Teed it up today at my local muni to get the season underway and if today’s round is an indicator of things to come, it’s going to be a great year. I’ve been working on conditioning as part of my 2012 improvement plan and was just dying to battle test myself and boy did I come through. Normally on opening day, I tee it up with no swing thoughts and no expectations and just try to bang the rust off, but today was different. Along with the exercise program, I was armed with new short game and putting techniques, courtesy of Stan Utley, and was testing out my spankin’ new Bushnell V2 rangefinder and there were no disappointments.
On the exercises; the most useful was the opposite end swings designed to build club head speed. I found these awkward at first but noticed after a couple weeks that my finish was much more in balance with 90% of my weight correctly distributed on my left foot and my body was fully rotated. Today I came out of the chute with an aggressive move and felt in balance the whole round. My short irons were dialed in but more importantly, I was taking big solid divots flying straight at the target, which were inconspicuously missing last year when I was pulling up and out of my spine angle on the downswing. The feeling of balance and ability to go after the ball was exciting, and at the end of the day, I had 10 GIR and had rolled in three birdies – exceeding any and all expectations. Yes there was rust, and I still need work getting comfortable with the new pitching techniques, and just to keep it real, I left the course with a slow burn about a missed 4-footer straight uphill for birdie on #18
There’s snow in the forecast for tomorrow and it might be a short while before I play again, but this early taste of success was important because it validated the hard conditioning work I’ve been doing for the last month. Again, the target this year is to play twice per week and practice less, and I can’t wait to exercise tomorrow! See you in the gym.