24/10/11 Monday. The improvement in my elbows is noticeable from a week ago, it has been very slow progress recuperating from the golfers/tennis elbow ailment. Sticking to the Ice/Heat treatments with the arm strap support, being worn all day. Light hand grip excercise sessions which always strained a little to begin, then the muscles warmed up and could be completed without any discomfort. The mental irritation at not being able to go out and hit golf balls regularly because of such a minor ailment is perhaps the worst of the problem. The pain and discomfort is not all that minor when it hits, the frustration is added to with the day to day activities which are hampered with the injury. Ridiculous to be forced to gasp with pain when picking a carton of milk up or drop a TV Remote because the strain of picking it up brings searing pain in the elbow and forearm.
In the past week I did not pick up a golf stick until Friday afternoon after returning home. Only then because I wanted to have a hit with the Wilson 1200 blades after adding 3cm length and new grips while away. Had intended to play 4-5 holes only with regard to the not straining the existing injury. Entered the 9 hole comp. and hit the ball well enough the Wilsons are a club shorter it seemed, more loft on the irons adds compared with the AP2’s. Still the new grips and especially the 3cm added had comparable accuracy and the ball felt great coming off the face. Chipping with the PW was a marked improvement this bladed club delivers much better results for me around the green. Putting was a disappointment compared to my expectations at the minute, this facet of the game has been the most affected by the injury. Missed 4 putts by a hairbreadth going past the hole in the beginning. Then on the last 5 holes struggled to make the hole on the first putts, once the strain on my elbows began to affect putting rythym. The positive outcome of this period is the confirmation that having a good short game is vital to playing well.
My game has improved so much in the last 12 months, was on 19 hcp. in October 2010 and now on 12-13 hcp. Dropping this 6 strokes is comparable to other improvements during a golf season for me since 2009 when I was on 28 in October. It was in late November and December of 2009 I began to practise 3-4 days per week with a structured routine in preparation for the Southern Ports tournament. This has been the biggest influence on my golf, in 2010 I began to up the practise ante in early November which got me down to 15 by the beginning of February in tune for the Tournament. In both 2009, “C” grade and 2010, “B” grade I was the runner up after the three days of competition. In 2011, I will be in “A” Grade and well out of my depth ability wise. Making that drop from 12-13 hcp. to an 8-9 hcp. is not as easy as the step from 19 to a 15 hcp. No matter how optimistic I am and well structured my practise routine is, the fact is that improvement into single figures is a slow process. The 2010 golf season was a struggle for me to play to 19 after coming down from the high 20’s. This season I have continued to improve my golf and go 2 strokes lower due to better golf ability. Even if I can get to a single figure in time for the Southern Ports Tournament, my only goal will be to have a crack at the handicap title in “A” grade. The gross off the stick title is for the 5 hcp. or less golfers to fight out. Whilst being out of action some thought has gone into my practise for the 2012 tournament, it may need to be moderated a little to avoid a recurrence of the elbow ailment. Starting in December not November is in favour at the minute. Also another coaching session is needed to work on my technique with long iron shots. Perhaps one of the most valuable coaching sessions in 2011 was a short game clinic. This was a tune up in playing onto the green in close, from the group two of the men made the club championship final, another the semi-final.
I see many comments made about coaching and can only give my opinion that if you really want to get a better golf game, “this is a must do”. Turn up with an attitude of “here I am, now make me better” coaching is not how it works. You will make yourself the better golfer, the coaching is what gives the direction and advice to absorb in improving your game. Have a plan from the beginning that is shared with your coach, and don’t expect to have the answers all done and dusted in one session. My plan was, 1) get the ability to consistently hit a driver off the tee without slicing the ball, Lesson 2) Short Game and Putting. then 2 years of practising what was taught. I did not follow up with the next session planned in my progress, the long irons. This has not been a catastrophe, yet I do believe that this is the key to getting my game on track toward a single figure handicap. Once the elbows have came good I will be getting this postponed coaching session into the knowledge bank.
Thankyou for your time and attention, “Hit ‘em straight all”