June 26, 2015

This is what it’s all about, señoras y señores: the prize, the fame, the fortune. Specifically, the Spielberg Memorial Trophy, and one of those snazzy polyester jackets. Last weekend was the official opening of Goodboys Boot Camp: five weeks of two-a-week minimum visits to the range to work on everything and anything golf related. Putting into practice everything that my swing coach Alex Black showed me last time, my swing has settled into a pretty consistent routine that bodes well for Goodboys weekend if I can just keep my head about me and stick to the fundamentals.

Right now my focus is in two specific areas: 3-wood and driver accuracy off the tee, and 7-8-9 irons and my pitching and sand wedges. For the former, using the ball markings to ensure I square up at address to my aiming point and avoiding the tendency to play the ball too far forward; for the latter, not standing too close to the ball and avoiding the tendency to play the ball too far forward. In both areas I feel like I’m making good progress in staying disciplined and not jumping at the ball and over-swinging which is another tendency as well. (Hey, if I didn’t have all these damned tendencies I wouldn’t be a 26-handicap, would I?)

I’m also spending a lot of time on my short game. Alex was right in two areas: 1) While chipping I was standing too close to the ball. Standing a little further back and flattening out my swing has gotten me back to where I’m accustomed to be, short game wise, and 2) using the ball markings to line up putts has given me a great deal of confidence on those three to six footers that have always been a problem for me. By following Alex’s advice, all I have to do is square up and focus on speed. Will it help? God only knows – the bone-crushing pressure of a Goodboys Invitational has a habit of exposing every weakness you have. Which is why practicing the kind of discipline Alex is preaching is so important.

This weekend will be the last pure range work weekend before Goodboys Invitational week. Next week I’ll be playing nine holes with Alex at Superstition Springs to work on my mental game and course management. The following week I’ll play a round of 18 at Stonecreek Golf Club – a course you most definitely have to manage your way around. For Goodboys week I’ll play at least once, perhaps twice, before Goodboys Invitational weekend to get accustomed to New England-style greens. The Monday after Goodboys I’m playing with some Goodboys mates at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut. By the time my final putt falls that day I’m guessing I’ll be sick of golf and ready for a nice long layoff – that will probably be the last time I play golf this year. A couple of planned nights by the H2O in historic Newport, Rhode Island ought to be the perfect tonic to celebrate the end of golf for 2015, no matter how it all turns out.

After that? It’s the “Debt Payoff Sprint” which I hope will end somewhere around Halloween. Keep your head down, pay the bills, and git ‘er done!

But that’s looking far into the future. Right now I’m just focused on my Goodboys Invitational prep work. This year I’m paired with one of my favorite Goodboys, “Cubby” Myerow and while I don’t expect us to burn up the Plymouth golf courses we’ll be playing, I certainly plan on doing my part and trying to shoot as low as I can. Like me, Cubby likes to spray that ball off the tee, so I’m guessing we’ll have ample opportunity to see plenty of flora and fauna during what promises to be quite the scenic Goodboys Invitational weekend.

Filed in: Golf Quest,Goodboys by The Great White Shank at 01:12 | Comments (0)
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