Did not play any new courses this week and in fact because of weather played less than ususal. Three rounds all in the 70’s but nothing spectacular. Started off with a 76 at Riverview, a 78 at South Park from the blues, and today at Highland Springs in Wellsburg, West Va. shot 77. I’m in one of these spells right now where I am doing all right but make one or two big mistakes which takes me out of shooting a really good round. Tried a new old putter the last two rounds which did not help at all so will be going back to the putter I have used for almost the whole year except for about 4 rounds. The swing really came together today put the putter really let me down, so again the score was not as good as it could have been. No new insights on the mental game to report on either. Obviously the American Ryder Cup team does not have any new insights either. How about Rory showing up about 10 minutes before his tee time and still playing well. That goes to show you it can be done on any level. Just show up on the first tee and give it a bang. Going to be playing a new course this week for sure but it will be too far away to put it on the list. Hopefully the weather will be a little better but we are getting into that time of the year where it could be anything, but hopefully we have a lot of golf left. We will see what another week of playing this goofy game will bring. By the way I will be writing the blog from San Diego next weekend as it will be grand kids time again.
No new courses were added this week, but a busy week none the less. I played solid if not spectacular golf all week with scores of 77, 77, 73, and 75. My swing is slowly getting back to the feel of mid summer. This week I would like to write about what I feel is the real key to having success with the less than full swing game and putting. This has nothing to do with technique or a certain method. The key to success in both areas is to make sure that you do not look up to see where the shot is going until you can focus on the spot where the ball use to sit. You do not too be overly conscious of the ball, just the spot after the ball leaves. In the case of putting you should clearly see the blades of grass that were underneath the ball before you look up to see where the ball is. In the case of the less than full swing you should clearly see the grass that was disturbed by the shot before you look up. In the case of 40 to 80 yard pitch shots you should clearly see the divot before you look up to see where the shot went. Besides seeing a big improvement in the results of your shots you will discover one other amazing thing. Despite not looking up until you focus on the grass where the ball was, you will still see about 75 to 80 per cent of the shot. For example on a putt about 20 feet, you stroke the ball, focus on the grass, then look up and you will still see the ball about 14 to 15 feet from the hole. On chips and pitches you will notice the same phenomenon. What this means of course, is this really doesn’t take very long. Like a lot things in golf this sounds easier than it really is but if you consciously try this you will see a great improvement in that area of the game . Like everything else, this is a process and will take some time but if you really do this, the results will come. What’s great about this is you will improve with no change in your technique. I do not recommend for the full swing because it will restrict your swing too much. Try it you’ll like it see you next week.
Just got back from watching the Steelers thrash the Jets 27 to 10 and since I am on this high, thought I would get the blog done tonight rather than wait until tomorrow. Played course number 85 this week, Stoughton Acres in Butler Pa. which is a 65 minute drive. This course is one of the best bargains of all the courses we play. We only had a threesome when we played and even though they do not charge half cart fees, we played 18 holes and had lunch for 23.50 apiece. We could have had a bowl of soup, hot dog , chips, and a can of pop. We did not have the soup but the hot dog was very good and you could not beat the price. This was the course we tried to play a few weeks ago but the greens were top dressed but they healed up real well were running a 6 on the stimp and were in great shape. The course was 62oo yards and played to a par of 72. The clubhouse is more like an antique store than a pro shop but does have some cool golf stuff. The course is hilly but very playable and was in good condition with the fairways full and the rough was grown in nicely. This course we tandomed up with Lake Arthur for a very nice day. The course is worth the trip for a 36 hole day. The group played ok as I had a 79, Pete had 84 and David 89. I had a real good round out of the blue on Thursday at Indian Run, shooting a one over 72. I shot 77 at Lake Arthur and today at Scenic Valley a very non-describt 79. I have been doing this swing thing now for almost a year and overall my game has come back from the ashes. Since I started this my index has gone down from 5.7 to its current 3.0. At one time this year I was down to 2.1. The last month or so has been a little frustrating. I seemed to have lost something with the swing the last 6 weeks or so. Its been a bit of a mystery. Every time I think I am back in the groove I have a setback. The good news is this is the longest I have ever swung the club basically the same way. When I made the slight change in the swing the middle of this summer and then went back to the way I was doing it before, I just can’t seem to keep contol of the swing like I did before. We will see what the next 2 months bring. That is just about what is left of this golf season. The search will contiue as I have fifteen courses to go.
