Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Winter golf: the range

January – don’t you just love it? Last year it was snow, this year torrential rain and gale force winds. Even before Christmas our course was totally sodden so today there was nothing for it but to head to the localrange especially as it’s Tuesday when for a mere fiver you can hit as many balls as you like and get some decent swing advice from the friendly pro. What's more, I have a shiny new hybrid to try out, (thank you, Santa!) so there was no stopping me.

Until I found the entrance road to the golf range under several feet of water. I might be keen, but I have my ailing suspension to consider!

Still, I’ve been going on and off to this roll-up class for the last year and my swing really has improved so that while I may still be playing off a ladylike 23, I’m out-hitting the 16-20  handicappers I go out with on a regular basis.

But am I taking the money? Well I have had my moments, but truth to tell, I’ve never looked like getting below my current handicap, because as Jonty says, at the end of the day it’s the short game that counts. Getting close to the green in two is no good if it takes another three (at least!) to get the wee white ball in the cup.

The range is fine for sorting out the swing but the temptation is to keep on wellying it as far as the eye can see, ignoring the bit that will really lower your score. There are things you can do, like playing consecutive shots with different clubs (there wood, six-iron, pitching wedge) to replicate the experience of being on a course, but  chips and pitches don’t feel the same off the manicured mats of the range. The club’s practice area is much better for getting the feel of the shorter shots, except that practising outside in winter leaves me cold in more ways than one!

So it looks like it’s back to putting on the carpet for me, and maybe some of these drills will stand me in good stead for when I next brave the elements.  

The Green Goddess in warmer weather! 
Meanwhile I might do some virtual golfing, so if you have a golf blog and interesting things to say, leave a comment so that we can check you out. 

Happy practising!

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