Wednesday, 27 December 2017

That's All Folks For 2017

I hope you and your family have had a great Christmas and I wish you all a peaceful, healthy 2018 and hope it's the year you achieve your golfing ambitions. It's that time of the year to look back and reflect on 2017.

As far as my golf went, let's start on the not so good. I refuse to call them negatives. From a handicap perspective I started the year on 14.0 and sit here after my last competition of the year on 14.2 and while I don't see a 0.2 increase over the course of a season as that bad a return, the "Quest For Single Figures" remains as far away as it did in 2017.

I had a lot of bad events, where for whatever reason my head or technique wasn't there. I had others where I'd have a reasonable start and fade away with a poor hole leading to other mistakes and before I knew it I'd played myself out of contention. Add in the fact, health and fitness has again been a factor and I was hospitalised in February and out of action for a number of weeks afterwards. I've recently struggled with a back injury and this has also curtailed my practice and playing time.

It may be churlish, but I've also included my youtube channel (which you can find here The Three Off The Tee Youtube Channel) as I had hoped it would have gotten a bigger response in terms of subscribers from here. However if you have subscribed, watched any of the videos, shared or commented then I thank you. I have some big plans for the channel in 2018 and would love you to be involved so it's not to late to go over, click the subscribe button and be ready to join me going forward.

Technically, my swing has continued to be a conundrum. When it's on I'm a match for anyone but as you'll know if you've seen any of my video footage on here or the youtube channel, there are so many flaws and moving parts that it's hard to always get that to work in perfect synchronicity. If you've read my previous blogs about a lesson I had courtesy of Golf Monthly with one of their top 25 coaches, at London Club, you'll know Paul Foston has given me a lot to be working on (Lesson Part One and Lesson Part Two). I've not really had much chance to work on it and the work I've done hasn't produced the results I want yet. If I'm honest, as I type this my swing feels a mess and I'm struggling. Let's hoe that will change in 2018 once and for all and I can make inroads into that handicap and get "The Quest" well and truly on track.

So what have been the highlights? Well undoubtedly winning the Centenary Medal at Royal Ascot Golf Club in June. The fact that I scored a net 68 (-2) and won was a surprise in itself but to then find out the even was a trophy event and to receive that from the Club Captain on presentation night was doubly pleasing

To the winner the spoils - The Centenary Cup
Aside from that as I do every year, I got to play with so many new and old golfing friends and on some new and wonderful courses. I've been very lucky and through Golf Monthly Forum, my own club and some contacts I've made from the Three Off The Tee youtube channel, I've had a number of great opportunities. Arguably the best of these is the annual Help For Heroes Charity Event which this year was played on a the top 100 course Hankley Common. My golf on the day was poor but as always it was secondary to the cause. Of course, playing both the old and new courses at Sunningdale and at the unique New Zealand Club were two other days to stay in the memory for a long time.

I thoroughly enjoyed my day at The London Club getting some superb tuition from Paul Foston (check the videos here Live Lesson Part One and Live Lesson Part Two) and will be working hard on the changes again in 2018.

Talking of 2018, what is going to be going on? I'm going to be doing some great work as part of the team for Golf Hacker magazine (online and going into print soon). It's going to be a massive year for Golf Hacker (check them out here and more importantly on their twitter site at @Golfhacker_mag) and get involved. You'll be glad you did. I'm also doing some collaboration with another great online magazine called Inside Golf. Again, go to their twitter page (at @InsideGolf_mag) as they are another that will be going from strength to strength and I'm honoured to have been asked to help.

I have a lot of great content coming to the youtube channel including some great prize giveaways, some fantastic reviews, and a lot of exciting on course collaborations with a number of other great youtube channels. I'm also hoping to do some fantastic stuff with a number of people to grow the game for lady golfers and juniors.

As for my golf, well as I've touched upon I've already got some stuff to work on to make the swing simpler and more repetitive. I've been given some lesson vouchers as a Christmas present but feel the main focus of attention has to be the short game. This is still an area that causes me issues. As for The Quest For Single Figures, I plan to take a more organic approach in my approach. I don't want to put any pressures on myself, something I'm far too aware I've done in the past. There is a single figure golfer waiting to break out and he just needs the room to be allowed to do so. I will be making some golfing plans shortly, which I'll share with you on here and the youtube channel. A lot of those will developing the short game stuff I worked on especially the pitching challenges (see here for an example of a pitching challenge - 40 Yard Pitching Challenge) and expanding that to include chipping and bunker tests too. I found doing on course challenges far more helpful and it definitely made a difference so I'm hoping this will continue

As always, thank you so much for your continued support, not only in reading my random thoughts here but watching the youtube videos, and leaving comments and suggestions. It really means a lot and I thank you for doing so. Please support the youtube channel (and subscribe) and if you want to be involved in some of the great stuff going on in 2018 then contact me here or on youtube. It just remains for me to hope you have a great 2018 and whatever your ambitions, dreams and hopes, golfing or otherwise, they come to fruition.