Posts Tagged ‘positive’

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A frustrating week so far, have really been playing great lately and hitting the ball well at the range too, but this week’s scores have been disappointing.  On Monday, I shot a 79 (+9) over at the par 70 Vineyard….started off +7 over the first 8 holes!  My iron game was solid, it was just my driving and putting that cost me.  Hit the first tee shot into the hazard on the right and started with a double bogey 6.  Hit two great shots on the difficult #2 and then 3 putted from about 10 ft total for another bogey.  On the drivable par 4 7th, I hooked my tee shot out of bounds and suffered a bogey on what is usually an easy par and prime birdie opportunity hole when you can hit a solid drive over the corner.  3 putted again on the 8th hole before birding the par 5 9th hole to finish the front 9, 6-over par.  3 over par 38 on the back 9, with 6 pars and 3 bogeys and one more 3 putt for bogey on #15 a par 5.

I had an amazing range session on Saturday night, hit every club well and drove the ball great.  I had so much confidence on that first tee Monday, but my driver disowned me.  All of a sudden I could not feel comfortable with it and it was spraying everywhere.  Hooked it on #1 and # 5, sliced it on #4 and #8….golf is such a cruel and frustrating game!!  I basically abandoned the driver on #9, only using it once the last 11 holes, but I did hit a good one with it when I hit it.  A tough day for me to swallow hitting only 2 FW’s all day…I have played so consistently well these past couple weeks, never shooting above +6 total in a month, but was +7 after only the first 8 holes on Monday!

My iron game was solid however, but back to the drawing board on my driver.  I need to get that on point consistently if I ever hope to reach scratch level.

Oak-North-Golf-Club-San-DiegoYesterday, Wednesday the 16th we played a quick round over at our local executive course Oaks North.  I really enjoy that course, it certainly tests your mid iron game.  Oaks is not one of those push over tiny exec courses, no par 3 is shorter than 134 at Oaks North.  My iron game continues to be solid, I started by sticking it to about 3 ft on #1 for a tap in birdie, but 3 putted the next two to go bogey, bogey.  Hit my tee shot under a tree on the par 4 5th and had no chance to reach the green, bogey 5.  Over drew the next tee shot into the water on the par 3 6th and made a bad double bogey 5.  So 4 over after the first 6 holes with a birdie on #1….was certainly frustrated again with my game and I could feel it affecting me negatively.  I forced myself to stay positive, forget about score and just try to execute each shot individually to the best of my ability.

I ended up shooting par over the remaining 12 holes, with 10 pars, 1 bogey and 1 birdie.  I Started to stand up a bit more at address with my putter and that seemed to help me with contact as I have been 3 putting a lot lately because of poor lag putting.  Lagged it pretty well, zero 3 putts and made some testy 2-3 footers for par on a few holes.

Overall a frustrating week so far, but that is golf!  I did hit a lot of good shots, so I’ll look to take the positives out of a bad scoring week and continue to work hard to improve my game.  Hopefully I can play one more time this week and I’ll update the stats later on this week.  Hope everyone has a Happy Easter on Sunday and shoot low if you play!

fotolia_2005754_XS3Weekly stat recap for Week 2 of my challenge to reach PGA Tour averages.  Only got to play one round this week and that was back last Monday over at Riverwalk.  I’m playing another round here today in a few hours and most likely on Wednesday as well.  Hopefully I can sneak another one in on the weekend too, so this week should be packed full of golf.  Below I posted my stats for the one round this week and also the running total for the overall 2 weeks.

4/7/14

unnamedRiverwalk Presidio/Mission  6,550 yards 71.9/126

Score: 75 (+3) FW: 6/14 GIR: 11/18 Putts: 32 Up/Down: 3/6 Sand Saves: 0/1

 

 

Total Stats for Week of 4/7/14-4/13/14 (Red = Below PGA Tour Avg, Green = Above PGA Tour Avg)

Number of Rounds: 1

FW: 6/14 43% GIR:  11/18 61% Up/Down %: 3/6 50% Sand Saves: 0/1 0% Total Putts/18: 32

Overall Stats, Weeks: 2

Total Rounds: 3

FW: 16/42: 38% GIR: 31/54: 57% Up/Down%: 7/16 44% Sand Saves: 2/5 40% Total Putts/18: 32

