An encouraging week – and another swing film
This has been a really, really positive week, with improvements coming in all departments, most notably my long game and chipping.
Credit for this must go a) to the coaches at the Jamie Gough Golf School for their input and b) The 32-ball drill I mentioned last week, which has helped bed in the things I’ve been working on in double-quick time.
My short irons, a source of major frustration of late, have improved tremendously. Not only am I no longer afraid of missing greens from 100 metres, but suddenly I’m also getting balls to stop and spin back every time. That’s never happened before, and suggests some seriously improved ball-striking.
Yesterday should have been a personal best 82, but for a monumental meltdown on the eighth green, where I four-putted, and a stupid three-putt on the 13th.
With regards to my seemingly unfixable habit of not releasing the driver and watching it go way right every time, I’ve found a simple solution. It’s called commitment. Instead of worrying about the process itself, I’m focussing hard on my target (a tree, mountain, chimney or whatever I’ve chosen) through impact. I’m finding that this seems to take care of the release automatically, and suddenly my driver is going straight. The power of commitment!
One strange phenomenon with the 32-ball drill…my golf at the range has at many times been indescribably bad. Only for it to get steadily better in match situations. I’m learning not to worry – when I practice in this fashion, I’m focussing on one particular movement or aspect of the swing I’m trying to get right. To use a Pink Floyd-ism, I’m adding a particular brick to the wall, and it won’t look great while I’m doing it. But when I’m done I generally find my swing has taken the latest bit of training on board, and it’s a whole lot more effective the next time I use it out on the course.
So what I’m trying to say – and I’ve taken far too long to learn this – is that if you know you’re working on the right stuff (and that’s where a good coach is essential), don’t worry if your shots at the range are diabolical for a while!
Without further ado, then, here is my swing as filmed on the par-three sixth hole this week. The club is a five iron, and the result – despite this being one of my best swings of late – was the ball going miles right and into a bush.