It’s been about six weeks since the last blog and the season is winding down. The year has been disappointing but I hope a very useful learning experience. My handicap rose from 3.6 in the spring to 5.2 with the handicapping season officially over on October 31st. My play was erratic all year and my tournament play with some brief exceptions, horrendous. The blog is back to the title of searching for the answer, instead of trying to execute the answer. Fortunately or unfortunately I did not execute the author either. So, what happened?
This time last year I thought I had found the answer, which was finding your that day golf swing. It was to approach each round with an open mind and try to feel your golf swing, and let your ball flight patterns dictate how you would swing for that day. Another way I put it was to abandoned that swing thought before it abandoned you. In the beginning this seemed to work out well and I thought I was really on to something for the 428th time. But as the year went on things began to go in the wrong direction. The way I was trying to compensate did not work as well on some golf courses and really did not work for tournament pressure. I wrote last spring that I thought the best way to get in the groove on the day that you played was to do opposite of the bad shot, rather than trying to allow for the bad shot. In other words if your first tee shot of the day was a high right shot, rather than aiming more left and trying to play that shot, I felt it would be better to aim right and draw the ball which would correct the problem of the first swing. There is not enough space in this blog to write about why this did not work, but it had to do many times with the way certain courses are designed and really trying to play a shot that was not the right shot for the situation. Needless to say this year went by too fast and did not go the way I envisioned it. I did manage to play 100+ rounds for the fourth consecutive year and I am still counting as there is still a little golf season left in the Burgh.
So the quest will go on, with a little different strategy. Now we all know that great ball striking does not always mean great scoring. Without great ball striking, however, you will not have great scoring. Yes, with a great short game and putting, you can always salvage a round where you are not hitting the ball very well, and maybe even pull out a round close to par. But that is still not great scoring. The way to go about getting consistent ball striking every time you play will be a major goal, in the coming year. It will boil down to finding a way to control your body and using particular muscles to control the way the golf swing is performed. I will discuss this hopefully with some positive answers in future blogs.
Trying to execute the answer has proven to be much more difficult than I anticipated to say the least. The weeks scores continue to be horrible ranging from 76 to a wonderful 89 but I think I may have discovered the folly of my ways.
When I first came up with the answer, which is finding your “that day golf swing” as quickly as possible, it was at the end of the golfing season last year. I came up with a method of accomplishing that goal which I discussed in previous blogs. The main principal of that method was to start each round with an open mind about your swing and feed off the results of the shots and make adjustments. Because it was at the end of the golfing season I played most of my golf at Scenic Valley, but it would not have made any difference what golf course I was playing, it was the fact that I was playing the same golf course. Obviously when you play the same golf course the opening tee shot is exactly the same. Once I started this process of trying to execute the answer my scores were very good and ball striking improved dramatically. One of the few times I did not play well is when I went to Lindenwood and my ball striking was not as good for 8 holes, until I started to draw all my shots and I played the last 10 holes 1 over par. This should have been a tip off right there but I am a slow learner. I did go out to San Diego and shoot a very good round, but its opening tee shot has similar characteristics of the opener at Scenic Valley. Because the opening tee shot was the same all the time, I don’t think I was being as open minded about my golf swing as I thought I was. Now, I don’t think this is even the way to go about finding you “that day golf swing”. The opening tee shot of a round is very important. It’s not to say it is round maker or breaker, but it is important non the less. I have hit great opening tee balls and have had bad rounds, and on the other side of the coin, had a very bad opening drive and shot one of the best rounds of my life. But because of playing the same opening tee shot, I think this led me astray on how to execute the answer. I still feel you should abandon that swing thought before it abandons you, but I think there is a different way to go about doing it.
The way I felt going into this season is, that if I was playing as bad as I am playing right now, I would be getting ready to shut everything down including the blog. I have a little more than half the season to go, and with this new direction to take, I am going to continue to plod along and see what happens. With golf it is easy to see if you are going in the right direction, all you have to do is look at the number.
Back from San Diego after a great visit with the grand kids. Ready to get into the golf grind again, but was delayed with a last minute work committment. I did play Saturday and Sunday. With a 10 day break, and plenty of time off, I did lots of reasearch on some of the mental game and really thought I might be on to something. But all that I was on to was mental anguish. Saturday I didn’t do too bad, with a 75 at South Park, under some wet and chilly conditions but it was the ball striking that got me there and some better than average putting. Today under even more brutal conditions with a solid wind all day and temperatures only in the mid 50’s I could only manage an 83 at Scenic Valley. With conditions tough, this puts more emphasis on the short game, and a lot of the mental and physical keys that I thought would bring me results just brought me frustration. I am back to considering the lobotomy. On the plus side my putting improved even today, where I see some light at the end of the tunnel. But its back to the drawing board for chipping and pitching. The weather seems like it will improve and I am hoping to add course number 87 this week. It took awhile to come up with the swing thing and the mental part may be even harder. I guess I won’t be asking Sergio for any mental tips. I have to give him credit for the way he handled the situation even as it was happening and the after round questions, so I think there may be hope for Sergio yet. Tiger seems to be back and may become better than ever. He recovered nicely from his dunk in the water. Tiger has been in the last group so much when he wins, or wins by such large margins, that I do not ever recall him ever sitting, and watching on TV to see if someone could hole a putt, to either beat him or send it into a playoff. Next week golf will be full bore with 3 to 5 rounds and hopefully the scoring will get better. These short game blues has seen the handicap go from 3.2 to 4.4 which is big to see it go up a full stroke in such a short time. The search continues. Maybe I should watch a couple of Indiana Jones movies.