Fighting Back: Rob Smith Golf Blog 4

Rob Smith, Golf Monthly Contributing Editor, continues his golf blog as he gets a report on his progress from his coach

rob smith blog

Fighting Back: Rob Smith Golf Blog The Long and the Short of It

Late last week I headed over to Paul Foston's excellent academy just up the road from Chart Hills to let him know how I had been getting on and to work together on the next stage of our plan.

I explained that whilst I was fine with the fairway woods and very happy with the mid- and short-irons, I was having trouble with two things - driving and short-range pitch shots.

With the former, I was tending to pull to the left and hitting into trouble, and with the latter, I was hitting a fair number of unmentionables.

Paul has a short game area in his grounds, and we will spend some time there soon, but for now we achieved good results by me gripping the club a little further down, and by hitting both half- and three-quarter shots. I will be taking this to the practice ground this week and report back.

With regard to the driving, Paul spotted that I had the ball too far back in my stance and so was hitting it too early. We moved it up to just inside the left heel, lowered my right shoulder and hip just a little, and I hit some crackers that I am hoping to repeat on the course later this week.

At the end of the lesson I asked for a very brief progress report to put on this blog and Paul said, "Rob has now grasped the importance of a good set-up and pre-shot routine, he looks far more athletic over the ball and ready to go.

By embarking on a series of lessons with video analysis, Rob is quickly gaining a greater understanding of the mechanics of the swing, his strengths and weaknesses which are going to be pivotal in the long term as he strives to become the best player he can be."

Following a great deal of overseas travel this year, I am now back home and really fired up about practising, learning more, and starting to enjoy my golf more and more.

At the end of next week, I am looking forward to a game with the Golf Monthly team who will doubtless have their own distinct take on my progress so far!

Rob Smith
Contributing Editor

Rob Smith has been playing golf for more than 40 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly for over ten years, specialising in course reviews and travel. He has now played more than 1,170 different courses in almost 50 countries. Despite lockdowns and travel restrictions in 2021, he still managed to play 80 different courses during the year, 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. During the 2021-22 review period, Rob has played 34 of the Golf Monthly Top 200. He is a member of Tandridge Golf Club in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at