Archive for June, 2013

Monday

Headed to the driving range tonight for about 3 hours to practice my long game, really took my time in between shots to analyze the feelings and position I was getting into and to work on the things my coach has been teaching me.  Needless to say I hit the ball extremely well, one of my most consistent and best range sessions of my life.  I’m showing those positive signs that my game is heading in the right direction and really am feeling more confident than I thought I would at this point in changing my swing. So pleased with the progress I’m making especially in my driver and woods, gaining my distance back and a lot more accuracy.  My misses are not big and every drive I hit tonight at the range would have stayed inbounds.  Will be heading to the short game area tomorrow for a few hours of practice and then probably back for some long game on Wednesday night like usual.  Hoping to continue my solid play and keep moving in the right direction.  I’m not sure when I’m going to play again, I’d like to get out and play as soon as possible, might try and go play by myself on Thursday or Friday if everything goes well on Wednesdays session, but at worst hopefully I’ll get a round in this weekend.  My buddy will be done with school after this week and he has told me he would love to start going a few times a week, so hopefully that will help me get a ton of rounds in this summer.

Today

Did some short game practice today over at the range I normally frequent; practiced chipping and bunker play for about 2 and half hours.  I feel extremely confident in my chipping game right now, with all range of distances.  They give you a sleeve of balls to practice at that contains about 22 golf balls I believe.  On the chipping range, I was hitting about 5 or 6 balls to a certain flag then switch my target to a different flag.  It’s important to go at different flags if you are going to hit about 20+ balls consecutively.  I like to change after about 5 or 6 just because anymore than that and you start to get a rhythm and feel for where the shot should land and it makes it easier.  On the course however, you only get one chance, so it’s important to keep it moving around so you’re testing yourself with every shot like you would when playing.  After awhile you start to “see” the shots easier and with enough practice that is going to translate to lower scores on the course.

 View from my chipping practice area today

One area I definitely need to put more focus on is my bunker play.  I have decided that I’m going to get a lesson from my instructor solely on bunker play because now that I think about it, I never have before.  I have only watched videos on bunker play and always gone purely through feel.  I do ok out of the bunkers, but have a lot of room to improve and a lesson from a PGA professional will certainly help me tremendously in that area.  I do a good job of avoiding green side bunkers on the course, but it is a weak aspect of my game I will need to tighten up if I’m going to become scratch.

Played a round today with a buddy over at Meadow Lake Golf Club in Escondido, CA, had never played over there before today.  We found a tee time online at Golfnow.com for 42% off, $35 a fairly cheap rate.  We finished the round in only about 4 hours, was able to go just us two and did not have to wait at all until the 17th and 18th.  Really fun round and we took our time to practice chips and putts after finishing our first ball, got in some good course condition practice today.  The greens and the chipping areas surrounding the greens were in excellent condition, the fairways and tee boxes were pretty rough, but overall I really enjoyed the course and will definitely be back to play again.  The course plays at a par 71, with a rating and slop of 72.3/129 and measures 6,524 yards from the tip black tees.   We played today from the tips (black tees) and I shot a very solid round of 77 (+6)

Meadow Lake Golf Club 6,524 Yards Par 71

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Hole 1: 569 Par 5

Blind tee shot first hole, dog leg left.  Wanted to favor the right side and let the fairway slope kick the ball left, hit a solid drive, but a little too far right along the cart path and it settled in the rough.  The dog leg makes it difficult to hit it far enough to have a go for the green in 2, so I just layed up to about 100 yards.  Hit a nice lob wedge to about 8 feet, but missed the birdie putt. Par

Round (Even)

Hole 2: 398 Par 4

Another dogleg hole, but this one to the right.  I tried to cut the corner a bit with a 3 wood, drew it too much and was in the rough about 145 out.  The 2nd shot plays to an elevated green so it’s a blind shot.  Not knowing how the green looks, I just took dead aim and hit a nice 9iron to about 15 ft left of the pin.  Quick downhill putt, but 2 putted for par. Par

Round (Even)

Hole 3: 310 Par 4

A straight away par 4, but up a hill, so another blind tee shot and 2nd shot.  Hit a 3 wood to the left side of the fairway, but it ran through to the rough.  Had about 80 yards in, knocked a lob wedge to about 12ft.  VERY fast putt as the green ended up running back to front (wish I knew that prior!) ran the putt about 6 ft by, but clutched up and made the come backer for par. Par