Current PGA Tour Averages – FW: 60.82% GIR: 65.36% Up/Down: 57.34%

As you can see my FW numbers need to come up, but in all honestly I’m not missing the fairways by much, nothing you can do if the ball is just a yard or two off the short stuff.  I think that can be seen by still having solid GIR numbers, just 3% off the PGA Tour average.  Although I’m not hitting many fairways, I still have shots to hit greens in regulation.  What I’m really excited about however are my up and down % numbers.  I’ve been working hard to get those numbers up significantly and they were somewhere around 25-30% not too long ago.  It feels good to see those numbers rising and I hope to keep them increasing.  I’ll post a round recap tomorrow after my round today, keep posted.

unnamedPlayed a round on Monday, April 7th at the Riverwalk golf club…shot a solid round of 75 (+3).  Unfortunately, the greens were in terrible shape, they had just punched half of the greens what looked like just the day before and the other half, where the flags were located, were still punched from about a week earlier and not very smooth.  It was frustrating having putts hop and bounce around all day and it certainly cost me a few strokes.

I hit the ball very well all day long, probably my best iron play day I’ve had in a while. Hit a couple great 6 iron shots that were all over the flag sticks and stuck about 5 wedges from inside 100 yards all within 8 ft.  The wedge part of my game is something I have been working on a lot to get my yardages down so that I can start sticking it close as that has been costing me key makeable birdie opportunities lately.  Well on this day, I was hitting it just like I had hoped too, but the conditions of the greens and my lack of putting skills cost me taking advantage of every opportunity.

I started off the 1st with a solid birdie after a close wedge shot and nice putt.  Hit a great 7 iron to the par 3 2nd, but it landed on the wrong tier of the green and stopped in a freshly aerated spot.  An unlucky break and the long putt just hopped everywhere and I 3 putted that for a bogey.  Next hole, a par 5, I stuck it close again with a wedge (6ft) from about 80 yards out, but I missed the birdie putt.  It was a straight in putt, but was not able to convert.  Missed an easy up and down on the next from about 5 ft off the green…almost chipped it in, but it ran a good 8 ft by and I missed the par putt.

Pared the next 4 holes and then on both #9 and #10, my tee shots left me under trees with no chance to reach the greens.  I had to punch them out in front of the greens.  On both I ended up with solid par putts of 10 ft, but missed both for bogeys.  Got one back with a birdie on #11 after a close wedge shot, but missed makeable birdie putts of 10 ft or less on #12 (signature hole pictured below) #15 and #16.  20140407_173220Bogeyed the par 5 18th after a terrible 3rd shot after having to lay up on my 2nd.  Only 108 yards in, in the fairway, but the ball was above my feet and I didn’t play the ball back enough in my stance and I hit it slightly fat and the ball came up short of the green…..bad chip and missed the par putt for a disappointing close to a real solid round.  I felt like I hit the ball well enough to shoot under par on this day, but my putting let me down.  A big part of it was the conditions of the greens, but my stroke and confidence in putting is also not the best right now.

Either way, I am very pleased with this round and I continued my solid play as of late.  My last 5 rounds have been scores of +2, +5, +6, +5, +3. My game is looking up and although I wasn’t able to play or practice the past couple days because I developed a little cold and my sisters birthdays, I’m ready to get back to it today and hopefully play sometime this weekend.

Stats for this round:

Riverwalk Presidio/Mission 6,550yards 71.9/126

Score: 75 (+3) Fw: 6/14 GIR: 11/18 Putts: 32 Up/Down: 3/6 Sand Saves: 0/1

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fotolia_2005754_XS3Something I’m going to start doing now is each week I’ll be posting my total weekly stats so we can start to gauge my progress and see how I’m playing in terms of the numbers.  I’ll update at the end of each week and continue to keep a running tally of my total overall stats starting this week (Week 1).  My goal is to be able to get my numbers up to the PGA Tour averages for the three stats of Fairways hit (FW), Greens in regulation (GIR) and Up and down percentage (U/D%)

3/31/14

Carmel Mountain Ranch Par 72 Tees: Black 73.2/133 6599 Yards

Score: 78 (+6) FW: 4/14 GIR: 9/18 Putts: 33 Up/Down: 2/7 Sand Save: 1/2 Penalties: 1

 

 

