The Tee Box

Been getting colder but I’m still playing
November 4, 2011, 5:49 pm
Filed under: golf, miscellaneous

In the last month I’ve been trying to get out once a week. I haven’t always made it. A couple of weeks ago I got out to Piedmont and shot 83. Not every shot was great but I really felt I had some measure of control over the ball. The next week I played in a four-person scramble at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club. I played with my brother and his wife and a friend of his. My brother and his wife don’t play very often but they still contributed some quality shots now and then. I’m probably a little better than his friend, but it worked out that when I would hit a bad shot he hit a good one, and the reverse was true too. We ended up taking 2nd in the B flight. That’s where my brother and his wife really helped, as their handicaps lowered our expected performance. Today I got out to Piedmont before heading off to play some ice hockey. It was chilly and windy but I decided to play the tips. Don’t ask me why. I hit the ball fairly well but the wind really affected me. I ended with an 88, which isn’t horrible, but not exactly what I was trying to shoot. That’s ok. With the weather changing I’m going to have these days. At least I was playing.

Hitting well doesn’t equal scoring well
October 9, 2011, 6:58 pm
Filed under: golf

I’ve been working with the new swing in the last week. I really feel like I’m getting the hang of it and I’m striking the ball as well as I have been recently. I’m not scoring however. I could blame the greens at my club because everyone thinks they are way fast. But I’m usually two putting. The speed might affect the distance of the first putt and maybe that is why the scores aren’t where they should be. Hard to say. I do feel I’m on the right track. If the greens are really that difficult then hopefully I’ll be able to play well this coming weekend. I’m have two tournaments scheduled for Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. It would be nice if I play well on what could be an easier setup. Next week’s blog entry should tell you how that goes.

Needed Help
October 1, 2011, 12:50 pm
Filed under: golf

For the entire months of August and September my game has been terrible. I usually keep my scores in the 80’s. I’ve been pretty reliable in that. Something happened where I began losing my driver. It was usually a severe hook. I was confused but eventually worked it out. Just as I fixed that I lost my irons. As good as my driver became my irons were bad. I began to hook the ball sometimes 40 yards. I began to hate par 3’s because I could hit the green for anything. In addition I started shanking the ball. I could hit a perfect drive into the middle of the fairway, leave myself 135 yards to the green and then hit the ball at a 90 degree angle out of bounds. I started to be afraid of hitting houses. I had zero confidence.

After a frustrating hour on the range last Monday I’d had enough. My last shot up there was a gap wedge that cleared the net to the right and headed towards traffic on the adjacent road. Fortunately it landed in the median, but I was finished. I packed up my bag and headed to the pro shop. I talked to my pro and just said “I need help”. We set up a lesson for Wednesday. He said he’d straighten me out, but I had my doubts.

On Wednesday I warmed up on the range and was hitting ok, but still with the hook. When my pro arrived I immediately began shanking the ball. He watched a little and had me stop (I think because he was afraid I might rub off on him or kill someone on the range). He told me what I’d been doing wrong and how to fix it. What he said to do felt foreign and awkward but I hit the ball straight as could be. After awhile it even started feeling easier to hit the ball. I was amazed and relieved. I couldn’t wait to get out on the course to try it.

I got that chance on Friday. Now, my pro had said I should make the same correction throughout my bag but I hadn’t had a chance to practice it with my woods. There was a little doubt as to how I would do. My first few holes were ok. I hit some fairways and I missed some as I made my corrections. When I missed I had trouble from the rough (4″ deep and thick). My approach shots were way better though. The greens that day were super fast thanks to the upcoming three day tournament, so putting was interesting. My score was where I’d usually be upset, but I felt like I was making great progress and the round wasn’t a struggle. I’ve shot better before the change but I had to work for every stroke. This time, although my score was higher, I could see where practice will improve me. I feel like there’s room to improve and I’m excited about it. A few more session on the range and I think I can be back where I should be.

I can’t thank my pro enough. I needed a second set of eyes to see what I couldn’t feel. It made all the difference in the world. I only wish I’d done this a month ago. The handicap is trending up but I know now that I can get it back down. More importantly I can enjoy playing again. I truly missed that.