Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The Quest For Single Figures 2018 - Part One - Line In The Sand

Welcome back. If you've been following recent events you'll know that I recently had an hours lesson at the London Club in Kent, with one of Golf Monthly's top 25 coaches, Paul Foston. Firstly a big thanks to both Paul for his expertise and input and to Golf Monthly for putting this on and the London Club for being such generous hosts.

I put two videos up of the lesson on my youtube channel. If you haven't checked these out, you can click on the links below. While you are there, don't forget to subscribe if you haven't already done so, thumbs up both videos (youtube loves a good thumbs up) and if you have any comments. please put them in the comments section and I'll respond.

Golf Lesson With Paul Foston - Part One (Live Lesson Part One)
Golf Lesson With Paul Foston - Part Two (Live Lesson Part Two

It has been a hugely frustrating time since the lesson as my back has been playing up and playing and practice has been severely restricted. However I've been hugely enthused and engaged again with my golf since coming back from the London Club and it has renewed my belief that there is a single figure golfer lying within and that I'm capable of releasing him. Also, if you've watched my youtube videos or seen previous blogs on here you'll know that my job was in danger and I was in danger of redundancy. I'm pleased to say that situation has been resolved, I am still in gainful employment and can get back to working on my game.

As the title says, this is the start of "The Quest For Single Figures 2018" and I took some footage at the practice ground at Royal Ascot on Sunday 15th October. In fact, the ball striking was pretty good, something Paul Foston commented on in the lesson, and dispersion was a little better than it has been. I recorded some shots and put it on the youtube channel and you can switch over to see it by simply clicking the link below.

The Quest Update #1

As you'll see, technically there are still a number of glaring issues including a cupped wrist, swinging back too far, standing the shaft up in the downswing and flipping the hands at impact. Apart from that it is quite functional!

I am now beginning the massive task of unpicking a swing built over the last thirty plus years, sort out the major issues, and replace those with the stuff Paul showed me at the London Club. For me, this really marks a line in the sand. A mark of passage and the end of my swing in it's current incarnation.



In fact there is an air of synchronicity with it all. I started my 2017 golf season with a handicap of 14.0 and as I draw this line under everything, the handicap is.....14.0 so for all my bad days and the odd good ones (I did have a win and a second this season) there has been no change at all in the handicap. I am under no illusion that this will increase over the winter, partly because the course will be playing its full length in the damp, cold conditions but also because these changes will take time to bed in, especially in a competitive round with the handicap on the line.

I have a series of things I need to achieve to make my swing robust, compact and functional as Paul demonstrates on film. The first of these has two distinct stages, shortening the swing, losing that additional six inches of swing I put on each one that takes it too far and causes me to lift up, and then getting rid of a cupped wrist and getting the wrist flatter or even bowed. Let's be perfectly clear about this, it represents a major change, almost going back to the very beginning and trying to rebuild a swing from scratch and it's not going to be easy. Losing the extra six inches and the wrist position is going to take many hours, loads of balls, work at home and patience.

Until I have these components fixed, I can't move onto stopping the shaft standing up, although I am hoping a better back swing position will allow a better transition and turn. The club seems to move down and out and I need to be getting the shaft becoming more shallow and the butt of the club moving out towards the ball. Again this is massive and will be a huge undertaking.

I have a game plan to see how far I get by late January/early February and take that down to Paul's state of the art studio in Kent (Paul Foston Academy). Hopefully I'll have made good progress and Paul can tidy up the remaining issues and get me ready for a fast start in the 2018.

Of course, I appreciate that working solely on the long game and the swing changes isn't going to be great in terms of a) boredom, b) developing new faults and c) hindering the other facets including chipping, pitching and putting. I am formulating some plans to develop my short game. Again if you have watched the youtube channel you'll see some pitching challenges. I plan to develop these further and add some chipping challenges too. Here are the links to my original pitching challenge and my second attempt which shows how far the technique had come on. Had I putted better in the second one I could have had a career day out.