4/2/14

060513204404The Vineyard Escondido Par 70 Tees: Blue 71.0/126 6531 Yards

Score: 75 (+5) FW: 6/14 GIR: 11/18 Putts: 31 Up/Down: 2/3 Sand Save: 1/2 Penalties: 2

 

 

Total Stats for Week of 3/31/14 to 4/6/14  (Red = Below PGA Tour Avg, Green = Above PGA Tour Avg)

Number of Rounds: 2

FW: 10/28 35.7GIR:  20/36 55.5Up/Down %: 4/10 40% Sand Saves: 2/4 50% Total Putts/18: 32

Overall Stats, Weeks: 1

FW: 10/28 35.7% GIR:  20/36 55.5% Up/Down: 4/10 40% Sand Saves: 2/4 50% Total Putts/18: 32

Current PGA Tour Averages – FW: 60.56% GIR: 65.62% Up/Down: 57.65%

20-for-40-worth-of-driving-range-balls-at-robin-nigro-golf-academy-in-martin-city-sports-complex-1332221836_fixedheight_display_image1I’ve played two rounds so far this week, Monday and Wednesday and shot +6 and +5 respectively.  Monday we played over at Carmel Mountain Ranch again where we played from the tip black tees.  I did not drive the ball as well as I did the week before, but was still able to shoot a very solid score.  Only hitting 4 out of 14 FWs compared to the 9 of 14 the week before, my total score was only 1 shot worse, which means my short game continues to be solid.

Also, I almost had my first albatross on the Par 5 554 yard 10th hole!  Hit a great drive and had only 196 to the front of the green and the flag was only a few paces on at about 208.  The fairway slopes down toward the green so I had a pretty significant downhill lie, I took my 6iron and hit it flush…a nice little draw that worked back right at the flag.  It landed just on the front and started rolling like a putt right at the flag.  It looked like it was going in and my buddy and I were screaming “get in the hole” “one time please” as we watched the ball slowly creep toward the flag.  Although we were over 200 yards out, since we are elevated from the fairway you can see the green perfectly, (The picture below and to the right is a view from this Par 5 10th hole) and I’m telling you that ball missed the hole by an INCH and finished about 6 ft above the hole.  adm-114310159269806Unfortunately, the green slopes back to front so my eagle putt was a slick 6 ft downhill putt with some break.  Of course I botched the putt and missed the eagle!!  So I went from what looked like an amazing 3-under albatross to a tap in 1-under birdie…but hey, I’ll never be disappointed in a birdie!  I started and finished this round poorly, started off giving myself no shot to get GIR’s because of poor tee shots and I started 4 over after 4 holes.  I finished the round with 3 straight bogeys on 16, 17 and 18 and still only shot +6.  It was windy too, so I’m overall pleased with this round, I kept my focus even after I started off poor and strung together a lot of solid holes, shooting 1-under over the 11 holes stretch of #5 through #15.

Yesterday, Wednesday April 2nd, we played a round over at the par 70 Vineyard, one of my favorite courses and it had been a while since I played this track.  Another cold, windy day, with gusts of 15 or more for most of the round, but I played solid and finished at 75 (+5).  Started off +4 after 5 with 2 double bogeys that were a result of poor tee shots that found the out of bounds.  One was just a 4 iron that I nicely hit off the hosel and watched as the shank flew out of bounds.  On that shot I was trying to hit a punch off the short 2nd hole tee box.  I have been experimenting on the range with my long irons setting up for a cut with my feet wide open, but my club square to the target and cutting across it.  I’m not trying to hit a cut though because if I time it just right, I have found it actually results in a dead straight solid shot that can pierce the wind.  That’s what I was going with on that shot, I still need to put more time into it to be able to use it confidently on the course, but when I’m hitting that shot well, it opens me up to a lot more options on the course and I’m able to confidently use my long irons without the fear of it over drawing to the right.

So again another poor start, followed by a long string of solid holes, +1 over my last 13 holes.  This seems to be the theme for my golf game at the moment.  Over my last 4 or 5 rounds, I have either started or ended badly and had a solid streak or 8-15 holes where I’m shooting around scratch level.  I am still not making a lot of birdies, only 1 in this round, but could have easily had a few more if I just would have put a few more revolutions on the ball.  My putting has been solid lately, zero 3-putts in my last 2 rounds and just two 3-putts over my last 5 rounds.  The birdies will come soon; my reads have been really good it is just my speed and my proximity to the hole with my wedges.  I’m not giving myself very high percentage looks at birdie, so I need to start sticking it in closer to the flag when I have a wedge in my hand.

