Breaking 100: Getting closer

Paul Matthews gives an update on his progress

Paul Matthews

After my last update, I took to the range to try and groove the swing that Paul Ashwell had shown me in our first lesson.

I spent an hour just hitting a 7 iron, looking to recreate what I had achieved under Paul's expert supervision.

I was pleasantly surprised when I hit the majority straight down the line; distance was variable but the dispersion was tight with only a couple of duff hits.

The following Saturday heralded the May Medal at Bourn Golf Club and I headed out with less nerves than previously. Our 1st is a tricky Par 3 with a hazard front and right that demands an accurate 160+ yard shot from the white tees.

I have lost more balls than I care to remember on this hole so was delighted when my tee shot launched high and true, it fell short of the green but left a simple chip on and set me up for what should have been a net Par.

Sadly my nerves had other ideas and I proceeded to four putt! My round ebbed and flowed from here but, overall, I felt like I had more consistency than in previous comps.

On the back 9 I felt like I was in my stride and I had several putts finish agonisingly close, after my toils on the 1st I now had every read spot on, just struggling to find the right pace on slightly heavy greens.

I finished the round with 105 against a CSS of 72; my best round in competition so far. I was really pleased, not least because I felt like I'd left a few out there.

In the following few rounds I started to slip back to my old swing habits and the inconsistency returned. My next lesson with Paul was two hours, on-course looking at my whole game.

He put my swing back in shape and gave me some pointers on my pre-shot routine and address; the results were immediate and obvious giving longer and straighter shots.

One aspect of the lesson that pleased me was Paul's view of my short game. In the absence of any long game to speak of, I've worked on my chipping and have always felt confident with my putter.

He believed that both were of a sufficient standard not to require work at this point, so my focus is solely on the long game.

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