My brother, Paul and I — I’m Neil by the way — came up with PuttBANDIT because we wanted to be better golfers (for the full story, see our About Us page). We’re not the best golfers. We may dream of being scratch golfers, hitting the ball 300 yards and turning the ball both ways in the air on demand, but in reality, we’re just real-world golfers, the same as millions of others who love the game, come rain or shine, good rounds or bad.

Strive for perfection

This doesn’t stop us from wanting to be better, though. I play off 16 (pre WHS) and am still striving to get to that magic mark of a single-figure golfer. Even aged 55 and with a few aches and pains, that 9 handicap is still teasing me to be better. I play twice a week — mostly — and hit a few hundred golf balls a week at the range. I’m an avid golf tip sponge: magazines, blogs, Facebook, that YouTube thing, whatever it may be, I’ve read all of them and tried most of them. Some of them work, for a while at least, and then another issue raises its ugly 2-inch-deep divot.

How hard can it be?

Better putting, particularly my line, has brought my handicap down, but consistency off the tee, especially with my longer irons, seems to be holding me back. I’ve had a few lessons in the past, but I just never clicked with any of the pros, and my head came away full of a million swing thoughts and conflicting advice. So I avoided it. I knew better, of course; I could do this on my own. After all I’ve read everything there is to know about golf swings, practice drills and course strategy. How hard can it be?

It took a while, but the truth finally dawned: I didn’t know better at all.

Lesson learned

So recently I booked a few short lessons with different pros, not specifically for the advice, but to find one who suited me and understood me. After a few different teachers, I did find one. Gareth understood the real-world golfer. Chipping was my first full lesson. The opportunity to take a few simple tweaks on board and actually see the results on a real practice green gave me so much confidence.

Visibly better

I’m a fader (some critical observers may call it a slice), but it’s great to be able to see my swing on video before and after a couple of simple changes, so that I can see the results and understand why I’ve improved. I’m still not the best chipper or driver in the world, and never will be, but I’m really keen to practice and to get more consistent. I’m now excited to get out there and practice.

So if you have golfing problems you want to fix, whatever your standard, shop about. After all you wouldn’t by a car without test driving it.

Play well

Send us your golf lesson stories and practice tips. Email them to us at and we’ll publish some of the best in our monthly newsletter.

Neil is a director of PuttBANDIT Ltd, and co-inventor of the PuttBANDIT ball marker. Neil currently plays off a handicap index of 16.1.