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!

Double Hit in Golf – Rule 14-4

Rule 14-4

Watch out for the double hit!

Today was an interesting round. There were many ups and downs, but I encountered a situation that I have not seen in about 150 rounds of golf. It is truly a rare thing and it happened twice in the same round!

On the third hole, I was playing the ball out of the long grass to beside the green. There was not much room to get my club down on the ball to make a clean hit, so I tried a scoop like shot. I used a steep down swing, mixed with a steep up swing to try to pop the ball out of the long wet grass. As I made contact with the ball, my follow through felt strange. Almost as if I was carrying the ball and helping it to the hole.

After completing the hole, I asked my playing partners what they thought. One thought I hit the ball twice. And another thought that I scooped the ball and contacted the ball only once – but for a longer than normal time. Now understand that all of this happens in milliseconds, but it was quite noticeable that something strange happened. Not knowing exactly what had happened, I called the double hit ruling on myself at the fourth tee box.

The other situation happened on the 16th hole. One of my playing partners, Mike, obviously struck the ball twice as he followed through on his short chip shot. His lie was similar to mine on the third hole and the ball did not pop out as quickly as he anticipated. So, he hit the ball again at about knee level. He also called the double hit on himself.

Rule 14-4 is very clear. Striking the Ball More Than Once – If a player’s club strikes the ball more than once in the course of a stroke, the player must count the stroke and add a penalty stroke, making two strokes in all.

Both Mike and I ended up with a double on our respective holes and walked away a little disappointed, but clear that a rules infraction had occurred.

Now here is the rub. On my shot, one of my playing partners suggested that I did not hit the ball twice, but scooped the ball. Such that the ball stayed in contact with the club head longer, but did not leave until part way through my follow through. I tried to find a ruling or anything to suggest this was legal or illegal. I cannot find anything.

So readers, I need some help. Has anyone had this happen to them before? If so, what is the ruling? Any feedback or similar story would be great. I am curious to know what you think?

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