Upping My Game….

Today I visited Riverton Golf Club in West Henrietta NY to play 9 holes on what Riverton describes as an “Executive” golf course. I’m not exactly sure that “Executive” means but I can tell you that the 9 hole course is as challenging and as much fun to play as the 18 hole courses I’ve played this year such as Braemar and Chili Country Club.
To play 18 at Riverton, one must “re-play” the original 9 holes just as I have to do to get 18 holes in at my home course Southern Meadows. Unlike Southern Meadows, Riverton deploys a greater number of hazards into the course such as water hazards, bunkers, fairway placements within lanes of trees, and two of the 9 holes are in excess of 500 yards, 575 and 520 yards to be exact. The course was in decent shape, the fairways and greens were well-groomed and in decent condition but the course was not nearly as well maintained from a cleanliness standpoint as Southern Meadows. There seemed to be an excess of paper trash and beer bottles in the tee box area….a strange finding for a 9am tee time. Riverton’s staff were friendly but not very welcoming….I may have some bias here as I am treated extremely well as Southern Meadows (as are all if their golfers/customers) and I tend to judge all contact with golf course employees by the “Southern Meadows Standards” and that’s a tall order to meet let alone exceed.

I played well considering that I’ve never played Riverton before and didn’t shoot anything above triple bogey all afternoon. I know that doesn’t sound like much but the difficulty of the course combined with the “newness” to me of the course didn’t allow me to set my expectations too high. I ended up shooting a 54 for 9 holes and I even managed to par the 435 yard 7th hole with a fantastic putt from the fringe of the green all the while going uphill and breaking left from 30 ft out. The slope index of Southern Meadows is an 87 while according to the GHIN score posting system the slope index for the “Champions Tee Boxes” at Riverton (of which I used throughout my round) is a 132. Quite the jump in difficulty of which I feel I handled reasonably well.

I want to play at least 3 more rounds of golf at Riverton before the season comes to an end. In order to continue improving my game, I need to challenge myself at courses where the difficulty of play is greater than my home club. Make no mistake, Southern Meadows is “home base” for me for the forseeable future but it’s time to “up my game” and expand my capabilities where hazards can be found and hopefully avoided.

Nothing good comes from taking the easy way out….

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Absence Makes the Heart Grow Stronger….

It’s been 4 days since I last played, and due to a combination of work schedules, family responsibilities, and illness, I won’t make it out to the course until this coming Sunday afternoon.

I’m not expecting big things when I return to playing, long layoffs never seem to bode well for my game but I’ll do te best I can to get back into the swing of things so to speak.

The weather looks good for a mid day Sunday 18 hole excursion. I will be back at it on Monday as well with I hope will be a 9-9:30am tee time.

Time to get back at it….the good weather days unfortunately are becoming few and far between.

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The Benefits of the Practice Ball….

A couple of weeks back I purchased a 12 pack of Callaway foam practice golf balls with the sole intentions of improving my swing and ball striking capabilities at home without the fear of putting a real golf ball through the window of my neighbors car or house. If you strike one of these foam balls correctly, they will travel quite a distance but the risk of property damage if you should strike something with one of them is virtually zero.

I’ve been using them quite a bit, especially in chipping practice. I set up a target and them proceed to use my Pitching Wedge , Sand Wedge, and sometimes a 9 Iron and chip towards the target. Where I find the foam ball most beneficial is working on club face alignment. the foam ball weighs next to nothing in comparison to my Wilson and Bridgestone balls so unless to properly align the clubface to that ball and target and utilize the proper swing mechanics, your accuracy certainly will suffer. The more I work with the foam ball as a component of my short game training and practice, the greater the levels of success I experience in my short game efforts.

For roughly 9 dollars a package, pick yourself up a package of Callaway foam practice balls and see for yourself if they’ll improve your accuracy and ball striking capabilities. After working with them for a while, I believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the result of your efforts.

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Oh So Close….

This is how close I came today to my 1st Birdie at the 86 yard 4th hole at Southern Meadows.

On the green straight off the tee and a fantastic lag putt that almost made it to the bottom of the cup.

