Hi my name is Robert D’Arcy Ryan and I started playing golf when I was around 12 years old. I joined West Wilts Golf Club near Warminster in Wiltshire, UK. My Dad bought me a second hand set of PGF Aristocrat Blades (including a bone jangling 2 iron!) costing 80 British Pounds from the club pro shop. I can’t remember if it was my idea, or the golf pro at the shop, but clearly they weren’t the best clubs to learn with! The lowest my handicap reached was 19 and my best round of golf was a 10 over par. I won club’s the 72 hole Junior Masters playing off a 36 handicap!
West Wilts golf course is exposed on top of a hill so the conditions could get quite severe. I regularly played in strong winds, rain and fog. I remember on several occasions standing on the 1st tee with about 20 meters of visibility and teeing a fluorescent yellow ball hitting it and picking the entry line to the fog and following it until I found the ball – hopefully!
I went on 2 golf trips to Scotland with school and played some terrific courses playing 36 holes a day for a week including St Andrews New and Jubilee courses and the hardest course I have played to date – Carnoustie.
There is a lot of information online, but not much that talks specifically to Senior Golfers. I turned 40 last year and after a approx. 15 years of only playing a few times a year I decided to get back into the game.
On my first round back, albeit on a challenging course I shot 50 over par! I wen to get 6 lessons from the pro at New South Wales golf club and then practiced a lot of drills and read a lot of advice.
I want to share with you the drills that have helped me the most and the ones I continue to try out and test to improve aspects of my game.
I live at Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, have a full time job and only get to play every second weekend so I am always looking for maximum skills improvements with the least practice time. Having played the game now for more than 25 years I believe the game is approx. 50% Mindset, 25% Fitness and 25% Skills.
I believe in the right kind of practice to build muscle memory.
No 2 swings are the same so analysing and looking at data on your own swing with a few pointers from a knowledgeable observer is some of the best time you can spend to understand your swing and improve.
Getting some good fundamental lessons early on helps to set you on the right course and avoid picking up bad habits and then studying and analysing your own swing to improve is some of the best advice I have received.
Over the past 12 months I have been able to drop my handicap by more than 10 shots playing every second weekend with the odd range session of practice round thrown in between.
Despite turning 41 this year I am hitting the ball further and more consistently than ever before.
Over the past 12 months I have won 3 club competitions and bettered by handicap on more than 10 occasions. I will share what’s worked for me in the hope that it may be of some benefit.
My hope for Senior Golfers Clubhouse is that it becomes a Club where Senior Golfers can get and share advice to improve, forge friendships and have a laugh.
Wishing you every success on and off the course and I look forward to seeing you in the Clubhouse :-).
Robert D’Arcy Ryan
Senior Golfers Clubhouse
Where Senior Golfers meet their best game