Original pitching challenge
Second pitch challenge

Of course I can't forget putting and I will be working hard on my stroke. I'm not overly fussed by the number of putts holes especially on bobbly winter greens. I will work hard on those important two and three foot putts. I did a recent blog on a great training aid I use regularly, the No 3 Putt. Check out what I said here and a link to see it in action (No 3 Putt blog). It's something that really helps and I plan to work with it all winter and once the greens get back to normal come next Spring.

One thing I will be doing is keeping statistics. I did start this last year in good faith but I have to be honest and say compiling it by hand and doing it on a spreadsheet was laborious. I'm going to look at some of the apps and software out on the market and see if there is anything that meets my needs.

I'm a firm believer in keeping statistics as a way of improving. It has to be better to set challenges and goals rather than bashing balls aimlessly at a range target without any correlation of whether your accuracy, distance control and technique has improved. As I've stated, I've already started on pitching and done two from 40 yards. I need to get out over the winter and get some more from different distances. Add in some skills tests to work on the chipping and bunker play and that area of the game will have quantifiable data to chart progress. Again before we really hit the 2018 season in March I'll invest in a few short game refresher lessons just to hone the technique further. If of course I struggle over the winter then I'll look at this area and some tuition earlier.

I hope the renewed air of optimism an positivity I'm feeling since coming back from the London Club is permeating through. Alas my back has been knackered but I did play in the Pro's Day at my club, Royal Ascot, last Saturday to show my support and because it was off the yellows so a shorter course. I struggled to turn with my back in the first few holes but ended up with a respectable 34 points. As this was the first time trying to put Paul's ideas into practice I thought, given the injury, it was a better than expected return. Certainly there were enough good shots to give me encouragement.



All in all then an end of an era and a start of a new chapter and "The Quest For Single Figures" starts today. Check out the video link of the swings and see where the base line technique is. I think over the months you'll see that shift and improve. Add in the grind on my short game and come next March I'm going to be in a very happy place and ready to hit the season fast. Of course I'll keep you abreast of progress so keep your eye out for new footage on the youtube channel (subscribe and you won't miss anything, especially those of you Stateside) and for more posts on here.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Lesson With Golf Monthly Top 25 Coach (Part Two)

Welcome to the second part of my lesson with Paul Foston at the London Club, courtesy of Golf Monthly. If you read the previous blog, this was a prize on the Golf Monthly Forum (http://forums.golf-monthly.co.uk/).

In the second part here, Golf Lesson With Paul Foston (Part Two) we've just taken a break for a heavy rain shower, but we're back out, and I'm still desperately struggling to implement the changes Paul wants to make to my game. There's an element of frustration creeping in as I can't seem shorten my swing on the way back and on the way through.

As I said in the last blog, the changes are significant and a major inherent flaw I have of always adding six inches to the length of the back swing, which is making the change to a shorter swing very hard. Real and feel are proving two difficult things to align. I'll get there. As you'll see, when the ball isn't there I can get into a great position back and through but put that stupid ball in the way, the brain and body refuse to talk to each other.

It was a frustrating situation for me. Paul was trying to impart some valuable information in a limited time frame. It's not how I usually have my tuition as I tend to block book lessons, so the teaching professional and I have more time to make a change, for me to take these away and work on it, and then present the revised swing back for the next lesson. There was a lot of information Paul was giving me and I understand, trust and respect his input but with the over swing a major barrier, incorporating these so quickly was proving hard, with the pressure of Golf Monthly covering the event, the windy damp conditions, and the glare of the other golfers using the range and wondering who the heck this rubbish golfer was and why he's getting so much attention.

