This week was blah, in more ways than one. About mid week I came down with a cold and this affected the weekend play. What I am amazed about is the part of your game that is affected the most. I drove the ball well, all weekend but it was poor putting that led to an 82 at South Park on Saturday and an 81 at Scenic Valley on Sunday. My mid week was highlighted by a nice 75 at Scenic Valley in some very high wind conditions. It was probably playing in such wind chill conditions, that led me to getting a cold. Wednesday was a very rainy day so it was only a 3 round week. The weather and my health is improving rapidly so I will be playing tomorrow and Wednesday. Then on Saturday I will be heading for San Diego to celebrate my grand daughters 8th birthday. Golf will be on the back burner for the next couple of weekends. The next two blogs will be coming from San Diego.
So with this little break coming I thought I would reflect on how I think things are going so far this year. I have played 21 rounds of golf this spring. I have played in some nasty conditions at times and other times the weather as been ok. I am driving the ball as well as I ever have. I am in a little slump with my irons, but I think that my good ball striking has gone to my head a little, and I am trying to be way too precise with my distances and this is causing too much tension in the swing. My chipping has been good with hardly a yip this year. My putting has been erratic as ever and trying to find that days putting method has been the biggest challenge so far this year. After this 12 day break from the game, things will begin to escalate on all fronts with the game. I shall know within the next 3 months if I am going to be able to execute the answer at all aspects of the game. Even though I think I am improving at every level of my game, the numbers do not lie, and I have not produced the desired results, quite yet. See you next week, coming from San Diego.
For various reasons, some not golf related it’s been two weeks since the last blog. The golf as been pretty good over that time and two tournaments have been played. My two rounds leading up to the tournament on April 12th, I shot a 76 at Scenic Valley and a 77 at South Park. Then came the tournament at Butlers Woodside on the Sunday. I got off to a shaky start with 4 straight bogies on some easy holes but then I righted the ship to play the next 11 holes even par. I then went on to stagger to a bogey, bogey, double bogey finish, which knocked me out of the money. I must say I was disappointed in the overall performance, but I think I discovered the problem.
This past week I was able to play 3 rounds leading up to yesterday’s tournament at Totteridge. I shot 78 at Indian Run, 77 at Riverview, and 75 at South Park. This time I played much better in the tournament and finish with 9 straight pars to shoot 76 and just missed the money by two places. I particularly liked the way I finished.
How does this all compute in trying to execute the answer. The tournament play was a very good learning experience. Under the gun, you are much more critical of your swing, which does not help you find your that day golf swing. This was my problem in the first tournament. Even with everything I have written about trying to find your that day golf swing, I was trying to control my swing to what I thought it should be and not what it was that day. You have to like your that day swing, no matter what it happens to be, if you are going to find your that day swing. That also goes for putting and chipping. Most of my bad shots in both tournaments were not swing errors or even address errors, as much as they were mental errors. Most of the mental errors were not trusting the club selection for approach shots, or actually having the wrong club in my hand for the shot. I think many times we confuse swing flaws with this mistake. Its amazing how far you can hit a particular iron when the adrenaline is flowing. That was my basic problem. I had too much club in my hand and many times I thought I did not have enough club, because of certain conditions, like slope and wind. This led to some horrible irons shots that had nothing to do with any particular technique. My chipping and putting were more than adequate during both events. It did take me a little time to find my that day stroke but I feel like I am making some progress in that area. My chipping was really good yesterday, using my putting grip.
There is no doubt that tournament golf is it’s own unique animal. I won’t be playing another tournament for about a month now due to other commitments and a trip to San Diego the first week of May. I feel progress is being made and we will see what the next week brings. The weather is going to get cooler but I am hoping to get 4 rounds in. See you next week.
Another three round week, and again a repeat of the previous two weeks. The mid week rounds were good, 77 and 75, with the weekend round on Saturday this time, being bad shooting an 81. This was a good week in many regards. Putting was about as good as its ever been, since trying to execute the answer. There was one very good lesson learned this week.
I fell into the trap this week of falling in love with my driver ball flight. This goes against all the principles of trying to find your that day golf swing. I was hitting the greatest little power fade off the tee for the entire week. I found myself really relying on that ball flight pattern during the round despite what my opening drive was. This part of my game worked really well, as I hit many fairways and had good distance. I did this even when my opening drive was fairly straight with maybe a baby fade at the end. I kept to my plan of having an open mind and feel on the opening tee shot, but then kept going to fade way too quickly. What I should have been doing was playing a straight drive based on the opening swing and result. This resulted in having an adverse affect on my fairway game. In fact most of my irons and fairway woods on my 77 round I hit with a draw. In my other two rounds I was not hitting very crisp or accurate shots. My 75 round was the result of some very good putting. What’s interesting here is that I had no trouble of finding my that day swing in the fall and sticking with it, which brings up another good point. Those of us who have to go through the winter lay off , in this case for me was 2 months, we often emphasize getting our golf muscles into shape. There is no doubt that this is a good thing, but we need to get our golf thinking back in the groove, too. This week, the weather in the middle of the week is looking very iffy, but hopefully I can still get a couple of rounds in between the thunderstorms. I will be playing in my first tournament of the year this Sunday. I better get my brain in shape fast.
My Masters pick: J. B. HOLMES he’s going back to back.