Fighting Back: Rob Smith Golf Blog 9

Rob Smith, Golf Monthly Contributing Editor, continues his golf blog as he looks to improve his game

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Fighting Back: Rob Smith Golf Blog 9

Following a very enjoyable and relaxing two week hiatus in Spain, it was time to get back to golf to see whether I could continue my progress with my new Ben Ross clubs under the instruction of Paul Foston.

We decided to do some work on my short game because the s-word was marring my progress when I was faced with delicate chips around the green.

We worked on two types of shot - the hinge and hold, and the flop shot, both of which require commitment and confidence and worked very well in my lessons with Paul.

The week after my holiday I was over in Sweden for a couple of days during which I played at Vallda, a very good Martin Hawtree design to the south of Gothenburg.

I was with a new Swedish friend who had not seen me play since starting my lessons, and yet another encouraging sign came when he told me that he didn't recognise it at all as the same swing.

The following week, and after another lesson with Paul, I was off to the southern end of the English/Welsh borders for an annual golf trip with three old friends.

This year we visited the lovely courses at Kington, Cradoc, Builth Wells and Llandrindod Wells, and again I was pleased with the outcome with five of my seven scores beginning with a 3 - generally my target on a new course.

I also lost far fewer balls than expected, and following so much travel I am now really looking forward to working on my game close to home.

Rob's other Blogs

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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