5307917592_916b56c7d1_zI finally got to actually play a golf round!  Been battling a sore back for the past week, but this past Thursday, I met up with a couple friends and we played a round over at Riverwalk golf club.  Not having been able to actually play in 2 weeks, I didn’t come in with high expectations, but maybe that was a good thing because after the first tee shot, I knew it was going to be a good day.  I ended up shooting a 77(+5).  My long game was locked in and I hit a total of 11 out of 14 fairways!  I only hit 9 of 18 greens, but never missed a green by much and 5 of them missed just short either because of spinning off the front or a misjudging of the wind.  I account that to not playing much over the past couple months, as being able to accurately judge the wind is something that starts to get dialed in the more and more you play.

Nevertheless, I did hit a lot of close iron shots, but my putting continues to be my Achilles’ heel and I was not able to make many birdies.  Despite having multiple great looks from inside 10ft, the only birdie putt I did make on the day was from about 40ft.  Golf is a funny game and it always seems like the putts that have little chance of going in actually go in and the makeable ones slip by….at least for me lately.  I think that just comes down to the idea of having no expectations.  Dave Stockton calls it going “unconscious” when putting and it’s something that I’m working on getting better at doing.

I know I need to become less result oriented when it comes to my putting and just try to keep my same routine and put a solid roll on the ball.  If I can do that, then I’ll make my fair share of putts.  I’ve been trying to just pick a spot 1 inch in front of my ball on my line and roll the ball over that spot.  It’s hard to miss a spot 1 inch in front of the ball, so it allows me to put more emphasis on the speed of the putt.  I find my mind freed up with longer putts, but I still catch myself over thinking and steering closer putts or ones I feel I “should” be making, especially for birdie.  I’m getting better at it however and if I keep working hard on getting to a point where I can go “unconscious” on the greens, I know that’s going to give me the best chance to start going low.

Final stats for the round:

unnamedRiverwalk Presidio/Mission 6,550yards 71.7 126

Score: 77(+5) FW: 10/14 GIR: 9/18 Putts: 32 U/Down: 4/8 San Save: 0/1 Penalties: 0

Comments
  1. Good stuff! I played this course 4 1/2 years ago while I was staying at the Town & Country for a conference. I loved it!

  2. svgolfer says:

    Reblogged this on the Silicon Valley Golfer and commented:
    Congrats and I couldn’t agree more. When I draw my line it’s very useful to find a spot close to the ball, a different shade of grass, a speck of debris. It helps reduce anxiety over mis-alignment (so long as you don’t lose the spot while approaching the ball) and then you can just focus on executing a good stroke. I can only daydream about a long game that even comes close to your “cold-off-the-bench” play at this point in my journey though so hats off and coolio!

  3. Good job on the rusty 77!

    As far as putting goes, I started doing something late in the summer that I picked up from Dr. Bob Rotella. He says to pick a target (like you’re doing), and and only focus on making a relaxed smooth stroke towards that target. Don’t think about speed. He makes the point that your brain automatically calculates the speed based on experience and everything you see while reading the putt. Thinking about both speed and a target can, in some people, lead to tentative “steery” strokes.

    Like they say, the best putters expect to make everything, but at the same time know they won’t and accept the results. So all we can do is stay relaxed, commit to our target and make a smooth stroke…once the ball is gone its out of our control.

    Anyway, it’s worth a shot if you want to mix things up on the greens and try get it going.

    Good luck!

    Josh
    (@golfismental)

    • I really enjoy learning from Dr. Rottella, I honestly would not have been able to win that tournament back in August without some of the mental ideas he teaches. I reviewed his book the night of the final round. His newer book “The Unstoppable Golfer” is just fantastic and is amazing for any golfer looking to improve his mental game.

      As far as his putting tips, I agree, but I’ve always been good at judging distance and depth automatically. I’ve done the drill to test where they say to pick a 20-30ft putt or any distance really and be standing by the ball, then close your eyes and walk toward the hole and stop when you think you’re at it and put your club down. I know most people are usually farther off then they think, but I’ve always been within a ft or so. Even my teacher said that wasn’t really my problem as I’ve done it with him. My challenge with speed has been the length and consistent contact of the stroke. I don’t know for some people putting comes naturally and the long game is the difficult part, but for me it is the opposite, nothing about putting feels natural to me. The problem is to be a good putter you have to just do things naturally and not mechanically, so that’s the quandary. That’s why I’ve tried to just simplify my putting style as much as I can, but as always in golf easier said than done!
      Thanks for the help Josh!

  4. bonnev659 says:

    your training will pay off. keep it up

  5. One of my to do’ s in life is to learn how to golf. Much success to you .

  6. mrperkins says:

    Have you tried yoga? If done right, without all the hocus-pocus, and can work wonders. A lot of good books out there that could get you started.

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