14/3/12 Wednesday. Got out on the course late yesterday to play a casual 9 holes and put to the test some observations that came from the rounds at Naracoorte. These two rounds were some of the most disciplined that I have played. This was part of the reason for why the result and finish mid field was not disappointing. The poor putting was not a surprise and is behind me as a problem. This aspect of my game is now at the forefront of future practice to deal with it as best I can.
There has always been parts of my game that needed improving and in one case was non existent. Establishing consistent tee shots with the driver has been a work in progress for a long time. That had a lot to do with my pride in the discipline during the Naracoorte competition. The result off the tee was good and on a course that had the obstacles of towering gums alongside the fairways, hitting the fairways was a must. With 5 holes to go on the last day a little voice started to pipe up in my head, “C’mon give the ball a decent crack off the tee, stop holding back!” After so many good shots played over he weekend, I really felt that there was a bit more I could get out of the driver. Felt good physically, the tempo and rythym were on song and my game was struggling due to the bad putting. Belting longer drives was not going to do anything to improve the round, changing the driving technique would take out an established constant from the weekend. I did not change and whilst a little frustrated at not testing the drivers limit, the discipline was a more important win in itself.
Yesterday I gave the driver free reign off the tee, the changes were minimal. Adding a very moderately faster forward swing from a slightly longer backswing with more hip and body in the movement. The latter has not been possible until recently, my body did not have that amount of physical movement available. Improved fitness and training exercises combined with the coaching in January, which established the current golf swing that has given my game the base to improve from. The result was excellent, 230m plus drives, straight and effortless off the tee. To have tried this in the round Sunday would still have been a mistake. In practice though I can begin to plan adding this new aspect to my competition rounds in moderation.
Now to the thing which my game has never had previously. To have this regularly over two days of competition golf to me means this is not a freak occurrence. I have never put noticeable backspin onto the ball until this past weekend. The few times it has happened previously it was ignored as a game influence it was so rare. This weekend though the 9 iron and PW shots to the green after drives were hitting the green and the ball was definitely spinning and holding the green. Most did spin to the right after impact, the rest backwards still with a favouring towards the right after impact. These were not gentle spin but definite rips, then stop.
Again while playing around the course yesterday the consistent drives put me in place to play these irons often enough to see the spin was still there. Have got a modicum of understanding of why it is happening and can now concentrate on developing this into another game feature. Previously one influence on my club selection for green shots was the concern that the ball would go through the green. The appearance of regular back spin now makes it possible to be attacking with the removal of another distraction and addition of the backspin feature.
The enjoyment of the weekends golf has a lot to do with why I travel to play in various club Open Events. Among my playing partners were 3,4,5,13,21 and 26 handicappers, including the tournament winner. The single digit golfers were the ones I watched to see how they played the game, the others are the golfers who play at the same level I do or was until just recently. That I played my best round with the two lowest handicappers in the group, is an example many golfers can relate to. The putting was still a major fail in that round. This is the start of the season and there is another two day open event at Bordertown GolfClub at the end of the month that I would like to play in. In past seasons I have made the trip to play their winter open in October. It is another course that I want to take up the challenge again with it’s native bushland along the fairways. Will have to check the club program to see if it is possible. Thankyou for your time and attention. “Hit ‘em straight all.”