17/2/12 Friday. The players draw for the Southern Ports Tournament arrived in the post this week, a 12.36pm tee off on Monday the 27th February at Kingston SE, 1.54pm at Beachport on the 29th and 1.42pm on the 2nd of March at Robe. After three months of training in preparation for the tournament it is good to have the solid piece of paper in my hands confirming my entry.
This week has been a good one training wise, recovery from the exertion of the past weeks has progressed well. One more Bowen Therapy session next Wednesday will complete the recovery and healing process. The physical failure of my body to maintain a consistent level of capability has always been a hurdle for playing consistent golf. Which has a lot to do with my variety of club purchases to get a suitable configuration in my bag. At my best form the Titleist AP2 set of irons with the 420cc or 460cc Driver off the tee do a grand job. When my body is faltering the iron play becomes very erratic with the #3 to #6 AP2’s and at its worst the 400cc Driver with Senior Flex is a must off the tee.
Having the benefit of the details of my last 3 years of golfing to refer back to, it is not difficult to make a change to the club’s in the bag to suit my ability. This is where the advances of todays club technology becomes invaluable. Together with my routine of using all of the 3 sets of irons I have when practising, there is no detrimental effect when making club changes. The last couple of weeks it became obvious the I could no longer sustain the effort to play consistently with the AP2 #3 to #6 irons especially.
A couple of quick sessions on the driving range replacing the AP2 irons with the Ping Karsten cavity back #3 to #6 irons and the problem was solved. A driver change was made also replacing the Dunlop 400cc with a Titleist clone MDD Tour 380cc with a stiff flex shaft. I will miss the extra distance of the Cobra driver in particular. The MDD driver still gives a 210-220 drive with ease and I can get accurate 230+m with it when required. The improved physical condition has had my short game and putting standard improve this week. It is obvious to me that I could not maintain a high level of physical exertion and play my best for the three day tournament without adding game assisting irons to the bag. Having lived with the results of chronic injuries from a motor vehicle accident since 1983, making adjustments to be able to be competitive and active is second nature.
The pain is never pleasant and I make no effort to endure it with good grace, preferring to act upon any flare ups and stop the discomfort. The drawn out process of my preparation over 3 months may seem excessive to some. Even I can see that, on looking at my handicap of 12 and that I can score 80-82 off the stick, it may be apparent that my golf is good enough. When playing weekly rounds, I cannot maintain the physical condition to be a consistent 12 handicapper. To play three rounds in five days it is crucial that my body is conditioned to cope with the effects that are not all going to be comfortable. This year playing in A grade I have had to step up another level from B Grade in 2011 as I did when moving up from C Grade in 2010. It is overall another gradual increase over a three year period, that is proof that formulating a golf plan and sticking to it does work.
The coming weekend I will be playing Kingston SE on the Saturday and depending on how my body pulls up will keep the option of playing Robe on Sunday open. The following week will be light training nothing more than fine tuning on the range and playing a few holes. If possible a return to Beachport to play again is a definite priority. The game plan for each course has been established over the past months. All that is required is to execute it with the benefit of the practise routine to support my crack at the title again. Thankyou for your time and attention, “Hit ‘em straight all.” Geoff