Week 3 began with James Ellis and a continuation of my short game analysis. As I am going abroad next week, we concentrated on reinforcing the basic ideas learnt over the previous two weeks.

My first task was to undertake another chipping test from 10 yards, to asses my further progress. I was a bit nervous of trying to emulate the 4ft average of last week, and only managed a 12ft average this time. A few thinned strikes……

James felt that I was almost being too casual now in my set-up process, as I tried to almost over relax in both mind and set up. He re-emphasised my need to focus each time on the whole set up process, in order that the brain is conditioned to remember when it really matters.

I then hit a number of pitches from 30, 50 and 70 yards using a 52deg wedge for the 30yd shot and the 58deg for the last two. I began to get a much better feel of the distance control without really thinking too much about it.

James impresses on me the need to ‘enjoy and love the short game’. This is not there at the moment, but I definitely feel I am going down the right road and increasing in confidence.

Then later in the week I met up with Steve Smith to work on my long game. Again he reinforced the need to imprint on the mind the basic set up for each shot, whether practising or hitting the actual shot. Then it becomes an automatic pilot scenario. This will be especially true on the practice ground, where I have tended to hit shot after shot without a pause for thought.

Steve and I played a number of holes on Urban Golf’s excellent golf simulator. We played the US course Troon North – the sun was out and it wasn’t too windy!

Steve used the exercise to bring home some basic thoughts on my course management as I play, this is something I can put to good use whilst abroad. Steve beat me by a couple of shots,but he has played the course before……..

At the end of the session, Steve handed me my custom-made putter, put together by his colleague Zane. A David Whitlam limited edition model, with weighting in the top of the shaft to ideally suit my own putting action. It felt great and cannot wait to start practising.
Roll on Barbados………..