Sunday, 13 May 2018

In Full Swing

I'm back. Apologies but there has been a awful lot going on and off the golf course and I've been very busy and so time has been hard to find. The season is up and running and I hope your golfing season has started well and you're on the way to achieving your golfing goals.

I've been playing as much as I can, primarily at weekends but practice and weekday evening rounds haven't been as fruitful as I'd have wanted to date. Hopefully that's about to change. Way back at the start of the year, my handicap stood at 14.2 and the plan was to hit the ground running and make a fast start, get some early cuts and really make a charge towards single figures.

If you've read my blogs, sparse as they have been, you'll know I missed a lot of my winter work with a niggling back injury. This meant I haven't really got that solid period of practice behind me and consequently form has been patchy. The bad news is I've gone up to 14.5 which means the handicap now sits at 15 although the last two rounds have been in the buffer zone so I hope I can kick forward again.

I know it's been a while, and if you are a new reader to my ramblings (and you are very welcome) you may also know I've also got a Youtube channel that runs in parallel to this blog. You can find it by searching Youtube for Three Off The Tee or by clicking this link (Three Off The Tee Channel). While you are there please make sure you subscribe as there is some very interesting stuff coming soon.

You'll see that there are a few new(ish) videos on the channel including my 2018 What's In The Bag which you can watch here (WITB 2018) and there's a video charting my goals and objectives for the year which you can see here (2018 Goals And Objectives). I hope you enjoy them and if you have any comments please leave them in the relevant comments section of the videos. I'd love to hear what you think.

I've teamed up with a different playing partner for the pairs events at my home club, Royal Ascot in 2018. He's an old friend who rejoined the club at the start of the year and is a guy I've known socially for the best part of thirty years. He's called Dave Hurn, and we've played two pairs events already. We came tantalisingly close in our first effort, despite Dave having an off day and were only a point of second place and came a creditable fifth. We played again recently in the Jubilee Cup, a pairs better ball event. It's a competition I've won before and one of the cub's honours board events (majors). Again we started slowly and were two over handicap after four holes and then woke up. In the end we finished in 5th place again, but with a few putts dropping and a better start could have easily broken into the top three. The vibe between us is as strong as ever and we're not taking ourselves too seriously and will always have a laugh and a beer after. It has the potential to be a very good partnership going forward.

There is a lot coming up. As well as taking a more free and organic approach to the "Quest For Single Figures" and reducing the amount of tuition I take, in an attempt to reduce the amount of thoughts in my head on the course. I aim to practice less on the full swing, and in a more strategic and focused manner, and with the onus primarily on the area from 100 yards and in.

I am going to be doing some work with a great online publication called Golf Hacker Magazine. Check out their website here (http://www.golfhacker.org/)  and their twitter account (https://twitter.com/Golfhacker_mag) and hope to be doing some writing for them going forward. I've also teamed up with the Golf Hacker editor Nick, and two others. First is a wonderful and inspirational young lady called Jasmine, aka The Jazzy Golfer. Check her twitter profile here, (https://twitter.com/thejazzygolfer). She is doing great things online and really working hard to get more women into golf and has already had some huge and deserved recognition. Secondly but no means least is a guy, originally hailing not so far from where I live now, but now residing in Wales by the name of William Murfitt. He has his own Youtube channel which you can see here (William Murfitt Golf) and his twitter account,(https://twitter.com/MurfittWilliam).

So what I hear you wearily ask? Well we've formed a dream team to play in a charity golf day at Chigwell Golf Club in Essex to raise funds for Avril's Dream (https://twitter.com/avrilsdream). Do yourself a favour and go to the website and see the fantastic work they are doing (http://www.yourdreamfactory.org/). It has been set up to brighten the lives and encourage hope in children and young adults with life limiting or life threatening conditions. It promises to be a great day and something I'll be filming for my Youtube channel.

The exciting news keeps coming. I am also hoping to team up with James Lambdon, aka the Golf Psych, Again I'll put a link to his twitter page (https://twitter.com/The_Golf_Psych) and the website (http://www.thegolfpsych.co.uk/) so you can see what he's all about. If the plans come off we're hoping to use me as a guinea pig and his techniques to improve my thinking when I play golf and chart the progress in a regular feature in Golf Hacker. I'm very excited and hope we can get it sorted. It's a subject I've spoken about at length. I need to improve my thinking on the course. I need to free my mind away from too many technical thoughts, and when the bad shots happen, finding a way to cope mentally, accept the error and move on.

I'm going to be doing a lot of stuff on the mental side of the game. It's going to be something different and hopefully will add an edge to my game when the going gets hard
The funny thing is, I regularly get told by members (and other golfers at club matches etc) that I have a decent swing and that it's all in my head. It's something I am beginning to accept and the need to try and find a textbook golf swing is waning and I can play with what I have. Admittedly I have to sharpen my short game, and that's the focus of my attention in practice. I need to quieten my golfing monkey, think better and give myself a clear mental focus and targets whenever I play. I hope to have more news soon.

We have the Jamega Tour (http://www.jamegatour.co.uk/) back at Royal Ascot Golf Club (http://www.royalascotgolfclub.co.uk/) this weekend for the pro-am and for their professional event next week. It's a developmental tour and they enjoyed our course and hospitality twice last season. I have to be honest and the green staff at the club have worked wonders in the last few months in some trying weather conditions. The greens are the best they have been since we moved to our new home in August 2005. The presentation of the course is first class at the moment, and there are new features including new and modern patio furniture to enjoy a post round drink. I think it's going to be a great few days with the tour in town and the course will be a challenge to all of the professionals, but a fair one.

The Royal Ascot Clubhouse. Home this week to the Jamega Tour. The course has never looked or played better. 
My golfing season is about to get into full swing. I am trying hard to make inroads into the handicap and get "The Quest For Single Figures" up and running for 2018. I know there are some good scores in there if I stop making some silly mistakes, which hopefully is where "The Golf Psych" comes into his own. And you thought this was all a mish-mash of random thoughts and ideas!!!

I'm sorry once again for the huge gap between posts and hopefully I'm back and keeping you posted on all things related to my golf going forward. In the meantime, I hope your own golf is up and running and you are playing well. Thanks for reading this latest offering and I'll see you for another blog soon.

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