Fighting Back: Rob Smith Golf Blog 16

With Spring finally rearing its lovely head, it has been great to get out onto the course a little more and rediscover a real enthusiasm. It also means that in my latest lesson with Paul Foston at his superb facility in the heart of Kent, we were able to get outside to do some more work on ridding my game of that most destructive shot which I mentioned last time, the shank.

Over the weekend I had been lucky enough to get out onto my course three times and been very pleased with how my Benross Hot Speed clubs had performed, especially my new 25-degree hybrid. I had managed plenty of pars and a couple of birdies and been pleased with just about everything, except those tricky 30-50 yard approaches over a hazard that require a gentle touch.

Paul therefore worked me through the hinge and hold technique, with my feet much closer together and a more open stance. On his beautiful outdoor short course area it worked to great effect, and I therefore headed back to Tandridge that same afternoon to see if I could put it into practice with an old chum, Ian, who plays off 6.

I am delighted to say that by using this method, I made consistently better contact on these gentle shots every time. Even though a better strike meant that I over-hit some of the approaches, it is something that is paying instant dividends.

One other extremely happy thing also occurred at the short fourth hole, a par 3 surrounded by sand. Here, I hit what felt like a perfect 9-iron which looked to be bang on line with the pin, the bottom of which is not visible from the tee as the green is raised. Ian hit a similar shot, but when we got up to the green, only one ball was visible, about 12 feet from the pin. Mine, it transpired, had gone into the hole for my first hole-in-one after 35 years of golf. Not only that, but I had chosen the perfect day as there were just two people in the bar when we got in!

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