Round (Even)

Hole 4: 176 Par 3

This is a really neat par 3 that plays straight downhill, wish I would have taken a picture, but it reminds me of #7 on the North Course of Torrey Pines, looks about the same minus the beautiful ocean.  The scorecard says to play 2 clubs down, but I think it was playing even more as I hit a PW over the green.  Normally I hit my PW about 130-140, so it was playing a good 30-40 yards drop.  Left myself with little green to work with and a downhill slope.  Just tried to just chip it up into the fringe and let that kill the speed and trickle onto the green, but it got caught up in the fringe and stayed there.  Chipped my next one to about 3 ft and made the bogey. Bogey

Round (+1)

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Photo I took of Torrey Pines North #7 during this year’s PGA Tournament.  For some perspective, the hole today was severely more downhill than this, but not nearly as scenic

Hole 5: 303 Par 4

At 303yards it was the shortest par 4 on the course and a straight forward hole, with a little uphill toward the green.  Hit a great drive to about 25 yards, pitched it on to about 7 ft, very makeable, but missed another birdie putt. Par

Round (+1)

Hole 6: 367 Par 4

Another straight away hole, striped a drive down the middle and had about 80 yards in.  Flipped a lob wedge to about 15ft, had a great line on the putt, but just didn’t hit it, 2 putt par. Par

Round (+1)

Hole 7: 176 Par 3

A solid par 3, tugged a 7iron to the right of the green.  Had a slight downhill lie with little green to work with, it died on the fringe again and was left with about an 8ft par putt that I missed. Bogey

Round (+2)

Hole 8: 417 Par 4

Downhill par 4 where you can let a drive rip, pulled it though into the right rough.  Had about 133 to a lowered green, ball didn’t fly out of rough like I thought it would and left it short in the trap.  Hit a poor bunker shot to the fringe and then 2 putted for a disappointing bogey.  Bogey

Round (+3)

Hole 9: 497 Par 5

Dog leg right par 5, hit a nice drive down the right side, had about 212 in, but a horrible lie, so I just knocked a 6iron to the middle of fairway about 50 yards from green.  Hit a great pitch to about 6 ft and made the uphill putt for birdie.  Birdie

Round (+2)

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A nice (+2) 38 on the Par 36 Front 9.  Fairways Hit (FW): 3/7 43% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 6/9 66.6% Up/Downs: 0/2 0% Sand Saves: 0/1 0%

 

Hole 10: 161 Par 3

This hole requires a very accurate tee shot, out of bounds to the left and bunkers to the right.  Hit a great 8iron to center of green about 9 ft short of flag.  Had a slight right to left breaker up the hill, a great look at birdie, but couldn’t convert again.  Par

Round (+2)

Hole 11: 383 Par 4

Straight away par 4, but you need to keep it in the right half so you have the best angle to the green, hit a great drive down the center right.  Stuck a lob wedge to about 7 ft, probably the best birdie look I had all day, flat putt, but I missed it.  The birdies are just not falling for me right now. Par

Round (+2)

Hole 12: 405 Par 4

A dog leg right hole where the right is a hazard, a tight driving hole that you must put down the left side.   Tried to just hit a 3 wood and over cooked it to the right and it found the hazard.  Was able to drop it as it was a red stake and hit a wedge to about 8 ft, but of course missed the putt again for par.  Poor tee shot leads to a bogey. Bogey

Round (+3)

Hole 13: 547 Par 5

Another dogleg hole this time to the left where the dog leg starts at about 230.  This is a 3 shot par 5, almost impossible to get there in 2 with the short tee shot you are forced to hit.  I tried to be a hero and hit a cut 5 wood around the corner, but that was a big mistake as I cut it too much and it hopped into another hazard.  Took my drop behind some trees and could only advance it to about 200 yards out.  Hit a 5iron to the severe uphill green and had about a 20ft par putt.  My putter picked a good time to actually make a putt today as I sunk the tough right to left breaking putt for a great par save! Par 

Round (+3)

