I am 1,100 swings into my Hank Haney experiment. To review, Haney recommends for the time challenged golfer, to take 100 practice swings per day in your back yard (merely a 15 minute time commitment). In week one I took the first 500 with a 5-iron. In week two, I split the balance between a 5-iron and driver. The last couple of sessions I have felt particularly strong and enjoyed some excellent rhythm and a confidence boost.
Yesterday, I changed things up and went to the range in the afternoon to see actual ball flight with the 5-iron and driver. Smother hooking 40 balls will humbly reminded you why golf is such a damn hard game. Just when I thought I was on to something good the pendulum of bad habits swung in my direction. I left the practice tee discouraged but knew that I had a round to play the next day, and figured I’d better work some short game. I finished up with a pretty good session on the practice putting green.
Now I am one of those players who generally plays like he practices, and the prospect of teeing it up a day after facing down a bucket full of Big Misses felt like crossing the U-boat infested Atlantic Ocean in an unarmed merchant ship. I was dreading the surfacing of the Big Miss and can’t remember being less unenthusiastic about the prospects of playing a weekend round of golf.
I arrived at the course early this morning and headed immediately to the range, and figured it’s best to face your fears head on. The warm-up was pretty good and I maybe saw five Big Misses out of 40 swings; a much smaller percentage, but just enough to keep the threat lurking. Incidentally, I was hit by this same swing malfunction about a month ago in another pre-round warm-up, but a playing partner spotted my physical error and helped me with a band-aid fix before play, so I was armed with this little bit of knowledge.
I piped my tee shot on #1 but The Big Miss surfaced on the #2 tee shot. Somehow I managed to save bogey and then it mysteriously disappeared and I played the rest of the front nine and the first two holes on the back striking it solid and straight. Then BAM! Four Big Misses in a row led to two straight double bogeys (the second of which was nearly a triple), and I though I was done for the day. I stabilized with the band-aid and managed to birdie #16 and #17 with some solid swings and limped in without killing anyone, and carded a six-over 77. Despite the strong finish, I am questioning the wisdom of the daily practice swings. Should I continue if there’s a chance that I’m practicing a mechanical fault with no ball flight feedback? I did hit 11 GIR last weekend and 12 in today’s round, which is over my season average of eight. Maybe it’s working and I can’t see the forest of incremental progress from the trees?
Any thoughts or recommendations to stay the course or abandon for something else?