Let me reiterate what I said in my last blog. I wasn't trying to ignore what Paul was doing. It was my own technical inability preventing the change. I've made a conscious decision not to take any tuition for the moment and get conflicting input and advice from my current teaching professional. That isn't taking anything away from what my current tutor is doing, but the advice Paul gave me has made a lot of sense and on the rare occasion I got it right in the video the difference was clear. I simply don't want to many swing ideas and thoughts in my head,

My plan going forward is take the changes and drills from the London Club and work as hard and diligently as I can. The season is drawing to an end and there aren't too many competitions to worry about. I can simply focus on taking the club back on a better path and not outside the line as I currently do and then focus on that troublesome short back swing and flat (or bowed) wrist position. I can't really move onto rotating into impact and then onto the shorter swing until these first two parts are ground in. Don't forget to check part one of the video here Golf Lesson With Paul Foston - Part One to get the full picture of the lesson and what Paul is wanting me to do.

In the last part of the second video, you'll see how Golf Monthly (and other magazines) get the pictures for this instruction articles that appear in the magazine and on their social media content. Again this was something out of my comfort zone and was getting a huge amount of attention from everyone else on the range.

I'd like to repeat my thanks to Jake from Golf Monthly, Paul Foston, Dan the photographer and the London Club for their hospitality. It was a different sort of lesson, but one I really enjoyed. I have a lot to work on but the thing that really excites me is seeing that what Paul wants me to do will make a difference. As a golfer over fifty years of age, this will be a last chance to make the big changes I need to incorporate into my swing if my "Quest For Single Figures" is ever to come to fruition. As ever I'm driven. If you have ever seen any of the short introductions all of my video on my youtube channel (Three Off The Tee Channel) you'll see they all contain one message "A Golfing Obsession".

I am obsessed by the game and trying to be the best player I can. I've often heard the "you try too hard" or you practice too much" or the classic "you're thinking too much" comments. You know what? They may be right but I've always ploughed my own furrow in this journey to single figures and enjoyed the successes and the knock backs have only strengthened the resolve.

What I'll do now is go away with the stuff Paul showed me and grind it away over the winter. I plan to go back down to Kent and to Paul Foston's state of the art studio (Paul Foston Golf Academy) at some point between the new year and the start of the 2018 season to show him where my swing has got to and ask him to cast a keen eye on where I am and suggest how I go forward ready for the next (perhaps final) assault on single figures.

Stay tuned to this blog and the youtube channel for details of my progress. There will also be other interesting video content on the youtube site. While you are there don't forget to subscribe, thumb up the videos and leave any comments you have and I'll make sure I respond,

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Lesson With Golf Monthly Top 25 Coach

Welcome back to the Three Off The Tee blog. As you may be aware, I am an active member of the Golf Monthly Forum (The Golf Monthly Forum Link) and it's a great melting pot to discuss all things golf related (and non-golf subjects). Games are arranged on a local level regularly, and there is an annual Help For Heroes charity day, held at a course always rated in the UK top 100.

Forum members are very lucky that Golf Monthly take a keen interest on the goings on and we are indebted to the editor Mike Harris and his team. We are also fortunate that they provide a number of opportunities for forum members to enter competitions to win places at product tests and many other prizes. They recently ran a competition to give eight lucky winners a chance to have a 90 minute lesson at the London Club in Kent with one of their panel of top 25 coaches (The Golf Monthly Top 25 Teaching Panel).  I was fortunate enough to be selected for a ball striking lesson, having suffered in the last month or so with a big pull left.

On Friday September 29th, I braved the M25 and arrived bright and early to a London Club being battered by strong winds and peppered by squally showers. I enjoyed a lovely breakfast and headed to the range to warm up and await the arrival Jake O'Reilly, the Golf Monthly Technical Writer, a photographer to record the day for a future copy of the magazine and their social media, and my teacher.

I was being taught by Paul Foston, a GM coach with an impressive CV (Paul Foston). I had my wife on hand to film the day for my youtube channel. I've managed to condense 90 minutes of tuition into two videos. The first one, featuring the early shots and Paul's initial prognosis is already up on the channel and I strongly recommend you watch it here to understand what faults Paul saw and how we began to tackle these and move my game forward - London Club Tuition - Part One

As you will see from this first instalment and part two which is going to drop on my channel in a few days time, there's a lot of issues in my game. Perhaps the biggest, and the one that will be the hardest to break is the over swing. As you'll see, feel and real are two different things for me and while I think I've made a short swing, the club continues to travel at least six inches further than I think. This has blighted my game for years and is going to take a lot of work to get the club anywhere remotely in the positions Paul is asking for. Add on the need to stop cupping the wrists, again something I've had since I learnt the game in the late 70's and making the wrist flatter and bowed is going to be difficult.

