Tuesday, June 08, 2010

7 June 2010 Only 4 months ago to play in the Southern Ports Tournament it took 2 months of training to be develop the capability to play three 18 hole rounds in a week. Fitness is one of the reasons many of us amateur golfers play each week, after all a 6 plus kilometre walk with some vigorous swinging is a good thing.

The question that I needed answered was; “How far can a healthy person walk with no training?” http://walking.about.com/od/beginners/f/howfarbegginer.htm Thanks to the internet it was not too hard to find the answer. Ten kilometres (6 miles) is do-able for a healthy person without diabetes, heart disease, or orthopaedic problems. That is about 2 hours of walking. It is not recommended walking for 2 hours as a starting place for regular walking exercise, simply saying that's how far a healthy person COULD walk without training. Which is most likely why I was often so stiff and out of energy on Mondays after playing 18 holes during 2009. I may have been relatively healthy when I started playing golf, in medical terms. I certainly was not fit enough to walk and play golf at my best. My weekly routine did have a plan to work to, playing two rounds of 18 , including Sunday competition, plus 3 x 9 hole rounds each week.

This was not possible every week for the first year, injury took its toll on my body that caused most of my non golfing time. Soft tissue and hamstring problems all related to damage in a motor vehicle accident in the 1980’s. I strained the intercostal muscles between the ribs, these move with breathing, and particularly violently when sneezing. Several of the muscles that move your shoulder (Pecs, lats) attach to you chest wall, hence difficulty swinging golf clubs. treatment is painkillers and rest. That injury was recurring and took 2-3 months out of playing it is fine no. The cause was the straining of internal scar tissue and whilst very painful as the doctor said, “your body is actually realigning itself correctly” which is why 12 months later my physical condition is better than it has been in 20 plus years.

On Monday 7th after the Sunday round I went out for 9 holes after getting a couple of hours work done. With the success of the day before, I kept the option open to play 18 if possible, which I did. Improving on the result with a 91 off the stick, two strokes better and 30 putts. I was flagging over the last 5 holes energy wise and did make 3-4 errors which cost me an equivalent number of strokes. I do have a particular game strategy, that has no bearing on what course I am playing on. Breaking 18 holes into loosely four sections being, the first 4 holes and having a gross score of 21-22, with this I know that I am playing close to bogey golf which is appropriate for my present handicap. After 9 holes a score of 44-48 is what I look for on my card. This gives me a definite focus on what I can shoot for at the end of 18. The next three holes I play with a touch more aggression, with a target of 60-65 gross wanted after this attacking charge. If I blow out during this stanza there is still 5 holes left to recover a close to nett handicap score, if not then my target is to play the final six holes in 25-30 strokes. My current handicap is 21 and I have played with this round strategy for the past 6 months and dropped 4 strokes. Soon it will be due for a recalculation to suit my next handicap goal.

The Handicap Finals pairing is confirmed after the last semi final was played Sunday. With last years runner-up winning (2 up after 18 holes) over my conqueror in the elimination rounds. It will be an interesting final with only 4-5 strokes in handicap between the two players, I think a 9 hcp Vs 13 hcp. The game is not scheduled until the 20th of June and having caddied for one of the finalists in his last round (his vision is going, glaucoma) and winning against his opponent in last years final, I have a more than passing interest in the result.

Depending on the weather on Tuesday I will get in 9 holes and put in some time with the driver, mid irons and pitching wedge, before some putting practice that is starting to get my on the green play back to some form that has been lacking for several weeks. Thankyou for your time and attention, Hit ‘em straight all. Thankyou for your time and attention, Geoff