It’s been two weeks since the last blog, with the first week being a week of grand kid fun. There was the celebration of my daughter’s birthday who happens to be born on 7-7-77. I should remember that even in my old senile days. One of the days we all went bowling and that was an interesting experience. I haven’t bowled in about 25 years or more and bowling uses an entirely different set of muscles. I had a hard time finding a ball that would fit my thumb. Now, I don’t have that unusual size of thumb but even with a 16 pound ball there were some thumb holes that were too small. I had to use one that was too big and in trying to hold on to the ball I got a cramp in my hand that lasted 3 days. It was a good thing golf was on the back burner for awhile, because I don’t think I could have played anyway. Then, the two older grand kids six and eight stayed overnight and I got introduced to mindcraft a game that they love, and I still really don’t know what the hell is going on. I will be going to San Diego at the end of September and you better believe I will figure it out. It was a great 8 day visit.
This week it was back to golf, where my slow but sure comeback is continuing. The rounds this week were 77, 75, 76, 80, and 76. The 80 was yesterday at Fort Cherry where par is 70 and it was by far the worse round of the week. This round was caused more by poor thinking and some off putting, but the ball striking was not much worse than in the better rounds. My 76 today was again marred by some bad thinking as I had 4 birdies, but 2 double bogies kind of crushed the possibility of this being a really good round. I am back to the shoulder control swing with some modification, and this re-learning of this swing has delayed progress on finding your that day golf game or swing. I have had my best putting stretch in a long time and that does help the score to say the least. As the physical side of my game gets more comfortable I expect to apply this to helping me find my “that day golf swing. I felt I had to get back to something, as bad as I was playing and scoring. The last two weeks have felt that I am back on track. The weather here in Pittsburgh has not helped much either, as this has been one of the wettest summers on record and the golf courses are paying the price. It has been a challenge to keep the courses playable. I have one more week of regular golf and then I will be hitting the tournament trail in full force. Beginning in August and to the end of September I will be playing in about 10 tournaments. So the answer will be executed or it will be my golf game that will go to a watery grave.
A little better news to report this week concerning the golf game. After many weeks of el stinko golf I played the last 12 holes of the week even par. It was solid golf with 8 pars 2 birdies and 2 bogies. Have I found something? Who knows. It may be that I brought all the things I have been talking about over the last 5 years together to shoot a decent stretch of holes. Or this may be just one of those goofy stretch of holes that anybody mired in a slump has once in awhile. This week I would like to discuss a couple aspects of golf that I just find interesting and wonder how if any it affects our own golf games.
The highest level of golf, the PGA tour, always makes golfers at all levels wonder how the pros are able to shoot such great numbers. Now what I am about to write about, does not mean that I think that this is the only reason that the pros shoot such good numbers but I wonder what would happen if they were made to do just one thing. HIT THE DAMN SHOT. For every shot, there is a big discussion between the player and the caddy. There are numerous practice swings and even more thought and swings, for shots around the greens. Then when they get on the green, they read putts from behind, the side and in front of the ball. I would like to see a tournament that had a shot clock. It would be 45 seconds for every full shots and long pitches. Thirty seconds for shots around the green and putts. The clock would start as soon as the bag came off the caddy’s shoulder for longer shots and as soon as the ball was placed in front of the mark for putts. Despite all the call for speedy play in golf, do you think if the low handicapper took this much time to figure out each shot and putt would his game improve. By the same token, if the pros were made to speed up via a shot clock would their scores go up. I really don’t have any opinion on the answer, but I would love to see that PGA event with the shot clock to see what would happen.
Then there is the swing thought. The swing thought has been around for 100 years. Bobby Jones writes about in his books on Golf written in the 1930’s. My point is, golfers have made no progress on the swing thought in 85 years. It is something that is just excepted in golf. Your find some kind of swing thought. It may range from starting back low and slow, slow the transition, shift the weight to left side, to make a full back swing. There are too many to mention, including address position adjustments. The one thing that all these swing thoughts have in common is that eventually they do not work. We as golfers, just accept this, as that’s just the way golf is. Part of my trying to execute the answer mantra, is to abandon that swing thought before it abandons you. But why does this happen? Is it because this swing thought even though it helps us temporarily, causes another fault in the golf swing. There are many golf mental guru’s who advocate no swing thought. Maybe they are right but I don’t know. Maybe instead of having a swing thought we should have a swing feel. Maybe the way a swing feels will stay with us and won’t abandon us. I don’t know, we’ll see.
It might be a little bit of time of we’ll seeing, because the grand kids are in town and golf will be on the back burner, but I might be able to squeeze in a couple of rounds. We’ll see.