The Hacker: With this new control I may not be as sloppy but now I'm slappy

I am ashamed to confess that my crusade to break 100 in a medal this year failed at the very first challenge. I must, however, claim extenuating circumstances because the March medal left a trail of devastation among much better players than me.

After five months of horrible winter weather we were all looking forward to the first proper tournament of spring after so long off winter tees.

But it was a harsh reintroduction to medal golf. The course was playable but exceedingly soggy and by moving the medal tees as far back as possible they presented us with a course playing very long.

It was a hard, gruelling slog which made it all the more amazing that one of our younger stars came sailing in with a gross 68. His playing partners said that Jordan, who plays off three, hit the ball like a god. He now plays off two.

Jordan's score was six shots better than the next best gross and only eight of the 159 who played in the competition managed to break 80.

My score, if you must know, was 111, which was far from the worst. Tom came in with 133 but I haven't seen him since for an explanation. He's probably still under the bed.

My playing partners agreed that I was undoubtedly hitting the ball straighter but they had their own worries. Mike scored a career-worst 109 while Max took a 10 on the ninth after playing the wrong ball, then lost his drive on the 17th before calling it a day.

Altogether, counting the non-returns, 45 failed to break 100. My nett score of 83, a total I shared with a seven-handicapper, meant that over 50 finished worse than me.

None of which excuses my failure but everything must be seen in perspective. Repeating the name Alexander Lebedev during my swing is definitely controlling my tempo in my aim to slow down my swing, upon which subject I have recently received two encouraging emails.

Richard Taylor writes that he slowed it down and played safe last year and his handicap has dropped from 23 to 18.5, while Phil Jones has given me the benefit of his long experience of the subject.

He writes: "Being a golfer (handicap 18ish) who continuously records his latest key swing thoughts, the slow swing has always figured in the copious aide-mémoire notes I have compiled over the years. If I were to catalogue these notes into one volume, it would be the size of the Oxford English dictionary."

From personal experience, Phil reckons that the search for the slower swing can lead to overuse of the hands and arms to try to maintain control and the neglect of the all-important turning of the shoulders and hips.

This may result in a straight shot but one with markedly reduced distance. It gives the feeling of a "slappy" shot rather than a crisp hit.

So, Phil advises, by all means cultivate that slower swing but do not forget to turn. Hence his swing mantra is not a name but "Turn one-two, back one-two".

He concludes his entertaining note: "Good luck in your quest for a two-figure medal... And remember, the golf swing should be produced like 'The Independent' used to be – without Russian."

In the interests of security – mine – I would like to emphasise that Phil is making a neat and amusing play on words. What he really means is "without rushing" – geddit?

p.corrigan@independent.co.uk

Tip of the week

No 45: the 15th club in the bag

The most important accessory you can carry in your golf bag is free and may save you more shots than any club. What is it? 'The Rules of Golf'. It amazes me how few golfers carry a rule book with them and are unaware of the rules they may be breaking.

Would you take relief if you landed in an animal's paw print in a bunker? If so, how would you take relief? Or how would you proceed if your ball finished on an "out of bounds" boundary line? Are you in or out of bounds?

These simple answers can be found in the rule book, but if you aren't carrying one, you are guessing the answers. Next time you are at your club, pick up 'The Rules of Golf', and keep an up-to-date copy with you when you play.

For real enthusiasts, the R&A even publish a 'Decisions on The Rules of Golf'.

Simon Iliffe, Head Pro, Purley Downs GC, Surrey www.theshortgame.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
video
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Amis: Taken to task over rash decisions and ill-judged statements
booksThe Zone of Interest just doesn't work, says James Runcie
Life and Style
life – it's not, says Rachel McKinnon
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Travel
travelFrom Notting Hill Carnival to Zombeavers at FrightFest
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home