If you've read this post, you probably already know that three years ago I made it down to an 11 handicap and then decided to change everything about my game, and I mean E V E R Y T H I N G.
I felt that a complete refit and overhaul was necessary to get me to single figures. There was something about the way I was playing back then that made me think I'd peaked as a golfer, my skill level couldn't get me any further. Some disagreed and thought I was crazy to embark upon such a seemingly sadistic journey. At times I thought they were right. For a while I went back up to 14, which was soul destroying. I generally hovered around 12 for most of the three years, scrapping out results with a new swing I couldn't trust, and moreover a new swing which put extra pressure on my (already average) short game.
After almost 3 years of lessons and hundreds of hours on the course and driving range I've arrived at my first milestone. I'm right back where I was when I decided to change everything. Back to an 11 handicap.
Perhaps from the outside, it seems nonsensical to celebrate such a milestone. Nevertheless, I'm smiling.
During the process of change I sometimes thought I had completely scuppered any chance I had of becoming a better player. I started to think that I'd added too much mechanical action whilst subtracting a substantial amount of personality from my game. Now I know this is not the case. Despite the long and winding road, I now know 100% it was worth it.
Lately I have been producing very good results even when I'm not playing particularly great. Furthermore I'm shooting in the 70's about 80% of the time whereas before it was more like 20%, if that. I've made it back to 11 without firing on all cylinders whereas in the past I needed to work hard to get to and maintain that handicap.
This time round it's going to be different. A few years ago the number 11 represented the end of the road. This time it represents the beginning.
I'll keep you posted!