Another two round week, with the weather barely golf able. The rounds were not quite as good as the previous weeks but not bad. I shot 77 at Fort Cherry on Tuesday and a 78 at Scenic Valley. Both days the temps were in the low to mid 40’s and today there was a slight mist in the air. The wind was not bad on either day. The ball striking continues to be very good to down right excellent, but the short game and putting continue to be a problem for various reasons.
First, let’s discuss the good stuff , the ball striking. Going into each round with an open mind, and no pre round mindset has worked extremely well. This has helped me approach each shot with an even more open mind, and my decision making process, while not perfect, has improved dramatically. It has allowed me to totally commit to each individual shot. Let me sight one example in todays round. The 8th hole at Scenic is a downhill par 3 of about 170 yards. Today the blue tee was up and the pin was on the front of the green. It was about 160 to the pin. It was cold and damp and what wind there was, was against. On a normal day this would be no more than an 8 iron. With the cold and the dampness I felt that even a 7 iron would have to be hit hard to get there. However I thought the 6 iron was too much club. Usually when you take too much club you have a tendency to swing too easy which ruins the shot. I did two things to manage the shot. I decided to take a 3/4 swing and to play the ball just a touch forward to get a little more height on the shot. My thinking was that by hitting the 6 iron a little higher, it would help shorten its distance even more with the wind in my face. The shot felt right, and I executed it well, and the ball hit just past pin high, 15 feet left of the pin. As the day went on and I got colder, I went back to that flatter swing the last time I got cold, and continued to hit the ball well. This makes a couple of good points. Looking for that day swing does not mean that you can not go back to a swing that was working before and then failed. Again you have to let this happen not make it happen. Secondly, you can make some changes in the middle of the round if conditions dictate it. That can be something that you had done previously. It really boils down to being open to what your body is trying to tell you.
Now putting and the short game is another story. I actually had a pretty good short game today, maybe the best, since finding the answer. The putting was mediocre at best and I don’t feel any closer to executing the answer in these phases of the game. I literally froze up today which led to a skulled wedge on 17 and a 3 putt on 18. I don’t know if there is going to be much playing time left this year. I am leaving for San Diego on the 21st to spend Christmas with the grandkids. There is an outside chance for some golf in the early part of the week, with temperatures getting close to 50 but it looks like this could be accompanied with a lot of rain. Even if I don’t get to play, there is still a lot to write about the answer, see you next week.