2013 Travel – Anyone golfed in Alabama?

BamaNeed some advice on a new golf destination.  I want to book a fall trip on the Robert Trent Jones (RTJ Golf Trail) in Alabama and have read lots of good things about excellent value, great courses, top notch playing conditions, but I’ve never been to Alabama much less considered how to play the trail.

It seems the trail is spread out over the entire state and there is some serious mileage between courses.  I’m looking for a reasonable itinerary for a week of golf in the October time frame with about 18 holes per day and was wondering if this was even doable considering how spread out the RTJ Trail is.  Does it make sense to identify a center-state spot as my headquarters and venture out for day trips, or travel along the trail to different sites?

I’m also a huge fan of SEC football and would LOVE to turn this adventure into a bucket list event and couple it with a home game at the University of Alabama on either Oct 19 vs Arkansas or Oct 26 vs Tennessee!

Anyone with tips on golfing the RTJ or how to get Alabama football tickets, please send.  Thanks!

Great start to the 2013 golf season!

I’ve been struggling with my confidence since the poor finish to the 2012 season and decided to pick up Bob Rotella’s Golf Is a Game of Confidence.  Halfway through the read the message was clear:  I needed to re-dedicate to my short game and regain some structure with my pre-shot routine, which admittedly I had slacked off on.  I recalled the last few good rounds I had played and the common thread was an excellent short game practice session the day before.  When I come away from a great session on the green I get an invincible feeling that transitions into confidence and relaxation in every aspect of my game.

Out at the short game area yesterday, I worked on a very methodical pre-shot routine for chipping, pitching, and putting and enjoyed some excellent feedback.  90% of the routine was my old routine, but I concentrated hard to repeat before every shot.  The slight adjustment was to take a final look at the target, on all shots, and immediately pull the trigger.  On my putts, I literally stared down my spot, moved my eyes back to the ball, and started the stroke in one motion.  By not hesitating, I was trusting my feel, which was akin to a basketball player eying the basket, firing off a jumper, and letting his natural sense for calculating distance, arc, and force sink the shot.  And it worked great.

I also used the landing point drill with three alignment sticks to frame a small box (open end towards the hole) where I wanted my chip or pitch to land.  This got me focused exclusively on the target and freed up my sense of touch.  At no time did I think any mechanical thoughts because I was totally focused on my landing spot and feeling the shot during my practice swings.  The results were awesome, with plenty of crisp contact and dialed-in distance on the pitches and chips, and putts that were banged into the back of the cup.  It’s funny how one small mental change can yield so much physical benefit.

So it’s the start of the work week, the weather has turned sour, and I’m all dressed up with nowhere to go.  🙂  Has your season gotten off to a good start as well?