March 18, 2014

Hard to believe it’s been a year since I kicked off my Golf Quest 2013 effort with my first of three lessons with my swing guru, Alex Black. Since that time I’ve hit thousands of balls, spent hundreds of hours hitting balls and practicing, and played 25 rounds of golf shooting from a low of 90 to a high of 112. In that year, I dropped my average score from a pre-Alex 108 to a 103, but, more importantly, I’ve been able to play a more consistent (and enjoyable) brand of golf along the way. I went from hating the driving range to loving it, and from finding every excuse to hide my game and swing from others to having no fear as to who I’m banging balls next to at the range.

But there’s work still left to be done.

I’ll admit, after a year of committed golf under my belt I’ve gotten a little greedy as to what my ultimate goal ought to be. I thought I would be satisfied playing an average round at a 1 1/2 bogey pace (shooting anywhere between, say, 95 and 100), but after getting a taste of a few rounds in the low 90s and knowing that, even with my abysmal course management – where I throw away at least a dozen strokes a round – I can still get away with high 90s and low 100s, I know bogey golf is attainable. The question is, how to go about it?

First of all, as I mentioned above, my course management absolutely, positively has to improve. To shoot bogey golf you can still make a mistake, but you can’t compound it by making mistakes on top of it or repeating the same mistake over and over. So there’s some serious work to do in my mental approach. For whatever reason, I tend to be a little ADD out there on the course; the game gets too fast for me and I lose my focus instead of just taking each shot one at a time and slow the game down to a single hole. They say self-awareness is half the battle – now I need to learn to put a few ideas I have into practice.

The second course of action is refining my swing. Right now, I’m very inconsistent in my transition from backswing to downswing and getting my weight shifted from back to front. Of course, inconsistency is the mark of an amateur, but improving the number of successful transitions means increasing the number of solid golf swings, thereby reducing my interactions with trouble and lowering my scores. You can’t shoot bogey golf if you’re going to be hitting three after a drop on the tee or skulling balls from the middle of the fairway into sand traps or water hazards. And that’s where Alex will come in. It’s been over nine months since my last lesson, so it will be good for us to have a little touch-base where he can take a look at where my swing is and what improvements can be made in the transitions department.

We’re just four months away from the 2014 Goodboys Invitational. Back in New England, the snow is receding and I have a hunch Robin redbreast has already made his first appearance. Pretty soon the chatter will start up (who’s my partner? where are we going to play?) so it’s time to kick off a new year with new goals and a fresh approach. With the temps here already in the low to mid-80s and pool season just weeks away, there’s not a moment to lose, is there?

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 00:49 | Comments Off on Transition Mission
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