Oh SO close !

 

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The Pattern of Progression….

My game has been developing quickly…..

Whenever possible and as time permits, I’ve extended my traditional 9 hole outings into 18 hole outings. I’ve done this for a number of reasons. First, I’m working on developing a complete game and developing the mental stamina to play well for an entire 18 holes. Secondly, during an 18 hole outing, conditions can and often do change especially late in the day when fatigue begins to settle in. It’s a challenge to retain focus and remain physically sharp in my swing mechanics and ball striking/accuracy capabilities. I won’t improve unless I play and play the distance versus playing short, abbreviated 9 hole outings. 18 hole outings will be the norm, not the exception as time permits.

I continue to develop and improve my short game especially the chipping and putting aspects of my game. I continue to struggle with my slice but I have begun to get a handle of my slice capabilities and have begun to develop my shot shaping capabilities as I learn how subtle adjustments to the angle of the club face can be my friend as well as my enemy.

Topping or “scalding” the ball is still a problem but it’s become less pronounced over time. When “scalding” the ball occurs, it seems to occur in groups of 3-4 consecutive shots as I attempt to reach the green. My desire to “crush” the ball using my arms versus my inner core and shoulder/hip rotation is no doubt to blame. It’s a work in progress and it’s a condition that I MUST correct if I am to further improve my scores.

The work continues….

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Me and My BIG Imposing Shadow…

140901_001The end result of my chip on the green on the 115 yard 2nd hole at Southern Meadows. This was my 2nd shot and it lead to my achieving par on the hole.

I left my “shadow” in the photo…so to prove it was me and not someone else I’m paying to play for me (LOL) !

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Motivation….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk48xRzuNvA

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Yeah, you can be the greatest
You can be the best
You can be the King Kong banging on your chest

You could beat the world
You could beat the war
You could talk to God, go banging on his door

You can throw your hands up
You can beat the clock (yeah)
You can move a mountain
You can break rocks
You can be a master
Don’t wait for luck
Dedicate yourself and you gon’ find yourself

Standing in the hall of fame (yeah)
And the world’s gonna know your name (yeah)
‘Cause you burn with the brightest flame (yeah)
And the world’s gonna know your name (yeah)
And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame

You can go the distance
You can run the mile
You can walk straight through hell with a smile

You could be the hero
You could get the gold
Breaking all the records they thought never could be broke

Yeah, do it for your people
Do it for your pride
How you ever gonna know if you never even try?

Do it for your country
Do it for your name
‘Cause there’s gonna be a day…

When you’re standing in the hall of fame (yeah)
And the world’s gonna know your name (yeah)
‘Cause you burn with the brightest flame (yeah)
And the world’s gonna know your name (yeah)
And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame

Be a champion, be a champion, be a champion, be a champion
On the walls of the hall of fame

Be students
Be teachers
Be politicians
Be preachers
(Yeah)

Be believers
Be leaders
Be astronauts
Be champions
Be truth seekers

Be students
Be teachers
Be politicians
Be preachers

Be believers
Be leaders
Be astronauts
Be champions

Standing in the hall of fame (yeah, yeah, yeah)
And the world’s gonna know your name (yeah, yeah, yeah)
‘Cause you burn with the brightest flame (yeah, yeah, yeah)
And the world’s gonna know your name (yeah, yeah, yeah)
And you’ll be on the walls of the hall of fame

(You can be a champion)
You could be the greatest
(You can be a champion)
You can be the best
(You can be a champion)
You can be the King Kong banging on your chest

(You can be a champion)
You could beat the world
(You can be a champion)
You could beat the war
(You can be a champion)
You could talk to God, go banging on his door

(You can be a champion)
You can throw your hands up
(You can be a champion)
You can beat the clock(yeah)
(You can be a champion)
You can move a mountain
(You can be a champion)
You can break rocks

(You can be a champion)
You can be a master
(You can be a champion)
Don’t wait for luck
(You can be a champion)
Dedicate yourself and you gonna find yourself
(You can be a champion)

Standing in the hall of fame

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