Fighting Back: Rob Smith Golf Blog 3

Rob Smith, Golf Monthly Contributing Editor, continues his golf blog as he travels to Mallorca

Son Gual

Fighting Back: Rob Smith Golf Blog Two Steps Forward

As I mentioned in my last update, the next golf on my itinerary was a trip to Mallorca with a group of friends from the club where I am proud to be a member, Tandridge.

Blessed with perfect golfing weather, we played four varied courses which ranged from good to great, and by happy coincidence, each was better than the previous one.

I found it tricky trying to remember all that I have been working on with my coach Paul Foston (primarily alignment, stance and posture), at the same time as becoming more familiar with my excellent new Benross Hot Speed clubs – at the same time as fending off the jibes and taunts of my so-called friends.

The trip was a great laugh for all four days, but the severity of the courses meant that I didn't score anywhere near as well as I felt I had been playing.

This same odd mixture of hitting the ball better but failing to score was repeated back at home when I invited Steve Slinger to Tandridge to show him the substantial course changes that are nearing completion.

Steve is the General Manager at Mannings Heath Golf Club, and is a kindred spirit, a real golf course enthusiast.

He was very complimentary of all the work, and whilst I also wanted to talk to him about the difficulties in managing golf clubs through recession, I was keen to see what an experienced former teaching Pro' would make of my new swing.

Afterwards he told me, "What a difference a few lessons with a PGA professional makes! Your ball striking has improved tremendously, and with your new address position the control will certainly come - and so will the belief."

All very encouraging, especially as I am well aware that to become a better golfer involves changes that will from time to time see me moving two steps forward and one step back.

Next up will be a visit to Paul for my next lesson - number five - and then it will be time for some serious practice.

Rob Smith has been playing golf for more than 40 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly since 2012 specialising in course reviews and travel. He has now played 1,150 different courses in almost 50 countries. Despite lockdowns and travel restrictions last year, he still managed to play 80 different courses during 2021, 43 of them for the first time. This included 21 in 13 days on a trip to East Lothian in October. One of Rob's primary roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but nine. Rob is a member of Tandridge Golf Club in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at r.smith896@btinternet.com.