At the end of the week now I think I’ll posts my total stats for the week, so we can gauge my progress and how my numbers compare to those PGA Tour averages we talked about last week.

images (3)Hello everyone, been a few months I know, but I have still been on the grind playing/practicing golf and I think it is time I give you all a recap of how I’ve been playing.  Over the past 2 months, I have made an effort to focus on my putting and chipping to try and raise my Up and Down stats. After playing with different ball positions and seeing how it affected the strike, height and spin of the wedges, I found that playing the ball off my back ankle when chipping gave me a consistent solid strike with solid spin.  I was able to control the height of the shot with my hand positions and club face angle.  For my putting, I started to create a consistent and repeatable putting routine….check the break from behind the ball, line up my mark to that spot, practice strokes while looking at hole to get distance feel, club face down feet together, look at hole while separating feet, one last look at hole, forward press and go.  My lag putting has gotten a lot better; I have only 3 putted twice in the last 3 rounds, made a ton of putts from 5ft and in and a solid amount from that 8-20 range.

My focus now is to try and raise my stats to PGA Tour averages, if I can do that or get close to those numbers than the scores will take care of themselves.  That under par round that I have been chasing is only going to come when my score is almost an afterthought.  The current PGA Tour Stat Averages are FW: 60% GIR: 67% Up and Down%: 57%.  Obviously they are playing much longer, narrower and more difficult courses, so I should aim to get much higher than those, but if I just reach these stats, with solid putting, I should be shooting under par.  I have been inputting scores into a website since about 2010 and currently I have 90 rounds in there and my stats are as follows.  FW: 39% GIR: 50% Up and Down%: 29%.  Because I have 90 rounds already logged, even with me playing at my best level ever right now, it is going to take a lot of consistently solid rounds to move these numbers significantly.  Just to give you a barometer of how I’m playing currently over my last 3 rounds my stats are as follows: FW:  23/43 53% GIR: 27/54 50% Up and Down% 11/18 61%.  I am playing well off the tee right now, been a big point of emphasis for me and my driver and woods have been solid, that number could be a lot higher as a lot of the fairways I missed where not by much at all.  The GIR of 50% is disappointing, especially since I am hitting more fairways, my wedge game has been off lately and I’m missing greens that I should easily hit.  My up and down % has gone from 29% to 61% since making the change to my putting and chipping so I’m excited to keep tine tuning that and get those numbers even higher.

My last two scores have been a +2 (74) at Double Tree and +5 (77) at Carmel Mountain from the tip Black Tees.  It was my first time ever playing from the blacks there as I have always wanted to, Carmel Mountain is a very challenging course, 6599 yards 73.2/133 slope from the tips with lots of out of bounds and tight fairways.  I’m really proud of the way I played there, should have been a lot better than +5, but could only make 1 birdie.

I’ll update again soon, doesn’t look like I’ll be able to play another round until next week sometime, so I’ll be hitting up the range over the next few days, hopefully I can continue my solid play.

NY2014blog1Well that certainly crept up on us fast huh? It is now the start of a brand new year, 2014 and I am happy to see it.  I’ll admit I’m the type of person who is a sucker for New Year’s resolutions.  The start of the New Year always fills my mind with so many possibilities, the chance to start fresh and refocus myself on my new goals.  I’d say I’m almost always at my most positive and creative state on December 31st, of course like most, that heightened state of mind slowly dissipates a few weeks later with the realization that truly reaching your goals is going to be a tough, harsh, mental and physical grind, but I’m ready.

