Me and my golf bag: My first handicap cut of the year

Anyone who has been following my golfing journey this year will know that I am trying to reduce my handicap to 24. I set out to drop four shots off my handicap this year and guess what, after just my fourth round of the year I am able to say that my handicap has dropped a shot! Entering my score into golfshake.com and seeing my handicap come down was a great feeling and I now can’t wait to get back out on the course and see if I can reduce it even further.

My process of reviewing each round and finding three positives and one area to work on is really helping me structure my practice and that is certainly paying off. So following a good round last Sunday, here is the good stuff and one thing that needs a little attention…

Chip it closePositive one – My chipping

I have no idea how it happened but I was completely in sync with my 52° wedge last Sunday. On four separate occasions I managed to chip the ball within two feet of the hole. On the par 4 second I almost holed out, the ball flirting outrageously with the edge of the cup before rolling a foot by. In my last ‘Me and my golf bag’ post I talked about the confidence a couple of good chips had given me and I definitely took that on to the course last week. I think the key to my improvement is that I am now using my imagination more as well as really focussing on the landing area of the ball. I am now really confident with my 52° wedge in hand and I am sure with more practice it won’t be long before I start holing a few chips from around the green.

Positive two – My putting is improving

Prior my round last weekend I had a lesson with Ben Frost at the PGA Academy. The first half of my lesson focussed on my putting and it really paid off. With five 1 putts and more importantly only one 3 putt, I carded a total of just 32 putts. This was easily my best performance on the greens so far this year. I only implemented one of the tips Ben gave me so hopefully once I apply the others to my putting routine I can make sub 30 putt rounds a regular thing.

Fairway of Par 4 8th at Bromsgrove Golf ClubPositive three – seven shots under my handicap after 15 holes

As I walked off the 18th green I was furious with myself for finishing so poorly (more of this in a minute) but on reflection I played some fantastic golf last Sunday. As I stood on the 16th tee I was seven shots under my handicap, something I’ve never achieved in the entire time I have been playing golf. At the time I didn’t know how good my score was but looking back it is really encouraging that I can go myself into that position. If I can start to finish off my rounds better, like I did at Sherfield Oaks, then my handicap will come down very quickly.

Area for improvement – Stop throwing away great rounds

For the second time in three rounds I threw away a great round in the last three holes. If you read ‘Me and my golf bag: Round two –  March 20th  2016‘ you will know I threw away four shots in the final two holes, this time it was five shots over the final three holes. There really is no explanation for why I played the last three holes so poorly, especially as I had just played the last eight holes in -7. All I can put it down to is running out of energy. I didn’t eat right the day before or the morning of the round and maybe the lack of energy led to my drop in concentration. Whatever it was I need to find a solution so it doesn’t happen again. I am not going to play Bromsgrove again until May but next time I play there I am determined to finish strong and not throw away another great round.

Bromsgrove Golf Club scorecardAs disappointed as I was with the finish to my round I played very well for 16 of the 18 holes and I need to focus on that. My golf is definitely improving and the great thing is that there is so much more for me to improve upon. I am playing again next Saturday and I am really hoping that I can cut my handicap once again.

Toby

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