22/12/11 Thursday. Did not even get close to the course yesterday, was locked away filming and editing for 7 hours. The mind and body were craving having a walk and hit this morning and was on the course by 8.30am and got a casual 9 holes in. For 6 pars, 2 bogies and a double bogie it was an enjoyable 90 minutes. Stopped for a chat halfway through the hit with the touring pro who is working with Limestone Coast Golf over the summer at Robe Golf Club. Gary Simpson topped the Sth Oz Order of Merit in 2011 and has just got back from playing in the PGA at the end of the year.
Then back into the last four holes and home to mow lawns, it is a glamourous lifestyle I have. Better than counting crayfish and lugging 3-4 tonnes of them around in the heat a few years ago. The golf was obviously not too bad this morning either. Concentrated on the tee shots and keeping to the rules of my backswing; Low, Slow and Out… then hit the ball. Once again the consistency was lacking, not a problem in a practise round the result does not matter, the lesson does though. Why do I keep deviating from this simple rule for the driver. That I can deliberately do it wrong see the result then straight after tee up again and hit the ball exactly as I would want it to be in a competition game. Then play in a competition and have the brain fade, playing the shot incorrectly, aware of the change, suffer from the mishits, has me bemused. I would never stick my fingers in a mouse trap after doing it the first time so why do I repeat the problem shot off the tee so often?
To sabotage a round is not a conscious decision on my part or even a consideration,. This refusal to settle down and follow the correct Tee Shot procedure is baffling. To improve iron shots took me some time, improving grip, swing, set up, club head alignment, ball placement, stance… to become a reliable and effective part of my current game. The Driver gets used 14-15 times per round, it has now developed into the part of the round that is affecting the score more than any other club. I am putting pressure on my ability to perform with the change to a more aggressive approach. The improvement is well worth the frustration at the minute with the failures off the tee. The fact is that to drop down to ten and then move into single figures handicap wise I have to play out of the comfort zone of the past three seasons.
Pushing my limits has always been a part of the experience of playing golf, ow down in lower handicap level there is a lot less scope to improve. How often do you hear of or see handicapper on 12 to 8 come in with a score of 5-6 under? When up in the 20’s and teen handicaps I have done that myself, now it is a very different landscape. The safety buffer of handicap has lessened each season and in a round these days a third of the holes have no strokes in my game. This necessitated a major game strategy shift, now I try to par every hole and attempt to set up as many birdie opportunities possible. This puts a lot of strain upon my ability and has to be done to achieve the goals set. A tee shot that positions the ball to have a playable shot for the green is vital to be able to achieve the goal. If I miss the green with the second shot on a par 4 it is not by much, the improved chipping in 2011 does get me in up and down position for par often enough. Thankyou for your time and attention all. “Hit ‘em straight”