Today was a great day in golfing terms. The lesson went well and I even started off hitting them straight, if a little flat. We worked a little on the first two stages of the backswing. First, really making sure my takeaway was right with my hands passing close over my toes and making sure that the club is not rotating around my body. And second, on the rotation up to the top of the backswing and making sure that the club face is square at the top.
And it worked wonders. I was really hitting the ball consistently which has so far been missing from my practise. At the end of the lesson I spent some time on the simulator on a practice hole. And again every single ball was within feet of the target. Initially I was making 100-120 yards with each swing.
At the end of the lesson, Steve left me a lone to practise for the first time. I was worried it would go to pot and he warned me to stop if I started deteriorating but I spent a good 30 minutes just hitting that 6 iron. Shot after shot pinged down the middle to the target and as I started to imprint the swing mechanics into my muscle memory I was able to concentrate on my tempo. By the end of the half hour I was consistently hitting the ball 160-170 yards with my personal best at 180 yards with a 6 iron.
Given where I started just 9 lessons ago - that's just 4.5 hours of lessons - I feel I've made real progress. Perhaps I will make it onto the green stuff after all....
And the simulator is amazing. Besides the ability to play over 80 courses, including numerous world famous ones like Royal St. Andrews or Pebble Beach, it's an amazing training tool. I get to set a target area and then after each stroke replay the stroke, or more importantly investigate the wealth of stats that are available. There's the obvious ones like distance and club head speed, but for me at this time the graphic which shows you the club face is really great. It allows me to see exactly where I'm making small errors and to work on it.