Hallelujah! It appears that, after a month or so bumping around in the darker regions of the depths of despair, I can finally once again do something rather more effective than vaguely wave a club in the general region of a waiting golf ball and hope for the best. Striking the ball cleanly and with any degree of consistency had become such a difficult thing that I had even been tempted to book a lesson with a coach who didn’t know me or my game in an effort to go back to basics and rediscover what to do.
But then at the start of this week, after an embarrassing Sunday outing and another score in three figures, I decided to take myself back to said basics and sort it out. So I spent two afternoon sessions on the range focusing on two key thoughts (1) that I was rotating above my left knee, which prevents moving off the ball on the backswing, and (2) feeling my left shoulder move in right under my chin, which avoids the arms getting too separate from the body. And suddenly there I was finding the centre of the clubface again and sending the ball out straight and long. What a funny old game golf is.
Armed with renewed confidence, I played the back 9 yesterday with Ray, and it was a very different experience in comparison with recent weeks. The 18th just about summed it up: 225 yards straight down the middle off the tee with the 3 wood, a high flying gap wedge right over the flagstick that landed and checked 3 feet from the hole. The fact that I missed the birdie putt is neither here nor there. Just to play a hole like that again was enough.
Will it last? I can only hope so, as I don’t want to go through another month like that again in a hurry. And I shall certainly be focusing on those little things that can make such a big difference.