This golf journey, as we must call every life experience these days, has now been going on for some 20 months of my life.

I started off with nothing and I’ve still got most of it left, as Seasick Steve observed.

Still, it’s been a lot of fun, sometimes!

My first round on the Thornbury Par 3, which is much more substantial than a municipal pitch and putt course, saw me card a 94.  That’s the sort of score that makes you want to give up.  But I didn’t give up and last summer I recorded a 59, just five over par.

Progress, for sure, but I am struggling to progress on the big courses.

Last year, I managed a very impressive 87 on the Woodlands Signature Course in Bradley Stoke and thought I had it made.  Since then, I have rarely broken 100 and some days it’s much worse than that.

My first, and to date only, venture onto the Kendleshire saw me card a humiliating 132.  I feel I really should be doing better than that.

My coach, Sam Hughes, has turned someone with no obvious ability into someone with a bit, but I still need him from time to time to smooth over those rough edges.

My driving was abysmal when I saw Sam last week at Saltford.  He sees imperfections in your game and tweaks them and soon I was smacking the ball 200 yards, sometimes straight.  Same with my long iron game.

I put the changes into action at Woodlands on the Masters Course today and for the first six holes I was not that much over par.  But the first six holes are usually the easiest (even though I managed to hit a ball into the lake on the fourth).  Seven was okay, although my short game went to pot on this one, but eight saw me record a piss poor 11.  It’s a longish narrow Par 4 and longish and narrow are not my favourite two words.

And it got worse and worse.

On the 12th, where you hit across a small valley (slight exaggeration) I hit it a long way, albeit a long way right too.  I found my ball and hit a five iron to within 50 yards but then there was a terrific hail storm, followed by rain.  I was soaked to the skin within 10 seconds and, shivering, decided in the most cowardly fashion to call it a day.

I fear I may have hit a plateau now, one from which I may never really improve apart from the odd decent round.  Time is against me (old dogs, new tricks and all that) and I worry I might lose my enthusiasm if I don’t improve more and maybe get even worse!

There’s always tomorrow, I suppose, and I may well celebrate my birthday in the driving range, slicing and hooking some balls around Thornbury.

Maybe I need to play – and practice – even more to improve, or not get worse?