Doing a Saturday blog because yours truly has been felled by a cold flu virus, and there was no golf this week. I am feeling better and Sunday golf will be played, but rather than just write about one round, I thought I would take this unexpected time off to breeze through a few unrelated subjects that have caught my interest lately.
First off with a little more time on my hands I decided to check in on the Golf Channel, which I don’t watch much anymore, and holy shitballs do they have the good looking women on there, now. Who cares about the quality of instruction when you get to watch that from the mid thigh down. That may sound chauvinistic, but I didn’t make them put on those skirts and shorts. I saw the playing with pros with Graeme McDowell and I don’t even know how he could have hit one good shot. I would have died after she took 2 swings. I would have been carted off the course with that frozen smile on my face.
Then there’s the NFL. Even though this week’s arrest for murder is by far the worst, since the Super Bowl, there have been over 2 dozen players arrested, as reported by the Post Gazette. Just think, if they ever decide to do a third version of The Longest Yard it could be based on a true story. If a franchise ever gets into trouble they could move the team to San Quentin. I can see it now the San Quentin Seagulls.
The only good thing about this virus was, it gave me time to research some courses and I found some in Ohio within the 90 minute time frame, so now I have more choices to round out the 100. I guess another good thing about the virus is, it might help explain my horrible round on Sunday. By body and mind was being ravaged and destroyed by this horrible minute creature. See, I knew it wasn’t me. I always said the yips were caused by a virus.
Finally I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about my beloved and up to now at least, pathetic Pittsburgh Pirates. As of June 29th 2013 they have the best record in all of baseball. However with 20 consecutive losing seasons under their belt, I for one do not think that the 82ond win is a given. I have nightmares about them being 80 and 75 and losing their last 7 in a row to sew up season number 21. Right now the city has got baseball fever and I am loving every minute of it. Last year the Pirates were the first team in baseball to be 16 games over 500 in August and still did not finish over 500 and really weren’t even close. We will see if this will be collapse no 3.
Looking forward to playing tomorrow and continuing the search. This break has given me a lot of new ideas. I am sure many of them will find the toilet, but it is sure fun trying them. This week, with July 4th I should be able to play 4 very nice rounds of golf.
This was one of the goofiest weeks I have had since I started doing the blog. We went to Millcreek this week which is golf heaven. The course did not disappoint and was in beautiful shape. We played 36 holes for 35 dollars with a cart and the weather was perfect. The next day was the 36 hole South Park mens championship. When I was finished, later that evening I went over to Mt. Lebanon and played 13 holes. In two days I had played 85 holes and still did not feel golfed out. As you noticed I have not mentioned any scores yet. I also played Saturday and today. Now here comes the scores with the exception of the 13 holes at Mt. Lebo. 82, 83, 83, 77, 72, and 84. I am at a loss for words here. The 72 is an even par round at South Park from the white tees but it was a very consistant round. I did not take advantage of some of the easier par 5’s but I had 16 pars, a birdie on the tough 235 par 3 13th where I put a 3 wood within 4 ft. of the cup for a 2. I made one bogey on the 6th hole and shot the even par. I made every 4 to 6 ft putt I looked at except one for a birdie on 17. Then today I ballooned to an 84 and was yippy all day on chips and putts. But this doesn’t bother me as much as the fact, this was one of the worst ball striking days off the tee I have had in almost 2 years. I have no explanation for what happened today and for the generally bad play for most of the week. I had worked on some addrees position things and when I shot 37, 38, and 39, for the 27 holes of the South Park event and to follow that up with an even par 72 I thought I might be getting a little closer to the answer. But today shot that out the water. Going to do a new course next week and we will see what happens. The search continues.
Well quite a father’s day with the U.S. Open being one, which brought the best players in the world to their knees. Justin Rose played the last 2 holes brilliantly and deservedly won his first major. Phil let the easiest hole on the course eat his lunch and it cost him the playoff. It was amazing watching the greatest players in the world have one mental meltdown after another. We are all missing something here. What that is, I have no idea. Players of this caliber should not see their games slide this far backwards not matter what the circumstances. It is too brutal to even talk about any one particlular individual but if you watched the Open you know what I am talking about. It is one thing to see a guy miss a short putt on the final hole to cost him a major like Doug Sanders did in the British Open or Scott Hoch in the Masters, but this was seeing one player after another make one bad shot after another. How about all those missed putts. This was a three round week for me again, due to some inclement weather and extra work committment. I had a blah week with rounds of 80, 77, and 77. After coming off the very nice even par round on Sunday, my Wednesday round represented a complete mental breakdown by yours trurly. I made one mental error after another. It’s not worth going into the specific details but needless to say some pretty good ball striking was completely nullified but by stupid descisions and lack of awareness of what I was facing on a particular shot or putt. I am still in limbo on how much this game is mental and how much is physical. I am still of the opinion that physical flaws or technique flaws then will lead to mental errors. Having said that, I do not think that is what happened out there today to about 15 of the top players in the world. I know Johnny Miller likes to say it Open pressure or nerves but I still think it runs deeper than that. But I do not know what that deeper is. Obviously nobody else does either or somebody would have walked away with the tournament. This week the golf will step up with a 36 hole day on Wednesday and a 36 hole tournament on Thursday so I may play 6 rounds this week. If anybody doesn’t think this game is goofy then please just keep replaying today’s U.S. Open.