Hole 14: 219 Par 3

A long par 3 at almost 220 yards, slightly downhill with trouble to the left.  Hit a 5 iron just short of the green, chipped up, but missed the par save for a bogey. Bogey

Round (+4)

Hole 15: 426 Par 4

A long, but wide open par 4 where you can let a drive rip.  Unfortunately I hit a poor shot, pulling it low and to the right.  Ball settled in a dirt hole that was nearly impossible to advance the ball very far.  I took a good whack at it, but could only advance the ball maybe 70yards.  Hit a wedge just onto the back fridge about 15ft away, missed the putt and made another bogey. Bogey

Round (+5)

Hole 16: 159 Par 3

Hit it short of the green just barely on the fringe and was able to 2 putt for much needed par to stop the bleeding. Par

Round (+5)

Hole 17: 450 Par 4

A blind tee shot with just two giant boulders right infront of the tee box as a marker that you have to hit over with a driver.  They tell you to just aim at the right boulder as that should be the angle to the middle of the fairway.  Hit a great drive, 300+ right into the center of the fairway.  Only about 140 in, but pushed a wedge short and left, really a great opportunity blown on this #2 hardest hole on the course according to the scorecard.  Had a trickle chip shot that I debated between flopping it high or chipping it low and spinning it up.  I chose wrong and decided to chip it low and it ran about 12 ft by, 2 putted for bogey. Should of flopped it! Bogey

Round (+6)

Hole 18: 561 Par 5

Another long difficult par 5 with a dog leg right off the tee then to a dog leg left for the 2nd shot.  Hit a good drive down the left side, wasn’t in a very good spot for my 2nd so I just layed it up with a 7 iron.  Got a bad bounce and ended up under a tree about 120 yards out.  Punched a 7iron trying to stay under the tree and run it up onto the green, but it came up about 25yards short.  Made a great pitch to about 5 feet and made a nice par save to end my round. Par

Round (+6)

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Had a bad stretch of golf over my last 7 holes going +4.  Ended the back 9 with a score of 39 on the Par 35.  Fairways Hit (FW): 2/6 33% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 2/9 22% Up/Downs: 3/6 50% Sand Saves: 0/0 0%

** For future reference, the “NC” written on my scorecards under the green section is used to indicate that I had no chance to reach the green in regulation, either from a tee shot out of bounds, a horrible lie, or blocked out by items.**

Overall not a bad round for me, I can definitely tell that my game is improving and that really means a lot to me, knowing that my hard work is starting to pay off slowly but surely.  My driving improved from Wednesdays round and that was something that I was really working hard to fix.  I’m excited to see what I can shoot when that part of my game gets really good.  Playing a new course for the first time can be very difficult, but I think I handled it fairly well, +6 from the tips at a new course is nothing to scoff about and I gained a lot of course knowledge for the next time I play here.  I hope you like my round recaps, it’s a lot of work, but I really enjoy writing them and I hope you enjoy reading it too.  On a side note, great news that this round today lowered my handicap to a new all time low! It dropped from 5.1 to a 4.6, feeling good and ready for more

On Thursday I decided to take most of the day working to revamp the blogs look.  I hope you enjoy it, I think it looks a lot better now and the page layout kind of has that “scratched” look and feel to it.  I added an about me page, if you click the photo on the left side of the page it will take you to that profile.  I love that photo, every time I look at it, it brings a calming and peaceful feeling to me, and I hope you enjoy its beauty as well.  I added also on the left side a definition of a scratch golfer and a handicap (including my current handicap) for some of you who might not be familiar with the terminology, as well as categorized my posts.  There are currently 5 categories at this point which are golf rounds/recaps, lessons, long game practice, short game practice, and just blog posts about life and general stuff.  Should make it easier to find what you’re looking for in future visits to the site.

