As I said goodbye to my Tarleton Pro/Am team I welcomed the 12 Bedfordshire Ladies from my home club — Bedfordshire GC. The sun was shining and the ladies were all ready to play.
Our first day started with a long game session on the range where we covered the list of check points including how to grip, ball position and balance. I think everyone enjoyed hitting balls in the sunshine. We then headed over to the pitching green to work on achieving good contact with the ball and judging and hitting to selected distances. After lunch we set of to the South Course to put the mornings work into practice. This session was combined with an on course video session including a selection of each player.
Starting day 2 with long game coaching and practice on the North Practice Ground. Today was a tad chilly but fortunately the sun appeared and the temperature was lovely. Following this we moved over to the short game area and focused on long pitch shots. This included hitting over the bunker, hitting the targets including into baskets as well as tees and coloured posts. This was a really fun session giving rise to great mirth as well as a relaxed approach to the tasks. After an enjoyable lunch the girls played the tricky North Course which gave opportunity to try out some new ideas and techniques.
On day 3 we again started working on aspects of the long game with emphasis on driving the ball. In particular we talked over the importance of setting the correct tee height and the appropriate set up to achieve the proper ball height in flight. So many players have a belief that with high ball flight they will lose distance. This is absolutely not true. We followed that session with some more coaching and practice on the short game. All in all it was a nice day and improvements were noted.
Day 4 was the scheduled match day between the 2 Bedfordshire clubs. The match is called the Hospital Cup, so we made the draw for partners. On this occasion it was a white wash for Bedfordshire GC winning 3 – 0. After lunch I had planned the bunkers and putting session. I really like this particularly as it provides a lot of opportunity for the girls to try out new things. Firstly dealing with bunker shots I explained the 3 ideal ball positions for different lies. The club face should be slightly open for a good lie, square for a normal lie and a closed club face for a buried ball. In all cases a FULL swing is essential. Equally important is the need to look at the sand throughout the swing, making sure to hit the sand behind the ball. The key to making good bunker shots is practicing, being sure to always hit the sand, not slow down in the down swing and then follow right through the shot. Working on putting needs a good set up over the ball, keeping eyes absolutely still, and practice the exact routines each individual uses on the course. This is ‘practice like you play’. A good drill is to place 4 balls around the practice hole; make a reading of the green; aim the ball along a line to the hole, taking account of what you read in the green; go through the practice swing and then hit the ball. Again ‘practice like you play.’
As is always the case day 5 arrives very quickly. We played in the morning; unfortunately being a tad wet when we came in. The plan had been to set up a par 18 course for the afternoon but it was unfortunately too wet – such a pity. Nevertheless Claire was the winner on 31 points.
Thank you ladies for your hard work and good spirits. I very much appreciate your work and dedication. It was fun and I look forward to hearing how your season goes.