Coming in at 1 gram lighter than their current D100 model, the new D200 is available in 9, 10.5, and 13 degrees of loft and is adjustable wherein you can lessen or strengthen the degree of loft by 1 degree. The user can also dial in draw bias due to an adjustable hosel.
The genius of the new Wilson Staff design is that through its lower center of gravity and overall design and adjustability features, high handicappers and those of us with lower swing speeds can not enjoy the adjustability in a driver that the low handicappers and high swing speed players currently enjoy and take advantage of. If for no other reason, the draw bias feature alone makes the driver worth its estimated $299.00 retail price.
I wasn’t looking for a new driver as I’ve become fairly competent with my current Wilson driver BUT the features of the D200 along with the benefits of its design are difficult factors to ignore…and it will be available just in time for my 49th birthday so….Happy Birthday to Me !
Coming soon to my bag….the new Wilson Staff D200 driver.
Today is the day I move my driving range mat and a case of practice balls indoors to prepare for the coming of winter weather.
I am fortunate enough to have access to an indoor field house that is large enough to use a driver and long irons in so to continue development and improvement in my swing and ball striking capabilities. I am determined to not allow the progress I have made in the past 5 months suffer from a lack of quality practice time.
After work at least 3 times per week I’ll be working on my ball striking and accuracy skills along with practicing my short game especially chipping.
I have a busy and productive offseason planned….positive results will most certainly follow my efforts.
Snow be damned….the clubs will “swing” none-the-less.
This game is much more enjoyable when you play well. As the scores fall, your confidence increases and so does self-esteem. You begin to prove to yourself that you can play this game, play it well, and you question less and less how good you could become and begin to question just how long it will take you to get where you want to go.
You catch the wave and begin to gather your balance and ride it for as long as you can.
Going from a 9 hole high score of 60 to shooting a personal best of 43 at my home club is an accomplishment…one I am very proud of especially in light of my only having played golf for less than 5 months. Going from a handicap index of 41 to a probable 32-33 is another move in the right direction. Add to that mix my having gone from a personal high of 132 to a low score of 103 at 18 hole courses with a slope rating in excess of 125 and I’m certainly moving in the right direction.
What has changed that allows me to make these improvements ?
* Elimination of my slicing problem.
* Improved play with my long and mid-length irons.
* Vastly improved chipping.
Putting thus far is still a work in progress.
Where have I made the greatest improvements … confidence.I now know that I am capable of playing well and utilizing sound course management. When I am adequately rested and engaged mentally, great things happen.
I’ve modified my approach to course play and practice sessions for the end of the season. Instead of an abbreviated practice session then playing 9 holes shortly afterwards, I split my time between practice sessions (dedicated to a specific skill) and reduced my course play to one or two rounds per week. This allows me to build a foundation for a specific skill verses “throwing” some effort at a problem and then switching gears towards shooting another low round. The prior approach did not allow me the opportunity to focus on the task at hand and I was developing my play based on luck versus a solid foundation of skill building, dedication to task, and knowledge. My knowledge base lacked teh depth required to shoot low scores and solve problems out on the course. Knowledge is the motivation, confidence is the mode of transportation.
So far, my approach has begun to pay dividends.
Leaves aren’t the only thing falling around me this October…
With October quickly coming to a close, it’s time to set my sights on next season. With that in mind, I’ve curtailed my match play for the remainder of the eligible season which ends on October 31st to between a maximum of 2 to 3 additional rounds of golf and switched focus to a six month dedicated training period where I will be working on my physical conditioning as well as the fundamentals of ball striking, accuracy, shot placement, and distance control.
I will address each and every aspect of these fundamentals with the desired goal of building a solid foundation for being able to apply these fundamentals in a competitive setting a.k.a. tournament play. I’ve built a dedicated schedule which consists of blocks of time set aside over a 4 day period per week with each training session dedicated to a specific skill set.
Weather conditions, unless severe, will not play a significant role in these training sessions as there exists a year round outdoor driving range within 15 minutes distance from my home and during periods of severe weather I have an indoor field house at my disposal where chipping, pitching, and short game skills can be worked on in a climate controlled atmosphere.
Putting training and practice can be achieved as well as an indoor driving range within 30-40 minutes drive of my home is available to me via appointment. I can also practice putting in my home and I have not ruled out the purchase of a dedicated putting practice mat that I can utilize from the comfort of my own home.
Having played over 35 rounds of golf , 7 formal training sessions, and thousands of balls struck in practice sessions in the past 4 months, one could surmise my knees and lower back have taken the brunt of the abuse during this learning, training, practice, and course play period. I have set aside a block of time for my body to heal itself and regain the strength that I have lost due to soreness in my knees and back and once my body has recovered, the training session will begin. I expect this period to be no longer then a week in length as even after a two day layoff I’ve begun to show signs of improvement and pain free mobility.
I haven’t closed the door completely on playing for score anymore this season and I expect to play 2 maybe 3 more rounds of golf before October 31st but playing for score, from this point on until April 2015, will no longer be my primary focus. I will strengthen and enhance my skills with every club in the bag. Topping the ball is still a major concern and once the 2015 season starts I want to have a handle on that problem as well.
For now, it’s a steady diet of Aleve and Ben-Gay. In the immediate future I’ll be shifting gears and work will begin on building consistency, reliability, and dependability in my game by becoming a better ball striker and shot shaper.
My journey has just begun…
Today I shot a 43 for 9 rounds at my home club Southern Meadows setting a new personal low score for the course besting a 45 which had stood as my personal best since late July of this year.
As my play continued to (and continues to) develop, my scores which have been subjected to the rollercoaster of the learning experience started out with my previous best of 45, risen to a high of 60, and now have broken through the 46-47 range rut I’ve been in for the past month. What do I attribute this success to ?
* Significantly reducing my tendencies to slice the golf ball with my driver
* Vastly improved chipping and putting skills
* Building that “special relationship” with my 5 and 7 irons
What will I need to improve upon to continue lowering my score ?
* Hitting the ball with my irons off of a tee
* Correctly finding my target line and aiming the clubhead properly
* Further reduce my tendencies to “top” the golf ball with my irons
* Work with my Hybrid as my ball striking capabilities are not dependable and reliable
The season here in Western NY is quickly coming to an end so I’m not certain how many days will be left in the season where weather conditions will be conducive to lowering my scores and handicap average. I hope for 6-7 more rounds of golf before the season officially ends on October 31st.
For now…I’m busy enjoying the moment. I’ll be taking a few days off to rest up then diving back in head first with some aggressive practice sessions and some time out on the course.
There’s more work to be done…