Breaking Old Man Winter’s Grip and Other Ramblings…

After teasing us with mid to high 60’s and a fair amount of sun, we’re back to low to mid 30’s, jet black storm cloud cover, high winds, ample rain, and yes….snow.

The courses have zero chance at fully drying out and outdoor practice feels much like playing street hockey as a kid in mid-January. The weather is supposed to turn for the better on Saturday but even if it does….mud will again be a constant companion.

Old man winter has proven to be as tenacious as the tax man around here…a constant companion whether you want him to be or not who is always willing to spoil a good time or your best made plans for the future.

Well….now that the rant is over (lol)…..

On a positive note, a very special thank you to all who follow me and my blog on Twitter. It’s exciting to connect with people from around the globe who share some of the same hobbies and interests that I do. The rule is if you follow me….I’ll follow you just as long as you’re not trying to sell me something or send me pics that will get me in trouble with my significant other (lol).

Tomorrow is a new day with another opportunity to enjoy some sunshine and drier skies but not unlike NYS Political Corruption….we’re NEVER far from adverse conditions and disappointment.

I’ll tee it up just the same….you have to be in it to win it.

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Houston….We Had Liftoff

40 minutes of dodging raindrops, hail,and jet black cloud cover in an attempt to get a handle on my Hybrid clubs.

I took the 3H club to the range and worked on ball position and swing speed. What I discovered I that the ball placement, speed of the downswing, and body rotation is crucial to me hitting quality shots with the club everyone says is the easiest one to hit.

Thus far….ball placed in the center of my stance, backswing taken to the 10:00 o’clock position in the backswing, a smooth rhythmic follow-thru, and a COMPLETE body rotation allows me to take the club to the 180-200 yard range with reasonable accuracy. If I manage to get “out of my groove” then topping the ball is a certainty. If I don’t perform a full body rotation….I hook the ball terribly.

At the end of my session…I was in a good groove and the last 15 shots were significant improvements not only in shot quality but consistency (shot after shot going where I wanted them to). I’m still far to inconsistent to trust the Hybrid in the same manner as I do my other clubs in the bag and much more work needs to be done to reach an acceptable level of confidence with them.

Hopefully I am on the right track unlike previous attempts that shown promise but fell short of expectations.

The work continues…..

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Hate…With a Passion

After a LONG winter season….the snow is gone but it’s after effects remain.

I hate….with a passion:

Wind: All 4 rounds of golf I played thus far were effected by 25mph plus winds. Nothing more disappointing than watching a dead straight drive take a hard turn out of bounds or into the deep rough due to wind.

Rain: Enough rain already. Nothing more needs to be said.

Mud: When you have rain…you have mud. Mud is everywhere, on me, my shoes, the clubs, all over my pushcart, in my nightmares….everywhere.

UGH…..

Rant over…..

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The Illusive Hybrid….

The hybrid club is supposed to be the “easiest” club to hit…

Bull****

After working with this club for 6 months, I can’t seem to eliminate my tendency to “top” the ball when it is least convenient (as if there was a convenient time) to do so.

What I have noticed for me at least is that my success of failure with the club rests solely on two factors, ball placement and swing speed. If I place the ball slightly back in my stance and I use a smooth controlled swing tempo I stand a chance at hitting the ball well. If not….it’s “top city.”

Matters not if the ball is teed up or off the deck….

This club will not defeat me…I will get it straightened out.

The work continues.

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Finding My Groove….

After an hour and a half practice session where I worked on pitch shots to 50 and 100 yards and chipping on the green with my 9I, 48*, 52* and 56* wedges I’ve come to a significant conclusion.

Instead of concerning myself with others interpretation of “proper technique” is, I need to concern myself with merging proper fundamentals with my unique style of play.

I rediscovered my ideal chipping and pitching ball position for each club I worked with. I found the ideal stance where my pitch and chip shots finished at or slightly right of the pin. I reestablished my abbreviated swing patters to drop the ball on or very close to the green versus either coming up 20-30 yards short or long. Lastly…while putting out my chip shots I ditched the 25/75 percent putting stroke and returned to the 50/50 stroke. Add to the change in fore and aft stroke distance were returns to my putter settings for ball position and “eyes over the ball” and lo and behold my putting returned to its reliable self.

The lesson here is simple….don’t ignore the proper fundamentals and once you understand  them, adapt them to YOUR playing style.

Tonight’s practice session was obviously EXTREMELY gratifying….

 

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Fear Not….

After a particularly positive practice session, my play on the course was terrible. I drove the ball well of the tee and my mid iron play was decent…..but my short game was well, terrible.

Chips and pitches fell short….3 putting due to putts being left WELL short…frustrating to say the least.

The remedy….another hour plus practice session after the round until the sun went down. What did I learn ?

One…abandon the 25/75 putting stroke a return to the 50/50 stroke where you go equal lengths fore and aft in the stroke and when it comes to hitting crisp and accurate pitch and chip shots…fear not. Swing the club with confidence and make sure I accelerate into the finish. I gave myself great opportunities to score off the tee and I blew each and every one of them.

Unacceptable….

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Finally Back at it….

After a rather hectic and intense two weeks of work related duties, I’m back out on the practice tee and green this weekend.

I had hoped to play 18 this coming Sunday but I believe it to be in my best interests to work on the practice tee and green extensively and play an informal round of 9 holes Sunday afternoon to gauge where my game is at the present. Next Sunday I plan on playing an 18 round warm-up round for the following Monday’s RDGA Play-Day tournament.

On the agenda for today….chipping and putting. It looks like a fantastic weekend for being outside as well.

 

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