Monday, 27 February 2012

Short Game Hope

Well today was the day of days. I had a short game lesson booked to try and find a way of getting this ailing facet back on track. It cripples my golf, prevents me from still posting a reasonable score even when ball striking isn't quite there and frankly scrambles my mind every time I'm faced with what to most golfers is a simple chip.

It boiled down to a question of geometry. I was rubbish at maths and hated geometry but wished I'd paid attention now. It appears that my body angles in set up were about as opposed to where they needed to be as possible. As a result it was impossible to bring the club down at the lowest point onto the ball with any regularity and that the fat and thins were as a direct result of trying to find a way of making contact.

Geometry - I wish I understood it better - it would have made chipping so much easier
The weight was poorly distributed, the shoulders and spine were tilted the wrong way and the head was behind the ball. Apart from that the action had a lot going for it. The lesson was really about making fundamental set up changes to get me to make regular contact with the ball. From there it's a case on trusting the swing to collect the ball and work on landing the ball where we want it and judging the reaction of the ball and the way it rolls out.

With the chest over or just left of the ball, which in turn has moved back a touch in the stance, the head is automatically in a better position. From there it is much easier to keep the right side moving, deliver the club on the ball and continue moving through the shot. I'm not going to become a short game wizard overnight, but the practise I put in after the lesson showed significant signs of improvement and confidence levels are rising.

We spent some time on pre-shot routines and picking and focusing on a specific landing spot which enables me to focus more on what I am trying to do with the shot and not get the brain bogged down in swing thoughts and technique. As long as I can set up in a more neutral and correct manner and let the right side dictate the shot things should become a lot simpler.

I'm sure once I get on the course it will be a struggle to trust it all and think of everything we worked on. On the plus side with the longer nights coming I can just work on the set up, get the action working properly and then begin to really drill down to specific landing zones for different clubs and lies. It is very much a fledgling work in progress but I can at least hit an approach and not have fear and trepidation in my mind in case I miss the green. I now have something I have proved can function and so can work on getting my scramble percentage up and saving more and more shots around the green. With the right technique the only thing holding my short game back will be my imagination. Every sort of shot from high, soft lobs to running checks will be in my repertoire. As a kid I use to love messing around the practise green and can't wait to start having fun again re-learning dormant skills. Game, very much on.

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