…in this case the ER was the Superstition Springs driving range. Sure, there were a bunch of things on my plate this day: a trip to Lowe’s for more playground sand (to fill in under the Tiki bar deck), Hi’s Silk Flowers for my annual Memorial Day planting of hydrangea in the front pots, and a deck and Tiki bar to paint and stain, but my iron play on Friday at Superstition Springs has haunted me since.
Maybe it’s because I have a visceral response to the shanks – akin to Quint’s feelings about sharks – reminding me of my earliest days picking up the game. Or maybe it’s because of that little “fix” I implemented back in April to try and resolve the issue of pulling my irons to the right. If I have the choice between pulling my irons to the right and shanking my irons, I’ll take the pull any day.
At any rate, I was getting ready to head out to Lowe’s when my clubs, sitting there all anxious and questioning in the corner of the garage, caught the corner of my eye. At that point there was no question where my first stop was going to be.
The range at the Springs was pretty empty – no surprise on a Memorial Day weekend. My only goal today was to get back to the place I was six weeks ago. Oh, I’m going to make a couple of adjustments to try and resolve the issues that made me implement the changes in the first place: playing the ball a little further back in my stance, and after setting up square I’m going to pull my back foot back a little bit to encourage a draw, but the rolling of the wrists is out, and I don’t care where the club face is pointing at the top of the backswing.
The results are immediate. I’m back to that lovely trajectory I’ve been missing the past six weeks: no more fades. I really don’t like playing a fade, anyway – anything that moves the ball right to left I just really don’t like. I hit a bunch of shots that go very straight. I hit a few that scull straight from over-swinging and picking up my head, But there are no more balls traveling right to left, and, more importantly, the shanks appear to be gone.
I go through a bucket and the range guy comes over and offers me another large bucket. I’m not sure if he’s just being magnanimous or thinks I need more work, but I accept it. And I go through the bucket hitting all my irons, again without a shank. I think I’m still going to have to work out the “big miss” to the right, but it appears – at least for now – that playing the ball a little less forward and not over-swinging will take care of that.
The important thing is that I’m back to hitting my irons in a familiar way, and in a way that keeps it simple and eliminates the moving parts that have caused me so much trouble over the past six weeks. When it comes to The Great White Shank and golf, simple is better. Now I want to take it to the course and see what happens.