It’s not often we once-a-week chops are able to string a series of positives together, but I had such the experience from last weekend to this, and it finally feels like my game is coming around . It has been a brutal spring punctuated by bad weather and terrible ball striking. The bad swings compounded into stress, worrying, and some serious mental game foibles. But after this weekend, things are finally looking up and many in the on-line golf community have played a positive part and deserve my thanks.
First, thank you to The Grateful Golfer for pointing out that focus is extremely important in golf. After our dialog, I realized that I needed a serious re-commitment to my pre-shot routine and to work on changing focus to targets instead of mechanics. It’s great to bounce ideas off Jim; he’s such a wealth of knowledge and has great perspective.
Next, thank you to The Birdie Hunt for reinforcing the notion that continuous play is more important than practice, especially for the weekend hack. I try to do both, but clearly the part time player benefits more from play. Playing once a week is hard because it feels like you have to re-learn too many shots instead of call on them. I finally played two days in a row for the first time this season, albeit only 27 holes, but the added reps were great.
Third, thank you to my friend Jim Rush who spotted a serious flaw in my swing during my pre-round warm up last weekend. Nothing will start your round off worse than hitting huge smother hooks while you get loose. I leveraged his advice as well as the on-line lesson from FixYourGame.com I took a couple years ago. The takeaway; when things go bad with your swing, you are usually reverting to bad habits, as I was. I will probably be fighting spine angle issues the rest of my days, but at least when I spray the ball, I understand why and can work it. Yesterday and today I worked it and finally felt in control off the tee.
Lastly, thank you to Gary Marlowe for the chipping lesson back in 1983. Gary was a fellow student at the University of Maryland and on the golf team. Later he went on to play the PGA Tour for one season but had his career cut short by injury. Gary and I were on the putting green one afternoon and he had me choke down to the metal with my trailing hand for better control, and play the ball back with a pronounced forward press. I have been very dissatisfied with my distance control and contact this season, and recommitted to this tip yesterday during my nine-hole practice round and it felt good. Today, I missed the green on #1 at Northwest and imagine how great it felt when I chipped in for birdie. Change validated!
I’m not totally out of the woods, but it was nice to feel like myself again over consecutive rounds. Hoping the momentum continues to build through next week’s trip to South Carolina.
How’s your swing coming along this spring?