Ok, now on to the golf game!  Thursday night I decided to go to the range and try and figure out my driver problems.  Was still struggling to hit my driver and woods solid and straight, but the rest of the clubs in my bag are coming around very nicely.  After the range session last night, I decided that today I would go back to my teacher to try and get some help with my driver and woods.  We worked on getting my left elbow into a better position tucked underneath my right.  This is something my coach has been trying to get me to do over the past few lessons, but subconsciously I had let it slip back into the old routine of left on top of the right.  Once I start to figure that out, it will bring me a lot more consistency in my swing.  Overall, he thought that I was improving nicely in my setup, grip, balance and swing path.  Today we also worked on not moving so far forward in my downswing.  This was causing me to get way out in front and my hands were getting stuck behind.  I was just shifting my hips forward instead of rotating them.  We worked on a few drills to help me get that feeling and yea it is going to take some time and practice before these feelings become normal and I’m able to repeat it each and every time.  It did help my driver though and I was starting to hit the ball fairly straight near the end of the lesson.  I need to feel like my arms are almost just dropping and moving first in my downswing.  My knees need to feel like they are separating and my right hip stays in the same spot and only rotates and does not shift forward.  You can check out my swing in the video lesson recap I’ll be posting here at the end of the video.  It might make a little more sense for you to see it than for me to explain it.

I’m definitely losing distance from where I was at before, but I just want to hit it straighter right now, the distance will come when I get more comfortable and am able to swing harder.  Going to be playing a round tomorrow morning with a buddy over at Meadow Lakes Golf Course, I have never played there before, but I have heard it can be quite challenging.  I’m not expecting to go out and shoot another 4 over round, but I’m hoping that I can continue my solid short game and improve on my driving.  I was able to get away with my horrible driving in my last round because I was able to put it into the other fairways and spots that I knew would be alright having played there many times before.  At a new course however, having seen only a few pictures where it looks like there are more canyons and out of bounds, I really need to keep my drives in play.  I’m more confident after this lesson though with my woods going into tomorrow, so my goal is just to break 80 (it’s a par 71).  My coach told me today that it is going to take a few weeks to get my body used to the new positions and that I should not expect to get it over night.  I’m excited that I am moving in the right direction and I can’t wait to get to work practicing and I’m looking forward to that day when it all clicks.

Here is my video recap lesson from today, enjoy!

On Tuesday I went to putt and chip for about 2 hours in preparation for my round on Wednesday.  My chipping and putting are really improving and where that used to be a weak area of my game, I have really been gaining confidence quickly in both.  If you want to shoot consistent low scores, you will gain the most strokes by being solid on and around the green.

On Wednesday I played my first round since starting this blog.  Maybe the blog motivated me more to shoot a real good open score and I did just that, carding a +4 round of 74 on the par 70 Vineyard Golf Course. From the back tee Vineyard plays at a rating of 73.1, my score of 74 gave me a handicap index of 0.9, which I believe is my lowest I have ever shot.  My other 74 I have shot was a +2 in Palm Springs (Which was the round that sparked this whole golf obsession again for me) but that was from the middle tees and it ended up being an index of 1.7 or something.  So overall I’m very pleased with my round today, showing a lot of improvement in my iron play and up and down ability.  The black eye of the round however, was the fact that I drove the ball from the tee absolutely horrid.  The positions that my coach wants me to get into with my woods are just not translating yet; I could not even hit a 3-wood in the fairway let alone my driver.  Hit only 3 of 14 fairways in the round, but like I said before, my iron, chipping and putting was great and despite only hitting 21% of fairways I was able to shoot only 4 over par.  I’m going to be going over my round hole by hole, so you can kind of picture how my round went.  I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do this for every round I play, when I start playing 3-4 times a week, but at least for the first I must do it.

The Vineyard Golf Course 6,531 Yards Par 70

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Front 9

Hole 1: 420 Par 4

A straight away par 4, played into the wind today.  Hit one of my only good drives of the day with my driver in the fairway.  Pushed a sand wedge for 2nd shot, hit the green, but had about 35-40ft birdie putt.  2 putted. Par

Round (Even)   

Hole 2: 351 Par 4

Short dogleg left with water surrounding the left side and green.  Put a nice draw on a 5 iron off the tee, starting it on corner of water and drew it back into the fairway.  Had about 118 left into the wind, hit a 3quarter gap wedge to about 8 feet for birdie.  Missed putt and 2 putted. Par

Round (Even)

Hole 3: 125 Par3

Short par 3, was only playing about 110 today, as pin was in the very front.  Water is in front of green and out of bounds long.  Hit a solid sand wedge to center of green, 2 putted for par.  Pars a very good score on this tricky little hole. Par

Round (Even)

