Well after the frustrations of my lesson on Saturday I hit the range last night for the first real practise session since, determined to put the drills in place and get the club moving correctly. It didn't help that the temperature was already -1 when I got there but no pain, no gain and when its working like a dream in the Summer I can look back at the sacrifices I made enduring the cold and smile.
I say I was determined to work on the drills and to be honest I went there with good intentions. I hit a dozen or so looseners and went straight into a drill Rhys had shown me at the weekend and which I'd found useful which was to take my address position with a ball fractionally inside the line and about three to four inches ahead of the club face. The idea was to get into the right take away position first, pause and then try and hit the ball.
From a ball striking perspective I had absolutely no issues but each and every one of them were straight pulls left of the target. Not a hook or a pull but arrow straight some ten or fifteen yards away from where I was intending. On the plus side I was really feeling the correct takeaway and club position and felt my right elbow was tucked in and my right shoulder nice and level. The club was set well and behind me and the hands hadn't extended much above shoulder height. If only it had been that easy on Saturday.
I decided as it was cold (sorry Rhys!) to work on hitting some full swings without the pause. All I was looking for was to make the correct turn. I think the yoof of today class it as an OMG moment. Granted it was only a seven iron and so not the hardest club in the world to hit but wow, what a revelation. I don't know if my head was full of chocolate frogs on Saturday and the messages and images Rhys was trying to get over were lost in translation, or as I alluded to in my last post, I'm just a numpty and couldn't get it, but the shots were top notch.
Somehow from the more rounded and offset back swing position I was coming down and compressing the ball perfectly and it was flying higher than I am use to seeing my wedges go. Arrow straight or with a soft draw, the sweet spot was dotted with imprints from another perfectly hit ball. There were a few where the old habit of the club face travelling down the line after impact took over, but for the most part we were hitting down and the club seemed to know where it wanted to go, correctly back inside after impact, without me thinking about it.
Even though I'd hit 80 balls, it had taken close on ninety minutes as I diligently stopped after every couple of balls and just kept rehearsing the back swing. I had to stop as well and put the winter mitts on every now and then to try and keep the feeling in my hands. It didn't help that Blue Mountain ripped me off to the tune of £1.50. I put my money in their hot drinks machine, picked my option and watched as it whirled and spluttered and came up as saying "complete" with the cup still bone dry and not a drop of warming liquid to be seen. Conveniently there was no-one available to come over from the main clubhouse and I was to go over after my session.
That grumble aside I was euphoric and nearly got another 25 balls to give the driver a bash but decided it's quality and not quantity and that getting home and warm was a sensible option. With Royal Ascot still closed and more snow, heavy frosts and freezing temperatures on the cards I am guessing the ranges will be full of frustrated golfers this weekend. It's where I'm planning to be to try and build on the first building block towards a repeatable one plane swing. Hopefully I'll be able to capture it on camera at some point and for those of you wondering what the Dickens it all means, it should be come a whole lot clearer.
My only niggling concern is the fact I thought I was on the right track last time, prior to the lesson on Saturday, and clearly wasn't. I'm going through the One Plane pupil profile I've been given and looking at the drills and I have a clearer picture of where the right elbow and shoulder need to be. As long as that image stays fresh at the front of my mind we're be laughing. Right time to dig out the thermals in time for my next range session. BRRRRRRR