Oh what to do without golf during lockdown?
We’re getting PuttBANDIT up and running as soon as possible, despite the challenges that lockdown brings. But outside of that, I’ve worn a groove in my living room carpet, not just from putting, but by practicing my very short chips, trying to get the ball to land softly onto the sofa – yes, thinned quite a few, but no damage.
I’ve watched the requisite coaching videos, read the mags, played WGT online, cleaned all my clubs and tidied my car boot – which, when I’m playing, is really a permanent golf equipment locker. That took a couple of weeks. So what next?
Fixing the roof
One thing has bugged me for ages: the brolly position on my golf trolley is wrong for me. When it rains, my club heads get wet.
Clearly the designers had played in the wrong type of rain. It’s normally situated near the handle, but I decided to move it down.
Easier said than done, and I will only know if it works when it rains on the course. But I’m a little bit chuffed.
My 3-wood gets a battering and the top face is a bit shabby to say the least.
So with some sandpaper, masking tape and spray paint, I effectively have a new 3-wood, from the top at least, and will of course be hitting the ball much straighter now too.
My winter golf shoes (those with the decent spikes that stop you slipping down hills in the wet) gave up the ghost a while ago.
Simple, I’ll get a new pair. Well, the choices are endless: from £20 to £200, Hybrid, Flex, High traction, Infinity outsoles and even yak leather. I settled on a mid-priced pair that should keep my feet dry. Only time will tell. We’ll see how long they stay nice and white.
And as for the home practice net, luckily I had some proper golf netting that I never used from the first lockdown. It worked great for about 2 sessions – even though there is no real feedback to where the ball is going.
Then disaster: straight through the netting, arrowing for the house behind. Luckily a hedge prevented a serious neighbor incident, but fear has prevented me from further use. Looks more like a trawlerman’s net now!
My net is really only good for practicing the swing and keeping loose, so I purchased a swing training weight ball-on-a-stick thing. It’s actually very good to help me keep loose and remember how to swing a golf club.
Of course on the joyous day we get back on the green, I will still be standing over the first drive with enormous trepidation, and end up making an 8 on the opening par 5.
Play well when you can
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Neil Hart is a founding director of PuttBANDIT Ltd, co-inventor of the PuttBANDIT Ball Marker. Neil currently plays of a handicap index of 13.3.
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