Cramming for May events

CrammingNormally the golf season starts in late February in the DMV and I attempt to peak my game for the important events on the May calendar.  May 5 is the four-man scramble for the Jess Carson Charity Foundation at Queenstown Harbor, and May 30-June 4 is our annual Myrtle Beach 216-hole slug-fest.  This year we have a dynamite course line-up and I am pumped to travel, but the physical demands of this trip can be daunting if your fitness level is poor or you are struggling with your game.   Sometimes you can’t control game struggles, but this year I broke protocol by doing a poor job maintaining my fitness over the winter, and am playing catch up.  Also, rather than dedicating two days per weekend in the spring for practice and play, I was limited to one mostly because of bad weather.

As I noted earlier, I’ve been battling a long running case of the chip yips and last weekend appeared to have it whipped.  I managed to chip in again for the second time in four rounds and took great encouragement from the course despite my continued ball striking issues.  Fast forward to yesterday and I hit 14 greens in regulation (did not see that coming), but the chip yips were back – ugh!  I left the course a bit dejected after blowing a chance to go low by playing holes 15-18 bogey, bogey, bogey, double bogey.  What drives you nuts in this game is that you cannot solve for one thing without something else going wrong.  But my dejection quickly faded because I realized my ball striking was coming around and I finished poorly because my poor conditioning caused some loose swings late.

It’s hard to recognize that when you lay the sod over a short pitch, you are actually improving.  Improvement is not linear and you are going to have setbacks and can only hope to see overall improvement that trends up slowly.  So the push is on and I’ll continue to work on flexibility, dropping some more weight, and tailoring practice to the May 5th tournament.  The scramble is all about driving, putting, and short iron play.  I’ll practice on Saturday featuring wedges, drivers, and putting, and then play on Sunday.  Hopefully it all comes together on the 5th.  After the scramble, it will be back to the short game focus and working hard on conditioning.

When you’re a desk jockey, it’s difficult to see the forest from the trees; you want to do your best every time out, but when you only get one day per week, it sure seems hard.  How is your early season coming?

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About Brian Penn

Avid sports fan and golf nut. I am a lifelong resident of the Washington D.C. area and love to follow the local teams. Also worked as a golf professional in the Middle Atlantic PGA for several years and am intrigued by the game to no end. I love to play and practice and am dedicated to continual improvement.
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5 Responses to Cramming for May events

  1. Brian,

    The struggle to find the time for us working folk is real sometimes. I am often way too stubborn to adjust my expectations if I go through a period when I haven’t been able to practice. We know what we’re capable of on the course so we strive towards it every time. I think it’s just part of being competitive.
    Sounds like you have a lot of positives to lean on though. When you hit 14 GIR you don’t have to worry too much about chipping! lol

    Good luck with the fitness and event prep!

    Cheers
    Josh

    • Brian Penn says:

      Josh,

      You’re right. We are often held prisoner to our best shots, as we should be. The chipping did unnerve me because I hadn’t missed a shot in my first four holes and was sitting front and center on the collar of our par-5 5th in two shots. The chunked chip got in my head because I had been working hard on it all year. Couldn’t let go and did it again two holes later. Oh well, one step backward is needed at times. Thanks!

      Brian

  2. Brian

    I think we can all feel your pain! It is frustrating to have a rough finish, but I will echo Josh that 14 GIR is awesome! I played on Sunday and hit 3 GIR…..which made me GRRRRR. I think your plan of getting is shape is a solid one, the stretch of 15-18 is tough when tired. Lastly, cut yourself a bit of slack. It sounds like your game is solid, but you have a case of the can’ts when things start to go south. Remember, your mental strength is a key component to your success also. Keep working hard getting ready for May, it will pay off!

    Cheers
    Jim

    • Brian Penn says:

      Jim,
      You have me pegged at 100% with the CANT’S!! I had two things going through my head as I racked up greens: 1) Why CAN’T I make a putt? 2) This good fortune CAN’T last; when am I going to miss a shot? I should have been more patient and enjoyed my good swings and simply focused on the next shot. Guess I need another session on Dr Bob or Dr Jim’s couch! Thanks for the spot on diagnosis. I will be working on staying in the present next time out. Play well!

      Regards,

      Brian

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