Hole 4: 404 Par 4

Decided to hit a 3 wood off tee just to try and hit fairway, ended up pushing it to the left into a fairway bunker.  Was blocked out by a tree, so I just punched a club up, hoping to maybe run it onto the green. Hit a great shot and ran it up to the front of the green just in the fringe with plenty of green to work with.  Used a 9 iron to run it up to the hole which was positioned on the top of a slope.  Ran it about 7 ft by and lipped out the putt for par. Bogey

Round (+1)

Hole 5: 401 Par 4

This is where my driving started to take a turn for the worse.  Hit a 3 wood off the tee here, but pushed it so far left that it went through our fairway and through the 4th hole fairway and out!  Absolutely horrid shot luckily though it was a lateral hazard and not out of bounds, so I was able to drop for my 3rd instead of having to re-tee.  Hit my 3rd onto the green, but had a long sloping 40ft putt for par.  Left it 4ft short, but made the bogey putt. Bogey

Round (+2)

Hole 6: 152 Par 3

Pin was tucked on the far left side of the green, but I hit a 9 iron with lots of draw and it ended up on the far right side of the green.  Probably had about an 80ft putt for birdie, insane distance.  Left it a good 5 ft short and lipped out the par putt for a 3 putt bogey

Round (+3)

Hole 7: 295 Par 4

A sharp dog leg right hole, but gives you an angle to drive the green in 1.  Usually about 250-260 to carry the hazard and drive the green.  I aimed a 3 wood to the left half of the green, hoping that if I drew it, it would end up right center of green or if I blocked it, have only about 40-50 yards in.  Blocked it onto a hill in the rough, but only had about 45yards in.  Hit a lob wedge, landed it exactly where I wanted on the green, but had no spin from rough, ran about 18ft by.  2 putted for par. Par

Round (+3)

Hole 8: 419 Par 4

Hit a driver, knowing that I could push it left and be ok in the other fairway….exactly what I did.  Only had about 125 in, into the wind, tried to muscle a pitching wedge in, but it plugged into the sand.  Was not looking good, plugged lie with no green to work with, flag about 7 paces on.  Hit a great sand shot to about 6 ft and made a difficult right to left breaker.  Great sand save for me.  Par

Round (+3)

Hole 9: 503 Par 5

Very reachable par 5, but I pushed my drive again to the left and into the #8 fairway.  Only had about 210 in, but had trees in front of me.  Decided to hit a 6 iron, draw it around the trees and it ended up about 40 yards in front of green in the fairway.  Pin location in front only about 4 paces on, so a very awkward 40 yard pitch that I had to land in the fringe and let it feed on.  Hit a perfect shot to about 6inches and tapped it in for birdie.  Birdie

Round (+2)

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A very solid 37 (+2) on the par 35 front 9.  Fairways Hit (FW): 2/7 28.5% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 6/9 66.6% Up/Downs: 0/2 0% Sand Saves: 1/1 100%

Back 9

Hole 10: 389 Par 4

Pushed a 3-wood down the left side of the fairway, kicked hard left off a hill, but luckily stayed in bounds down the left side.  Punched a gap wedge onto the green about 15ft for birdie.  2 putted for par. Par

Round (+2)

Hole 11: 457 Par 4

This is a very difficult driving hole that you can’t go left on.  Knowing that I didn’t want to go left, I hooked a 3-wood that landed in the adjacent fairway, caught a ridge and ended up in a great spot only 130 yards out.  Hit a wedge into the center of the green, but it hit hard and bounced right and onto the fringe.  2 putted from there for a solid par on this difficult hole. Par

Round (+2)

Hole 12: 154 Par 3

Another par 3 over water into the wind.  Hit it over the flag stick and had a tricky downhill putt of about 20ft.  Actually left the putt about 5ft short, but knocked in the par putt.  Par

Round (+2)

Hole 13: 477 Par 4

Pushed another driver left into the opposite fairway, but had a real good angle and knocked it on about 12 ft for birdie.  Sloping putt that just missed and made a par. Par

Round (+2)

Hole 14: 412 Par 4

Water on the left and out of bounds on the right, hit a 4 iron and drew it off the water again just into the fringe of the fairway.  Hit a wedge right at the flag, but it hit a down slope in the center of the green and rolled off into the rough.  A tricky little downhill chip, with little green to work with.  Used a PW to chip it onto the fringe and trickle down to the hole about 3ft away.  Made the par save. Par

