My 2012 Golf Improvement Plan

Every year I seem to try something new in the off season in hopes of improving my game and this year will be no different.  Last year was a concentrated effort to improve my swing through regular film review, construction of a backyard hitting platform, and a lesson with Fixyourgame.com.  The two prior years, I focused on short game and mental approach and while I feel I’ve improved in each attempt, a quick review of my KPIs shows otherwise:

Year

No. Rounds

Scoring Average

GIR

Total Putts/Rd.

2007

33

80.76

8.06

33.12

2008

21

82.19

6.90

32.48

2009

27

78.22

8.70

31.81

2010

28

79.54

8.32

32.14

2011

35

79.60

8.74

32.86

I’m not the only golfer out there who’s stuck at the same level no matter what they try, but I firmly believe you need to change something that’s not working.  The biggest source of my frustration is my ball striking.  As a 5-handicap, who’s on-line index at the end of 2011 was down to 3.9, I’m flabbergasted that I failed to average even 50% of my GIR.  There’s untapped potential in there and a reasonable improvement target is 11 GIR.   This would yield a scoring average drop of nearly three strokes per round even if my putting stats did not improve.  The lesson with Fixyourgame.com was enlightening and demonstrated that I lacked the sufficient radial motion in my swing that makes true consistency possible.  I found it very hard to correct my loss of spine angle on the downswing.

The other day I took a few tests recommended by Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) and confirmed what I suspected; I have terrible range of motion in my shoulders, hips, and ankles.  This is precisely what you need to make an effective golf swing and is clearly the source of my inconsistency.  Any attempt to correct a swing flaw without the physical capability to make the change will be impossible.  So 2012 will be the year that I work to improve my balance, power, speed, and agility, and let those improvements deliver a better golf swing as an artifact.  TPI recommends a program that I ran through in about 45 minutes and has got me hurting in places I never knew I had muscles.  The plan is to work these exercises three days a week through the end of February and then hit balls in early March and hopefully get a positive read on what improved flexibility and strength can do for my ball striking.  Can’t wait to get started!

 

About these ads

About Brian Penn

Avid sports fan and golf nut. I am a lifelong resident of the Washington D.C. area and love to follow the local teams. Also worked as a golf professional in the Middle Atlantic PGA for several years and am intrigued by the game to no end. I love to play and practice and am dedicated to continual improvement.
This entry was posted in Instruction and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to My 2012 Golf Improvement Plan

  1. Love the way you are looking at your stats and your physical limitations. The combination of your mental work, short game work, full swing work and now physical fitness are going to pay huge dividends for you. Great approach!

  2. brianpenn says:

    Thanks for the words of encouragement. I’m going to work on this thing to the extent that a guy with a day job can. My short game is much better than in years past but I miss the days when I could stand on the tee all limber and loose and know there were no physical limitations; it was all technique. Getting old sucks doesn’t it?

  3. Brian I think the biggest stat you are overlooking is the rounds played. You must be playing only about once per week during the golf season and quite frankly that is not enough. My one suggestion would be to play more and practice less. Even if you can only get in 9 holes that is still much better than a 2 hour practice range. I think a good ratio of play to practice should be about 3 or 4 to 1. I am not saying that you do not need to practice at all but believe me for many reasons practice is overated. I am semi retired but still work 4 days a week and played 70 full rounds of golf and a least 25 9 holes. Try it and you will improve. Play baby play.

    • brianpenn says:

      Very interesting observation and I would add that with an average of 30 rounds per year, my frequency of play is actually less then one round per week because 10 of those rounds are typically crammed into one week at Myrtle Beach. Typically, I’ll play every other weekend from March to November and practice once every weekend. Admittedly it often feels like a new activity when I step on the first tee, and not that familiar comfortable feeling you want. On the other hand, I do work full time and if I played 95 days of the year would probably be in divorce court :) You are very right, I do practice a lot and would estimate my ratio of practice to play time is 1:1. Would it help if I substituted a weekend morning of practice with nine holes or is that enough to make a difference?.

      • Yes it would make a big difference. In reality practice in my mind only serves only 2 purposes. To learn something new and to get golf muscles in shape. The one of many problems in golf is that there are so many variables. Wind temp terrain grass humidty and lies. You can not duplicate these things with practice.. The only way to get the experience is to play. I like to get out in that wonderful time of the year that i call daylight crazey from May 15th to about July 15th and I can play at 5:30 to 6 am get 9 holes in 11/4 hour by myself and still get to work on time I will do that 1 or 2 times per week.

  4. brianpenn says:

    Thanks Vet; excellent suggestion. Will need to leverage my two work from home days in the summer for either an early morning nine holes (if I can get my rear out of the rack) or an emergency nine around 5:00 pm. Like anything else, if you want to be successful, you need to put in the effort to find a way.

  5. brianpenn says:

    Here’s a great set of exercises that focus on lower body stability, strengthening the hips and butt, and preventing a lateral slide forward. Some are a repeat of the TPI set of 10 noted in the post, but others are new and should be very beneficial. I’m planning on adding to the initial 10.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s