The weather in DC has been bad this winter but I’ve been able to get out every weekend for the last four to practice my swing and a bit of short game. Last weekend I managed to get myself thrown off the practice green at my local muni when the greens keeper spotted me chipping and putting on a partially snow covered surface; OOPS! Today was different with everything open I got in a couple hours of good practice, but alas old man winter is scheduling a visit of 8-12″ on Monday.
I’ve been careful this winter not to make the mistake of 2012 when I read the Stan Utley short game books and changed too much during the off-season and came out like a basket case in the spring. Only fundamentals are on the 2014 pre-season practice plate, with a focus on shot shape controlled through alignment and ball position, and attention on maintaining a consistent pace with the putter and crisp contact on chip shots.
I actually feel a little ahead of the game, but the pending snowstorm has got me bummed because in late February, I’m used to dedicating time to play and practice, but the off days have given me the opportunity to watch more golf on TV. A couple random musing from today’s PGA Tour Honda coverage: There’s a reason Brendon de Jonge doesn’t win; that over-the-top swing is ugly and needs a fix. It’s a mystery how he finished 10th in GIR last season – weird. Also looks like Rory McIlroy has his act together – finally. Looking for a big year from him.
Finally, check out this inexpensive little device that just came in the mail. It works great and the video does it justice. http://www.amazon.com/review/R1N63DN32MM9PJ?ie=UTF8&videoPreplay=1 You can attach your iPhone and clamp it right to your golf bag or any stationary structure for instant on course slefie video analysis! Looking forward to my first film session after the white stuff melts. How’s your winter practice coming?
Golf is a game renown for different outcomes for virtually every stroke, putt, chip, and game situation. Repeating the same behavior is nearly impossible and the funniest thing happened to me over the last couple of days. On Friday, I was playing an emergency nine after work at my local muni. On the par-4 8th hole, I laid up off the tee for position with a 3WD, and placed the shot perfectly in the fairway. My red Titleist #1 golf ball was clearly marked with two blue dots, but a playing partner mistakenly hit my ball on their second shot. Yesterday, on the same course, I again took 3WD for position, but this time off the par-4 9th. Again I piped the shot, and again a different playing partner hit my ball for their second shot. It was the exact same Titleist #1 with the two blue dots. What are the odds?
The only other instance that comes to mind was several years ago when I was playing Whitetail Golf Club in Bath, PA and had selected a 7-iron on the 152 yard par-3 11th. I landed the shot inches from the hole but a significant amount of spin backed the ball off the front of the green and down into a ravine; lost ball. I re-teed my provisional and changed to a 6-iron. My shot landed on the back of the green and backed all the way to the front and into the hole for a par and pseudo ace.
Sometimes this is a very strange game. Any weird repeating outliers ever happen to you? Please share, thanks!
Earlier I had written a post on the Stockton putting method and my attempts to implement. A few rounds of trying to pull my left hand at the target eventually killed all feel on my lag putts and I hit rock bottom last week with my career worst 98, which included 40-putts. Dave Stockton doesn’t take 40 putts in a round of golf but I cannot endorse his method any longer; it’s clearly not for me. I’m now in full ‘Stockton recovery, ‘ and have adopted a new simple pre-shot routine of two practice strokes with the right hand only (looking at the hole) and BINGO, roll, feel, and confidence are back! With the right hand only practice stroke, I take the club back considerably farther, which appears to be the key to regaining touch on the long putts. Prior to making the actual stroke, I gently place my left hand on the club and then stroke the putt without delay, making a totally right hand dominated stroke and attempting to duplicate the length and feel of the practice stroke. This is completely opposite of the Stockton notion of pulling the putt with the left hand and consciously trying to keep the blade low to the ground. I now feel relaxed and able to make a free flowing non-mechanical stroke.
I played today, one round removed from the 98 and validated with a great putting effort and managed to sink three lengthy birdie putts on my way to an even-par 70, which was my lowest score for the season. I now have come across several web sites advocating for the method and interestingly enough, Tiger Woods reportedly practices routinely by just stroking right-handed putts to ensure he’s releasing the putter properly. Here’s the best site I’ve found detailing the benefits of right hand dominance. Anyone out there had any luck with this method?