Before I talk about my 2014 goals, I should probably do a quick recap of my 2013.  I started this blog at the end of May, so I’ve been at it for a full 7 months now, but in the past couple I have only been focusing on golf and not this blog.  In 2014, I will stay consistent in updating this blog because my hope when starting this blog was to entertain and possible help others who had similar dreams and interests, but also to feed off your viewership as a way to hold myself accountable to not only better my golf game, but better myself as a person as well.  In 2013, I accomplished one of my big goals and that was to win at the annual 3-day Palm Springs golf tournament.  Finishing 1st and beating a field of 85 players was an amazing feeling and I’m very proud of myself for staying focused and playing well under pressure.  My other main goal for the 2013 was to shoot an under par round of golf on a regulation course.  Unfortunately, I fell just short of that goal, posting a few +1 and +2 rounds, but had multiple 3-putts that cost me that under par round.  Had a round, at one of the most difficult courses I’ve ever played this year, where I shot +1 with three 3-putts…eliminate those and it’s a (-2) round.  Not all is lost however, I did manage to shoot a 4-under round at an executive course just about a month and a half ago and in some aspects, it can be considered tougher to shoot under on an executive because of the amount of par 3’s, where you must hit it close in order to score.  4-under par anywhere I feel like is a respectable score, so I actually consider this goal somewhat accomplished.  Those were my two big main goals this past year and I’m really pleased that I was pretty much able to accomplish both.

So now I head into 2014 and I’m ready to tackle it with full force.  This is going to be the most demanding year of my life; I will push myself harder and further out of my comfort zone than I have ever been before.  It will no doubt be uncomfortable and difficult, but I know that if I put in the effort and hard work, endure the struggles and sacrifices, that I will see myself accomplish the things that I can only dream about now and start to truly fulfill my potential.

I only have 3 main golf goals for this year of 2014 as of now and I’ll add more as my progress goes along, but for now here they are:

1)      Win our annual work tournament in April/May.  It is a scramble style tournament and my team and I have shot (-10) each of the past 2 years and come in 2nd and 3rd.  This will be our 3rd time playing and I want to win this tournament badly.  I will definitely have to improve my game over the next 4-5 months if we want to win as a lot of the shots will fall on my shoulders.  We will have to shoot in the 50’s to win and if I play my best, I feel we can for sure accomplish that.

2)      Improve on my scores from last year in Palm Springs and shoot an under par round at the tournament.  Even though I won this past year, my short game was abysmal and I could have easily shot a lot lower if that part of my game was sharp.  So my goal is to not only win again obviously, but to improve my total score and have one of the rounds be under par…that would be amazing.  The tournament isn’t until August 2014, so I have 8 months to practice and I think I will be able to sneak a couple under par round of golf into my game by then, hopefully!

3)      To play in and win a Golf Channel Amateur Tour Event.  I’ve wanted to play in these events for the past 2 years now, but have been hesitant to make this next step until I felt like my golf game was strong enough.  Truly it’s more just about nerves than anything else, so my goal is to step out of my comfort zone and play in a few tour events this year.  My plan is to focus on practice for a few months and then play some events starting in April.

So those are my top 3 golfing goals for the year 2014, besides the obvious one of trying to get down my handicap to scratch.  I will also aim to update this blog a lot more frequently, thinking at least 2 times a week going forward like I did when I first started.  I’m sorry I have not put the time and effort into this blog as I had intended, one post a month is just not right.464192

Thank you to all of my viewers for the wonderful encouraging comments you guys have provided in 2013, they really do help me in staying positive and focused on accomplishing my goals and dreams and I hope you all stick around, follow and enjoy my golf journey in 2014.

I’d like to end this post by asking what are your golfing goals for the year 2014? I’d like to hear them in the comments below and I wish you all the best with them.  I hope that this blog can possibly be a source of encouragement or help for you as we both head down that mysterious path together that accompanies that journey to accomplishing dreams, cheers!

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Over the past couple months I haven’t been able to play as many rounds as I want.  Heading to the course alone and walking on to play as a single has always been something I would try to avoid.  I much prefer going out to play with friends, but as a result I’ve only been able to play only once every week and a half, 2 weeks and if I’m serious about getting to scratch I need to get out and play.  I can go to the range all I want, but nothing beats on course experience/practice.  My usual playing partner has been busy lately and with the time changes it now getting dark at 5, so our usual rounds at 2 or 3 o’clock are just not going to work.  I’ve made a decision this week to start putting in a serious amount of rounds and that will mean going out often by myself.  We all know how expensive golf is and we know that twilight rates are the way to go for anybody trying to save a little money.  With the time change, getting in a full 18 holes at a regulation course at twilight times are just not going to happen right now, so for the time being I’m going to take full advantage of my local executive course.  Tuesday and Wednesday this week I headed over to my local executive course Oaks North and got in some great on course time.  The great thing is that right at about 1o’clock, the start of the twilight rate, there is almost nobody there and I’m able to just get on the course and play solo.  Was all alone out there, just me, my clubs and my iPod.  Got in a lot of great work these past 2 days, was able to play 2 balls on just about every hole and played really well.

