An Awesome Gift from “Golf is Mental”

Have you ever been away on a trip and arrive home to find a special gift in the mail? Have you ever received a much welcomed gift unexpectantly? Well, that is what happened when I returned home after being away for 9 days on a work/golf trip!

A while back, Josh from Golf is Mental, whose “simple insights into a complicated game” are definitely worth the read, ran a contest for new subscribers and loyal readers of his outstanding golf blog. He was giving away a dozen Pro V1 golf balls in each category.

As a loyal reader for quite some time, I immediately signed up. With no expectation of winning; I thought I would support my e-community of golfing fans and pass the word around. Fortunately for me, Josh selected my name and let me know that the treasure was in the mail.

While away for the past 9 days, I focused on playing in Ontario Regional Golf Tournament and zoned out of the happenings back at the homestead. As my darling wife and I arrrived home, we stopped to check the mail and ‘surprise’ my gift had arrived.

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A gift from Josh at ‘Golf is Mental”

Talk about brightening someone’s day! This surprise gift definitely lifted my spirits! Josh, thank you very much for the wonderful gift. I hope that someday we can play a round of golf and I can share the memories of how your generosity helped me break par!

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

Which Putter is Best For You

Using the proper putter is key to scoring low in golf! Many amateurs believe that the style of putter head is the key factor when selecting a putter. Of course, looks and feel are very important, however it is not the key point when putter shopping.

Basically, there are two types of putters. A face-balance putter and a toe-balanced putter. Each club is designed to help the golfer make solid contact on the ball to ensure the truest roll towards the hole.

When deciding which putter is best for your game, it is important to determine your natural swing plane with making contact with the ball. Does your putter head follow that square-square-square line; the inside-square-inside path; or the inside-square-square path? It is important to understand which of the putter head paths is most natural for you before deciding the type of putter you may need.

Once you have determined your putter path, it is time to move on to which type of putter you require. A face-balanced or toe-balanced putter. Using the proper balanced putter to match your natural swing path will help ensure your putts follow your intended line. The following video from Golf Monthly provides an easy to understand explanation of which putter is right for you:

Now that I have explained the basics, there are a couple of things to keep in mind before you make the big purchase.

  • I emphasis the word ‘natural’ often. Of all actions in golf, I believe that your putter stroke should be all natural. It may not conform to the norms taught by the leading teachers, but if it works for you and the results meet your expectations, stick with your natural swing;
  • Ensure your putter is pleasing to your eye. If you do not like the way your new putter looks, you will not build the confidence you need to putt well;
  • Try using different putters with varying shaft lengths. As you stand over the ball, your natural stance will result in a predetermined length of putter shaft (or at least where to place your hands on the putter grip);
  • Experiment using putters that vary on how the putter shaft is attached to the putter head. Some have a 90 degree bend in them, others are bent slightly and others are straight. This is purely a preference and feel decision, but something worth considering; and
  • The weight of the putter. Some players like a heavy-headed putter. Yet, others like a light-headed putter. It really depends on feel and should be considered before making the big purchase.
Putt Centre

Toe-Balanced Putter

Choosing the right putter for you involves more that just a few putts in the store. It may seem like a detailed process, but ask yourself this question: How many putts do you make in one round?

Regardless of your answer, it is important to remember that your putter is the most used club in your bag.

For those who are wondering – my putting stroke is considered inside-square-square. I use a toe-weighted putter where the shaft goes directly into the putter head. My putter head would be considered heavy, but I have an insert in the face to help soften the contact of the putter head on the ball. I have used this putter for about 15 years and will use it until it breaks.

What kind of putting stroke do you have? What type of putter?

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

 

 

Ontario Regional Golf Tournament – Final Thoughts

Grateful GolferTwenty four hours later, I had the opportunity to analyze the goods, bads and uglys of my play at the Ontario Regional Golf Tournament. It is not a chance to whine or point fingers at outside influences that may have negatively affected my game during the past three days. It is an opportunity to look at possible areas of improvement to move forward and still work towards my goal of being a scratch golfer.

I decided to use The Good, The Bad, The Ugly style of introspection to make sure I keep what was good and improve on the other aspects of my game. However, I  do not like to end on a bad note for anything, so I am going to reverse the order to end on a positive note.

THE UGLY

Decision Making – each day, I made two poor decisions about shot selection. Each time, it was counter to my game plan and as a result it cost me 2 penalty strokes each day. These were mental errors that should not have made their way into my decision-making cycle. The area of improvement is that I know better and talked myself out of the right decision over half the time.

Chipping – I was not able to adjust to the greens while chipping over the four days. The lack of practice facilities (of any kind) did hamper my warm up, but I did have the opportunity to adjust….I just didn’t! I was very frustrated because a player of my experience should have been able to adjust, so this is a lesson learned and I will find ways to improve my ability to adjust to various conditions in the future.

THE  BADS

Driving The Ball – my new clubs are awesome. I felt comfortable hitting all the clubs, however I had difficult hitting my driver. I was straight, but the new 12 degree loft was something that reduced my distance off the tee. I was consistently 25 yards shorter than normal off the tee. I did hit some that I would call normal shots and will work on hitting this club better in the future.

Approach shots from 150-100 yards – from this distance, I was only about 50% GIR. I struggled with my alignment this week. I am not sure why, but I will hit the range with my alignment sticks and work on my swing. Part of the challenge might be that I have tried to change too many things this year and as a result my approach shots have suffered. It could also be a lull in my play of late from that distance, but I need to find out.

THE GOODS

Ability to scramble – This week I relied on my ability to score well through the ups and downs of my game. It seemed that every time I was struggling, I would make several great strokes to bring my game back to normal. I consistently hit my 4 and 5 iron very well. Atypical to great play, my success from 175-200 yards raised my confidence and ability to play well.

My game plan – my game plan was very good. Having played at Petawawa before, I felt that my understanding of the how to play the course was a benefit. As stated earlier, I did make a couple poor decisions, but my overall strategy worked. I played within myself and took advantage of my strengths. The time spent on planning was time well spent!

Meeting Old and New Friends – This was definitely a good! It was outstanding to re-acquaint myself with old friends. I have met these players year in and year out at golf Regionals and every time it is fun to catch up on all the happenings in their lives. Additionally, meeting new friends who are attending Regionals for the first time. This year I played with one young gentlemen for two rounds and one gentlemen for three rounds. Both were excellent playing partners and I look forward to playing a round of golf with them in the future.

Objectively looking at my performance at the Ontario Regional Golf Tournament helps me be a better golfer. If I focus on my weaknesses and capitalize on my strengths, things should get better. It is difficult to identify our weaknesses and to make the decision to do something about it. I believe that this approach is good in life and is a natural extension to my golf game.

So I am off the range to see if I can duplicate my errors and find positive solutions to improve my game. I think that this process is an important part of being a better golfer. My approach has worked in the past and with any luck will produce positive results now.

Thanks for reading and I am always open to positive comments!

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