked left…just as requested. We all walked to find our ball. That was the start of the end. I couldn’t find it, despite seeing it bounce. I have no idea where it went. Angry, gutted, annoyed, seething. Just a few of the emotions I was having! I was determined not to card an NR today, so ran back to the tee and played another. As you always do in that situation, you feel hurried as your mistake slows everyone down. I managed to walk off with a 7.

On the 11th, I put my tee shot left, but luckily found it and made a 5 from what could have been another NR. Then onto 12, S.I 1, the hardest hole on the course. Again, whilst thinking about my swing…whilst literally swinging the club I managed to hit a huge hook into the trees. Cue much frustration. Reloaded and now in a state of mental meltdown after the last two holes, and head full of swing thoughts I stuck it in here…again.

Swing Fixes - The Manor 12th trees

That was my round over. I NR’d for the third week in a row.

Now, here’s the thing. Right now I feel a little bit demoralised. My golf challenge was going so well. My swing felt fantastic, and really consistent. I was playing like a proper golfer everytime I turned up. So what’s changed?

I have no idea. All I know is that time is ticking on and I’m going backwards. I need to go back to basics and try and rediscover the form I had pre holiday so I can get my golf challenge to single figures back on track. I’m in serious need of some swing fixes. Can this man Sean Foley help me with his simple swing fixes ? Probably not, as he can’t see my swing. Also, as I’ve found before, self diagnosing is very dangerous!

I’m seeing Ryan again today as he is the person who does know my swing, and can usually fix it fast. I really  hope he can, for my sake and for the sake of the challenge.

We’re all counting on you Ryan… No pressure!

Oh…before I finish this, a quick one. I’m not normally one for doing stuff like this, but I’m walking the Three Peaks for local children’s hospice, Forget Me Not. My reason for doing it is that since having kids of my own, I realise how important places like this are as none of us know when we’ll need them…and it is an amazing place too. Sadly, they only get 5% of their 2.8 million running costs from the government, the rest is from donations from lovely kind folk like you. So, if you could spare any of your hard earned cash to sponsor me for doing this rather silly thing that will probably half kill me…I’d be hugely appreciative.

To sponsor me, click my Virgin Money Giving page here. Thank you.