Until I can make these first two elements into something more in line with what I'm showed in the video I can't move on to address the other issues. This is going to be forming the basis of all my range work in the coming weeks as well as some practice at home, just taking the club away in a less jerky manner, more inside and then stopping correctly with the wrist in the correct position. Slow motion work, rehearsals and repetition is all required.

At the end of the second video I've added a little bonus. If you've ever wondered how a golf magazine gets the pictures that feature in technical and tuition pieces and on their internet content, you'll be able to see what happens.

I hope you enjoy this first video and the subsequent second part coming. It's something very different. Despite the difficult conditions with the wind gusting into our faces, showers (including one that enforced a short break) and cool temperatures, it was a great lesson. I found it hard to take in all the changes Paul wanted to make and while it may seem on film I'm ignoring what I'm being told, the reality is my inability as a golfer to control the club very well and certainly reduce my swing length. As you can imagine, being filmed and coached on a busy range at a top club brought a lot of attention and it was hard, certainly early on, to focus on the job in hand without feeling very self conscious and a host of eyes looking at me and wondering what was going on.

I have a plan to work hard on what I've been shown in the next few months. I've taken the decision not to take tuition from any other local professionals. I have the information and drills from the day to work on and feel any outside input will muddy the waters. The idea is to work on the shorter swing over the winter and then book an hour lesson with Paul at his state of the art studio in the new year, certainly prior to the start of the 2018 season for him to cast an expert eye on progress and refine what I bring to him.

I'd like to thank Paul for all his help, Jake from Golf Monthly, Dan the photographer and my lovely wife for recording it all on film in the wet and windy conditions. A big thanks to the London Club for their hospitality and for Mike Harris for making the forum possible.

I hope you enjoy both parts of these tuition videos. It was a unique opportunity and I hope its some content you'll enjoy. Please subscribe to the youtube channel while you are there, thumbs up the video (youtube loves the thumbs up) and if you have any comments please feel free to put them in the comments box and I'll respond.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Product Review - Vice Pro Plus Golf Ball

Thank you for joining me for another product review. As always, it's an honest, no frills opinion, without any technology and gadgets or affiliation to any of the products being looked at. So what is it all about? Who are Vice and what is the Pro Plus golf ball.

Vice are a German company, founded in 2012, and were designed to bring premium golf balls at a cheaper price, and do so by only selling over the internet and directly to the consumer. They offer some fantastic price breaks for buying in bulk. Don't be fooled, cheap doesn't mean poor quality and Vice claim they perform equally if not better than other comparable balls already on the market.

Vice have five balls in their range:
Drive - 2 piece
Tour - 3 piece
Pro Soft - 3 piece
Pro - 3 piece
Pro Plus - 4 piece

They offer a selection pack (£15.95) which offers a two ball sleeve of each make of ball so golfers can try them all and find one that works best for their own game before committing and placing an order.

I tested their four piece ball the Pro Plus. Now let me make a small confession, I've not been playing a premium ball (four or five piece) for a while now and have preferred a three piece version (AD333 tour or Titleist NXT).

As always, there is a video on my Three Off The Tee Youtube channel and if you want to see how the ball performed on the course, click here (Vice Pro Plus Review - On The Course). As with all my ball reviews, it's my mid-handicap swing, three holes ( par 3, 4 and a par 5) and my verdict. No launch monitor, no technical data. Hit it, find it and hit it again until it goes in the hole.

