Well it has been an interesting two weeks, even though it has been a very non productive two weeks. Let’s get the mess over with, here are the scores: 78,81,77,76,76,76,84,87,76,79, and 82. Eleven rounds of golf in about 19 days and needless to say I am not close to executing the answer. The highlight of the period was when my partner Pete, in the 2-man scramble at South Park, holed an 80 yard wedge shot for an eagle 3 and we split a 250 dollar skin. My 87 was in the other tournament I played and I have not played well for most of the two weeks plus. Now has this been a learning experience, absolutely. Here is what I have learned.
1. I am an idiot
2. Why am I an idiot. Because not once, not twice, but three times during this time, I went into rounds with some preconceived ideas about my swing, and in each and every time these ideas failed to work and were abandoned by the third hole.
3. The second reason I am an idiot is because I am changing putters too much and if anybody knows that its not the putter but the puttee it is me. I am going to pick one putter and it is going to last for the entire year, come hell or high water.
4. I am not finding my that day swing fast enough to say the least. My method to do this is not working. So it is back to the drawing board.
Tomorrow will be June and for me this can not come fast enough. Maybe the turn of the calendar will give me a fresh start. Am I discouraged? Well, yes and no. Yes because I feel that I have wasted a period where I was able to play more golf than usual and instead of getting better, I just saw my game go downhill. No, because of my stupidity of going into three rounds with preconceived ideas of how I was going to swing and failing miserably, just reinforced my idea, that this is the answer to the game of golf. I am back to my normal routine of play with no tournaments for about 3 weeks,so hopefully I can find away to execute the answer. See you next week.
Back in the Burgh, and three rounds into a stretch of time where I will be playing a lot of golf. I am not going to comment on these first three rounds and the next blog will be 2 weeks from today at the end of the golf fest. During this time I will be playing in three tournaments. If I am ever going to execute the answer this should be the time.
Do you remember that old Memorex cassette tape commercial where they would ask “Is it live or is it Memorex?” and they would show a famous artist singing or playing and you would have to figure out which one it was. This is similar to when you hit a bad shot on the golf course. Was the bad shot caused by a poor swing, or was it from a pre swing problem. Even though I feel that 85 to 90% of all bad shots are caused from pre swing problems, how do you know for sure? Lets define pre swing problems. First there is the fundamental address position. You could be misaligned, too far or too close to the ball, or you could have poor posture. At this stage of the game I doubt it would be a grip issue. Then there are other pre shot factors. The lie of the ball, the lay of the land, your club selection, the conditions of the course, the weather, and how the shot fits your eye. The last one is particular important on the tee ball. Now I realize that any of these things, can lead to a bad swing which will result in a bad shot. If all the pre shot elements are right that still does not guarantee that your swing can not lead to a bad shot. So when the shot doesn’t turn out well which one is it? Is there a way to know? I am not too sure, but I do think this is one of the keys in trying to find your “that day golf swing or game”. Naturally, just playing the odds, when the shot does not come off it is probably something that has happened before you took the club back. I really don’t have the answer to this question quite yet. I think in trying to figure this out will help in managing a round. One final point is that sometimes bad shots should be looked at as just one of those things, that are going to happen and sometimes should just be ignored or forgotten. The next two weeks should be interesting.
It’s a Saturday blog coming from San Diego, and it has been a busy week with lots of grandkid activity. Heading back to the Burgh tomorrow when the golfing will get back into full swing again. This week I thought I would write about two subjects that are always mind boggling and complex.
The first is the chip yips which I have been controlling quite nicely this year, so far. Nobody is going to confuse me with Phil but I have been quite functional around the greens this year. I can contribute this to about 3 things. First I have changed chipping philosophies. I now try to get the ball on the ground as quickly as possible. I also use different clubs ranging from my 6 iron to my lob wedge. This differs from when I would use nothing but my 54 degree wedge and open and close it to accomplish the desired shot. I use to also look for a spot on the green that had a dip in it to fly the ball to. This is the Pelz theory of chipping in that if you hit a little short of the center of the dip that you would hit the downslope which would help propel the ball forward. If you hit the ball a little beyond the center of the dip, the ball would hit the upslope and this would deaden the ball and it would not roll as far. This served me well for many years. The second thing I did is to use various grips chipping. The one that has served me best was my putting grip, but I have used other grips which have helped. Finally I corrected my yip miss. Maybe I was lucky that my yip miss was always the same. My chip yip was always a vicious pull to the left which flew the ball low and hard and way past the hole. I simply started aiming left of my target and for whatever reason, I was able to hit a quality chip which at least ended up within shouting distance of the hole. This goes back to finding my that day golf swing. where if my miss is to the right then I aim right on my next shot and try to hook it. If my miss is to the left then I aim left for my next shot and hit a fade.
The second subject is good old putting. I don’t have any answers for putting, with this being more of an update on where my putting is and what I plan to do about it. The best word to describe my putting since I have been trying to execute the answer is mediocre. This is better than awful but it has to get better than this if I am ever going to score. There has been so much written about putting over the years that I am willing to bet that it encompasses at least half of all golf instruction literature. Again I am going to change some putting philosophies. First I am going to change putters based on putting performance from round to round. I use to stick with the same putter for most of a golf season. Second I am going to be more open to more methods to execute the stroke itself. Third I am going to be more bold on getting the ball to the hole. We will see what happens.
The blog is coming from sunny San Diego with some great times with the grandkids. I did manage to play two rounds this week, on Tuesday and Wednesday. My putting was not very good all week, and at the end of the round on Tuesday, my ball striking was just as bad. This led to an 81 on Tuesday at Village Green, and a 76 at Indian Run on Wednesday. My ball striking got back to normal on Wednesday but a very bulky putter led to a round of 13 pars and 5 bogies. Finding the “that day putting stroke” is turning out to be a major obstacle at this point. My iron play improved this week and that is what I am going to write about today and the reason behind it .
This turns out to be another aspects of your “that day golf game”. We our all told to know the distance that you hit each iron. I did discuss this in an earlier blog, about how the lie of the ball can effect how far the ball will fly with each shot. How the ball his sitting in the fairway and rough can effect how far the ball will fly anywhere from 10 to 20 yards. If the lie of the ball is uphill, downhill, sidehill, above or below your feet, can also effect how far the ball is going to go. Now I think I have found a third factor, which I am going to call the feeling of the day. Another way of putting this is, how do you feel that day. I am not talking about health. I am talking about how do you and your swing feel. We all go through this where there are some days where the swing just feels sluggish. I call this my old wash woman swing. Then there are days when the swing feels powerful and effortless, and the ball is really flying. I had this really brought home to me this week. At the end of my round at Village Green I was getting tired and my ball striking suffered because I tried to fight it. Then I next day I was hitting my irons very solid and they going at least 10 yards greater than normal. In the beginning of the round I tried to resist this, by thinking that there is no way I am hitting the ball this far. This cost me some strokes early in the round. Let’s look a one club my 7 iron. This is a club I normally hit about 165 yards. On Tuesday at the end of the round I was lucky if I could hit that club 150. Then the very next day I easily hit it 170 plus. This is another aspect of finding your that day golf game and that is finding your that day distances. It is finding those distances as quickly as possible and excepting those distances know matter what they may be. It goes back to starting your round with an open mind and accepting your that day golf game and not trying to make it something it is not. Next week the blog will be coming from San Diego again with some more gems. No golf this week as its grandkids time and that’s easy to execute.