Just got back from a video analysis lesson with James Curtis of the <a ‘rel=nofollow’ href=”http://www.chorltoncumhardygolfclub.co.uk/professional.html” target=”_blank”>Chorlton-Cum-Hardy Golf Club in Manchester. My wife bought me the lesson as a present via Groupon at a drastically reduced rate of £20.Golf Video Lesson Screen Chorlton GC It lasted an hour and although it was a bit of an introduction to was James could potentially offer, I found it quite beneficial. James began by chatting through my game and asked me to score myself out of 10 for driving, approach, pitching and putting then asked for my long term and my short term goals.

My replies over my ‘golfing goals’ were as follows:

driving = 5/10 – veers off to thr right and I get too much height which doesnt generate any ‘run’ (I could steal an extra 50 yards on a slipepry wet fairway if my ball didnt simply ‘plop’). I hit roughly 200 yards before accuracy begins to waiver.

approach = 4/10 – I tod James this was the worst element of my game because I’m too damn scared to hit fairway woods or hybrids off the deck. I always end up topping the ball or scuttling it 40 yards. Absolute card buster. It needs to be sitting up (practically on one of those rugby tees Jonny Wilkinson uses) before I have the balls to bash a 5 wood on a 500 yard par 5! More on this later…

pitching = 6/10 – not too bad at pitching because I’ve practised outside my in-laws caravan in Nefyn, Wales! Often I’ll use a 7 iron in a putting stroke to avoid the more diffficult to master ‘up and down’ in 20 yards. James didn’t mind.

putting = 5/10 – erratic at best. I’ve recently kept my head so still and not even looked up, even when the ball is 2 to 3 seconds away on the green, its realy helped with ‘6 footers. As all coaches and anyone with half a golfing brain knows, putting is where you can ‘nail’ a round of stableford. One 2″ putt is worthas much as a 300 yard drive, so true.

Short term goal = break 90 and not waste shots on my drive.

Long term goal = break 87 and 2 putt everyhole. (James hinted I should be aiming for 82….to which I suppose if I didn’t have a job interferring with my golfing life, a wife and daughter I quite enjoy being with plus an infinite amount of cash to spend on green fees, then yes, 82 could be on the cards).

Now, going back to the fairway wood fear. I’m conscious this is a shot that needs distance of at least 150 yards and the novice in me has traditionally decided to ‘give it beans’ on most occasions.  And this is exactly where I’m going wrong by throttling the club and gripping it incorrectly! James told me to take a few warm up shots (into the cinematic golf course on the screen in front of me) which I have to say was a little freaky at first, I was tentatively hitting around 100 yards though the trajectory into the cyber golf course seemed to be accurate and straight.

On the computer monitor behind us, he then pulled up Mark O’Meara on a practice ground and split the screen next to my swing. I looked like an 84 year old with arthritis next to a fluently swinging pro. Quite expertly, James pinpointed my stiff half back swing was down to my throttling on the club and the fact I was placing the club across my left palm and not my fingers.

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This meant that on my backswing I could only go so far as my wrist wouldnt ‘cock’ properly. He drew some tramlines on my glove, I gripped the club across my fingers (not my palm) and hey presto I started to backswing past the halfway mark and reduced my screen age from 84 to 32 years old! Using just the same amount of force I suddenly found myself spanking the ball 140 yards, which is a more respectable distance for the 7 iron, whether one is indoors or not!

Clearly, all I wanted to do after the lesson was to go and play 18 holes of golf but James warned me not to practice for real straight away, I was urged back to the driving range and even spend a a few hours each evening practicing my new grip in front of the television (though if X Factor is on I may find my 7 iron being thrust through the screen).

All in all, I do recommend the Video Lesson, the pro can draw lines across your swing motion, freeze frame when necessary and embarrass the hell out of you by putting up a pro next to you on the split screen.

Golf Video Lesson Screen Chorlton GC

Golf Video Lesson Screen Chorlton GC

It’s very cool, there are lasers at your feet and yellow direction lines signalling ball flight and stats galore flashing up on the screen, and all this from the warmth of a coaching studio in November.

Will I be going back for more? I’m not sure, I definitely would if it wasn’t all the way over in Manchester and I am considering taking some element of coaching before next spring arrives and my quest to break 90 continues. I now know that gripping my club incorrectly has been hampering my distance with every single club in the bag and that’s got to change.

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