Fighting Back: Rob Smith Golf Blog 15

It’s amazing how important confidence is for the game. When I was last over at Paul Foston’s teaching academy for a lesson, I accidentally left behind my new good friend, my Benross Hot Speed pitching wedge. As I had already leant my last set of clubs to a chum to replace those stolen from his boot, I had therefore resorted to using a rusty, low-tech thing from the back of my garage. It was fine at first, even luring me into a false sense of security with the birdie I mentioned in my last blog. But slowly and steadily it has betrayed me more and more, finally leading to that most destructive of all shots, the sh*nk.

Reunited with my trusty Benross wedge this morning, Paul and I worked exclusively on the shank (eradicating, not enhancing!) which in the last two or three rounds has smacked me even harder in the teeth on a couple of occasions with full-blown examples emanating from my 7- and 8-iron.

Two very interesting things ensued – one an exercise, the other a solution. First, Paul set down two golf balls side-by-side, a ball-width apart. He then got me to play the kind of half-shot that has been causing me most grief, and with consummate ease I immediately reproduced the sh*nk, hitting the further of the two balls at the same time! This I repeated with great ease, and so Paul had a closer look at the shafts of all my wedges. They turned out to be standard length, whereas I am not. We therefore practised with me holding the club a good inch or more lower down on the grip. Much to our great joy, there was an immediate improvement as I made solid contact with the ball and hit it on the intended line.

Having applied impact stickers, we found very clearly that by gripping further down, there was a huge improvement in my ball striking on these shorter irons and half-shots. I now have something extremely positive to take onto the course next week and look forward to removing this most destructive of shots from my game.

Rob’s other Blogs

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