June 10, 2013

It’s 104 degrees on a late Sunday morning – so hot that the dark blue finish on the Saturn would burn your hands if you left them there long enough. So hot that the jet-black head on my Ping Scottsdale putter is too hot to touch. The driving range at Superstition Springs is virtually empty; the only ones there are familiar faces: the young Asian guy with the big swing who seems to always be there whenever I am, and the older guy with a white mullet hair who always seems to be on his cell phone or chatting it up with whomever happens to be hitting balls near him. He looks edgy there all by himself with no one to talk to and no phone calls to make.

Just as I was yesterday, I’m here today with a purpose: 1) cultivate a reliable and consistent 3-hybrid I can hit on tight holes during Goodboys weekend; 2) sharpen my chipping game; 3) get comfortable with my new putter. Since my new graphite woods with the senior flex shafts aren’t due until Monday at the earliest, I’m using this weekend to sharpen the skills I will need to rely upon when the pressure is really on at Goodboys. I’m also practicing swinging my clubs harder than I have been: that day last week at the PGA Superstore fitting center really opened my eyes. As both Chad the fitting specialist and my swing coach Alex Black told me, I’ve been giving away yardage and consistency by not taking a full and more aggressive swing with all of my clubs. As a result, I’ve allowed my hands to either be too active or not active enough in the hitting zone, creating shanks or big pushes to the left or ugly duck hooks to the right.

The 3-hybrid is an important club for me to get comfy with, and two days of letting it fly after being sure to set up square is paying some real dividends: the duck hook and that gnarly push to the left have both become less frequent, and I can see the difference in both my ball trajectory and distance from getting some real compression on the ball. Today in front of my familar make-believe fairway on the far left side of the range I’m pulverizing one ball after another, not only seeing the difference but hearing it in the way the ball jumps off the clubface. This is Alex Black’s “power move” realized to its fullest extent. I think he’d be proud of me.

I’ve also been working extremely hard on my pitching wedge, to the point where I can now use it as my 100-yard club. Prior to my last Alex lesson, the best I could do was hit it 85 yards, but swinging a little bit harder and taking a divot has added at least 15 yards to the club. Today as I did yesterday, I’m effortlessly raining balls one after another down around the 100 yard marker without over-swinging, really compressing the ball in my follow through.

I down a few cups of water from the cooler and see the chipping/putting green is empty. The heat is really beginning to build but I’ve still got a lot of work to do. I grab four orange Wilson 50s out of my bag and toss them at various locations around the green. I pick out a pin and chip each one, then try and make no more than two putts (preferably only one) from where they land. I do this forty times today. For whatever reason, my chipping is less than stellar – OK for now because it means I get the chance to putt from longer distances. Whereas yesterday’s session was awful – couldn’t get the feel of the new Ping at all – today I’m starting to learn what this putter does best and begin to make the necessary adjustments in my swing and stance. I especially like the way you can hit it “dead” (without virtually any swing) and drain three-footers. I don’t do it often enough, but at least I know the potential is there. Now it’s all about repetition and gaining confidence.

I’ve been out in the heat for two hours and the Asian guy is still banging balls. The guy with the mullet is long gone – I guess the fact he had no company or calls to make made hitting balls seem like too much work on a blazing hot day.

I’ve put in some good and really significant work this weekend, and feel more confident about the kind of game I can take to the course the next time I’m out here. At my next session – hopefully Tuesday – I’ll be introducing those new graphite woods with the flex shafts to golf Great White Shank style. I sure hope they’re up to it, because six weeks from today Goodboys weekend will be over with and The Great Golf Immersion Experiment of 2013 will be history. Six weeks from today it will be back to the more mundane tasks of paying down the debt and watching the monsoon season turn into Arizona winter.

While enjoying a cold Sam Summer at the clubhouse grill I can’t help but think about all the practice sessions I’ve put in and how fast this year has gone by. I’ve worked so hard on my game – harder than I ever thought I’d ever want to, harder than any other Goodboy by a long shot, I’ll bet, yet have precious little to show for it in terms of scoring. Which, in the end, is all that matters. Still, it has been a great deal of fun and I’ve enjoyed the challenge of seeing my former swing smashed into a thousand pieces and slowly, gradually put back together again.

Whether or not it all comes together in time for Goodboys weekend is anyone’s guess: that’s something we’ll all know in six weeks.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 02:12 | Comment (1)
1 Comment »
  1. […] kid wasn’t fooling, I’ve never seen a driving range so void of life. Just like last time, except this time there’s no one else out here – not even the Asian guy who’s […]

    Pingback by GoodBoys Nation - Archives » The Range Rat Says Adios — June 20, 2013 @ 3:54 am


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment


goodboys.jpg


Search The Site



Recent Items

Categories

Archives
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


Blogroll

Syndication

4 Goodboys Only

Site Info