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From Beginner to Par to Pro (wishful thinking)

“Latter part of the title may be a little ambitious but let’s see how far we can take it. On this journey, I intend to gain knowledge and put into practice what I learn and share my experiences.”

First things first, I think it’s best if I introduce myself. My name is Stuart and I am but a few months into a journey that could well take a lifetime. I say could well take a lifetime due to how difficult this game is. Yes I am talking about golf; such a difficult sport to get right but unbelievably satisfying when things go well. In fact I would say the most personally rewarding sport I have ever played!

I have put my hand to a number of different sports over the years and picked them up and got on with them much easier than I am finding this beautiful but yet increasingly frustrating game. The sport that stands out for me and the one I have seen the most success in, is Cricket, which raises another question for me regarding muscle memory of a sport I have played for years, hindering the progress in golf – but that’s another story right?

Having taken to other sports especially Cricket and having generally good hand eye coordination, makes me ask; “why can I not take to this game!” (in a grumpy, gritting teeth type manner.)

I have a true passion for all things golf, which has in fairness developed extremely quickly. Whilst I have now watched the pro’s play the game for some time now, I have only been playing now for the past 6 months, so just started really but I seriously have what one may call… the bug.

As giving up this wonderful game is definitely not an option right now, I thought I would share my experiences of trying to become a much better golfer with you.

You may find informative, some may find compelling and some may just find comical, at least in part. Most of all I am doing this to share my experiences and I love the game so much – I cant be the only one..? Everyone starts somewhere, join me on this journey and feel free to make suggestions.

This section of my blog is called, Beginner to Par to Pro. The latter part of the title may be a little ambitious but let’s see how far we can take it. On this journey, I intend to gain knowledge and put into practice what I learn and share my experiences.

I have jumped in with both feet! Joining a club and playing competitive golf without knowing if I will get down a par 3 in 1 or 50, I had only really done hitting balls at the range and 1 or 2 easygoing and I mean super easygoing rounds with friends. So, I get to work on getting my first 3 cards in to obtain an official handicap, playing those 3 initial ‘handicap’ rounds were great fun . Then the handicap certificate came through. I couldn’t tell which made the loudest bang, when my jaw hit the table or when I fell off the chair. 32 – great!! The idea of this game is to have a low handicap I thought but then thought, the only way is up, well down, you know what I mean.

I then played in qualifiers and struggled like mad to play to my handicap, subsequently, I kept going up 0.1. I then thought maybe the only way is not up – or down and realised just how difficult this game is, or at least can be. I say that because all of a sudden I put a good round in (for me) which saw my handicap drop by a massive 1 shot! Yay! My handicap is now 31.  At this point I thought, maybe I am starting to get there!

Following a modicum of success (within my own game) I then and went and played at Pleasington in a stableford game, I continued to play ok and actually came 3rd on the day, now for me this was pure inspiration, however that was me coming third taking into account my massive handicap. Nonetheless, I took the positive from this round, hoping that the next round would be as good or better and things can start to go in the right direction. Actually, the very next day I was due to be back at pleasington for a ‘business meeting’ four ball.

Well… I kicked off this round and oh my days! It felt and in turn clearly looked like I had never in my life picked a golf club up before! It was shocking! To the point where I think I picked my ball up about 13 times. I tried my best for this not to bother me too much as I have been told that golf is ‘all about mentality’ however, I do think this has stuck with me.

I continued to play in competitions with the hope that the form I found in the first round I had at Pleasington would return, however, things just seemed to get worse and worse with no major breakthroughs! At this stage, to be so bad at this game, I assume there must be some fundamentals that I am getting completely wrong! Let me talk about some of the specific difficulties that I am having in this game and see if this can shed some light or give some insite into the issues. I have also covered and am covering this journey on our Vlog. That Golfing Vlog

So, I’ll talk a little regarding the difficulties or at least explain what happens and how it feels to see if it helps obtain some clarity on what actions I am doing wrong?

Difficulty 1: Cricket to Golf. I am finding the transition from cricket to golf quite difficult, to the point where an ex pro friend of mine sometimes says, “great cover drive” when I’ve hit a good shot ???

Difficulty 2: The gardening stroke. This is where I plough a lovely but massive divot. Doesn’t sound too bad right? Hmmm. Well, this divot is unfortunately behind the ball and not in front of it rendering the shot useless as the ball goes about 2 feet as the club passes underneath it decapitating worms as it goes.

Difficulty 3: No power. I really do not seem to be able to get any power on a shot at all, I think I hit my 9 iron about 90 to 100 yards, which I know for me is rubbish. I am clearly doing some fundamentals wrong.

Difficulty 4: Lack of Time. Like most, I need to work and put food on the table, in addition, I have a young family which I love dedicating time to. In fact it’d be great if my kids where the next PGA and LPGA champions, haha. Now whilst I would love for my work to be golf, this is also wildly unrealistic given current circumstances, 31 to pro, I don’t think so

The next stage is to try and overcome these challenges and difficulties I have within the game, please do come back to see the next installment. I am determined to get better and better, even though the vision of being good seems a long distant way in the future. Thank you so much for reading and watching, seriously means a lot. Thank you again. See you soon.

Please comment and let me know your thoughts. Constructive feedback is always welcome.

Comment below and let’s start the conversation

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