Two steps forward…one back

4th hole 600_400

This week, my progress has not been great. Again, this is what happens to many club golfers out there. You come off the back of a great week, hitting the ball great, feeling good about your swing…then don’t get enough time to actually practice and maintain the momentum. This is what happened to me last week.

Firstly, work was chaotic. Like…really chaotic. It didn’t help that because of various technical issues one of our jobs took almost two days longer than it should have. Secondly, we had a poorly child, which meant me losing another half day looking after him. The knock on effect of this was that I lost half of a day of work that I had to make up. All these things meant the challenge stalled a little.

When things get busy or don’t go quite as planned in those other areas of your life, the first thing that is compromised is your golf. That is of course unless you are lucky enough to make a living from it! For those of us not quite so lucky, it’s just one of those things and for me, I just have to accept that sometimes this will happen. Ok…so, my practice has mainly consisted of some swinging of my 54° wedge in the house, and listening to a little more Dr Bob Rotella. However, even these things haven’t happened enough.

I turned up on Saturday morning with a very different feeling to the week before. I only had time to play 9 holes this week as we were going away for the weekend so I figured it was a good opportunity to have a practice round and try and score as well as the previous week. However, I did not feel confident. Last week, before I’d even got the clubs out of the car I felt like I was going to hit the ball well.

I didn’t start off too badly. I hit it ok. But it was only just ok. I started with a bogey, followed by a double bogey on the second, which is now a par 3 on a winter green. After a great drive on the 3rd, I two putted for a nice par. Ok, maybe it’s not going to be so bad after all. Oh…but now we have to play the 4th. I need to start trusting what Ryan tells me, which on every other hole I do…’aim left to go straight’. I’m so scared of hooking it on this hole that I just don’t do have the balls to aim left! On this hole, I clearly have a huge mental block!

Well…at least I’m consistent. I struck my 4 iron (not very well) and hit it into the tree to the right, as per usual. It wasn’t lost though…however, it dropped out by the ladies tee. Embarrassing! I ended up with a 6 on this hole…a par 3. I will not be getting near to single figures if I don’t figure this one out. I officially hate this hole (I promise to stop whinging about this hole soon…seriously!).

The 5th at The Manor is a lovely hole. 420 yard par 4, S.I 2. Trees to the right and a small stream about 280 yards from the tee. It’s a big ask to get to the green in two. However, I hit a great drive, probably my best of the round. A nice high cut. Then hit a lovely pure 5 iron that landed on the edge of the green. Two putted for a par, which was the best hole of the 9 for me.

After the glory at 5, I had three double bogeys! Not ideal. In fact…it was just rubbish! After feeling so good last week, I now felt really bad…and worse than that, started to question what I was doing with my swing.

I finished the round with 49. With the course par for the front 9 currently at 34, it left me 4 over my handicap for 9 holes. Not good enough. Not even close.

My big problem today was firstly a massive lack of practice, which is crucial when re-building a swing as we are. The second issue, which was a result of issue number one, was that I started to think too much about the swing during the round. By the time I got to hole 6 I had about 10 different swing thoughts going on whilst trying to concentrate on hitting the little white thing with dimples on. The brain will never be able to do anything with that kind of information!

So, all in all it was disappointing. However, it made me realise if we are to achieve this single figure handicap I need to learn how to improve my golf. Perhaps even put my golf first…

…when I can get away with it that is!