'How I dropped seven shots in three months'
TG reader Jason Ryan, Oxley Park GC
My handicap fell from 20.9 to 13.1 in a little over two months. This dramatic improvement began when I started having lessons from my local PGA Pro, Steve Thomas. The first thing we worked on was nothing technical - I had a tendency to go 110 percent at every shot... and when things weren't going for me, I swung faster and faster, usually with disastrous results.
Steve gave me a routine that began by making sure i left my bag at least two club-lengths behind the ball. This stopped me being able to pall a club and rush straight into the shot. We also worked on taking more notice of elements such as lie, yardage and wind, and having more practice swings. All these things slowed me down, helped me focus and allowed me to give my best effort on every shot.
We also homed in on my swing’s biggest weakness, which was my driving. I would hit slices and pulls, caused by a horrible over-the-top move. I discovered how this was caused by my trail elbow sticking out during the backswing and learned to tuck it better. This gave me a more on-plane takeaway and a more neutral path. Work on launch monitors showed me how this change narrowed my dispersion off the tee. I suddenly keep the ball in play much more effectively and avoid the big numbers. This had the biggest impact on lowering my scores.
My experience has shown me the value in understanding and targeting your weaknesses. My two biggest problems were on-the-tee slices and hitting too fast and too hard. My progress has come from addressing both effectively... and it’s something any golfer can do with the right guidance.
Interviewee Jason Ryan (Steve Thomas Golf customer)
TODAYSGOLEER.CO.UK ISSUE 415