During Week 3, we decided to venture out to the course and get a real idea of how Adam's swing holds up during a round of golf. It was a fairly rough start as expected as Adam soon realised that the feelings of the range compared to going out to the course is completely different. There are a number of factors to this which include the pressure of scoring, beating or trying to impress playing partners, wind, different lies. alignment requirements and having only one opportunity to getting it right. We all go through this and the best way to overcome this is through mastering your preparation.
What I will often say to clients is that if you have a tournament on Saturday and you have a lesson early on the week on Wednesday. The day after your lesson you should only focus on the technical aspect of the lesson when hitting balls. The Friday the day before I would split the bucket of balls into half technical and half full pre-shot routine. Within this pre-shot routine, it would involve ensuring you walk in behind the ball obtaining the correct alignment and trying to take the same amount of time over the ball each time. You want to simulate being on the course as much as you can. Within your pre-shot routine you shouldn't focus on technique of your swing as you have already installed a large amount of reps into your swing for the week. Instead you want to do the pre-shot routine in a mindset of target reaction which means 'see target, hit target'. This will enable you to be in reaction mode instead of thinking mode over the ball.
With this preparation you should also come to the course around an hour before and hit warm up balls focusing on pre-shot routine for around 30 minutes as well doing some light chipping and putting. When you do get to the first tee, you should be fully immersed into your pre-shot routine and have a real feel for your swing. Getting back to Adam, his first few holes he did struggle to make consistent contact even though he did have a great lesson and his swing was starting to look really good. His swing did start to regress back to his old swing which is quite normal when we are under pressure. We revert back without being aware of it. When you do see your bad habits come into play which for Adam is a slice. I told him to just play with the slice for now by going onto the right side of the tee and aiming left. This ensured that he could open up the fairwary to cater for the slice.
Once he started doing this, he was able to play with the habit and still score. I would always recommend doing it this way when starting to do lessons when you are having trouble on the course as you can still stay in the game and score. The other aspect that we applied to Adam's game was to use 5 iron off every Par 4 and 5 to make sure that he was always in play off the tee. I think there was one moment where he did slice into the water but overall he did very well in keeping the ball on the fairway. Once Adam though has more lessons and practices more and understands his muscle movements better, he can then try when a bad shot does arise, to implement his new swing habits making practice swings that emulate the desired swing. This means instead of catering for his slice by aiming left on the course, he can implement the new swing on the course by inserting it into his practice swing. I would only start doing this once you can be sure that you are doing the correct practice swings worked on during the lessons.
After six holes Adam was definitely starting to feel better and was starting to strike the ball more consistently. He actually wasnt able to come down and do a warm-up so when this happens, we often don't start really hitting the ball well until we are warmed up which is usually around the 6th hole. He was starting to get into a nice rhythm and by the 8th hole, he managed to score a Par!! He hit a beautiful 8 iron to the right of the green followed by two great putts as per the video. His last two holes in particular went Par then Bogey. He also had another bogey on the Par 3 13th (we played a mix of holes). Our goal moving forward will be to master preparation, hit 5 irons off the tees, capitalise on the short Par 3's. and ensuring that we 2 putt every hole. If Adam does this he will put himself in the best position to break 100.
I look forward to the next lesson with Adam and continuing to move forward in his quest to break 100!