It’s June 1 and I’m two weeks out from the final exam for the 2012 Improvement Plan. Yes, end-stage preparations have begun for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca (Myrtle Beach) and a quick review of my 2012 KPIs vs. 2011 and some anecdotal observations are in order.
- Scoring average has dropped from 79.17 (six rounds) to 77.80 (10 rounds).
- GIR average has increased from 8.83 to 9.20 with 7 out of 10 rounds at or above 10 GIRs.
- Putts per round has decreased from 32.66 to 31.90.
- More play. Number of rounds up from six last year to 10 in 2012 with two or three more scheduled prior to MB.
- Number of practice sessions has been reduced from 20 to 13 for the same time period. Intent was to be more efficient by playing more and practicing less.
- Short game is not as sharp, especially with greenside SW shots
- Tendency to pull hook the occasional mid-iron off the tee on par-3 holes
My focus has been on improving core conditioning in hopes that the changes would result in more consistent ball striking. This has worked and I’m enjoying more length off the tee and better accuracy with my three wedges inside of 120 yards. My GIR stats are skewed down a bit by an early round where I hit only two greens but actually struck the ball decent. That day the course was playing hard and fast with the greens impossible to hold. It’s clear that ball striking has seen the best improvements. Along those lines, I’ve been resisting the temptation to work on my swing and finally succumbed last weekend, but the key here is that I continued to focus on my single most prevalent weaknesses (not maintaining spine angle). My Saturday range work helped result in 12 GIRs during Sunday’s round.
Players of this game all know that just when you think you have it, you don’t, and that golf requires constant adjustments. I didn’t want to work on my swing but started to see some familiar misses that were not evident early in the season. Now that I think I’ve got that fixed, it’s off to work on the greenside pitches. I’m not too worried because these are clearly a problem with technique and lack of reps. I changed short game approach over the winter and have not practiced it enough to get comfortable. With my focus on conditioning, the short game suffered. The good news is that it usually takes only one or two dedicated sessions around the green to get comfortable.
So a little short game work, a round this weekend and next, a few last minute adjustments for whatever else pops up, and I’ll be ready to go. Wish me luck!