(Round +2)

Hole 15: 551 Par 5

Hit a solid drive, but it kicked into the right side fairway bunker.  Ripped a 7 iron out to about 85yards.  Hit a solid lob wedge to about 12 ft.  Had the right line, but left it about a foot short, tapped in for par. Par

(Round +2)

Hole 16: 453 Par 4

The most difficult hole on the course according to the handicap on the scorecard.  Hit a 3 wood into the fairway, but still had about 180 into the green.  You don’t want to go over the green here; I decided to hit a 5iron as it was into the wind.  I decelerated in my downswing worried about going over, hit a horrible shank to the left and it went out of bounds.  Really really bad swing after I had a great opportunity in the middle of the fairway.  Wasn’t able to get up and down from my drop and 2 putted for a double bogey 6.  Double bogey

Round (+4)

Hole 17: 157 Par 3

Had to refocus after the disaster on the previous hole and hit it just over the green to the back pin location.  Made a nice pitching wedge chip again landing it just onto the green and running it out the rest of the way to about 2 ft.  Made a nice up and down par

Round (+4)

Hole 18: 411 Par 4

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Our View from the 18th tee

Very scenic 18th hole heading back down the hill to the clubhouse.  Hit a 3 wood into the right side fairway bunker.  Hit a nice punch sand wedge out onto the green about 15ft away.  Downhill sloping right to left putt that just missed and I made another par.  Par

(Round +4)

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So another solid 37 +2 on the par 35 back 9.  All pars and 1 double bogey.  Fairways Hit (FW) 1/7 14% Green in Regulation (GIR) 5/9 55.5% Up/Downs 3/3 100%.

Final Score: 74 (+4)

Overall a very solid short game round for me….that area of my game is really improving nicely as I was 3/5 on up and downs and 1/1 in sand saves.  Had 31 putts total in the round, under 30 would be ideal, but 31 isn’t bad for me.  If I can maintain these numbers and improve on them, it will help my scoring tremendously.  The only negative for my round today was my driving, hit only 3 of 14 fairways and really only 1 of my last 13.  I MUST improve that part of my game, normally it has been pretty solid, but the new changes that I have made to my swing this week have really affected my driver and woods.  Want to try to get a lesson maybe on Friday to try and figure that out.  Might be playing on Saturday again with a buddy, so hopefully I can drive it a little better and build on my great scoring round today.  Making more birdies would be nice too, only 1 today, but I’ll take pars all day.  Except for that horrible double bogey on 16, I’m very pleased with this round.  I hope you enjoyed this post, I know it was extremely long, but I wanted to at least give a detailed recap of my first round on the blog.  Will probably do this for tournament rounds and definitely my under par round when it happens.  Most will be shorter recaps though.  On a side note this round lowered my handicap from 5.7 to 5.1, the lowest of my life!  A handicap in golf for those who may not know the terminology, is calculated with a specific formula that approximates how many strokes above or below par a player might be able to play, based on his ten best scores in a given period and the difficulty of the courses.

Saturday I decided to take the day off, I really felt myself getting frustrated after my dissapointing range session on Friday and I wanted to just take a day and regain focus and confidence. “Frustration, although quite painful at times, is a very positive and essential part of success.”- Bo Bennett

Sunday I went over to see my coach again to get another lesson.  I asked him for reassurance that I was applying my grip correctly.  I want to have a solid understanding for what is exactly right, so in upcoming range session I don’t go trying to tinker with it again like I did on Friday.  Overall he thought that my set up, grip and takeaway were starting to improve nicely, but he wanted to work on my balance.  I tend to get my weight more on my toes at address and that causes me to bring my left leg up and in at impact, rather than straight and toward my right knee. It changes my spine angle and causes inconsistent strikes. (You must remember by the way that I’m a lefty, so for many of you picturing the right and left knee in your mind might be thinking that previous sentence didn’t make much sense)  By the end of the lesson my balance was a lot better and after hitting the rest of my golf balls after the lesson, I started to get more consistent strikes.  Just focused on my long irons Sunday, no woods and tonight I’ll be heading to the range again like usual on Monday night and test my whole bag with the new balance point.  Really need to get my driver and woods back to where they were before the changes if I’m going to continue to break 80.  I’m playing golf on Wednesday this week, not sure where at the moment, but am locked in with a friend to play on Wednesday, so this will be my first round since starting the blog and we will see how my new swing transfers to the course.  I’ll be posting a picture of my scorecard, where I keep track of varies stats. Fairways and greens hit, up and downs, sand saves, putts and penalty strokes.  My goals right now are to continue to break 80 with an improving short game saves %.

