After two weeks of hitting balls at the driving range, it became very clear that all was not well. Short irons were pretty good but long irons were frankly rubbish. And as for the big woods? Well, I simply couldn’t hit them for toffee. So I signed up for a lesson. What became clear was that my grip, and consequently my swing, were incorrect. My timing, eye for the ball and strength were excellent and so with the short clubs I was able to compensate for my bad grip and get the balls away. But with the longer clubs I had no chance. I now have to re-learn a completely new way of holding and swinging a golf club. And I’ve learnt two big lessons:
Firstly, change isn’t easy. Doing things differently goes against every instinct (and muscle). The body and mind fight against any imposed change and constantly try and revert to the familiar however wrong it knows it to be. Real change requires practice, a vision of the future and commitment.
Secondly, I rather belatedly realised that it often requires outside help to make the change effective. I was put off by the cost of the lesson (a false economy) and because I thought that I had all the answers. Indeed, I thought that perseverance would be enough. In fact, I was persevering in the wrong direction. Sometimes we need to listen to outside advice. Sometimes we need to accept that experts can bring wide experience to a situation. And sometimes we need to realise that we are blind to those things in front of us but that outsiders can see issues with greater clarity. It is not always a case of physician heal thyself. Second opinions are important.
Now it is back to the range, but this time with the knowledge that what feels wrong is in fact right.