I hope you all had a great Christmas?! I do enjoy the calmness that exists between Christmas and New Years, this year the quietness is just a bit more quite due to Covid and not being able to visit or have visitors.
What a strange year it’s been! I know we are all glad to see the back of it, but in reality, the start of 2021 is not going to be much better. Especially for golfers based in Wales where for the foreseeable future golf is shut down completely.
This review is pretty difficult, do I start from January and work my way through the year? Or do I start with the end of the year and work backwards? Some of you may be thinking does it make a difference… I’d tend to agree with you, however my golf towards the end of the year definitely showed big signs of improvements!
It’s safe to say that the National Lockdown in April didn’t do my golf or most golfers any favours. When golf returned, I felt as if I had gone backwards… A LOT! It felt as if it took months to return to my golf standard pre-lockdown. I got the painful bit out of the way before taking lessons back up every 2 months or so. Then dived straight back into competition golf, after all my aim is to reduce my handicap..
The results from July and August didn’t go to plan, with my handicap creeping up every competition before coming to rest at 20.4.
One of the biggest things I’ve taken away from my lessons, is that of control. Previously I would tend to swing full shots only, because of this it meant a lot of lost golf balls off the tee and my short game didn’t exist. It’s been drilled into me that I need to have the ability to control my golf swing.
September came around and I had a light bulb moment coming 9th in my division in the monthly competition. It was in fact my highest points tally in stableford during a competition! 35 points with a non return! Might not be exciting golf for you, but for me it was the most consistent I had ever played. More than that, it’s the most I’ve ever felt in control of my round, and importantly I stopped the handicap from rising!
The lessons and drills were starting to pay off. Roll on October’s competition a little bit of pressure as I knew I was capable of playing better. The downside being I don’t have that much experience in playing in competitions. Would my old mentality of hunting for a score and forcing everything creep back in?
It definitely did NOT! Another top 10 finish in my division with a haul of 39 points with two no returns! Silly mistakes off the tee and over water cost me the no returns.
Lockdown 2 in Wales hit! Only a short two week one, but still what could this do to my golf? A huge blessing for me was getting part of the back garden done in the summer where I now have a putting green and chipping area!
After the November lockdown in Wales my golf held up and this is where I felt I was making inroads into improving. Winter league started where I managed two solid rounds playing off of 18 under competitions rules inline with WHS. In fact, all my golf from October onwards only saw me shoot higher than my handicap once! During the winter I tend to play more 9 holes than 18.. Combination of time and not great conditions. During December I managed to play the back 9 to 4 over par, then again two weeks later to 2 over par! Then lockdown again! This time there is no end date….
It’s been a stop and start type of year in all areas of my life, but upon reflection my golf has done alright! In fact a little better than I thought… My handicap is down thanks to WHS 19.8, but the biggest improvement has been in my ability to control my golf swing and understand my bad shots.
Taking my form and approach in December as a good example; Control, understanding and not overthinking anything on the course has been a huge light bulb moment for me. Just play the shot in front of you and do not worry about the last shot or the next shot… Those I have no control over until I reach them..
Here’s to getting back out on the course sooner rather than later.
The next article I’ll be writing in my plans for 2021 – how to break and stay below 90! There may also be a youtube version of this coming out as well.
Until Next Time, happy golfing (for those that can) and a Happy New Year!