Halfway Point Report Card – Golf Is Fun Again!

Report cardFor the golfing enthusiast, nothing is more frustrating or disheartening than a protracted slump.  I’m 21 rounds into my season (halfway point) and I’m happy to report the game is fun for me again as my first quarter troubles appear to be over.  To recap, I was mired in an epic ball striking quagmire and had failed to hit 10 GIR in any of my first 10 rounds.  But in the last 11 rounds, I’ve hit or exceeded the number seven times.  As The Grateful Golfer would say, “my GAF is high, ” and today I capped the first half with a 1-over 73 which was my best round in my last 30, and my index has dropped to a 4.9.

What’s the fix?  I believe the early slump was caused by infrequency of play/practice and as readers of this page know, I’ve been struggling with my golf/life balance and have been trying to get enough reps in to remain effective.  A solution seems to be at hand, though.

I’m still playing only 18 holes per week, but have added a critical practice nine in early on Saturday mornings at my local executive course.  Normally, I get out early enough to play by myself and have borrowed a technique (two ball – best ball scramble) I think I saw on Hank Haney’s show.  The key in this game is to take two shots from every spot and play your best ball until holed.  With two shots at every green, albeit short executive length holes, I fill my scorecard with dots (for GIRs) and hitting greens becomes a habit.  I’ve learned there is no substitute for striking shots and watching the ball land on the putting surface time and again.  As a result, my ball striking  during the 18 hole rounds has improved as a I expect to hit more greens.  The practice nine only takes about 1.5 hours and I sometimes follow up with some putting and light chipping, but when I’m on the course, I make sure to take my share of extra short game shots at every opportunity.  Normally, I’m home by 10:30 a.m. (before half the household is even awake), and am not even missed.  Throw in three 15-minute chipping and putting sessions on my weekly commute home, and I’ve got a recipe that works because I’ve got my hands on clubs in one aspect or another FIVE DAYS PER WEEK!

The little 15-minute practices are invaluable and give me a great measure of satisfaction when I pull off shots during rounds that I’ve worked on during the week.  Today, I was 5 for 6 on green-side up and downs, using techniques honed during the afternoon commute.

So, get your hands on the clubs as often as you can in a way that allows you to fulfill your responsibilities to everything else in your life, and when you practice, try to get in enough work where you see balls flying at flagsticks onto actual greens.  Hopefully, it works for you as it has for me.  Good luck and please share any time-saving practice tips you’ve had success with.  Thanks!

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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.
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5 Responses to Halfway Point Report Card – Golf Is Fun Again!

  1. Brian
    What awesome news! Great to hear your game is back! A 73 – outstanding. I bet your #GAF is high! I totally agree that, the more the club is in your hands, the more your game improves. Keep it up – I love hearing great news!
    Cheers
    Jim

    • Brian Penn says:

      Thanks Jim. The added investment in reps is working like dollar cost averaging for your investment portfolio. Definitely seeing less impact of market fluctuations on my game the more I get a club in my hands. Hope I can keep it up! Brian

  2. Pingback: What do a Banana Costume, Whistling Straits and a 5K Run Have in Common? |

  3. Great write-up, Brian. A good reminder for myself that I don’t always need an hour or two to practice. My home club is on the way home from work and even 15 or 20 minutes of chipping and putting is better than nothing on days when I have other commitments and can’t slip a round in. Yet somehow I’ve forgotten that lately and it’s starting to show in my short game even though I’m getting a lot of rounds in. It’s tough to replace the quality reps you can achieve in a practice session.

    Thanks!
    Josh

    • Brian Penn says:

      Josh, I’m still finding my game has the usual ups and downs in the various areas but the frequency of contact with the short game smooths out the down bumps. Definitely beneficial. Thanks! Brian

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