9/1/12 Monday. Fronted up and had a hit in the club round on Sunday, my first competition event for 2012. Following the two coaching sessions on last Monday and Tuesday, a lot of time had been put into hitting balls on the driving range. Have put the Sand Wedge from the iron set used in 2010 into the bag replacing the 60 degree wedge. Play more consistently in getting the distance with this iron than the 60 degree at the minute. Would prefer to be more adept with the higher lofted club given the amount of run on greens during the summer, will persist with it in practise and see if I get to a level that is satisfactory.
Extremely happy with a return to good form when putting, restriction from the golfers elbow is no longer affecting the grip comfort and striking motion when putting. Hitting the ball with good touch distance and accuracy wise. Short game chipping with the sand wedge was acceptable, pitching wedge is now a distance club for me following the coaching sessions. It is a point that needs to be highlighted that my stance has significantly changed as a result of the coaching. The question may be there that having gone from 36 to 12 my stance, grip and swing must be reasonably effective? Yes and No, when I started in 2009 my body was not flexible enough to take up the stance and effect the correct swing that the professional was teaching. In the intervening years that has been changed, so once again the coach worked on the same stance to base my swing from and after a week of dedicated practise it is now the one which comes naturally.
What is the result of this change? I now have a swing which is ‘simple’. With less faults that direct energy away from hitting the ball forward as efficiently and effectively as possible. The most noticeable change has been the return to hitting tee shots which are accurate and have good distance. The consistency is not yet established as well as I want that will come with practise.
Sundays round was a Stableford and I played it as a social game, knowing full well that my game was not up to handicap standard yet. With a very strong wind included in the mix the conditions were challenging. Scoring 12 points on both front and back nines the total of 24 was not even a concern. There was 8 shots which were the cause of the score, all second shots to the green. The result of the changed stance which had in conjunction with the wind totally thrown my club selection choices into disarray. Three iron shots 2x 6 iron 1 x 9 iron flew 20 m over the green! Another 6 and 2 x 8 irons which sliced sharply off the fairway and finally two huge hooks with a 5 and 6 iron off the fairway. Even so there is no concern on my part with these mistakes. One week into the 8 week preparation with such a major change it is going to take practise, practise and more practise to come to grips with my game again.
The increased efficiency of power in my swing has been a revelation and at the same time created the problem with my game. Put yourself in my shoes for the moment no matter what your golf standard is, how would you play if in a 5 day period your irons gained 10-15 metres? When I began to play in 2009, 150m was a 5 iron, yesterday it was a 7 with the wind and a 6 into the wind. The mind really struggled with playing these shots and I did not feel comfortable when setting up for many of the shots to greens. I have not included three Pitching Wedge shots from 100m out, after hitting 250-260m drives that also failed. I have gone from the expected 200-220m off the tee as well, so mentally I had no idea what was going to happen when taking a swing with any club except the sand wedge when chipping and the putter.
Today it has been time to reflect upon the progress. All is progressing well given that only a week has passed since starting the dedicated training preparation for Southern Ports. I can see that making a transition to playing attacking golf is a definite possibility on early analysis. Not going to discount this problem with the 5 and 6 irons as that was also an issue during 2011. Patience will return the correction of this towards the end of January 2012. It is not so much the clubs but the distance of 150 to 170 metres that I need to get control of is my current view. Previously it was a major effort to hit the distance given the inherent faults within the stance. Now with improved efficiency it will not take as much effort to hit the distances. Hence it is reasonable to expect that errors caused from trying too hard from a poor stance will be improved upon in coming weeks. Thankyou for your time and attention, “Hit ‘em straight all”Geoff