Friday, June 04, 2010

Golf - A lot has changed in 12 months

Play Your Best Golf - Break 90 Vol 1
19th May 2010 Golf is a game that is for many people one of the very few things they willingly initiate and accept change in. You have most likely experienced this yourself and even at this given time the reaction to the new handicapping is still resonating. The year seems to be flying along and this morning while browsing backposts up came my initial entry in the Player Description, March 13 2010. I am editing it here now and putting the changes in brackets.

First name: Geoff

Height: 180 cm (looks like my growth spurts are over)

Weight: 103 kg (105kg stopped smoking 3 months ago and been snacking a bit too much)

Location: Limestone Coast

Years Playing: Started playing seriously again in 2009

Righty or Lefty?: Righty

Home Course: Robe

What’s in the Bag?: Driver – King Cobra S 9.1

Irons – Shark XLT 3-SW, Dunlop Putter (2 x Hybrids MaxiFli 16deg. & TopFlite 18deg. )(Irons Ben Hogan power thruster blades and ProSimmon “Ping Karstens 1980’s” lookalikes, Sliver Scot 60deg. L/W)(PGA Model 705 BAT Putter)

Handicap: 22 (21)

Handicap Goal for 2010: 15

Strengths: Consistent

Weaknesses: Concentration lapses (been a little less practise than in 2009)

Your Typical Pre-Round Routine: 30 min driver, irons warm up, 30 min Pitching, putting. Stretches, Sacrifice chicken.

Your Golf Attire (usually): Neat casual

Club Distances: Varies Summer or Winter (Driver 220m-250m)(Irons 150m usually a 5 iron, since using the older clubs distance is less because the club lofts are greater)

Your Usual Ballflight: Straight, slight fade on occasional long irons (Straight and a draw on Driver and irons now)

Have You Played Competitively? Yes, golf is a sport and I like to win as well as improve my game :) Where? Every home club comp, Various club Opens When?: Whenever I can.

Pick The Ball Cleanly, or Divot?: Cleanly (starting to take divots now and working on this with the blades)

Blades or Cavity Backs?: Cavity backs (BLADES)

Links or Tree Lined?: Tree lined

Range Rat or Gain Experience By Playing? Both

What Time of Day Do You Prefer Playing? Any time

Do You Get First Tee Jitters? No

Your Overused Golf Sayings: “I’m happy with that”, “Bugger” and of course “F#@K”

Quiet Player or Loud?: Quiet

Walk or Golf Cart?: walk

Favourite Golf Quotes: “At least it went forward”

Highest / lowest / current handicaps:36/22/22 (36/21/21)

Best golfing memory: Winning Club Handicap Championship 2009 (Second place Southern Ports Tournament (3 rounds) “C” grade

Even though my height has not changed of late there has definitely been a few times that I have felt taller of late. This has a lot to do with some excersises and physio therapy that has been done since April. Well worth the effort. Damn it have got a bit fatter of late, not smoking is a poor excuse I gave up in the 1980’s and lost 10-15 kg then. A bit of lazy b@st@rd attitude is a better reason for this and having and extended holiday of sorts since the end of February.

My equipment has had a total make over, the Cavity backs are gone from the bag after giving good service since June 2009. In the last two weeks an old set of Prosimmons “ping” Karstens lookalikes has been purchased and used together with a set of mostly Ben Hogan Power Thruster blades. This week end a set of Keith Knox blades will be picked up for the bag. Also with the set of Prosimmons came a PGA putter which feels perfect in my hands and a Silver Scot 60* L/W. Purchased a set of new Presto irons, with True Temper firm shafts (half inch longer) for use in reshafting the Prosimmons. Oddly I have another set of 1980’s irons and they too are short shafts.

The move to blades has been coming for a while and I could have by passed getting the Ping lookalike set, my original set in the 1980’s were like these and it is a feeling of familiarity and they do have assistive Toe-Heel balance and weighting that is a benefit for my current ability. Using the blades already is part of my transition to this style of club. It is a purely personal trait to do this in my chosen manner. Starting with the older blades is a deliberate choice to give me a benchmark in comparing what is available in the market now. I would like to stress that the Cavity back SHARK XT irons were fine and the over size head and assistive club design did help a lot. The last few months though it has became a feature of my game where the assistive attributes of the irons were a hindrance and played me into trouble. Since moving to the mix of blades I have noticed improved accuracy and in particular ‘feel’ around the greens when pitching and chipping. Cavity backs do not pass on the direct feel from the ball hitting the club, for those who have never hit anything but Game improvement clubs ask anyone who hits blades what a mishit feels like! Hitting a ball sweet is a delight, a mishit is like an electric shock and being hit with sledge hammer in unison. The feel and touch around the greens with blades is a joy for me and is totally energising to my game enjoyment.

Equipment is part of the development. Golfers in general are very open about their progress over the years and being a good listener it has been valuable assistance. Perhaps you have been through the transition of Breaking 90 for the first time or from low 20’s to the teens, low teen’s to single figure handicap. Golf is a game of stages for each individual and it has been a revelation to become aware of what is needed to be done for me to go the next step. When on 23+ hcp blowing out 1 to 3 holes a round was a lot easier to recover from. The past 4-6 weeks has been a mixture of getting the equipment and taking action to change the game I have been playing to suit a lower handicap.

One of the benefits of how the playing groups are made up at my home club is they are random. Having played with virtually every member in every grade, socially the club is easy to mingle at. Being a good listener there is all the information needed passed around among players. Some are eloquent others terse in golf chatter. Yet from among them all I have garnered the experience of various journeys down and up in handicaps. Just as I am sure that you reading this have had the gamut of experiences in reaching certain levels of playing ability.

Can you recall the first time you realised that having reached the mid to low twenties that it was a begining all over again to get to the teens?

Thankyou for your time and attention Hit ‘em straight all.

Thankyou for your time and attention, Geoff

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