2020:  What’s Next For My Golf Journey?

In these difficult times, we need to focus on our circle of influence more than our circle of concern.  For golf, it would be easy to let my game go to shambles considering the emergency and it’s effect on the industry and play-ability of our local courses.  I can’t manage that, so I will zero in on three Covid-proof strategies where I’m in control:  Improved fitness, Building and refining skills, and a badly needed equipment update.

FITNESS

Since January, I’ve been working out with weights three times per week and playing tennis on the weekends (in addition to golf).  Yesterday was my second round since our Covid-19 reopening and one thing has become clear, I need to incorporate stretching into my routine.  Before January, I had been doing a daily stretch and floor exercise routine but abandoned when I started working with weights.  That was a mistake and yesterday’s round reinforced.  My lower back tightened on the back nine and caused some loose swings that cost me strokes.  It’s odd that doing dead lifts and sit to stands helps to build strength for loading and unloading 40 lb. bags of mulch, but is not great for your golf swing.  Now, on the non-workout days, it’s back to the stretch.  Gotta get the lumbar area loose and the glutes firing!

SKILL DEVELOPMENT

This requires focus on taking more professional instruction, capturing performance data and doing analytics, increasing practice, and bolstering frequency of play.   On Saturday, I took swing video of myself and did some analytics.  In general, I liked what I saw but detected two areas for correction.  I was standing too far from the ball with the driver, and my shoulders were slightly open with the 7-iron.  Yesterday, I corrected for both and was piping the ball, especially with my 3wd off the turf.  But alas, while hyper-focused on these adjustments, my short game suffered.  That’s why golf is a journey, not a result.  You ALWAYS have something to work on.  Putting it all together will require I dedicate a mid-week afternoon to nine holes because when you up the frequency of play, more of your game becomes automatic.

EQUIPMENT

I’ve been using the same putter (Ping Answer) for many years.  Time for an update because the last few seasons have been a struggle with alignment.  Last year I averaged 31.26 putts per round.  In 2020 the sample size is smaller but I’m at 31.00, through six starts.  I’d love to get under 30, and here’s where a new tool is going to help the carpenter.  Many putts I think are aimed straight come off the blade going left, and the Answer doesn’t have an alignment aid.

Ping Answer

I love the weight and feel of the club but am sure a professional fitting can get me straightened out.  As soon as local businesses are allowed to open, I’ll schedule an appointment with Wade Heintzelman at the Golf Care Center.  Wade fit me for my last set of irons and has worked with PGA Tour players as well as many top amateurs.  He has my full confidence.

More updates are coming with future developments.  Let’s hear from you, are you in control of your golf journey?

Play well!