The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

Back after about a 2 and 1/2 week hiatus. My play has been interesting if not spectacular. Of my last 19 rounds, 15 of them have been between 73 and 77, with the other 4 being 78, 79, 80, and 81. Most of them have been between 75 and 77 with the last three, being 77. I know there are some people who would die for a “streak” like that, but I am feeling frustrated. I have not shot a par round this year and I haven’t felt like any one part of my game has been all that solid. I did go through one stretch when I hit my irons really well, but other than that I have had my usual problems. But I have been able to rake it around, and shoot in the mid seventies pretty consistantly. I don’t have any conclusions drawn from the last two weeks of play, but that’s just the way it has been.

We, as golfers, are always talking about how hard the game of golf is, for various reasons. Rather than say the game is hard, I think we should change the wording, and thus the thought process, from hard to complex. Lets give a prime example. We all talk about how important it is to know how far we hit each club. This is true only to a certain degree. I hit my 50 degree wedge 110 yards. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it. So if I am 110 yards from the middle of the green I should hit my 50 degree. However, there are 80 combinations of the way the ball is lying on the ground, and in the grass, and the conditions that we are playing in, that will affect how far that ball will travel. I am not going through all those combinations now, but trust me there are that many, especially here in Western Pa. It is our awareness and how we evaluate those conditions that will dictate how successful we are in executing a good shot. We are talking about conditions that can make a difference of 20 or 30 yards on a shot of only 110 yards. It is even more so on longer shots. So pay attention and think complex not hard.

Finally and maybe even least, Tiger Woods is going to  swing number 5.  A quick review. Swing number 1 won the Masters by 12 shots.  Swing number 2 won 7 majors and 20 sum odd tournaments. Swing number 3 won 6 majors and 20 sum odd tournaments. Swing number 4 gave him a dominate 2013 where he was player of the year, again No. 1 in the world, but alas no majors. You noticed I haven’t mentioned any names. I don’t think the names are important. But who will guide swing number 5. Will he go back to one of the old swings. Highly unlikely. I know I am in the minority but I think Tiger will come back full blast and even past Jack Nicklaus. Of course there is one big if. He has to get healthy. If his back and knee continue to be a problem, then he is done. He may win one major on just talent and guts, but he will never be a force unless he has all the physical tools. So what will swing number 5 be like. Maybe he will swing like Lee Trevino. I think he should swing like Annika. Was there ever a better more fluid swing in the last 50 years. That premature release of the head should take the strain off the back. So Tiger, go find Annika’s coach, and make swing number 5 the most fluid and stress free swing since Sam Snead.

The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

About another 2 week hiatus from blogging, but reading some other golf blogs, which I haven’t done for awhile, inspired me to put some things down in print today. First it is an unusual Sunday in that I am not golfing today because I will be heading to the Pirate game later today. My play has been interesting as ususual. I am on a nice run right now with about 8 rounds in a row below 80 and I have put together some really good nines but not a total round. I have had one 2 under 9, two even par nines, and one 1 over nine. Working on a lot of things right now which I may get into in later blogs. Here is what inspired me.

1. THE ZONE. Ah yes the zone. We have all been there or at least think we have been there. I have no suggestions on how to get into the zone, but here is one thing that I find very interesting about the golf zone. Sometimes you can find it in just one part of your game. I have had days when I know I am going to hit every, and I mean every, drive right down the middle of the fairway. In fact it is almost comical. By the time I get to the thirteenth driver hole sometimes I almost start laughing because I know the drive is going right down the middle. I can say the same thing has happened with my irons and putting. What I find amazing is that even though this one part of your game is in “the zone” the rest of your game sucks.

2. THE DECLINE IN GOLF PARTICIPATION.  Even though I think it does not hurt golf to have a popular superstar, I don’t think it is a major factor in people playing or not playing the game. There are many reasons that golf has declined. Rather than discuss them let me just list them,  without really expounding on any of them, but they could be fodder for future blogs.

1 Time and money. Golf is time consuming and can be expensive

2. Golf is paying the price for not encouraging diversity.

3. USGA  for not making a set of rules for the average golfer that will make the game faster and more enjoyable. Other than when they have a national tournament they do very little to promote the game.

4. Golf Courses for shooting themselves in the foot so many times that they can only walk on their kness. Here are a few examples. Setting up golf courses too difficult on the weekends with some very tough pin placements. Not making any effort to speed up play. Not having enough tee boxes. Not maintaining cart paths. Trying to squeeze too many people out on the course. New golf courses are just too difficult.

5. The PGA for having no true standard of teaching the game. Golf instruction is pathetic. If the PGA was responsible for teaching children to read then 80% would be illiterate.

6. Desperation. There is nothing wrong with the game and ideas such as a bigger hole and 12 hole rounds are ridiculous.

7. The Tour. The way they handled the Dustin Johnson situation and other negative aspects of players. Enough said. Do next to nothing to promote the game except for their own gain.

The game will survive if for no other reason the attrition of golf courses. As more and more shut down there will more players for the ones that survive. See you again when I have it all figured out.