Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Thank Be To The Internet

A lot has been written about social media, a lot of it doom mongering about how it has taken away the art of conversation and face to face interaction. On the other hand, it has proven to be a vital link and communication tool as our lives get busier and we're on the go longer. I'm on twitter (@mbedboro if you want to follow me) and fortunately so is my teaching professional Rhys ap Iolo (@Rapi31).

As you will all know by now my game is in a bit of a slump and form is patchy. I'm not hitting the ball well even with dedicated and constructive practise. Fortunately Rhys has been following the latest tale of woe and got hold of me via Twitter to offer a potential cause and effect and a solution.

Twitter has let me keep in touch with my teaching pro and talk over issues without him seeing me hit a ball - a real help!
Armed with the information and desperate for the working day to end, I dived up to Royal Ascot now we've got the course and the practise field back following the horse racing last week. The scene on the practise ground was something reminscant of a plough field. I appreciate it is used as a coach park for the week and the weather had been wet, so I expected it to be a little churned in places. What we are left with is a tiny area of undamaged grass to hit from and a muddy, featureless patch of ground to fire at. I know from experience it'll come back in time but this is here and now. I've got issues and I need them sorted and sorted now.

I found a tiny patch to work on and settled down to implement the advice of my trusted teaching professional. The early results were not good, partly through a hint of rustiness, a large dollop of simply not trusting what I was working on, and a big slice of trying to get rid of the stuff that wasn't working. On the plus side his tweets indicated he thought the work I was putting in was on the right lines (hard for him to say without seeing for himself of course) and that I just needed to focus on getting steeper into impact.

Our club pro, Ali White was giving a youngster a lesson and wandered over after he'd finished. We had a chat about stuff and I hit a few. Always reassuring when you hear any pro say "you're striking that well". They were flying high and with a hint of draw. Now Rhys won't be happy about that last bit as he's trying to reduce the amount of movement I get in the air but if he's reading this, let me assure him that it was a genuine soft right to left shape and not the more violent ten-fifteen yards of shape I've been getting. Progress n'est pas?

The session as a whole with my irons was a reaffirming session that has told me that the game may not be in as dark a place as I'd thought. The woods are still an issue and I think I'm just getting too quick on those, trying too hard to hit them. It has come at a good time as I'm due to play my first round of the Volvo pairs this week with Mike Stannard. The cunning plan is to get there early and hit a few balls to get a good tempo and bash a few woods away to make sure I'm happy. A trip to the putting green for a little chip and putt and then into battle.

I've a lesson booked with Rhys for Friday so we can get to grips with the issues then. I just need something functional to give Mike some able support as we look to go further than our first round defeat at the 19th hole last year.

As for me, I'm in a better place confidence wise is nothing else and Rhys will be pleased to know that the club is more in front and exiting left (he'll know) and that actually the ball striking was very good despite the desperate conditions. The world has become a smaller place thanks to Twitter and while a lot of the traffic may leave many scratching their heads and simply asking "why?" for many it is now a vital tool. I am still on track to get to my handicap target, and the big events such as Captain's Day and the Club Championship are coming up. There seems to be a competition almost every week at the moment and so it just needs a couple of good rounds to get back to 11 and then we can chip away at those pesky 0.somethings to get to 10.4 and beyond.

Many thanks to Rhys for the hint - long live social media

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