20131119_151555On Tuesday, I was only able to complete 13 holes before I had to head back because of darkness, but after 13 I was at even par.  Shot +2 on the front 9 and then on #11 a 235 yard par 4, I hit an amazing 5-wood to just over a foot.  The tees were all the way in the back, so I had calculated to the hole it was playing about 260 yards and just crushed a perfect 5-wood that landed amazingly softly and stopped about 2 ft from its pitch mark.  It’s always a great feeling to have a tap in eagle on a par 4 and that shot I’ll remember for a long time; of course I had to take a picture for evidence!  So that eagle got me back to even par for the day and I had pars on the last 2 and called it a day due to darkness.

On Wednesday, I sort of accomplished one of my big goals and that was to shoot an under par round of golf.  I was able to play 2 balls and kept stats for both.  However, my score with the first ball after all 18 holes was 4-under par!!  I say “sort of” accomplished my goal because obviously it was only on a Par 60 executive course and my main goal is to shoot under par on a regulation 18 holes course, but still under par is under par and 4 under anywhere is solid, I mean come on!  Unfortunately, with my 2nd ball I was only able to complete 16 holes because at holes #2 and #3, a person was behind me so I just played my 1st ball to speed up play and then allowed him to pass on hole #4.  After he passed, I went back to playing 2 balls.  For the 16 holes completed with ball #2, I was +3 w/ two 3-putts that cost me. I’ll post a picture of the scorecard from today, but I’ll write out the stats for my 4-under round because it might be hard to see.

Ball #1: Score: 56 (-4) FW: 4/6 GIR: 14/18 Putts: 30 Up and Down: 4/4

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Ball #2: (16 holes) Score: +3 FW: 3/4 GIR: 11/16 Putts: 30 Up and Down: 3/6

My iron play these past 2 days has been really solid; in total I hit 36 of 54 greens in regulation, a solid 66%.  Changed a few things in my putting setup this week and I’m gaining more and more confidence.  I can tell the ball is rolling off the club face a lot better and maintaining its line.  I hope to keep that momentum rolling going forward.

Unfortunately it is going to rain here for the next few days, so looks like any practice will most likely have to be indoors.  My hope is that it clears up by Saturday and that my friend and I can play a round, will update soon.

l_drivingrange

It has almost been a month since I have updated this blog, I apologize for lack of content, but I haven’t been able to actually play many golf rounds in these past few weeks.  I have been going to the range a few times a week, but that is about all I have been doing, no real short game practice.  I have however, in the past week, had a serious breakthrough with my full swing.  I have talked about in previous posts that my miss in my golf swing tends to be that I become too “stuck” from the inside.  Getting stuck on the downswing produces inconsistent contact, mostly off the toe or thin and produces a block or pull ball flight.  I have known that this is my problem for a few months now and I have been working intently to correct it, but was not able to find a consistent fix.  I would analyze pro golfer swings on TV and the internet and then cross reference it with my own swing in the mirror and video.  I looked up numerous videos on how to fix getting too steep on the downswing, but nothing seemed to work.  It became a constant game of trial and error at the driving range…continually trying one fix and if it did not work, finding a new one in a few days and repeat.  Some would work for a few days or a week, hell I even won a large field tournament doing this a few months ago, but I knew that I was not comfortable with my swing.  I knew my mechanics were not sound and that I was relying solely on timing alone and that was not going to help me produce the consistent results I wanted.   If my timing was on for that day, I could hit the ball great, but ultimately my bad mechanics would catch up with me, cause inconsistent contact and then before you know it frustration sets in and I lose my swing all over again and feel lost.

