Disappointment: Randy on the range. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead
Disappointment: Randy on the range. *Photo by Nicola Muirhead

Randy, an employee at Tucker’s Point, and a newcomer to golf, was set a challenge by the club’s pro Paul Adams.

It was to learn to play the game in 20 hours, compete in the Bacardi National Par 3 this weekend, to score respectably and to qualify for the World Par 3 Championship in March. So with the challenge set, what’s Randy been working on?

o close but so far. At the beginning of this challenge Randy and myself had been pretty confident of being able to get to a level where we could achieve a game good enough to be able to play in a golf tournament. 

Ten weeks with a lesson each week should not be too difficult? The thinking was that we would get 20 hours coaching and practice in before this coming weekend. Well life seemed to get in the way, like it does. 

We did not arrange a regular time to have coaching — mistake No1 —  and then Christmas and work projects got in the way.

While we did a little practice each week, it was no where near enough. In fact we never really spent more than 10 minutes in any one session. If we added up the time that we had it was barely five hours. Our challenge was to do it in 20 hours, five hours is just not going to cut it!

But the good news is we played nine holes and there was a lot of good points.

The short game was steady, chipping was good and distance control was solid. Certainly we avoided the embarrassment of hitting from one side of the hole to the other, never getting closer to the hole. 

So the short game was good, certainly good enough for the tournament. In fact, far superior to my expectations.

The bad news, Randy’s solid hitting on the range disappeared on the course, from low powerful hits they now turned into high floating lobs barely getting 100 yards. The classic mistake, under pressure, the grip tightens and the clubface remains open and the ball goes high and to the right. How can you cure that, the answer is it’s not easy.

The key part is to make sure the grip is correct and the pressure is relaxed.

A way of doing that is a swing trigger, simply waggling the club, much as Jason Dufner does so that the hands and wrists are relaxed. 

The problem is then reduced but much is related to the player relaxing and not being intimidated by the course.

So we have reassessed the challenge, we will now focus instead on the Grey Goose World Par 3 championship in March as the target and with renewed energy focused on getting ready for that.

Randy added: “While playing Turtle Hill Golf Course on Monday I soon realized I had not had enough coaching and practice time in order to play 36 holes with any sort of dignity. I wasn't striking the ball off the tee consistently, and my confidence plummeted. Overall I was very disappointed and made the decision not to play in the Bacardi Par 3.” 

Paul Adams is director of golf at Tucker’s Point. This weekend’s Bacardi National Par 3 is on Saturdy and Sunday at Turtle Hill Golf Club. It is the local qualifier for the World Par 3 in March.