I've been hanging around in here for some years, observing the ramblings of others' journeys in golf and felt it was time to offer my own foibles for ridicule.
So, I'll start with a bit of history.
My father was an avid golfer, a founding member at Box Hill. He went there after work each day, every Saturday and most Sundays. My brother and I rarely saw him, except in the evenings which was fine by us as all he did was grumble at us. Every second Sunday, he would take my (older) brother and I to his mother's (our 'Nanna') for us to mow her lawns. Then a quick cuppa, off home to drop us off, then on to the club. He did, however, get us our fist clubs (3, 5, 7, putter & wood) but left it to us to take ourselves to Wattle Park if we felt the urge. He did sign me up as a junior member at Box Hill & paid for a couple of lessons, but never played golf with either of us and didn't renew the membership the following year. I found other interests through my teens.
Time progresses and I got to age 50, had moved to the Dandenong Ranges, was too fat and the joints were starting to lock up. As I won't walk just for the sake of walking (why would I when I can drive to wherever in a few minutes?) I decided to have another go at golf with the Olinda course 5km up the road. At least then I'd have a reason to walk.
I soon met some club members and was encouraged to join, and so 'it' began. That was 17 years ago.
As you can imagine, my golfing skill was virtually non-existent. I had a big slice - doesn't everybody start with one? I was on the maximum handicap (32 then) for two years before finally starting the downward trend. After some years, I got my handicap down to something like 14 and then, one day, I had a fantastic round of just 4 over par. That took my 'cap down to 11.6, my lowest ever. The problem was that I couldn't play to it, and every time I played, my 'cap would go out by the usual 0.1. I tried everything to 'fix' my swing, I bought DVDs, had a couple of lessons, tried this, tried that. I learned a lot about what's supposed to happen in the golf swing and eventually arrested the slide when my handicap got to around 19. Since then, my 'cap has cycled between around 16 (summer/autumn) and 21 (after winter rains).
I'm still not convinced that my swing is as it should be, although it feels like I'm doing what I'm supposed to. But a good drive, for me, and which is not downhill assisted, tops out around the 200m mark. While 250m would be great, I'm just trying to get a bit more length and if I can get to 225-230m before I'm topped out by my age, that would be reasonably satisfying.
I filmed my swing a few years ago, thinking I was doing it all correctly, and was horrified by what I saw. I had thrown the lag before the hands got to the thigh, chicken wing, flipping the wrists, head bobbing down and up. So, I've been on a 'constant improvement programme' since then. While I believe my swing is better (I wouldn't say 'fixed'), my handicap hasn't really changed much and that's the real measure of any success. I suppose I'd better just film it again, but I'm scared I might not see much improvement.