Covid – 19……. Not a 19th hole to be messed with – Even though it’s messing with our golf!

What started with a strange virus on the other side of the world graduated into self quarantine, social distancing and finally complete lockdown. So no work if you’re not in a vital industry (a real problem for us self employed in something not regarded as critical but too hands-on to be done on line)… and most concerning of all, NO GOLF….. withdrawal symptoms of note!

I scratched through my garage and found some shade cloth and enough metal to be able to knock myself a practice net together as you can see in the photo – and, as our lawn has a bit of slope on it, an old board with some timber off cuts underneath it and carpet offcuts on top gets me a level stance and I can at least do some hitting!

One of the reasons I love this game is that you never stop learning. Until I can no longer play this game for whatever reason my swing will always be a work in progress! And few things I’ve already picked up from using this net I think are worthy of comment – because many of us are doing something similar at the moment to get our golf “fixes” and are could be finding the same.

I decided I was going to use the time to work on some aspects of my swing that I wasn’t happy about.

First thing was that, because I’m hitting from the same place every time it would be easier to repeat a set up and ball position that gives me a solid strike and I’d work on repeating that as I tend to let the ball get a little too far forward in my stance.

Next was that as I’m inclined to rotate my head slightly on short pitch shots and chips if I don’t consciously focus on looking at the ball with my left eye and maintaining that head position until after impact. (If I forget to do that and take a peek during the down swing I’ll hit the pitch or chip slightly fat 8 times out of 10. As I play most of my golf on a course where the grain of the grass is almost always running away from the green that can be a problem…) So, with just the net in front of me and no target to worry about I would hit pitch and chip shots until keeping my head still was automatic.

All good so far….

Until I realised how much I’m reliant on my ball flight to tell me what I’m doing…….

I’m setting up to the ball comfortably and the feel I’m getting from impact is good – everything seems to be coming out somewhere close to the middle of the club. Problem is I’ve no idea what the position of the club face is at impact – is it square, fractionally open, fractionally closed….. or what my trajectory is… all things that my ball flight would tell me. Now there’s a little worm in the back of my mind telling me that in the process of fixing one fault maybe I am replacing it with another….

So, as I don’t have the benefit of FlightSope, GC Quad, Trackman or any of the other simulator gear am I actually helping myself by working on changes? Or should I rather just use the net to hit into to stay loose?

If I work on technical aspects of my swing using the net and trust I’m doing the right things will I get to the range as soon as lockdown is over and discover I’ve created a monster……!!

I don’t know.

But I’m going to do the work anyway!

Stay safe and look after yourselves during these unusual times!

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