So what do I think? I had a go at the Pro Plus in lime and white. This is what Vice say about the lime version:
The day glow Neon Lime colour ensures maximum visibility for both the long and the short game. The optimised visibility arises by transformation of the dark or invisible spectral daylight by fluorescence into very bright, long-wavelength visible light. The micro molecular structure of cast urethane is extremely soft but also very resistant. The very thin coating and special adhesion to the green offers the player superbly smooth and on-demand feel of the ball and controllable, high degree of backspin thanks to the S2TG technology.

I have to be honest, I thought the finish looked a little dull, almost a matte finish in both the lime and white version. Not a huge problem and in that manner it reminded me of the Volvik Vivid which I reviewed (Volvik Vivid - 1st review and Volvik Vivid - Follow Up Review). 

Vice say these golf balls are suppose to perform equally as well as the other, more well known equivalent brands, but are a fraction of the cost. As you'll see in the video, my ball striking wasn't the best, but captures accurately the vagaries of being a 14 handicap golfer and the way my swing can change on a daily basis. That is why I feel these reviews offer a unique and unbiased verdict without needing to look at swing data, which for many golfers is of little interest. 

A cut away of the Vice Pro Plus ball showing the four layers
Did they live up to the claim. Well yes, they did. Even though I didn't hit the driver particularly well, the ball still flew a decent distance. It didn't seem to spin overly and so from the tee I was happy. I enjoyed the feel off the irons on my approach into greens. Again, the strike wasn't perfect but the ball performed well and distance wasn't compromised. However, it's around the green I thought this ball really came into it's own. I've been working hard at my short game so was optimistic my pitching and chipping would hold up but I was really surprised and pleased with the amount of control and in particular the spin I could impart. It really did everything I'd expect from a premium ball and more. 

Feel of a putter is perhaps the most subjective and why the selection pack is a great idea, but the Pro Plus golf ball was very soft feeling off the putter face but without coming off the face like a pudding. It gave a pleasant feedback through the face and I was able to control distance easily as I'd expect with other top end balls

As I've done with other ball reviews I'll finish the review by breaking the Vice Pro Plus into various categories and giving a final verdict

Looks
The lime ball in particular wasn't quite as I expected and I thought it was a little dull in the finish. That said it performed well and was easy to see in flight and stood out well against the grass and in the semi-rough. The white was also less translucent than a conventional premium ball but again stood out well enough. 6/10

Distance
As I said earlier, I've stopped using a four piece ball regularly and prefer the distance I can get from a three piece version even if that perhaps compromises control around the green. I felt the Vice Pro Plus was no longer or shorter of other top end balls I've played. Distance is important to me as I'm a fairly short hitter, although I try not to compromise dispersion looking for yards. As a result, I was pleased with the lack of driver spin. 7/10

Flight
I didn't hit too many good shots in the review (my tee shot on the par 3, the 11th at Royal Ascot probably the best) and so it's perhaps hard to be totally objective but I felt the Pro Plus launched low off the driver and was at best a medium trajectory off the irons. While I can see that being an advantage in windy conditions, I, and I'm sure others would prefer to see my irons coming off higher. That all said, the flight wasn't offensive and its mid-flight angle wouldn't put me off buying this ball if I was in the market for this type of ball. 7/10

Control
Around and on the green, this ball excelled expectations. It checked and spun on command and came off the club face with a buttery soft feel. In fact I felt the Pro Plus was softer and more responsive than most of the other four piece balls I've tried. The only ball that was comparable was the Taylormade five piece TP5 offering. The Vice ball performed well on the green as well and my distance control was on point straight away. 9/10

Durability
I only played three holes with these balls and used both the green and white version and I was a little disappointed that there were a couple of scuff marks on both after the test. Granted I hit out of a bunker which adds friction but I've tested other balls and they've kept their looks slightly better. Maybe it was the matte looking finish of the green version. Maybe it was the quality of my strike. It certainly didn't affect performance and was cosmetic. 7/10

Feel
As always this is the most emotive category but one that most golfers seem fixated on. Ask on any forum what ball a person uses and they will give you a make and model and ask why they prefer this ball and most will say "feel".

