Following on from last week’s improving rounds mixed with a lot of practice, I was entering the new week really looking forward to my golf and seeing if I can even step up another gear.

I started the week mainly practising my short game and bunker play. It was still the main weakness where a good short chip or bunker shot was not maintained through the whole round. Even though I am trying to follow the philosophy of Steve and James to clear the mind after a bad start, my overall confidence is still low and not positive enough.

Bunker shots are a continuing souce of great frustration – a short greenside bunker shot might finish a few feet from the hole, only to be followed by a similar shot which is either thinned or left in the sand. To be fair, I have not even started to look at this aspect of my game with the pros, but it is difficult to stay focused after a bad shot – especially if it ruins my card.

I played a round at Royal Westmoreland on Tuesday with friends Gunter and Clive Wiseman. Clive has just flown out to Barbados for a two-week break and plays off of 19. I struck the ball with new assurance and held my concentration, finishing with an 84 – 12 over. My driving and iron play was very consistent but I was dropping most of my shots around the green… again, and I missed a few makeable putts.

I practised again on Wednesday trying to focus on the set definitive routine on set up. I felt relaxed and had a good session, particularly in the bunker where I spent a good hour hitting from a variety of lies.

Thursday was then the rematch of last week’s game with my friend Dave Button and his scratch partner Carson. This time Gunter was my partner. As I won 2 & 1 last week, I knew they would be ‘up for it’, and felt more tense than usual on the first tee.

Carson birdied the first six holes……..and despite us both playing well, and I was 6 over at the turn, we were 3 down!

It was fantastic golf and a pleasure to watch but it left me feeling that I had to improve somewhat to stand a chance of getting the match back. I then tried to overhit my drives for more distance to compete,and my round fell away, finishing at 15 over and losing the match 5 & 4. Carson shoot an amazing 63!

There was a good lesson learned here… stick to your own game and do not be influenced by other players!

I will be trying to get back on track next week as I head over to Miami for a few days.