Since I stopped playing the sport, I have never revisited it, so it was high time to give it another chance.
I met club professional, Tim Hall, who took me through the basics of the game.
We started School of Golf’s in the state of the art performance lab. In the lab I hit balls against a screen, which simulated my shots onto several famous courses. In fact, the first shot I took was on the 18th at St Andrews. The lab also recorded my swing and allowed Tim to take me through the swing frame by frame and tell me how to improve.
After I’d ‘mastered’ the sport’s most famous course, it was time to get in the fresh air and hit some balls on the driving range. Despite the vast majority of the shots I hit drifting horribly to the right and onto the road, Tim had the patience of a Saint as he attempted to improve my technique.
It amazed me just how much minor changes can completely alter the way I struck the ball. Such tiny issues as, standing too close to the ball, having the wrong grip, attempting to hit the ball too hard, the list goes on and I was guilty of all these minor faults. Tim altered each one of these faults and managed to get me striking the ball correctly.
He explained that even at the top level of golf, these are the skills that you will always come back to and if something goes wrong with these, your game will deteriorate as a result.
As I continued to practice, I?was able to pick Tim’s brains on what makes a golfing success and what the core skills of the game are. He told me: “Golf is unlike any other sport, you’re competing against yourself as much as you are competing against the opposition. The main trait that all good golfers have is a mental toughness and you need that if you want to succeed.”
Before I knew it, an hour had flashed by and Tim was needed elsewhere to give another lesson. It was great to revisit the game, and although I?remain a useless golfer, I can now see the allure of the sport, with its need to constantly push yourself to improve.