I liked the Pro Plus off all the clubs and thought it had a pleasant sound, and a soft satisfying feel off the face, even if the strike was away from the centre. It was most satisfying around the green and I liked the way it responded. 8/10

Overall
Aside from a minor gripe about durability and marking up, everything else about the Vice Pro Plus pleased me. I thought it did exactly what Vice wanted to achieve and was every bit as good as the competition. I'll put the link to the Vice website and you can go on for yourself and see the prices for each ball in the range and compare, dependant on the quantity being ordered, the price of these balls and get a feel for how that stacks up



Overall, on a bad ball striking day, the ball did everything I'd expect from a four piece ball and as I keep stressing was exemplary around the green and in that facet of the game is perhaps the best ball I've tried. Vice are rightly proud of their products, their online only business model and their production values (Vice Production). I'd like to try the Pro Plus again on a better ball striking day to see what else I could squeeze out of it in terms of a few more yards off the tee and see if a better strike leads to a better flight. Again it's a small quibble and even given the performance on the day, this was a solid performing golf ball, with arguably a robust price structure to entice customers to buy in bulk. I was very pleased with it and would happily give it a very solid 8/10

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Winter Approaches - An Update

Well it's getting the that time again. The leaves are changing colour, we've had some Autumnal showers and gale force winds and the odd day that suggests Summer hasn't quite left the building. My golf season has busy in the last few weeks both at my club, Royal Ascot and out and about.

So where to start? Well this weekend, I had a monthly stableford. Full of man flu, or a cold as women call it, I struggled. Weak, feverish I struggled but scoring throughout the day was surprisingly poor but my 26 points did nothing but add 0.1 to the handicap. Speaking of which, I started 2017 on 14.0 and as I type this, surprise surprise, I'm exactly 14.0. So what does that say? Well in my own mind, my game is progressing even if the handicap refuses to recognise this. Pitching and short game has come on leaps and bounds (see my last pitching challenge video here A Vast Improvement).  My putting continues to be a bedrock. I do work hard at it. I have a great putting aid (which I reviewed here - No 3 Putt Review)

The car crash holes remain and mentally I remain poor and make too many poor decisions, have poor pre-shot routines and don't seem to have any resilience. Technically, I had a lesson recently and worked hard on turning, not sliding the hips, which is beginning to get the shaft flatter and I am making some good strikes. It's a work in progress and something I'll be taking into the winter.

Last Sunday (24th) I played in a club match at home to Caversham Heath. The club had played the away game earlier in the season and were 4-2 down. I was partnered with a six handicapper, Shaun Franklin who is a great ball striker and always competitive. We were up against a 20 and 17 handicapper and if I tell you Shaun was +2 gross after nine and I was only one over my handicap and yet we were three down you can see what a fickle game match play can be.

To our credit, Shaun and I battled hard. He won the tenth and I won the eleventh and made birdie at the par three thirteenth and suddenly it was all square. We had chances to take a lead but squandered them and went one down at the seventeenth. With both the opponents getting a shot at the last a par was a minimal requirement. Neither of us hit good tee shots but we were helped when one of the Caversham pair lost a ball. Shaun had to lay up and pitched to twelve feet for his fourth. The other Caversham player had also come up short and was faced with a tough pitch over a pond, in front of a packed patio with both sides looking on. To his credit he got it over but had a twenty five foot putt. He'd not had great distance control all day and with the putt downhill and left to right we were still alive. I had managed to hit my second forward and left 184 yards. Normally I wouldn't take it on but I had too and hit an ugly five wood pin high and had putted down to two feet.

I was hoping for an opening from our opponents but sadly he managed to finally find a putt of note and hit it cosily to a foot. We conceded and we lost one down. I have to thank my partner who played well throughout but gave too many shots to two golfers playing well. It happens but he kept plugging away and I tried my hardest to stay in each hole and give him support. Fortunately Royal Ascot had secured a 4-2 win on the day which meant after the home and away games, it was tied 6-6 and so Royal Ascot retained the trophy.

