Monday, October 03, 2011

A little improvement is better than none...

/10/11 Instead of cracking the sh!ts, complaining, ranting about how golf is a bitch, my reaction is one of good humour and acceptance of the limitations to playing at the minute. Wearing an arm brace yesterday on the front nine (47) and removing it for the last nine (50) had no major difference score wise. Not being able to chip well and drop the putts was frustrating. Especially after driving off the tee so well and hitting greens in regulation or just off target. Accepting the current circumstances as unusual and having to wear it for now is not fun, yet my mantra of “getting the positives out of the negatives” is working. Finishing with 97 Gross, 85 Nett with 35 putts was not a gut wrenching failure simply the best currently possible.

At the minute I have “no short game”. Having to dig deep this week into the patience reservoir, the “Golfers Elbow” injury is affecting my game at the core of scoring. The cliche’ of having a good short game is a key to getting low scores is true. After putting in the work to develop one, having it stymied with an injury has been a challenge to my character. Five of my past 7 rounds have been 90 or higher off the stick the other two rounds being an 80 and an 87. This time last year, albeit when on a 19-20 handicap my scores were in the same range, so it is still fresh in my memory of this being me playing at the best I could. Kinda cool though to be sitting here and realising how much improvement in my golf has came about from making the effort and practising properly with a plan.

This morning it is back to the cold and heat treatment of the injured part and wondering when I should get on the course for a chip and putt. Contrary to what the name suggests, you do not have to play golf to develop this condition. In fact, golfers elbow is more commonly seen in non-golf players than in golf players. Patients typically develop this condition due to activities involving repetitive wrist flexion against resistance or forceful or repetitive gripping of the hand.
Golfers Elbow Exercises
Along with keeping up with the stretching, the 3rd physio gave me a list of exercises to do twice a day. The regime was this:
■Heat the elbow with a wheat bag for 10 minutes
■With an empty dumbbell bar (weights 1.5kg) do 10 palm up wrist curls, with back of forearm resting on your leg and hand jutting out past your knee.
■Reverse the hand so palm is down, and do 10 reverse wrist curls i.e. back of hand is raised, again forearm rests on leg.
■Keep the arm resting on your lef, grasp the dumbbell bar at one end, and tilt the bar back and forth from the horizontal on the left, through 180 degrees, to the horizontal on the right, and return. Do that 10 times.
■Setting the dumbbell bar aside, form a circle with the tips of your fingers (make your hand like a claw) and wrap an elastic band around the outside of your finger tips. Now try to stretch the elastic band by spreading your fingers out wide, maintaining the circular shape. Do this 10 times.
■End by cooling the elbow with an ice cube.

There is a little pressure as it is my semi-final in the club championship matchplay on the coming Sunday. Yet having practised diligently for so long and kept a record of the routines and program, gives me total confidence in having the grounding to get myself in form. I can say that the performance off the tee especially yesterday was a continuation of last week, there as not a single penalty stroke in the round. The four three putts all cost me par scores on the holes, so many first putts were short of the hole. I really tried to correct it and had no ‘feel’ for the stroke all day. Never getting close to hitting the right distance or accurate enough either.

The chipping was the same, short all day. No bladed or fat shots, again without any ability to measure the strength needed to play the shot. In this instance perhaps as most fell short I could have changed back to using the pitching wedge for chipping as I have in the past. Instead I chose to keep using the 60 degree wedge, which previously was only used rarely, as a sand wedge. I know that the past two weeks of beginning to use this club for chipping is going to be a major benefit in the future. I know that many golfers have always used a lob or gap wedge for chipping, for me it was a club not carried. It is now a must to be able to chip and have the ball not run on so far, as happens with the pitching wedge in my game. No matter the week to come will have me back into better form.

Today the greens are being cored and I will have to give the working be a miss this year, making up for it tomorrow at the Junior Golf Clinic. A five hour stint helping out with the days running is not a problem in this case. With PGA Tour player Gary Simpson and Professional Michael Justin doing the golf coaching the juniors will get some very effective guidance. Gary Simpson has a preliminary win of the SA OOM finishing with a six point lead over previous SA OOM winner Brent McCullough. The SA OOM will be finalised officially at the end of the OOM season being 31st October 2011. The successful experience with the local primary school coaching clinic last month and a follow up so soon hopefully is going to give the club a good base to develop a regular junior golfing program at the club.
Thankyou for your time and attention, “Hit ‘em straight all”


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