When Almost is Certainly Good Enough….

Indoor practice is a must in Western NY . Weather not only restricts my opportunity toalmostgolf-logo get out on the course, it restricts my ability to get to the driving range, even those local ranges that are covered and have rudimentary heating systems. I have to find a way to practice indoors, especially within the confines of my own home.

I’ve been using Callaway foam golf balls as a tool for indoor practice with limited point_3_almost_golf_csuccess. The overall weight and softness of the ball does not allow for the recreation of a “real golf ball strike feel” especially with my wedges, Thankfully, I’ve found an alternative in the Almost Golf brand practice ball.

Available in both yellow and white, the Almost Golf practice ball is manufactured from a stiffer and more dense flexible material which helps recreate that “real golf ball feel” when struck. As advertised, the maximum distance that can be achieved with a long club is 100 yards and 40 yards with a wedge. They feel fantastic off the face of the putter as well which only adds to the value of the product for indoor/home use practice sessions.

Visit http://www.almostgolfball.com and check them out for yourself…and start practicing where you’d never thought possible.

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What to Work On…and When

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My 2015 Practice and Tournament Week Schedule: What I’ll be doing and when.

Non-Tournament Week                                                  Tournament Week

Monday: Range Work                                                    Monday: Tournament

Tuesday:  Day Off                                                            Tuesday: Day Off

Wednesday: Pitch/Chip/Putt                                        Wednesday: Pitch/Chip/Putt

Thursday: Option Day                                                    Thursday: Option Day

Friday: 9 Hole Practice Round                                     Friday: 9 Hole Practice Round

Saturday: Day Off                                                            Saturday: Day Off

Sunday: 18 Round Practice Round                               Sunday: 9 Hole Practice Round

My mission is to maximize the available time in an effort to build upon my developing skill sets, prepare for scheduled tournaments, play some recreational golf (that will double as warm up rounds for upcoming tournaments), and provide myself with adequate periods of time for rest and recovery. Option days can be used for Range work or Pitch/Chip/Putt practice dependent upon which skill set is in need of attention.

My weekly routine kicks off  on March 1st weather permitting.

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Well Stocked….

The complement of clubs has been finalized for the upcoming season. Here is what I’ll be 49776using:

Sun Mountain C130 Cart Bag

Wilson Staff FG Tour M3 Driver and 3W

Wilson Staff FyBrid 3H and 4H (3I and 4I alternatives)

Wilson Profile HL 5I thru PW, SW

Wilson Harmonized  52* Gap and 60* Lob Wedges

Wilson Staff Model 8881 Putter

Driver, Fairway Wood, FyBrids, and 5I through 9I Equipped With Golf Pride CP2 Pro Grips

48*, 50*, 52*, and 60* Wedges Equipped with Golf Pride New Decade Multi-Compound Grips

Putter Equipped with the Super Stroke Fatso 5.0 Putter Grip

Wilson Staff DUO and Elite 50 Golf Balls

I’ve chosen to stock the bag with the maximum number of clubs allowed under USGA rules as at this stage in my player development I seek to close any yardage gaps I may incur during play.

Add a half-dozen Wilson Staff Conform golf gloves, tees, some rain gear, towels, and ancillary items and I’m prepared for battle.

 

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Iron Play Improvements….

Welcomed news and results from today’s training and practice session….

I’ve reduced my wrist flip through the impact area significantly. What as once a 30-40 10409564_874798889237535_7341000915540181432_nfoot left of the fairway center landing zone has now become a 4-12 foot left and right of center fairway landing zone. A small but significant change in my grip with the left hand has assisted me greatly as well as improving my “hands beat the head through impact” efforts. I still frequent the left side of the fairway BUT improvements are beginning to show.

We’ve moved on to the longer irons in the bag , a challenge I look forward to as the small deficiencies shown when playing the short irons will make themselves known in glaring detail with the longer irons.

I’m also improving my strike angle numbers as well. Distance wise, I average 90-100 yards with my 9I and 120-130 yards with my 7I when the ball finally comes to a stop. Not bad numbers for a guy with less than ideal club head speed.

Lastly, my grip change contributed to significant improvements in my swing path. I’m right where I need to be and that’s satisfying in and of itself.

Significant forward progress made today, encouraged to march forward and achieve !

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New Additions…..

Two new items coming to my golf bag for the coming season…..

I’ll be adding a Wilson Harmonized Gap Wedge fitted with a Golf Pride New Decade 10917274_10152729510957675_1412939617021891516_nMulti-Compound grip. This will complete my complement of wedges allowing me the option of a 48 , 52 , 56 , and 60* loft club dependent upon the requirements of the shot.

I also look forward to getting my hands on the new Wilson Staff DUO Spin ball. This ball as advertised provides the same soft feel and distance characteristics of the current DUO offering with an increase in spin characteristics. I currently play both the existing DUO model ball as well as the ELITE 50 model ball from Wilson Staff and I look forward to experimenting with the DUO Spin offering in the coming months. Advertised release date, 1-24-2015.

As my swing characteristics and quality improves, the ability to obtain new equipment is vital to getting the most out of my abilities as a player. Thank you Wilson Staff for advising and providing me the opportunity to test and evaluate equipment which allows me to improve each and every time I hit the practice range and golf course.

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Tempo….

For the past 2 weeks I’ve been working on swing tempo. Something that I would have imagined to be a  natural physical act is anything but.

What I am learning I that if I can remain relaxed, completely relaxed, with no tension in my body or hands and if I can deploy a slow methodical backswing with a slight pause at the top, my follow through remains on plane and my ball striking capabilities are improved. If I have any tension at all, my ball striking quality decreases significantly.

I’m now beginning to achieve improved compression of the ball thereby giving me sufficient ball flight characteristics. Something that has been lacking for a while now. I’m hitting the ball in the center of the clubface albeit a little low so I need to work on my downward angle in the impact zone and pay closer attention to my grip pressure.

With so much to pay attention to, it’s easy to obsess on one component and neglect others which compounds my problems during the learning and evaluation processes as well. With that said…forward progress is being made.

For something that looks so easy to accomplish…it’s a far cry from easy.  

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Finding the Sweet Spot…

The byproduct of this evenings practice session…an improved ball striking pattern on the 150109_001club face.

I still manage to top the ball a bit but as I work on rhythm, balance, and finding the arc in my swing, my contact patterns have shown improvement.

I’m also seeing improvement in ball flight as well as accuracy…all reliant upon the “hands beating the club face to the impact zone” and my weight shift improvements by “finishing” properly (belt buckle towards the target and right foot pivot techniques).

The work and learning continues…. 

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