Friday, June 04, 2010

Golf - Caddy for championship finalists

May 29 2010  An enjoyable experience being the ‘eyes’ for one of the golfers in the matchplay yesterday. Did make an error in the previous post, the guy who is losing his sight’s handicap was 7 and went out to 12 with the new handicapping system. The glaucoma which is causing the blokes vision to go is gradual and prior to the onset of this his handicap was down to 4. The opponent was a fella who started playing last year as I did and is slowly getting his game together at the minute on 32, being handicap matchplay the 12 handicapper gave him a stroke on every hole plus two strokes on one.
Play your best golf - break 90 Vol 1

I did speak to them both on the first tee explaining that I was there to observe and not to have to bother about including me in the social chatter as the game progressed. It was all convivial for the match as it went anyway, I just wanted to let them know that I understand the gamesmanship that goes on during these matches and did not need to be considered a distraction. On the back nine I did ease myself a little more ‘space’ away from them. The game was getting serious and by the 14th hole I don’t think they even knew I was there.

After 9 holes the low handicapper was 2 down after winning the 9th. The high handicapper is one of the biggest hitters at the club his short game lets him down and his club selection is a failing limiting his options. Tends to hit hard and long without any finesse. Good grief here I am on 21hcp making this observation and I have only recently began realising there is more golf swing speeds besides “FLAT OUT”shots can be shaped deliberately and not flukes that come about when trying to hit straight. Five holes later the score was all square, the 11th to 13th holes are tight and no room for error off the tee and the low handicapper won both 11 and 12, had the chance to go one up on the 13th and missed a short putt to end up halving the hole. A little reaction of disgust in himself steamed out and it was game on from there. Match play in finals adds pressure on players and it can be the mistakes made from club selection to thought that gets the result in the end. This match went to the 18th hole and even with a bad drive and a bad second, third long into the bunker fourth on the green, fifth a lagged putt that stopped short, the higher handicapper sank a sensational putt, 4 metres, down hill over a tiered green to hole out in 6 and still lose to a sensational 5 m lag putt his opponent stopped 4-5 cm from the hole and and par the last.

It was a matter of pressure having a greater effect upon the less experienced player. Some poor club selection in particular choosing a ‘Lob’ Wedge ( I think they are called that? 60 degree loft) around the green and popping the ball up in the air and going forward a metre or two and still off the green. Not once but several times On the other hand the lower handicapper played a game that unless I was there would have been indescribable. Perfect placement to my vision (not to the guy losing his sight) the fact that on our course which is 14 holes, 4 holes are played twice with different tee markers. On the holes played twice his shots were in the same position from drive to second and on the green in regulation. If you reading this are a single figure handicapper that is without doubt what makes the difference among the grade of golfers. ‘SHAPING THE BALL WITH DRAWS AND FADES TO LAND PRETTY MUCH EXACTLY WHERE YOU AIMED’. That is a huge advantage and display of ability and skill from the better golfers. Having several practise swings before playing a shot was exactly the same each time the by the low handicapper and did he release some power in the swing. The totally smooth effortless swing that does not show any sign of effort.

I have a long way to go in getting to 15hcp this season, at least there is no delusion in the effort and improvement that is needed to achieve this. Also the reality of my getting to 15 is by no means certain, although the end of June should give me some indication of how my progress is going. I have now started using the reshafted clubs after the glue curing period ended Friday. I tried really hard to not use them until Saturday but it was like having the keys to the lolly shop and not opening the door to have a peek. The longer shafts have been the exact change needed, the ball now gets the distance that was lacking before. Not an increase in distance but back to my usual club ranges. Also have gained a much better ‘feel’ and touch using the clubs around the green which is vital. The results so far with the new clubs were a 43 with 14 putts Friday and a 94 with 32 putts Saturday having a social practise hit. Tomorrow will be a challenge as my putting is still poor and my accuracy (Long to Mid Irons) is not up to standard. Next lesson with the club pro is going to be on my long and mid irons, he has done a terrific job showing me the way to use a driver also pitching and putting around and on the green. I am a great believer in getting professional coaching to tune up and establish a golf game. It makes a lot of sense and gets results for me. I have listened to other golfers say that lessons have not helped them which is hard to believe. Thankyou for your time and attention, “Hit ‘em straight all”.Thankyou for your time and attention, Geoff

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