BallsDear Dr Jackson,

Since a recent incident at work involving a threat to end all life on Earth by destroying canisters of nerve gas, I seem to have lost my drive. I used to be able to hit that sweet spot every single time, but now I am struggling to simply maintain my grip. My last encounter with my partner was most unsatisfying as   I simply couldn’t get it in the hole, despite several attempts. I have researched various techniques and have changed my grip, but I am still unable to get a straight line. Perhaps my stance needs correcting, or I am not following through correctly. Whatever, I am dreading our next meeting as I have agreed to play in a mixed foursome for the first time.     I don’t have much of a handicap, but I am off the pace at the moment and my chipper is damaged.

I would be grateful for any advice you can give me.



Dear ex-USAF-Col,

This is a problem that afflicts many men in middle-age. They feel that they should be able to achieve the same goals as they did at a much earlier age. Let me reassure you that you are not alone. The male physique peaks at the age of 25 and after that it is a slow downhill progression. As you approach middle age, you should not be expecting to achieve the same levels of performance  that you were capable of when younger. There are however several tried and tested ways to enhance your performance.

Firstly; ensure that you are well rested. Early morning or even afternoon might be the best time to indulge in your favourite activity. As long as your partner does not object to an early start, you should find that your concentration and physical fitness are at their peak  then. Exercise late at  night is not always the best thing. You will no doubt be stressed and perhaps too tired to get into the swing of things.  Alcohol consumption has a deleterious effect on one’s ability  so it is advisable to avoid drinking more than one glass of wine.

Secondly; Make sure that you have had something to eat beforehand. Not too much, as an overfull digestive system can cause embarrassing problems. Consider your choice of foods carefully. There are many delicacies that are recommended. Oysters, fillet steak, bananas, chilli peppers, raspberries and strawberries . All these foods  are said to stimulate   one’s drive and increase performance, especially if shared with one’s partner.

Thirdly; Relax, this is not a competition. You should be enjoying yourself. Loosen those shoulders, take a few deep breaths, relax. If you are tense and uptight then it is no wonder that things are not going well. You don’t need to keep a scorecard of your achievements. Make sure you are in a comfortable position and let your partner take the lead for once.

I hope this has been of some value.

Dr Jackson.

Dear Dr Jackson,

Thank you for replying. I have followed your advice but have found that some aspects were difficult to put into practice.  My job entails long hours and as a result I am often unable to get away in time to have an early start. My partner often works on a different rota pattern and it is hard to find the opportunity to meet at a suitably convenient time. However, I have restructured the roster so that hopefully I can at least get a couple of sessions in each week, even if I am by myself. At least that way no one can see my poor performance.

I have also stocked up on the foods that you suggested, although I do not particularly enjoy bananas. It did cause a few problems though last time when I tried to persuade my partner to eat several strawberries as we headed for the first  hole.

I have concentrated on loosening my shoulders as well as letting my partner take the lead, but my drive has, if anything, worsened. I can no longer even get my balls onto the green. The likelihood of  me getting a hole-in-one has virtually vanished now.

And the secretary at the club was very difficult when I said that I had thrown away my score card and threatened to cancel my membership.



Dear ex-USAF-Col,




Okay. Here is what you need to do:

1: Spread your feet wider and make sure your balance and weight transfer are steady before you start to swing. This will give you better control and power

2 Weight transfer is the prime factor in getting a good straight drive. Concentrate on the sequence of moves  and listen to your body, while maintaining a good balance.

  1. Allow the power to build up within you and then release as you hit the ball. The power should increase as you swing.
  2. Concentrate on that balance all the time. Maintain good posture throughout, with a straight spine and chin out. Weight should be evenly distributed at all times.
  3. Visualise where you want your balls to end up. See them landing in the middle of the fairway. This will focus your mind on the task ahead and will enable you to concentrate on achieving your goal. Many professional golfers have sought guidance from Psychoanalytical Experts such as myself in order  to help them improve their putting. Golf is not solely a physical activity, there is a considerable psychosomatic aspect to the game, as well as a need for correct wrist hinge and a full body swing at the opportune moment.

Please come to see me  tomorrow when we can discuss your swing over a cup of coffee.

Yours Dr. Jackson. Handicap 16


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