Posts Tagged ‘change’

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Tuesday

Decided to schedule a putting lesson today with my instructor, we worked for an hour on different putting drills, designed for me to better feel what I’m doing and be able to self correct.  We worked on drills that helped with range of vision and really taking in your entire surroundings, not just the distance of  you to the hole.  This includes everything behind the hole, from the edge of the green to the houses or street in the distance.  When you start to just focus on the distance from you to the hole, you start to get tunnel vision, to play the best golf we must start to expand our vision.  Tunnel vision can also have the effect of making the distance between two spaces look considerably closer because you are focused on a fixed point.    One of the drills you can do to test this is to set up to a straight putt of say 15-30 ft distance (don’t pace it off before) and then stand up, turn your club so that the grip is pointing to the ground.  Now close your eyes and start walking toward the cup.  When you feel like you are close to where you believe the hole is, set the putter grip down.  This might tell you something interesting about the way you perceive the distance between putts.

My coach wants me to learn how to better feel and understand the strokes I’m making.  I would hit a putt and then based on if it started left, right or down my intended line, I would describe to him the feelings of that particular swing, in as great detail as possible.  This is a great way to learn how to self correct.  Eventually we did a variation of this drill where I would putt with my eyes closed and then tell him what I felt and whether I thought the putt started left, right or down my target line.  My coach doesn’t want to start messing with my grip and set up for right now, maybe later down the line we might tweak a few things, but he believes that putting is more about feeling than mechanics.

We also talked about the idea of not lining up the lines on my ball toward my intended line.  I’m sure you guys have seen some pros do this, most famously Tiger Woods has done it before, where he lines up a line on his ball where we wants his putt to start.  I always do this when I’m playing a round, but ironically as we were chatting about this, I realized that when I practice on a putting green, I don’t.  So I’m going to work on playing with no line up and focus on just seeing my putts rather than get locked in to a particular line and narrowing my focus.

Wednesday

Went over to Oaks North again, a local executive course with three different 9 hole courses.  Last time we played the North/East combination, but this time we played the South/East (Par 60).  Each 9 contains 6 par 3’s and 3 par 4s.  It is a great test for your irons and short game and I played very well, shooting an even par round of 60!  I’m not going to do a round recap, but I will give you a few high and low lights.   Chipped in twice, once for eagle and once for birdie!  I hit 10 of the 18 greens, but missed about 4 that were on the fringe, really close.  I managed to only 3 putt once utilizing my new putting method and that was on the 3rd hole where I only had about a 12 ft putt for birdie.  A bad 3 putt, but it was early in my round and I was trying to get used to not lining up my putts with the arrows on the ball and forgot to think about speed on the downhill putt.  So a mistake that was quickly canceled out when I made eagle on the next hole, but other than that I lag putted fairly well.  Still did not make as many putts as I would have liked from 12 ft and in, missed a few par and birdie chances from inside 10 ft, but I was more aware of why I missed them.  My chipping game is continuing to be a strength of mine and I’m just so eager to keep playing and see what I can do.

Ended up heading down to the driving range later on in the night, hit the ball well, worked a lot of my wedges trying to better understand the exact distances of each wedge.  Hit my driver and woods at the end, found myself getting a little bit too quick and as a result I was hitting them off the toe or shifting extremely forward.  Realized that it could be my tempo and once I fixed that, I was back to hitting my driver in the middle of the club face and sending it deep down range toward my intended target.  I need to remember to keep my tempo, I tend to get quick a lot and it causes me to be an inconsistent ball striker.  Hopefully going to be playing a round this weekend on either Saturday or Sunday if it does not rain.  But if not, I’ll still be playing on Monday again at Vineyard and Wednesday for sure somewhere.

Went to get a lesson today, decided to keep working on my long game and try and gain more confidence in the things I’m doing.  Lesson went well, overall my teacher thinks that I’m improving and I can feel that as well.  I’m still struggling with shifting my hips forward instead of around and it’s causing me to get too steep and open.  In those positions my timing has to be perfect to make it work, so it breeds inconsistency.  Was also setting up a little open with my shoulders and hips, so we worked on that for a bit getting the feeling down of what it feels like to be set up square.  After the lesson I finished off my basket of range balls and by the end I was really started to get it.  Hit about my last 8 drivers, pretty straight and with solid distance.  Hit a few 6irons and wedges also to make sure that it translated over to those clubs also and it did.  I really needed to get my confidence back after my terrible range session on Friday when I felt like I lost it, so today was a good day for that.

