The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

The only good news is that I got the first official Pittsburgh round of golf in this week. Went to Scenic Valley and despite some pretty good ball striking for early in the season, shot 81 thanks to 6, yes count them 6, three putt greens. In San Diego, I must have had about 10 one putt greens to shoot 76 with a putter I am lucky to use once a year. The forcast for today was for sunny skies, 0% chance of precip. and temps in the mid 50’s. It snowed this morning and at 1pm it is 40 degrees with a pretty stiff wind. I wish we could come up with some good use for all those satellites that are floating around up there, because they are no use in predicting the weather. Needless to say, this was not a week where there was any progress made on the mind body connection.

Now I would like to discuss a subject that has been floating around on various webs and social pages about the stat, greens in regulation, or as it will be referred to from now on as GIR. There was a reasearch  project that ties GIR to scoring. The conclusion essentially was that a high % of GIR equated to lower scoring implying that the old adage about the short game being the most important part of golf to score low was false.  If you follow baseball you know that baseball stats have gone to the next level. The stats geeks cover every phase of the game and then some. Where pitches are thrown, the stadiums where games are played, where players are positioned, lefty, righty, and how things go on every ball strike count to name just a few. Now I admit I did not read any of the study but what I read about the study in support of it did not seem to cover the following points. As in many stats I think GIR is too broad of a stat. It’s like batting average and fielding ave in baseball. There needs to be a stat on how close to the pin the ball his on every shot. One player may hit the green, 40 feet from the pin and another may be 15 feet on the fringe. Who do you think has the better chance of making a birdie. Some courses have bigger greens than others. The smaller the greens, then this stat becomes more important. How many times are these GIRs accomplished with less than full shots on par 5’s and short par 4’s. So your short game got the GIR and most likely got you closer to the pin. I could go on and on but you get the point. It’s not that I don’t think GIR is an important stat, but to score you better have short game.

This August will mark  the fourth anniversary of the blog. I have played and rated 92 public golf courses in Western Pa. that are within 90 minutes of my house. The original plan was to do 90 but over the course of the last 3 years I have found enough to get to a hundred, and I hope to finish this year. However the blog will take a little different course this year. In previous years, in searching for the answer to this goofy game, I have done various things with various amounts of success. I have written about some of the unsuccessfull things I have done, in more of a summary form durng the off season. This year as we search for that mind body connection I will discuss what I am doing as it is happening. Now this may not be as scary as seeing inside the mind of a serial killer but it could be pretty fightening. This will be the last warning I will be giving. The weather forecast is improving this week and I hope to get in 3 to 4 1/2 rounds this week.  See you next Sunday.

The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

This week I am going to break down to the bare bones the best way to go about trying to hit a golf ball. Those of us who have played this game for a long time know there is so much more to this game than just making solid contact with the ball. Those of us that are just starting out this can be a formidable task. Even for us that have played the game for awhile, there can be times when this is difficult to do. As I go through the process I will reference the dates where I discuss each step in more detail.

The very first principle is that 85% of all bad shots are caused by what you do before you swing. This is not to imply that the golf swing is not important. Let’s say that all of a sudden you got 15% less of a paycheck or your car got 15% less gas mileage. You would be upset. The swing is still a factor but it’s not as important as many people think it is.

There are four things you have to do before you hit a golf ball. 1. Grip the club. 2. Create a stance in relationship to the ball. 3. Aim the clubhead. 4. Have a posture. The first two can very quite a bit according to personal preference, strength, and ability. Aim and Posture have to be done one particular correct way or hitting a golf ball will not become reality. (1-8-2012)

The Golf Swing. The swing is not the thing. (12-2-2011). There is only one principal of the golf swing: The belly button must pass the ball on the downswing before the arms (1-22-2012). The wrists are going to do whatever they are going to do, don’t think about them, just know what they are doing (1-6-2013). The shoulder turn is the controlling factor of the golf swing(1-13-2013, 1-20-2013, 3-9-2014, and 3-16-2014).

Two other things related to hitting the golf ball: Practice (3-10-2012 and 3-25-2012). and my take on Ben Hogan’s Five Fundementals of Golf, it will save you a lot of heartache (12-9-2012.

As I wrote at the top of the blog there is so much more to the game of golf than hitting the ball, but this is the first step. If you follow the principals above then you will be making solid contact in no time.  See you next week.

The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

The  blog today is coming from San Diego, and I was able to get the first round of the year in. Thanks to some great putting I was able to shoot a nice 76. I was even par after 14 holes, but staggered  down the stretch with double bogey, bogey, par, and bogey. I lost the mind body connection for sure. Today will be the second video about the shoulder control golf swing and how to deal with trying to control the arms. About 2/3rds through the video  I transpose downswing and backswing but you will get the jist of what I am trying to say. Since Holly Sonders was not helping me with the video there was no do over.

Next week I will break down the bare bones of trying to hit the golf ball.

The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Lets hope this video is worth about 450 as I explain one of the basic elements of the shoulder swing. The video is shot in the golf room, where all the brilliant ideas of the last 3 1/2 years have evolved.

As you can see, the shoulder rotation will control the legs in the golf swing. The right shoulder turning down to start the downswing will automatically kick that right knee in toward the ball. Next week I will dissect the arm movement and one other subtle element of the shoulder control  swing.

The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

This week I am going to review the last 2 years of my playing this goofy game. Why the last 2 years? There is quite a contrast between the years, which has led to the conclusions of trying to find the mind body connection. 2012 reinforced my belief that the key to the golf swing is, that it must be controled by the turn of the shoulders. That the enemy of the golf swing is the arms and the legs. I am going to discuss this more next week, as I review this concept, with some added information from the original post. This is not a method. This is not a swing change. This is just a different way to execute the swing that you have. By allowing the shoulders to control my swing, I hit the ball and scored the most consistant I ever have in some 50+ years of playing this game. There were two other interesting things that happened that year. I developed the chip yips and I finished the year on a down note by not breaking 80 on 7 out of the last 8 rounds I played. I had various excuses for this poor finish, and none of them were right. This poor finish did not affect my handicap as they were all after October 31, when we stop turning in scores. I considered the year a great succes and my handicap dropped from 5.1 to 3.2.

As I was heading into the 2013 golf season I was ready to tackle the mental side of this game full force, since I felt I had the physical side down. I have already written about some of the mental experiments I tried during the golf season, with some pretty disasterous results. I knew there was going to be some trial and error just like trying to find a key to the golf swing. Naturally my game suffered some, but at times it suffered greatly. Twice during the season, once in a tournament, I did not break 90. If someone would have wanted to bet me that I would do that once let alone twice, I would have lost everything I owned.  My handicap went up to a season ending 4.3 but it was even higher, back into the 5’s at times during the year. However, this year I finished stronger by shooting my last 7 out of 8 rounds in the 70’s. Nothing spectacular but the consistancy came back and I started playing much better, in less than ideal conditions. I was able to do this by paying more attention to the physical side of the game. In other words I got closer to getting the mind and the body connected and to the conclusion that even for a good player the game is 50% mental and 50% physical.

As I head into the 2014 golf season that will be the concept that I hope to prove or disprove. Again this will be a trial and error procedure. What is great about golf is that the numbers will tell the story. See you next week.