I have played 13 rounds since the last blog on May 8. It has been a bit of a roller coaster and I must say I don’t really know if I stayed the course of 100% Mental Golf. Maybe I should change the name to just 100% Mental. Played a few courses for the first time this year such as Quicksilver, Hartmans, North Park and Highland Springs. My scores ranged from 74 to 85. During the stretch I have 4 rounds in the 80’s and 9 rounds in the 70’s. I had a run of three straight rounds in the 80’s from May 16 to 21. This little streak caused some concerned, that a slump may be brewing and led to some of the things I did, which apparently helped as the next 5 rounds were all in the 70’s.
After the 3rd round in the 80’s, and it being the worse at 85, I decided that I had to do something a little different. I decided to concentrate on my breathing while getting ready to hit the ball and during the swing itself. Now this is not something that is new, but I did put a little different twist on it. When reading about breathing and the golf swing the advice is to inhale on the backswing and exhale on the downswing. I did not follow this rule. I did not try to time my breathing with the golf swing at all. I just tried to follow my routine and swing. My swing may have started when I was beginning my exhale or when I was in the middle of inhale. I did this for all phases of the game, long game, short game and putting. The results were quite good, with the very first round coming in at 74. The next 3 rounds were good also, 75, 76, and 77. Then on Memorial Day at Highland Springs I got away from it and had a bad front nine of 5 over par and made another philosophical change that seemed to right the ship and shot 2 over on the back, to end with 79. The front nine was a major putting problem with 21 putts contributing to the bad score. For now I am not going say what that philosophical change was. What does this all mean? I am not too sure. Thinking of breathing during the golf swing may not be better than any other swing thought that we usually do. I am not quite sure why I stopped the process on Monday. Have not been able to play the rest of this week because of very unstable weather and I think I needed a little break anyway to mull all this over. In the coming 2 weeks there is not going be a lot of golf played because next week I am heading to San Diego to see the grandkids. Maybe I will ask them, especially the 4 year old.
So where do I go from here and how does this affect 100% Mental Golf. I will probably play 3 more rounds of golf before a I leave for San Diego and hopefully will learn more. I will go back to the breathing and on the next blog I will talk about the philosophy change whether it works or not. Feel like I am coming down the home stretch here. Rounding 3rd and heading for home. Just don’t know if I will be safe or out.
I have played 7 rounds since the last blog and not much progress has been made. I did have 2 good rounds, a 76 at Fort Cherry and a 76 at Rolling Acre which has a par of 73. The other 5 rounds were all in the 80’s at the familiar places, Scenic Valley and Fort Cherry, with one round at Pheasant Ridge. The weather has not been too bad but we are getting rain at least every 2 to 3 days and I must admit I feel that I have been playing soggy courses forever. This really isn’t an excuse for the bad rounds but it does get old having to clean your ball almost after every shot. I had the 76 at Rolling Acre this past Sunday and it was by far the best ball striking day of the year. I hit 14 greens in regulation and made 3 horrible iron shots, that led to the 3 bogies. My putting was not bad but obviously my ball did not find the hole on all those birdie putts. I thought this was going give me some momentum for the week, but both on Monday and Tuesday my game was off and it was hard to tell why. It is still very hard not to think the old fashion way of looking at your swing, when things go wrong even when you know that this is not the answer. Let’s go back to the Sunday round which was a great ball striking day, and look at those three bad shots. This may show what 100% Mental golf really means.
I had parred the first 4 holes and came to the 180 yard par 3 fifth hole. The conditions were chilly and damp. The hole is slightly uphill. Even though the pin was cut on the left I chose to cut a 5 iron because I wanted to get the ball in the middle of the green. I was not flag hunting here and this was good thinking. What was bad thinking, was that the 5 iron was not enough club in those conditions. I closed the club down at impact and hit a dead straight pull about 35 yards left of the green . Even with the over the top swing, I was not green high and the pin was in the back. If I would have hit a draw 5 iron or cut the 4 iron, I am sure the results would have been better. From that point my play was stellar but missed about a 4 foot birdie on 8 and a twisting downhill left to right 12 putt on 9 to shoot one over on the front. The 10th hole is a par 4 and I hit a nice drive down the right side of the fairway. The pin was cut on the right front of the green and I had about 150 yards to the pin. I took dead aim at the pin which was a mistake. I did not have a good picture of the shot and hit it way right almost 30 yards off line. I parred the next 4 holes. They moved up the tees on the 15th hole a par 5 and after two good shots I was about 40 yards short of the green on the right and the pin was cut on the mid right of the green. The problem was my ball was on a pretty good down slope. I tried to hit a high shot and wound up chunking it about 20 of the 40 yards. Even though I was close to the green and should have played a more conservative shot which would have gone lower and slightly left of the pin and would have wound up around 8 to 20 feet from the pin depending on how far the ball had gone. Then I went on to par the final 3 holes.
The mystery to me was my bad play on Monday and Tuesday. But then, when I think about it, I went back to some physical remedies that I did not really need to do. I am not going into what they were. It does go to show you just how brainwashed I am when it comes to trying to “fix” your golf game when it does not need really fixing. Bad decision making leads to bad swings. Once that gets better then the scores will come. See you next week.