Due to some inclement weather I was limited to three rounds of golf this week, but they were very good rounds, none the less. I shot 75 on Wednesday at Fort Cherry, another 75 at South Park and then shot the best round of the year, a 71 at Ponderosa which was -0.5 on the index. I putted much better this week, with my putting overcoming some chip yips today. The amazing thing about today’s round was that I started bogey, double bogey, and then hit a drive on the third hole, that took an unexpected direct right kick and landed in a fairway bunker from behind. I hit a 7 iron about 10 yards short of the green, pitched up about 8 foot from the hole and made the tricky downhiller for the par. From that point on, I played the last 15 holes 3 under par,with 3 birdies and 12 pars, to shoot the even par 71. Yes I am doing some mental things different but I want to write about something in general that may be a key to everyone being able to play the game at their best level. As you know I am fascinated by some of the odd swings that you see on the PGA tour, past and present. One of the reasons I started this blog was to find a better way to play this game. I was of the opinion, that instruction has failed miserably in helping people improve their games. Today with video you can see about every inch of your golf swing. Bob Rotella states this in his books that despite all the high technology around, the average golfer’s handicap has never really improved over the years. He of course blames this on the mental game. Maybe what the problem is, is not the teaching methods but the student. What I mean by that, maybe we all aren’t accepting some of the idiosyncrocies of our golf swings. In other words why did instructors allow players to continue swinging the golf club in such odd ways. Furyk’s swing, Goydos’s swing, Daly’s swing, and watching Phil’s big driver swing which despite working with Mr compact swing Butch Harman goes way below parallel on his drive. Is there such a thing as a death move in golf. I am not too sure any more. Rick Smith wrote a book about finding your on golf swing and of course there is the one plane and two plane swings but it goes way beyond that. Wouldn’t you like to see Jim Furyk swing a medicus. Do you think he could make one swing without breaking it. Maybe golf doesn’t follow the final step of the mentor-student relationship. That’s where the student no longer needs the teacher. The point is, the key to getting better in golf, is to allow your swing to have a mind of its own. Don’t fight your bodies tendencies. If something feels good don’t worry about it being right. I think the only exception to this is the grip. Of course the grip is not the swing. In future blogs I will write about how I have tried to apply this to my own game. I have quit trying to fight what I perceived as swing flaws and have done a few things that are against some of the golf fundenmentals. I am not totally convinced that this may have been a fluky week but it sure was fun. Some new courses I think will be added this week as we are heading down the home stretch.
When we last left the goofy game of golf yours truly was brimming with confidence after a 2 over par 75 at Rolling Acre, where I felt I was getting some momentum to my game. Last Wednesday dawned bright and beautiful and after some morning obligations, I headed out to Indian Run for a noon tee off. Just to prove how goofy this game is, as if I don’t already know, the day was a disaster. I thrashed and 3 putted my way to a nice big 84. Pulled drive, wrong club selection, chunked pitch, 3 putt, and wrong club and 3 putt, led to a 7 over start after 5 holes. I righted ship ball striking after that, but the putter kept the score soaring. The road to and from Indian Run is very winding, and its a good thing I had a passenger in the car because it would have been real tempting just to drive in a straight line and see what would have happened. The next day I went back to the scene of the crime and with some improved ball striking all day and slightly improved putting I managed a 78. Today at Village Green, a tougher track I shot 77, with the putter not my friend again. The big impovement the last 2 rounds has been in driving the golf ball. I started to hit down on the ball with the driver. Because the ball is teed up high I do not take a divot but hitting the ball on a slightly descending blow with the driver really seemed to help. You will hear commentators on TV talk about this some, when you hear them talk about hitting the trap draw with the driver. The old school way of hitting the ball with the driver is to feel you are hitting ball at the bottom of the arc or slightly on the upswing. I still do this if I want the drive to be fairly high when the wind is at your back. Trying to hit the ball on a slighly descending blow with the driver, I had two things happen that seemed to help my accuracy off the tee. I had a much lower ball flight and I rarely went left with the shot. I saw no decline in distance, in fact I think a gain 5 or 10 yards at times. I will see how this works in future weeks. The other thing that was of interest this week is that it seems the chip yips are gradually going away. I know, this sounds goofy but check out the title of the blog. The last 12 holes today the putting was at least mediocre and I played the last 12 holes 2 over. What will next week bring, God only knows. I do know the goofiness will continue.