August 25, 2017

It was two weekends ago while watching the PGA Championship that I felt it: the first itch to get back out there and start hitting balls. And that itch only got a little bigger while watching the ladies compete for the Solheim Cup last weekend. I was actually thinking about hitting balls this weekend, but the temps are going to be back up around 110, and the spirit is just not willing enough to have to lube up with sunscreen in order to do it. Instead I’ll work on hose organizing in air-conditioned comfort!

But the feeling is there, and I’ve already started figuring out what I want to work on when I get back out there. I’ve had enough time since Goodboys Invitational weekend to reflect back on my play that weekend, and I have to say that, unlike other years where if I played kind of well I wasn’t exactly sure why I did and when I didn’t I wasn’t able to diagnose the reasons why, this year all the work I put in the two months prior made a huge difference. Could I have played better? Sure. But there were times both Saturday and Sunday where, unlike in the past I would fold my tent and collapse after hitting a rough stretch, this year I was largely able to work my way through them. I made some mistakes managing my way around on both days, but I feel I struck the ball better than I had at any Goodboys Invitational weekend before. So I’ve got a good place to start from.

Of course, what lost it for our team (“Skeeta” Clark and me) was my putting, which was as atrocious throughout the weekend as it has been throughout the year. We finished second by five strokes; I three-putt six greens on Sunday and four-putt another. As they say, do the math. I’m not exactly sure why my putting has gotten so bad, but I’m very certain about not being willing to work on it. Sure, I could traipse over to the Kokopelli Golf Club putting green ten minutes from my house and practice putting for an hour every day for the rest of my life, but every golf course has different greens and different speeds, so I’m not sure what exactly that would get me.

Much more important in my view is trying to get my 5-wood and my 3- and 4-hybrids figured out. Those are the clubs that on par 5s and long par 4s can get me closer to approach shot range, and with shorter irons. I think I’ll give them one more try at the range and if they still don’t cooperate I’ll send up a flare to my swing instructor Alex Black and see if he can diagnose what’s going on. And, of course, I need to improve my short iron play. While I hit a number of good shots from 120 yards out during Goodboys weekend, I know that’s an area that could still see some improvement. Because, going forward it’s all about hitting fairways and greens, and greens in regulation.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my goal over the next year is to try and lop six strokes off my handicap so that I’m somewhere around an 18 by next year’s Goodboys Invitational. Hitting more greens in regulation would take the pressure off of my short game and putter, so making better swings with the 5-wood, hybrids, and short irons could (emphasis on “could”) take the pressure off my putter and allow me to post better scores.

Not sure exactly when I’ll get back out there again, but hopefully it will be soon because the itch is back.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 01:40 | Comments Off on The Itch Is Back
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