Played course number 84 today as we went to the Phoenix at Buffalo Valley. I had thought that I had never played this course before but when we pulled into the parking lot, I was beginning to recognize some things and sure enough I had played it once before about 5 or 6 years ago. Another senior moment had occured. I did remember the holes as we played them, but I still don’t remember driving there. This course is located in Freeport, Pa., about a 60 minute drive. The course played about 6400 yards from the tees we played from and can be stretched to amost 6800 yards and plays to a par of 71. This course is pretty narrow and has a good variey of holes with water and lots of trees. The course is very hilly with some blind tee shots. Unfortunately the course was in just fair shape to say the least. The fairways were really bad and the rough was ok but had many bare spots and weird grass growing in some spots. The greens were slow barely make a 4.75 on the stimp. They putted smooth enough but at times they seemed that they needed rolled because a lot of putts really seemed to wiggle back and forth. The hot dog at the turn was pretty good but overpriced. This course was the 84th course we played and that is pretty close to where it will be ranked at the end of the trek in the bottom 20. Obviously this course is not worth the trip. The group had a so so day as Tony and I shot 79, and Pete and David had 87 and 88 respectively. On Monday and Wednesday I shot 79 and 81 and did not have a lot of confidence going into the South Park Senior Championship. But some conservative thinking and a white hot putter (25 putts ) helped me stagger in with a one over 73 and a top 6 finish. This is why I call this game goofy. Needless to say I have not fixed what is ailing my game lately. Other than the tournament I have not broken 79 for about 6 or 7 straight rounds. I will be adding some more courses this week and hopefully can start to play better. Eighty four courses down and sixteen to go.
Played two new courses this week as we had a very nice 36 hole day on Wednesday. First we played Pittsburgh National in Gibsonia, Pa., about a 45 minute drive. We played from tees that played about 6400 yards and the greens were running a nice 6.5 on the stimp, and were very smooth. There are tees that will stretch the course to 6900 yards. The course was in very good condition over all and was very challenging. It had a great variety of holes and played to a par of 72. The course was tight in some places and was hilly. Lots of trees and some water that came into play. This course was worth the trip. The hot dog at the turn was just fair and it took awhile to get it, and this was around 1:30pm. The group played ok but none of us scoredvery well. I shot 83, Pete 85, David 93, and Tom 90. Then three of us went up the road to play Saxon in Sarver, Pa. This course is what I call the perfect community course. First of all it is very flat which makes walking a breeze. The two nines have quite a contrast with the front being wide open and the back tightening things up just a bit with some tree lined fairways. The course played about 6600 yards from the blues to a par of 72. The greens were not quite as good as Pittsburgh Nat. as they ran about a 5 on stimp and had some bad spots. The fairways were a little long but were fine to play the ball without getting any bad lies. This course is not worth the trip but if you live within 20 to 25 minutes of the course, this should be your go to course when you don’t want to make a trip. The hot dog at the turn was superior to the one at Pittsburgh National, with a great taste and some fine condiments. I really enjoyed this course despite some of it short comings, and again I did not score very well. I shot 82, Pete 77, and David 87. My scoring problems continued the rest of the week. I shot a 79 at Indian Run of Thursday and an 80 at Pittsburgh North today. Putting and some poor club selections on iron shots has been the main culprit for the high scores. This week with weather permitting I am playing tomorrow, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday. I am hitting the ball reasonalbly well but even that took a bit of decline this past week. Will see what happens this week, as on Thursday is the South Park Seniors. Eighty three courses down and seventeen to go.