Richardson swings back into action

Steve Richardson
Steve Richardson
Scott Gregory. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Steve Richardson admits he is taking small steps as he bids to rediscover his long-lost best.

The former Ryder Cup star has been making some drastic swing changes under the guidance of Tournerbury pro Kevin Flynn in an to attempt to rekindle the game that earned him three European Tour wins and a tied-fifth place in the US PGA Championship in 1991.

But while he has been encouraged by his progress, the 44-year-old believes it will take time before he is able to trust his golf swing again.

Richardson said: ‘I’ve been working hard on it but I haven’t really perfected it just yet.

‘The stuff on the back-swing is looking good but I haven’t got it right on the way down yet.

‘There’s also the thing that I’ve been able to do it on the range and not got it totally buzzing on the course.

‘But it’s work in progress at the moment.

‘It’s early days and I haven’t tested it strongly in a competition or anything like that.

‘I think it will take me months of grinding it out on the range. I just have to stick at it.’

Considering the Lee-on-the-Solent star was one of the hottest talents in the game in the early 1990s, Richardson admits some technical changes to his game and a general loss of confidence eventually saw him lose his tour card in 2001.

He said: ‘I’ve lost a lot of my game over a period of time.

‘I lost some technique and then I lost my confidence. That’s the top and bottom of it.

‘I’ve never quite been able to get it back.

‘You always do different things. Some things work and some don’t.

‘But I’m being disciplined now.

‘Kev is a positive lad and he’s been really good to work with.

‘I just need to take little steps at the moment. I can’t think too big time just yet.’

While Richardson is understandably not getting carried away in the changes to his game, he has seen reasons to be positive as he attempts to flatten the steep swing trajectory into the ball that has caused him problems.

He explained: ‘My iron play is still pretty good but my driver is still my Achilles’ heel.

‘I can still hit a low fade on the course when I get too steep on it.

‘When it’s not a good day, it can go off low and left or low and right.

‘I’m changing it but, sometimes on the course, I get a bit stuck between the two.

‘But when you’ve been doing something for so many years, it can be hard to change it.

‘I get frustrated with the game sometimes, but I still love golf. It still means a lot to me.

‘I enjoy competing and I enjoy the people I meet – golf has been good to me. But I still want to be able to hit the ball well.’

And while it may be six years away, Richardson is eyeing a place on the seniors tour when he turns 50.

He said: ‘It’s a long way down the line. I need to see how I get along and build up my confidence.

‘I’m maybe thinking about getting my game together for the seniors tour, which is six years away.

‘I’ll have an exemption when I start, which will be good.

‘But I’ve been struggling for so long that I need to be playing well for a period of time to get it all on track.’