Not for the first time, I did things somewhat arse backwards today.

For a couple of weeks, my golf game, never quite at Tiger Woods’ levels, has been in bits, culminating in a motorway pile-up as opposed to car crash round of 130 on the Thornbury Par Three last week.

My partner, who knows as much about golf as I know about rocket science, advised me, solemnly, to practice on the golf range before playing another round.

But I knew best.

I had already worked out where my game had gone wrong and I would put things right just by playing.

And the course was suitably half-empty by the time I arrived.  Just the small matter of getting back in the swing of things, as us top notch golfers say.

Naturally, it didn’t work out quite like that and soon I was slicing balls into the trees and into the long grass like I had just taken the game up.  It was painful to watch, I should imagine, but even more painful to play.

And I steadily got worse and worse with every shot.  My final score was 93, my third worst score ever.

With a bit of time on my hands, I elected to go on the golf range 
to try and put things right, although I feared the worst.

I paid for 50 balls and made my way to the range, standing as far away from the other players as possible.

I started with a seven iron and – hey presto – I was hitting the ball beautifully.  Long and by and large straight.

Then I went for a hybrid and, with one or two wild shots excepted, the balls was travelling – and I kid you not – some 200 yards.

And then the pitching wedge, from which my golf balls have been heading off virtually at right angles but not now.

Totally relaxed (was this a clue?), I was hitting some absolute gems and not one, not bleeding one, ball went anywhere other than where I intended it to go.

And it didn’t feel like I was doing anything different from what I was doing when I was hacking and slicing my way round the course, losing eight – eight!!! – balls in the process, three on the same hole.

Now I don’t really get this.

What has changed in my game to make it almost impossible to get the ball in the air, never mind the right direction, and yet when I got on the range I was transformed into Rory McIlroy, sort of?

I am now full of confidence, which can be a disaster for anyone who plays golf.

Doubtless I shall now turn up, probably tomorrow, and play like an idiot again.

I love my golf, I really do, and I got my mojo back tonight. 

But once you think you have this game cracked, it rips you to shreds.