1ST tee at The Downs, Goodwood


I’ve worked with Russell Evans of The Steven Orr Golf Academy since 2017. My original goal was to get to scratch. I wasn’t convinced I could do it, but I was interested in the journey and whether I had the commitment to make it happen.

I see Russell roughly five times a year, and for the last two years, I‘ve also spent two whole days with him. Russ is based in Rustington, a three-hour round trip, so that shows some commitment.

I’ve also stepped up my fitness and do a swap with Gavin Tew, a personal trainer of The Bournemouth Well Being Experience (twice a week working out on Bournemouth Beach) and have weekly 1-2-1 swimming lessons too which are more like an aqua gym session with Luis Clemente. So overall stamina (good for concentration) and general conditioning have improved.

Day 1

Last week I travelled down to Rustington armed with a wish list. We worked on the transition in the full swing (chasing the illusive lag) and on my putting posture. A quick hop up the road to Goodwood and we were on the 1st tee.

Alternative score card

Rather than just park the morning’s lesson and play 18 holes, Russell created a scorecard for the two morning swing thoughts. After each shot I had to announce on a 1-5 scale how committed I ‘d been to the swing thought and if the number was less than 5, what had got in the way and prevented total commitment. No, mean feat on such a challenging course but I stuck with the process.

3rd fairway The Downs Course, Goodwood GC

As an aside, birdied the first two par 3’s and was 1 under for all 4 par 3’sJ

Day 2

The next day, after torrential rain, we revisited the day 1 work (this was essential to ensure I hadn’t misinterpreted the key transition move) and then focused on greenside chips out of heavy/wet rough and bunker shots off wet sand. Good progress was made on all counts.

Practice putting green at Rustington GC.

So, have I achieved a scratch handicap – not yet! Have I improved – absolutely!  Am I still curious and willing to learn – you bet I am!

Am I prepared to put in many hours of hard graft to get to scratch – well no actuallyJ However, I am prepared to practice in a “smart way” ensuring it’s enjoyable rather than a penance. Current handicap 4.4. Watch this space…


It’s a real treat to be able to immerse myself in my golf swing and a very supportive/no “right or wrong” environment. I am able to try new concepts, experience them first hand and then share them with you, dear reader, back at The Parley Golf Centre.

If you’d like to learn more about any of the aspects covered in this blog, more than happy to help.

Tonyhand123@btinternet.com 07764 895 045 www.thegolfswingcompany.com

Luis Clemente – 1-2-1 swimming instructor 07747 745 380