Update After Lesson #2

Today I took the second in a series of four full swing lessons.  In lesson #1 I told my instructor my goal was to average more than 10 GIR per round this season.  I have been stuck between 8 and 9 for the last seven straight years.  10+ should improve my proximity, provide more birdie looks, and help lower my scores.  Lesson #1 was difficult because we focused  on trying to break a bad habit.  I played the day after lesson #1 and you can imagine the result – two GIR.  I played a week later after some practice and saw some positives with my driving and fairway woods, but struggled with my irons and wedge play.  Still, I managed to hit seven greens.

Lesson #2 was much better.  I latched onto a swing key after my instructor manipulated my hands where he wanted me at the top of my back swing.  This allowed me to only think of one thought during the swing and helped immensely.  I was probably picking up an additional 10 yards with my 8-iron and hitting about 80% of them within my target range (10 feet to the right or left of the flag).  Then we moved to partial wedge shots with the new change.  The difference was weird at first but significant.  I tried to hit 40 yard pitches with my 56 but hit it so solidly that I couldn’t keep it under 60 yards.  Then I shortened my back swing so I almost felt like it was a long chip, accelerated through the ball and managed to control the distance better.  My contact was consistent and much improved.  He told me I hit a lot of good shots and I left the golf course pumped.

Then I made a mistake.  I went out after lunch for some more practice with the intention of cementing the lessons into memory and didn’t hit nearly as well.  I failed to realize how gassed I was from the lesson because I had warmed up for a half hour and the lesson took an hour. I had hit the equivalent of an extra large bucket of balls.  So I didn’t even try to finish up and went and hit some putts for half an hour.  You have to know your limitations!

I’m playing again tomorrow and am hoping to see additional improvement, especially with the short irons and wedges.  Play well if you are too!


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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7 Responses to Update After Lesson #2

  1. Brian

    Great news that your lessons are showing improvement to your physical and mental aspect of your game. Both are critical when making changes. I think we are all guilty from time to time of over extending ourselves when things are going well on the course. It is being a kin in a candy store! Enjoy your round today.


    • Brian Penn says:

      Jim, I have kept your tip about being patient at the forefront of my mind and it’s helped as I work through the process. When you struggle, struggle, struggle, and finally get it, it’s that much more rewarding. Thanks for that timely advice!


  2. Brian,

    This sounds like some good progress! That first round after a lesson is always tough, especially when you haven’t had much time to practice in between. Curious, when you track your GIR, do you ever differentiate between greens missed because of being out of position off the tee vs. being in position and hitting a less than ideal iron shot?


    • Brian Penn says:

      Hi Josh, good question. No I don’t differentiate. I figure GIR is simply an indication of quality ball striking. Poor tee shots will result in lower GIR as will poor iron play. At the end of the day it’s all baked into the same loaf. That’s why I don’t put too much emphasis on total putts, which can show a lower total even with poor ball striking. GIR is my statistical bible, so to speak.



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