23rd August 2010 Monday; A win on the weekend, all a result of the preparation over the past month. This was proof that golf is not a game of ‘luck’. Four weeks ago I began to improve my game and fitness for the final rounds of the Caledonian Inn Trophy on this past Sunday and next weeks, John Leake Trophy. There was finally a change in the weather and to not be playing in pouring rain and gale strength wind gusts was a delight. Yes dear readers, I was beginning to dislike playing golf after going through the past three weeks of weather conditions. A note of interest, thanks to referring back to Golf Link competitions played details, in the previous two weekends playing in terrible weather, I finished in 3rd place each time.
The result on Sunday with a Nett 67 gave me a one shot win for the day and tied the best two of three rounds result with 134 apiece for the Caledonian Inn Trophy. The final placing is still to be decided and I do not know how it is done. Hopefully it is based on all three rounds, as I had Nett 67, 72, 67 and the the other golfer had a Nett 66, 75, 68. Either way the competition was sensational fun. I do not attribute luck too much importance in playing well, I never discount that it does happen. On the 18th hole my opponent hit his drive out of bounds it bounced three times down a bitumen road and then rocketed to the left back into play, leaving him a 50-60 m shot to the green which he made in regulation, a 1.5 m putt for birdie which he just missed gave me the day. After I sank a 5 m putt up a two tier green on the 18th, it was one of those rounds where the pleasure of playing far outweighed what was being played for.
Golf is fun to play, if it was not then the game would soon lose its appeal to me. You have to make your own fun as well, it does not just happen we had a lot of good natured banter to make it fun and not a dull boring game. I definitely believe the improved weather had a lot to do with the happy nature of all the golfers playing on the day. Also I had three days away from the golf sticks (Wed,Thurs. and Friday) and that helped my game as well. The weight training benefits were obvious in my consistency with irons and driver golf swings and playing some of the more delicate pitch shots onto the green. All I do is a series of routines with 25kg each day now, to start with it was 15kg every second day taking no more than 20 minutes. It is a very minor gym commitment designed to do exactly what is being delivered, built stamina and stop those mishits caused by tiredness during a round. During this time I am continuing the daily excercise routine with the Chest Expander and Hand Grips. this is far easier to do in the comfort on my own home. The weight training takes an extra effort but after another 4 weeks will be almost finished with being done as a particular excercise and can be reduced to every second or third day by then if not sooner. I have to be on the ball at the minute, after last week when I realised that I had over done “golf” and had a three day break. This is recreation for me not a job so even though it is a happy obsession, it is still fun, not a must do activity.
It was well worth the experience of the past two weeks, only using a #2 Hybrid off the tee and not carrying a driver, this week the big stick came back into the bag and produced good results. The short game, pitching especially, was very good from the practise and weight training. Putting was good for my expectations at least and will be a particular training focus for coming weeks. As regular readers are aware over the past three months my irons have been reshafted three times. This experiment has been completed and last week I reshafted the Presto periphally weighted irons again. I now have the original shafts in these irons to the #7. The #8 iron has a heavier True Temper Dynamic shaft and the #9 iron has an #8 iron shaft the PW has a #9 shaft and SW a PW shaft. It has been crucial to establish a set of irons that benefit my game and has not been expensive less than $200 to purchase a new set of Presto Irons, and two second hand iron sets that also gained me two new putters and a 60 degree lob wedge. This way of setting myself up with the irons that I need and am well suited to use is just that way I chose to do it. I do not recommend it for everyone, I now can plan on purchasing a set of new blades in the future if my game continues to improve.
Here is the proof of my success, on January the 3rd., 2010 my handicap was 25.2, today on the 23rd of August it is 19.4, six strokes better over an eight month period is a safisfactory result. There has been a lot of work put in and my target of reaching 15 is still in reach before the end of 2010. That I will get to the goal is not certain, the most consistent handicap I have played to in competition is 17 when breaking 90 (gross). While doing the maths is easy, to figure out what is possible, playing golf well enough to reach 15 is more than calculation, it takes action. Fact is I may not be good enough to play to 15, that is not defeatist that is something that may be a reality. A golfer at our club once wanted to make single figures, 9 or less. He reached 12 and could not drop those last three strokes no matter how much he practised or played. It was his own choice to stop and this was a fella who had 10 acres with his home and had built a practise area for driving, fairways and pitching/putting. Now playing and satisfied with his handicap he said to me that at the time it was irritating but simply he did not have the talent to get to single figures.
I have no delusions of my ability only the and desire to see what I can do on the golf course. This year will have me in “B” grade for the club championships and that alone requires me to improve a lot. Club Championship opponents in “B” Grade are far more experienced golfers than I and many have been Penant and “A” grade golfers to boot, that is something that can put their actual handicap into a lower figure during matchplay based upon the knowledge they have. Hence I have chosen to bolster my playing stocks with fitness and practise to try and be able to compete and succeed in this seasons games. Thankyou for your time and attention. “Hit ‘em Straight all” , Geoff