I’m playing on Monday this week after work and then hopefully again on Wednesday, so at least 2 rounds this next week, I look to keep improving my ball striking and lowering my scores.  I’m at the point right now that I should not be shooting anything in the 80’s, it should be all 70’s from here on out or I will be extremely disappointed.  As long as my short game keeps improving, I don’t think this should be a problem.  My goals for tomorrows round are to keep the ball in play off the tee, have an up and down percentage of no worse than 50% and make 2 or more birdies.  If I do those things, the score will take care of itself.  Will be my 3rd round over at the Vineyard course since starting this blog….have scores of 74 (+4) and 76 (+6) on the books, 75 or lower would be ideal.

Here is a video recap of my lesson today, the audio is a little tough because of the wind and his video froze near the end, but he basically was just showing me using my left hand in the downswing more than my right.

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I am now 28 years old and I have discovered that this is about the age when real regret for the paths you wish you would have taken or the dreams you wish you would have pursued  and did not in your early 20’s are starting to set in.  We might feel and think like we are still 18, but we are not.  The days and weeks feel much quicker now, the calendar pages feel like they are being turned more rapidly each year and nostalgia for the good old days occur more and more frequently.  When these feelings start, one must realize that you are not alone and that 99% of people will have these same feelings at some point, even the ones you think seemingly have it all.  What is it? It’s that feeling in your gut that says “I want more.”  It’s that will to improve yourself, grow and know you were meant for better.  Scared are some of that feeling, they begin to settle and get lazy, they end up doing the easy thing and in the end they’ll never know if they could have accomplished their dreams because they were too afraid of the work, dedication and time it would take.  It’s that fear of the unknown, the fear of failure or even success that hold us back from getting what we really want and accomplishing the dreams in our heart.  Fear of where that mysterious path to accomplishing dreams would take you, somewhere unfamiliar and out of your comfort zone.  I for one will not continue to be that person.  I want to go on that journey that comes with the pursuit of a personal dream.  I want to know that a plan, dedication, focused intensity, faith and hard work really do pay off and even if I fail in my goal, at least those principles will be ingrained in my psyche  and ultimately make me a better person. “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” –Henry David Thoreau

For me, my dream is to be a scratch golfer, to be able to shoot under par on any given day at any given golf course and do it consistently.  This blog is going to be dedicated to that pursuit and if you are a fan of golf in any capacity, I encourage you to join me, stick around and follow my journey.  My journey is going to involve regular long hours of practice, patience and faith.  Anybody who has played golf before knows just how frustratingly difficult the game of golf can be.  It’s a game that takes constant practice and patience, but a game that is so rewarding when played well.  I have had this dream in the back of my mind for the past year and a half when I started to play golf again more frequently, but have not shown the true dedication and hours of practice that is needed to accomplish it.  I have improved however, started at about an unofficial 9-12 handicap a year and a half ago and am now down to an official 5.9, lowest of my life.  I believe that with consistent and correct practice, I can improve quickly.

To recap my goal for this blog is to plot my journey to becoming a scratch golfer, shooting my first under par round and getting my handicap down to a 0 or better.  When I first picked up a golf club at age 14, I dreamed of the day that I could sign a scorecard with a negative under par score, just like the professionals.  I believe that with the help of this blog keeping me motivated, lots of dedicated and focused practice that I can accomplish one of my goals of shooting an under par round of golf possibly by the end of 2013, if not than at least in 2014. **Update: First Under Par Round Accomplished 6/25/14, Read About it Here: A Dream Realized**   My journey to become a scratch golfer will hopefully take me out of my comfort zone and help me grow as a person.  It will take me from early morning rounds by myself to amateur golf tour events to who knows where if I actually accomplish it in the coming years.  The journey will be long, and no doubt frustrating at times, but fulfilling to know that in the end, many years from now, when I look back, I will have pursued a dream of mine and I will not have to regret another “what if” moment.  I will be posting scores and stats, practice sessions, round recaps, lesson videos and pictures.  So I ask you even if you’re not a golfer too, to please join me and follow along as I go on this journey toward my dream.   I also hope that it can inspire you to find that dream of your own you’d like to accomplish.  Create a plan and go for it and together we can help support and push each other to live the dreams in our heart!