My lesson video wouldn’t process on here last night so I had to wait till today to post this after uploading the video to YouTube.  My range session last night was really good, started to implement the changes in my balance you’ll see in this upcoming video and it really seemed to work.  Kept my focus the entire session, visualizing playing golf holes and playing at flags.  Swing is still a work in progress, but feeling more confident with my swing going into my round on Wednesday than I was last week.  Here is the video recap of my lesson on Sunday, you can see how my balance has changed and looks to be in a much better position for more consistency strikes.

chipping-pitching

Wednesday/Thursday

Hit the ball fairly well on Wednesday night, am starting to get more comfortable with the new swing path and grip.  On Thursday, I decided to just work on chipping for the day, went over to Carmel Mountain Ranch Golf Club and chipped for 2 hours.  My chipping has been steadily improving over the past few months, really utilizing multiple clubs for certain situation and not solely relying on my 60 degree lob wedge for every chip and pitch.  I’ve known that the ideal way to chip is to just land the ball on the first 1/3rd of the green as quickly as possible and have it run out like a putt the rest of the way.  The chipping swing should almost be exactly the same every time, in terms of set up, length of swing and speed, the only difference should be the clubs for different distances.  It takes many hours of practice to really hone in on your chipping distances with every club, from lob wedge  all the way up to 5 or 6 irons.  The lowest lofted club I chip with right now has been a 7 iron.  I’m really going to try to practice chipping hard and learn the distance each club travels.  That is really going to help you lower your scores when you are on the course.  It gives you not only more options for shot types, but confidence to know that this certain club will go this certain distance and you can have a clear picture in your mind before performing the shot.  Short game is the most important aspect of scoring well, you must get up and down at least 70—80% of the time to shoot consistent low scores and right now according to my golf stats over the past year and a half am only at 22% successful saves.  Recently however over my last 4 rounds, I’m saving at a 42% clip so definitely improving as I get more comfortable with my distances and shot selection.

Friday

Did some more chipping today over at Carmel mountain for about 2 and a half hours.  Chipped amazing today, only was chipping 3 balls at a time and no exaggeration, I counted 8 times I chipped in and several more would be tap in putts.  8 chip-ins in 2 and half hours just hitting 3 balls at a time is a pretty awesome feat.  At a proper range they give you a sleeve of about 20-25 balls to hit and I have chipped those for 3 hours straight before and chipped in maybe once.  So to do it 8 times while hitting probably 80% fewer balls than I would normally in 2 and a half hours feels really good and means that my chipping is seriously improving.  I’m giving my chips chances of going in and that feels good, now I only wish I could take this over to the course!  After work on Friday night I went to the range for 2 hours to work on my long game.  I was hitting my wedges really crisp and nice, new grip and swing plane felt good, but once I got to the longer irons and driver I couldn’t seem hit it how I wanted.  Admittedly I got frustrated with myself after I hit the ball fairly well on Wednesday night with these clubs.  After getting frustrated, I started to lose focus and just started hitting balls and not really analyzing each swing and feel or thinking about what I was doing right or wrong.  I was just pounding balls for the last 40 minutes and that is not the way to improve in golf.  I’m not too concerned, but I do want to try to get a lesson either Sunday or Monday so that I can make sure that I’m implementing the correct changes to my swing that my teacher wants me to.  I need to remember that these changes are going to take some time and I’m not just going to hit the ball amazing over night, it’s going to take a lot of work, time and patience.  One of my biggest faults, like many in this day and age, is that I always want that instant gratification.  Golf is not the game for that type of thinking and I need to keep reminding myself that with time and constant practice, I can get to where I want in this game.  “Change is not a process for the impatient.” – Barbara Reinhold