Then a few weeks ago I stumbled upon a new video that was recently posted on YouTube called “how to stop getting stuck” I watched it and it all just clicked for me.   I have known the positions I was supposed to get into for months now, but just could not find a way to get the feeling.  This video broke down the downswing in the simplest way possible, basically just talking about feeling as though your back elbow stays in front of your shirt seam on the downswing.  It made a lot of sense to me and I noticed when going back and looking at pro golfers swings they all were doing the same.  I worked on the feeling in the mirror for a bit and then went to test it at the range…..haven’t hit the ball better in my whole life!  I even had groups of people at the range come up and stand behind me to watch.  Not only was my contact more consistent, but more importantly the quality of strikes was drastically better.  My accuracy improved tremendously and my swing felt free flowing and repeatable.  My new swing has held up so far over these past 2 weeks, some of my best range sessions ever and finally got to take my swing to the course yesterday where I shot a 76, hitting 7/14 FW’s (missed 3 by just a yard) and hit 11/18 greens.  My ball striking was great and my confidence is now riding at an all time high.  I should have shot better than 76, but my short game was terrible…haven’t been putting in the time needed on that front recently so that is expected to be a little rusty.  The great thing is that I do not have to worry about getting my elbow in front of my shirt seam or anything mechanical while I’m swinging; it is starting to get ingrained in my swing now from practice, almost second nature already.  It’s a great feeling when you can just go out and truly trust your swing when playing, not having to think about mechanics at all.  I have never really had that feeling of true trust on the course until yesterday and it felt great.

I’m still a long ways out from being scratch and in no way am I saying that I have solved the golf swing, but for me, I feel like I have made a major breakthrough and discovered a key to MY golf swing that I can go back to if needed to get consistent results.  I’m excited to keep fine tuning my swing over the next few months with my teacher, who I plan to see again in the next few weeks, as it’s been a good couple months.  Ultimately, I know that my short game is going to be the key to get me down to scratch and I intend to rededicate myself to more hours of practice on that front.  I’m still hopeful that I can reach my goal of shooting an under par round of golf by the end of this year and I know improving my short game is the only way I’m going to get there.  Also I’ll be updated this blog on a more consistent basis, no more 1 month breaks I promise!

EDIT: 11/11/13 I have been getting multiple requests to post the video where I saw the tip that helped me, so I will post it here, but please note like I said in the previous post and the reason why I really avoided posting it originally is that it helped me in finding a key feeling to MY swing that I had been searching for and it probably won’t apply to everyone.  Obviously there is no one golf swing fix, every swing is different and as others are at different stages of developing there own swings you need to see a PGA Professional to help diagnose the keys to your swing that you are missing.  These videos were free clips posted on a YouTube channel that I stumbled upon from the instructor Clay Ballard over at RotarySwing.com, so if you find it useful go check out his YouTube channel or website.

bench_and_flowers

I decided to take about a week and a half off from playing golf, clear my head and reset before getting back to the grind.  I played a lot of golf gearing up for my tournament in Palm Springs and the hard work certainly paid off with my victory, so I felt like I needed/earned a short break.  I have played 2 rounds now since my 10 days off and I think the reset has really helped me.  I shot a 74 (+4) last week and yesterday I shot a 72 (+2) round with a triple and double bogey!  Both rounds were at the Par 70 Vineyard course. I’m really playing some solid golf right now, but still making too many mistakes that are costing me that under par round of golf.

20130924_12401420130924_124003During my (+4) 74 round, I had 2 penalties and three 3 putts, easily could have been my under par round.  Yesterdays (+2) 72, had 4 penalties, a triple bogey 7 on #2 and a double bogey 5 of #3……the other 16 holes I played in (-3)!  It’s frustrating knowing just how close I am to shooting my first under par round of golf, it’s right there, I can taste it, I just need to eliminate the stupid mistakes.  Of course that’s much easier said than done, golf is one of the hardest sports on earth for a reason, it is so difficult to remain consistent.  However, I am determined to get my under par round of golf, it is crazy to think that according to the USGA less then ½ of 1% of golfers can shoot under par…I want in that elite group so badly and one day I will be.  I’m making a lot of birdies lately which is really encouraging, I have 7 birdies and an eagle over my last 2 rounds.  If I keep the ball in play off the tee, eliminate the occasional 3 putts and maintain my solid up and down game, I should be easily under par.  20130924_12404320130924_124120I’ll be playing a round on Wednesday at Eagle Crest, a very challenging course; have not played there in a while, so I’m hoping for another solid round.  I did shoot (-1) on the back 9 the last time I did play there, about 6 months ago and my game is much better than it was then, so you never know!