The Things Golfers Do

Well today was a first for me in a very long time. I am not a fair weather golfer by nature, but generally I do not venture too far if the weather is going to be very poor. This morning is officially the coldest I have golfed in for about 25 years.

When I woke up this morning at 5:30 am it was 0 degrees, but felt like minus 4 Celsius. However, the sun was shining and it looked beautiful! So I donned three layers of clothing and made my way to the course.

Saturday Temp!

After a 1.5 hour frost delay (for you players who do not experience frost, basically, the water on the grass was frozen and until it melts, no one is allowed on the course). So my usual 7 am tee time was pushed to 8:30 am.

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All dressed and ready to go. Only zero degrees….brrrr!

My round started off brilliantly. I birdied the second hole and shot par for the rest until the 6th hole. Then I smoothly bogeyed, then a double on 7, double on 8 and par on 9 for a smooth 40 for the front nine. The back started bogey, bogey; then a whole bunch of pars. Still only 6 over after 14, I bogeyed 15, 17, and doubled 18. Not my best round.

My biggest problem was my driver. I was all over the place. Normally, this is one of my best clubs, but lately it is by far my worst. I am in trouble off most tees. I had to punch out 5 times today. That is 5 unnecessary strokes!

In true early season fashion, now is not the time to panic. As I told you before, I do not worry about my score until 01 June. At this point, I need more time at the range to work on my short game and driver. I tried to use some of the great advice on the range prior to the round, but did not have enough time to really make any changes. Well tomorrow is another day and another opportunity to shoot under par!

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

Golf and Patience

Grateful GolferGolf is a game that tests your patience every round. Regardless of how well, or poorly, you are playing, something always seems to happen that challenges your ‘zen’ state of calm. I have discussed the tale of two nines recently and experienced another round like that today.

I started off my round with a par on the first hole. Confidently, I walked to the second hole and as I strutted to tee box the wheels suddenly fell off! For the next 7 holes, I shot 3 doubles, 3 bogies and 1 par! I was 9 over after 8. I will admit that my ‘zen’ was gone and I was feeling quite frustrated. The main reason for my poor performance was my driver. I did not hit one fairway…..not one! I was in the rough quite a bit, but not on the short grass at all!

Ever the optimist, I told my playing partners that now was a good time to screw my head on straight and start playing golf. Well something amazing happened. I striped the ball down the fairway about 290 yards. It was by far the my longest drive of the year! Sitting just under 200 yards to the green (the ninth hole is a par 5), I stoked a smooth 4 hybrid to 8 feet! I was putting for eagle! As I lipped out the putt, I still felt a sense of relief that my game was not totally gone.

Playing the back nine was fun. I had 2 birdies, 3 bogies, and 4 pars. I shot even par for the last 10 holes! Additionally, I was putting for eagle on the 18th hole. It was very long, but I was still putting. The difference between the front and back nine was my improvement off the tee. Also, I caught a few lucky bounces, but overall my last 10 holes were pretty solid.

My final score was an 81. Not my best by far, but reasonable considering the roller-coaster round I played today. A golf lesson for us all would be that these games are very important. Sometimes in competition, players have to grind out a good score. Today was one of those days. Most of all, I had a fantastic time. Gratefully, the company was very good and that always helps turn my mood around when things go sour.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

How Wide is Your Golf Stance?

Last fall, I was fortunate to take part in a golf clinic given by PGA Tour Canada for serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces. During my time on the range, several Pros commented on how narrow my stance was and how I was losing power and distance because I had very little body movement.

Take a look at my stance before the lesson.

Now take a look at my stance at the beginning of the year. I slowed this video down by 2x.

Do you see any difference? It may not look like much of a change, but the lower video has my stance widened by about 6 inches! That is very dramatic and I am still getting used to the difference. Interestingly, I am hitting the ball a bit further, however my accuracy is not quite at its normal level. It is still very early in the season and I only have 8 games under my belt since I started golfing on the first of May.

My new stance looks and feels better. My balance is more consistent through the entire swing. However, always the analyst, I slowed everything down to take a look at my whole swing mechanics. For the most part I was fairly happy and I cannot really complain since it is so early in the season. But….I guess there is always a but…. there are two things I did notice that I need to fix.

First, my left arm bends too much as I draw the club back. Just above waist height, my arm starts to bend. This is not good! There are two reasons for this (in my mind) flexibility and the second error I noticed. My transition at the top of the swing is too quick. I need to slow down the movement of bringing the club back to bringing it forward. If I can manage to conquer these two things in the next month or so, my GAF (golf attitude factor) will only improve.

What do you think of my analysis of my swing? I really what to know what you think!

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!