Better Golf Through Better Simulation

Perusing the shops in downtown St. Augustine, FL

Regular readers know that I’m a big fan of simulation during practice.  Exercises using this technique have been a great stroke saver because it preps your mind for real course action, gets you out of mechanical thinking mode, focuses you on shot making, and is an exceptional time saver.  Either full round simulation or short game simulation is beneficial. 

This morning, I had two hours to practice and devoted most of my time to a simulated 18-hole round at my home course of Blue Mash.  The whole exercise took about an hour and that included time warming up with about 20 balls.  The best simulations are when you are focusing intently on each shot and do not rush.  Today, I took 30-60 seconds between swings, wiped down the club head and grip after every shot, took an occasional sip of water, and chatted up my neighbor a little.  We were hitting from the absolute front tee on our large grass range and weren’t allowed to use drivers since the last target flag was only 230 yards out.  I resorted to using 3WD on all the tee shots where I’d normally use driver and may have stumbled upon something.

Have you ever thought how much better you’d score if you left your driver in the bag most of the time?  I found this out after only missing one tee shot with the 3WD, and not badly enough so that the ball went into trouble.  Upon reflection, I normally hit driver on 11 of our 18 holes but only need to on five.  You can certainly leave driver in the bag on the par-5s unless you think you can reach the green in two.  I’m not long enough to hit any of our par-5s in two and driver only serves to occasionally get you in trouble.  Just put a 3WD in play and hit one more club on the layup shot and you alleviate a lot of risk.  Anyway, I hit all these 3WDs and shot a solid simulated 2-over round with 13 GIR.  Very encouraging.   

Tomorrow, I’m playing the course for real and am thinking of only hitting driver on the five necessary holes.  This is very important because when you keep the ball in play, your mind remains engaged at a much higher level than when you fight wildness.  The last two times I employed this 3WD strategy in competition, I met with very successful outcomes.  I think I’ll give it a try.

Tee shot on #17 at TPC Sawgrass. Pretty tight!

On a side note, in my recent jaunt to St. Augustine, FL and TPC Sawgrass, I sampled some Jambalaya at Harry’s Seafood Bar and Grille in downtown St. Augustine.  It has vaulted up our Jambalaya rankings into the #2 position!  (Rankings are in the left margin of the All About Golf home page).  Harry’s is a New Orleans Cajun style seafood restaurant and is excellent.  If you’re ever in St. Augustine, stop by for a heaping plate of this goodness!

Play well.