May 24, 2013

Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and it seems fitting that on the very same day my wife and her twin sister are in Florida for Tam’s daughter’s high school graduation that I spent the better part of a hot, breezy afternoon at the Kokopelli Golf Club driving range graduating from my own kind of “Tour School” – that self-appointed day I had marked on my internal calendar the better part of two months ago when I would complete the transition to my new swing (courtesy of Alex Black) and new approach to golf (courtesy of Dr. Bob Winters, via Tom Coyne’s Paper Tiger.

I’m not afraid to boast that over the past eight weeks I’ve worked harder than any other Goodboy on my game, spending anywhere from one to three full afternoons a week at the range hitting buckets and working on my short game – and that doesn’t include the times I’ve actually played a round of golf during that time. As someone who once both hated and feared the driving range I’m now a fully-certified (if not certifiable) range rat on first-name basis with the pro shop guys at Superstition Springs and Kokopelli. I mean, who would have ever thunk it? And while I plan on keeping up the same schedule right up until Goodboys Invitational weekend in July, from here on out I’m no longer in “school”, no longer using the golf course as a laboratory for my latest tweaks and visualization practice. From here on, as the saying goes, the games count.

I hadn’t actually planned on hitting the Kokopelli range today, but while I hit the ball OK at Superstition Springs yesterday I felt I was over-swinging and thus negating the advantage the lag in Alex Black’s “power move” provides in terms of contact and consistency that I know I need to emphasize if I’m going to achieve my goal of minimum bogey-and-a-half (i.e., 96 or less) golf. As Dr. Jim Suttie, one of the great golf instructors of our time, tells Tom Coyne in Paper Tiger:

Lag is power. Lag builds contact and consistency. That’s what you’ve got to get.

Whereas before all this started had I hit the ball like I did yesterday at Superstition Springs I would have been thrilled to death, but I’m at the point where I can recognize what I am doing wrong and know exactly what I need to do to correct. Roy McAvoy might have once said about the golf swing that “perfection is unattainable”, but I know I don’t have to be perfect, just more consistent and not fall into bad habits.

So there I was today at the Kokopelli range with a bucket and my driver, 3-wood and 5-wood, taking easy but aggressive swings and splitting my make-believe fairway one ball after another. Almost like being on auto-pilot, but with a four-step process always in mind: pick out a target, set up slightly open with the clubface slightly open as well, one final square of the shoulders and swing away, taking the wrists completely out and finishing up at one o’clock (remember, I’m a lefty).

Oh sure, there was the occasional power draw or soft fade, but every time I was able to correct immediately and rain my shots down around the 200-yard marker. I’m not greedy when it comes to distance – I know if I can hit the fairway I can get home (or at least close to) with the way I’m hitting my irons.

I celebrated my graduation with some veal cutlets and a chilled bottle of Pino Grigio before retiring out back for a swim, an Arturo Fuente and a Sam Summer under happy pineapple lights and the sounds of Cachao and other classic Cuban artists played in the background. As I marveled at how it couldn’t possibly get better than this, I thought about all the hard work I’ve put in these past two months, totally transforming myself from someone who just played golf into a golfer. Perhaps not a great golfer, but a golfer nevertheless.

From here on out I’ll be focusing on new ways of measuring my progress – ways that, if I continue to improve will undoubtedly show up in lower scores:

1. Fairways hit – would like to see them somewhere around 8-10 a round.

2. Greens in regulation – this is how you know you’re really playing golf; I’d like to see that somewhere around 3-4 a round. I can scramble the rest.

3. Holes at bogey or less – need to get that in the low double-digits.

4. Putts – would like to see that somewhere in the 30-33 range.

5. Balls lost – would like that to be a great big goose egg, but 1 or 2 a round would be OK – after all, I am The Great White Shank.

Let the games begin!

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 00:21 | Comments Off on Graduation Day
No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Search The Site

Recent Items


September 2021
April 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006



4 Goodboys Only

Site Info