Other than that, I played in a Golf Monthly Forum Help For Heroes charity day at the wonderful Hanckley Common Golf Club and will be doing a full course review very soon. As you will know if you're a regular reader I qualified for the end of season "Masters" having won the Centenary Medal earlier in the season. Two rounds of medal play that didn't go to plan. Still, it was the first time in a few seasons I'd qualified and my 24th place wasn't a total disgrace.

Elsewhere I've enjoyed the normal fun associated with being a golf club member and playing in regular roll up events. My form is still patchy both in social games and in competitive rounds. As I've mentioned the handicap is back to where I started. Where does that leave "The Quest For Single Figures"?

I wrote a while back about my precarious job position and that situation remains. Hopefully by mid-October I'll know where I stand, and whether that ends up being a positive or negative outcome, it'll let me decided how I take this forward. Let me reiterate, and I make no bones for harking back to it, I firmly believe there is a single figure golfer in there. It's been yet another funny old year, a bit like my 2016. Both have involved being hospitalised which has put back any progress and momentum built up over the winter with my practice and lessons. The "Quest For Single Figures" is unfinished business and is something I'll be going back to

I feel my 2017 has actually been half decent. I won a competition, had a second place and have managed to play some new courses. I've managed to get my Youtube channel up and running and have enjoyed producing some content, particularly the product reviews which have been getting some great comments and views. If you've missed the channel (and I've not been subtle pushing it) you can look at it here (Three Off The Tee Youtube Channel).

Sadly, it's come to that time of the year when I can't get to the club and get nine holes in and there's only about an hour and a quarter, ninety minutes at most, to work on my game. Autumn is here and the chance to get out after work and use the club facilities in the week is diminishing. That means it'll be the range again for me and everyone else. However at least the course remains in fantastic condition and so weekend rounds are still something to look forward to. We'll soon have laves lying on the ground to contend with, and no doubt the odd ball or two will disappear without trace. Such are the joys of golf in the UK in the Autumn. Mind you from there we go to winter and sodden or frozen courses, temporary greens and the chance of closure through flooding and snow. Let's enjoy what we have now.

I have some ideas on what I want to do over the winter to improve my game and get "The Quest" up and running again. I've spoke about NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and basically finding a way to think better on the course and make better choices. It's an area I've wanted to work on for a while but its something that's drifted onto a back burner. I've been give the name of the Head of Academy at Windlesham Golf Club, Lee Mucklow who specialises in NLP (Lee Mucklow Profile). I am actually very happy with the teacher I've been using and don't really want to confuse matters getting swing tuition from different sources so I need to discuss my needs with Lee and see what he has to offer.

Lee Mucklow - Head of Windlesham Golf Club's Academy and an NLP guru - Can he get my game and mind working?
Going forward I want to work on my Youtube channel and get some great content up. I've a lot of ideas and plans but things really open up once I hit 100 subscribers and I'm tantalisingly close and in the mid 90's. If you haven't subscribed, please go ahead and do so. It's free. Once I hit 100 subscribers not only can I give away the prize from my videos (Martin's Mouthpiece and Competition Time). It's not too late to enter so watch the video's to find out what you need to do. Once I hit the magic 100, Youtube grants more tools for me to make better content. I will definitely be doing some more stuff on the short game, and the pitching challenges and add in some chipping challenges as well.

I feel my swing needs one big fix, to flatten the shaft on the down swing and get it coming in at a better, more rotational angle. Get that right and I feel swing is going to be solid and repeatable.. After that, it's all things NLP and short game.

So there you are, bang up to date again. I hope your own season has given you everything you wanted and if not that you've plans formulating to improve over the winter. Put a comment at the bottom of this blog and let me know how well you've done (or not) and what you're working on. I'd love to know if I'm alone in my never ending drive towards single figures and getting better. There is more to come on here and of course on the Youtube channel so stick around. Winter is definitely on the horizon. Where did that golfing season go?