What do you look forward to most about your opening day of the golf season? This year’s round is about three or four weeks later than my traditional opener as the bad weather has been prohibitive. Honestly, I’m just glad to get out. My opening round is usually one of the most enjoyable of the year because there’s no mental baggage buildup. Just a clear head and go.
There’s a fair amount of angst this time because of the off-season work I’ve been doing with the Nine-Shot drill. I’ve used it over the past six weekend range sessions and am comfortable moving the ball in both directions off a mat with my irons. Haven’t focused on tee shots or hitting off grass yet, and last weekend I first tried to play a simulated round shaping shots and found it a bit uncomfortable. Transitioning from “hit it and hope” to a serious dedicated effort at better course management will probably take time, but I’m attempting this because it’s the right thing to do. Actually, I am chomping at the bit to battle test it; good or bad and with opening day in mind, I actually worked in some putting practice last weekend. I couldn’t hit water from a boat; it was just awful, so I’m not going to concern myself with score too much and will focus on taking the correct mental approach towards shot placement, and hopefully shaping a few as desired.
We all want to improve and at the end of the day, if you keep practicing the same way and getting the same results year after year, doesn’t it makes sense to change your approach? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results sounds something like Einstein’s definition of insanity.
I will be adding a new menu section to the blog starting this week to provide transparency into my scoring and performance metrics and I’ll trust you’ll send me feedback if you spot some trends good or bad.
Hope your season is a great one; let’s get it on!
Opened the 2013 golf season yesterday at the local muni and was reminded of several truths:
- Don’t play on a sunny weekend day after 12:00 noon with hundreds of other cabin fever stricken hacks in the same vicinity.
- Don’t expect miracles after working all winter indoors on your golf swing. Nothing like real ball contact on a real golf course under game conditions.
- In order to train it on the range and trust it on the course, you must first build the trust.
- Don’t worry about your hands of stone on the greens. Short game is the last thing to come around after a layoff.
- Yes you can learn more about your golfing partner’s personality in one round than in ten years of socializing at dinner parties.
- And finally, a bad day on the golf course is still better than a good day at work. 🙂
How was your opening round this year?
Teed it up today at my local muni to get the season underway and if today’s round is an indicator of things to come, it’s going to be a great year. I’ve been working on conditioning as part of my 2012 improvement plan and was just dying to battle test myself and boy did I come through. Normally on opening day, I tee it up with no swing thoughts and no expectations and just try to bang the rust off, but today was different. Along with the exercise program, I was armed with new short game and putting techniques, courtesy of Stan Utley, and was testing out my spankin’ new Bushnell V2 rangefinder and there were no disappointments.
On the exercises; the most useful was the opposite end swings designed to build club head speed. I found these awkward at first but noticed after a couple weeks that my finish was much more in balance with 90% of my weight correctly distributed on my left foot and my body was fully rotated. Today I came out of the chute with an aggressive move and felt in balance the whole round. My short irons were dialed in but more importantly, I was taking big solid divots flying straight at the target, which were inconspicuously missing last year when I was pulling up and out of my spine angle on the downswing. The feeling of balance and ability to go after the ball was exciting, and at the end of the day, I had 10 GIR and had rolled in three birdies – exceeding any and all expectations. Yes there was rust, and I still need work getting comfortable with the new pitching techniques, and just to keep it real, I left the course with a slow burn about a missed 4-footer straight uphill for birdie on #18
There’s snow in the forecast for tomorrow and it might be a short while before I play again, but this early taste of success was important because it validated the hard conditioning work I’ve been doing for the last month. Again, the target this year is to play twice per week and practice less, and I can’t wait to exercise tomorrow! See you in the gym.