1/12/11 Thursday. The return to form after the layoff over the past two weeks is working at the minute. Nothing spectacular more so back to my previous standard, with perhaps a little improvement which is an unexpected bonus. Starting on Monday this week I have played 9 holes every day and several additional improvements to my game have been established as the restriction of the golfers elbow abates. Once again getting positives out of the negative has rewarded me, admittedly the frustration and anger that boiled over last week still sucked.
So far this week the first major improvement has been the hitting of greens in regulation, giving birdie chances. This has never been a consistent aspect of my golf, which the analysis and introspection of the past month while limited on the course has highlighted. The following are some game improvements that have came from the experience, 1) Established a defined setup routine for tee and fairway shots, 2) Improved swing plane, 3) Pitching and Chipping accuracy and versatility improved, 4) Returned to using any of the clubs all of the time. With a little more physical improvement to follow there is a few other specific aspects of my game that have been identified for development.
The restrictions from MVA injuries are abating through regular playing of golf since 2009. To the extent that now I am going to target getting a complete follow through on my swing, as far as my body limits will allow. In this the progress has been very extensive already, flexibility and rotation of my hips has improved at least 20% in 3 seasons. To attain an improved forward swing will be a valuable addition to my ball striking. This one addition will go hand in hand with my practise of tee and fairway shots. Secondly, yet most importantly is improving the results on the green when putting. This part of my game has really suffered from the Golfers’ Elbow injury. Even now I am using the lighter and shorter putter to accommodate the strain the action puts on the tender spots.
Beside the obvious enjoyment at being able to play again, the use of blades has been a very successful exercise for my game improvement. The need to strike the ball well with blades to get a good result is a great incentive when practising and playing with them. I still alternate between using blades and the Titleist AP2’s, whilst my consistency with the blades is maintained when returning to the AP2 irons the improvement is markedly noticeable. With Ebay and the variety of used irons available there, picking up a set of blades for $30 and paying $100 for extensions and new grips was unbeatable value. I am not a coach and thoroughly recommend any golfer to not hesitate in taking lessons from qualified coaches. This has been the best thing I have done in my golfing, followed by regular practise routines. That is not discounting the vocal minority who will espouse that coaching was wasted on them, just take note this is a minority of golfers.
Which brings me to the free part of improving your golf, watching good golfers play the game. The last few weeks I have benefited from this during the club Open with playing partners and this past weekend in the Robe Village Classic Ambrose, followed by the 18 hole Classic Invitational event for 5hcp or less golfers. This year I followed the deciding group of 4 players tied on 71 gross and filmed the two hole play off. Doing this was well worth the walk, and the deciding factor in two changes that are now part of my game. Establishing and following a setup routine for each shot, putting is the one that is lagging in this. Coaching is needed for my putting, as well as a little more recovery time for the elbow injury. This also assisted in returneing to using any club for all shots instead of automatically grabbing what seems best. These two changes came from my observations and discussions with the low handicap golfers played with during these events. Thankyou for your time and attention, “Hit ‘em straight all”