New Season: Time For Some Changes

Hi All,

So there has been a bit of a change to my golf, following a fairly uneventful season of golf last year in regards to my handicap I’ve made some changes.

  1. Started back with Lessons – with a new golf coach
  2. Putting more effort in
  3. Changed my Golf Club

New Golf Coach

I’ve been showing some progress following lessons since the end of December. I’m now working with a PGA Professional called Rob Ryder a former tour player based down in West Wales, and a previous head pro for a long time at Ashburnham Golf Club.

Simply put he has changed the way I think about swinging a golf club, and has challenged all my previous learnings. Before I’ve had lessons with two other instructors, both left me to hit the ball as hard as I wanted.. I saw some improvements but not in my scores or handicap more just my ability to strike the ball better regardless of where it went.

Rob within 10 minutes knew I could not control my swing, shot or club face. So we went to work, 4 lessons in and I can see and feel the difference. Rob’s approach is no bull shit and is a straight talker he does not bow to anyone ego which actually works or me. At the end of every session he advises on a practice routine to try and work on at the range, course or short game area which is a huge help as we all fall into the trap of pointless practice. He also doesn’t have a set routine or lesson plan it really I tailored to me, he have a catch up on rounds of golf and practice sessions to determine what we need to work on.

With the help of my trusty Shot Scope, last season my average scores would of put me on a 23 handicap, a lack of competition golf meant my handicap hasn’t changed…. Lucky escape.

4 winter rounds of golf this year, and my average scores putts me to a 19 handicap! Not bad going, considering there is a bit more to work on. I’ve now scored the back 9 at Derrlys Court Golf Club to 6 over par. With a birdie and 4 consecutive pars being my best run!

The plan is to have a lesson with Rob once a month, this follows on from a recent article I wrote (Lessons as significantly better golf investment – vs fitted clubs) – https://rookiegolfer.co.uk/2020/03/02/lessons-are-a-significantly-better-golf-investment/

It’s clearly seen that Rob has a huge passion for teaching as well, which is great to see and this is evident in his teaching style and him regularly keeping in touch between lessons to know what is going on and giving me the odd pep talk if I’ve not done as well as I expected to. He is developing my understanding of what particular shots happen and what causing them.

Putting More Effort it

The weather is crap we have had 4 storms in January and February in the UK meaning that playing golf has been tough! That has not deterred me though, following on from the lessons I’ve had 8 practice sessions and 4 rounds of golf. The rounds of golf however are lower than I hoped but that’s been out of my hands. Now with COVID-19 causing chaos for everyone it may become tougher to keep this up including lessons, but only time will tell and it’s all out of my control.

I’m at the point that even in the house I’m trying to keep the swing going, more so this month but I am trying to swing a club at least once a day if only for a few minutes.

Last year I didn’t put any effort in on reflection I had a few lessons early in the year, didn’t see much progress so as most just decide to slug it out. A house move and course move hindered golf for a while as well. My plan was to get to 16.5 and I didn’t budge in fact I went up .2. This season I’m hoping to make some in roads and improve my golf.

Change of golf Club

I only moved to Neath Golf Club in June 2019, so why the change? Despite the course only being 15 minutes from my house it’s a really busy course. Booking a Tee time on a Saturday and Sunday is tough especially if I’m not playing in comps. During this winter there has been days where I can’t get on the course due to it being fully booked. In the summer it is a little bit of the same and the course is backed up. This is great for the golf club, but not great for me.

What doesn’t help for me is that it’s a traditional layout of 9 holes out, 9 holes back which means I can’t start on the 10th due to it being a 20 minute walk away. In fact I now prefer two loops of 9 holes as my old course use to be like this and my new one is as well. It means if the course is busy with a competition or a society I can jump on the 10th and still play. Plus the course I’ve joined in a quitter course.

I’ll put you out of your misery I’ve joined Derllys Court Golf Club, just outside of Carmarthen. It’s a bit further with a 35 minute commute to get to. However the team there are extremely friendly and so are the members… some of them find my Rookie Golfer Balls and hand them back to me!!

Rob Ryder my coach also is based out of here which makes a huge difference as he is about before and after my rounds and he takes a huge interest in my golf so he likes to have a de-brief.

The course has plenty of competitions as well which is something I’m looking forward to doing; I was a bit put off by Neath for this… I’m not quite sure why though.

So spring is here and I can’t wait to continue my progress and play in some weather where the ball does not plug on every fairway and the wind is not 40mph! Depending on COVID-19

Next week’s article is going to be about my progress so far but using the Shot Scope to improve and validate the progress I’ve made since the turn of the year.

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Until Next Time, Happy Golfing

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