Breaking 80: Golf as an equation

Peter O'Hagan gives his latest update on how his challenge is going

Peter O'Hagan

It's been a couple of weeks since I last put pen to paper regarding my PYB 2012 challenge.

I know I could make lots of excuses - busy, chores, even practicing and playing!

But the truth is I've been feeling a little sorry for myself!

Yes the lessons with Gary Alliss have been going really well and I had a

good session with Annette from fitness4golfers the other Friday, but the game...

Lets start with some positives - my golf swing has changed beyond all recognition from where it was in March at the start of the challenge - OK I could connect with the ball and occasionally it went where I hoped.

Fortunately my short game (except bunkers - but that's another saga) and putting would save my score - occasionally!

But now Gary has helped me construct a simple swing which I not only strike the ball better = more distance, but also controls the flight = more accuracy.

It's a simple formula distance + accuracy + short game = lower score. If only it where that simple!

Missing from the formula is a core issue and one that is essential if I am to play my best - the A word.

The fitness session was a real illumination of my weaknesses - of which there are many (worst hip rotation ever!) and my strengths 1 (glutes apparently to die for! Though not quiet sure what that means!).

I had a thorough and I mean thorough assessment which have resulted in some exercises a couple of which include lying on and across a 2 feet long, 8inch diameter foam roller!

But I am feeling the benefits - slowly! So another formula flexibility + strength + endurance = power! But once again if these exercises are to have a real and long lasting impact I need to work on the A word!

What about the clubs? I have liked the clubs from the very start and rapidly appreciated the way they benefited my game and the support from Ping has been excellent.

The only issue being is that they have raised my expectations for my performance.

What about the golf though? Am I seeing an impact? The new clubs, the teaching, the fitness, what is the difference on the course.

The thing is I have nothing to blame now, the excuse bucket is empty - to para-phrase Sir Terry Wogan, its all about me. Oh and the A word!

I have played some of the best golf of my career these past few weeks, in one round getting to 79 of the tips and beating the County Captain in a match play knockout.

Felt like a golfer, everything going in the right place and my ball wanting to get in the cup as soon as possible - didn't like being hit!

But another round (or two) - well not going to dwell but it was one (or two) of those all the gear but no idea sessions. But why? Guess it's the A word!

So what does A really mean - no not a description of an anatomical component. Though without it you can feel like one!

Its about what happens in the most important 5 inches of any golfers game - between the ears.

Its about the right mental approach and the right attitude to the game its not about being anxious about outcomes.

So for the next couple of weeks I'm going to concentrate on getting my A right and putting them into the formula.

So of to interrogate the likes of Karl Morris, Harry Alder, Hemmings and Mantle along with mind gurus from other sports including Sir Clive Woodward and Bob Aldred.

I need to get this component right for my formula for good golf is:

Consistency + Power + Attitude = Great Golf

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