2014 Winter Golf Tune-Up Plan

Winter Golf From pga.com
Winter Golf
From pga.com

One of my favorite pastimes is reading golf books over the winter and trying to find a nugget to put into play the following season, and this year is no exception.  Two years ago, I made the mistake of reading both the Stan Utley short game book and putting book and putting mechanical changes in place without sufficient runway to practice before implementing in the spring.  Come March, my short game was in ruins.

This year, I am determined not to make mechanical changes but have landed on a practice tip I just love and think will be very beneficial.  Has anyone heard of the 9-shot?  I’m currently reading The Big Miss by Hank Haney, and 9-shot is the drill that he introduced to Tiger Woods to improve his confidence in ball striking.  The drill is to take nine shots with each club in the bag and vary the curve and height pattern on every ball.  Basically, you hit three fades, three draws, and three straight shots and try to hit them with a low, medium, and high trajectory.  My driving range sells buckets of about 50 balls and the thought is to try the drill by warming up with five balls, then hit the remaining 45 in five groups of nine using a PW, 8-iron, 6-iron, 4-iron, and Driver.  I’ve noticed that on days when I warm up well, I’ll try to work the ball on the last few shots and it infuses me with tremendous confidence to be able to curve it on demand.  This drill seems like it will help with concentration and focus on every club in the bag.  Anyone tried the 9-shot?

It’s going to be in the high 50s on Friday and I’ll give it a go and report back.  Gotta love the opportunity to bang some balls outside in the winter.  By the way, a full book review is coming on The Big Miss so don’t miss it!

7 thoughts on “2014 Winter Golf Tune-Up Plan”

  1. As much slack as Haney got for his book I really enjoyed the insight into the world of Tiger. Also, I have tried the 9 shot drill and while it is good in theory it is a bit frustrating in execution. For us non professional golfers, those 9 shots can be very hard to execute. I found myself getting stuck on a certain shot and staying there for a while trying to figure it out. This made it very hard to get through the entire bag. I’m interested to hear what you think of it and if you are able to get through the full bag of clubs hitting the 9 shots.

    1. Hah! Pretty much my expectation on that 9-shot drill. I suspect it’ll turn into a six-shot pretty quick since I am not a high ball hitter. I love the low knock down shots and hardly ever practice my draws or fades since I hit the range so infrequently. I suspect you need to give this a try over several range sessions and when your high cut turns into a low pull, just shrug it off and move on to the next. Part of my problem is I get bored fast on the range and the 9-shot seems like it will re-kindle some interest in full swing practice, as well as some confidence if I can actually start to curve it with a bit of consistency. Can’t wait to try it out and can’t really do any damage in the winter months. Will let you know how it goes, thanks!

  2. Brian
    I will have to check out the drill. I like to focus on fitness during the off season. I am slowly working my way back to the gym 5 times a week, but unfortunately, christmas is here….Jan 3 look out.

    1. Jim, this is more of an experiment in my ability to concentrate and build more mental discipline. Plus, any chance to get outside and bang a few during the winter needs to be pursued! If I can pull off 50% of the intended results in the 9-shot, I’ll be happy. Thanks, Brian.

  3. Hey

    The 9 shot drill is excellent and engaging – a great way for strong players to hone their shotmaking skills. A great game that is a close cousin is tic-tac-toe – where you set up a grid like the famous game and then alternated trying to make a row or clump of shots before your opponent does. Great game for you and your sparring partner.

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