As I return from a back injury, I decided to play at 3/4 speed for the first 18 holes. It was amazing that I really did not lose much in distance (actually hit some farther than normal) or accuracy. I learned several things other aspects of my game that I feel is definitely worth sharing. It was very enlightening for me and as such, I will use what I learned yesterday to improve my game moving forward.
My findings are in no particular order or significance, yet they have provided a new possible path to being a scratch golfer. I guess I should be grateful that I hurt my back (not really) because it forced me to take a different path to playing golf that I should have explored years ago. So, in no particular order:
Stop Over Thinking Chips: I have spent a great deal of time working on my short game. I have all the tools in my bag to get up and down every time, I just need to focus on making the right stroke. I sometimes found myself in decision paralysis when chipping (as I am sure we all have), and would second guess my way to a poor chip. Well, being focused on not hurting my back I realized that regardless of the club in my hand, make a confident stroke and move on. Yesterday I chipped 2 x LW, 4 x GW, and 2 x 7iron. Of the 7 chips, I one putted 5 times because I was in almost tap in range. I will take that average all day.
Hitting An Extra Club Is Not A Bad Thing: I decided before the round started that I would hit an extra club on every approach shot. This would allow me to make a 3/4 swing with a full follow through. Thanks Joe Estes @JoeEstesPT for this great piece of advice. It took a bit of adjusting, but I found that hitting an extra club into every green allowed for my 50% GIR stat. I am very happy with this result. I did find, though, as the round progressed I started to play in between clubs because my adjustments were working.
Minimal Loss Of Distance: I found that I really did not loose that much distance on most of my shots. Interestingly, my driver had the least distance loss, but it was the most difficult to control. If I missed, I missed right which makes the most sense since I abbreviated my back swing. I hit some bombs though – on the 6th hole I hit a great drive, but my control was not as great as I had hoped. Take a look:
Believe me it was all a fluke. I hit the ball far enough to miss the pond and was left with a 55 yard chip to the pin. I hit a great shot to within 8 feet, but missed the putt; I was left with a tap in par.
As the round progressed, I found I was hitting the ball farther with a 3/4 swing with no pain. I think my tempo through the ball is something I will consider moving forward, there is definitely something there I need to investigate.
Be Open to Change: Sometimes we play in a particular way that changing something does not really make sense. Of course over the years I have challenged myself to play golf with an open mind. This last round demonstrated that I still have plenty to learn about my golf game. Don’t get me wrong, I believe I am a good player, but the blinders are off and it might be time to examine my current direction.
Yesterday’s round was a teaching moment for sure. I was able to identify areas of my game where I can improve and for that I am definitely grateful. I will be hitting links again today and will follow the same strategy. I still do not want to push my body after coming back from a back injury. Lets see if my results are better or worse than yesterday.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
2 thoughts on “Playing Golf at Three Quarter Speed”
A couple of things are likely the cause of your finding that you hit as far with the 3/4 as a full swing. I can’t speak for you, but with me, I am sure I
1. Get more lag with the shorter back swing because I’m not trying to smash anything so I’m looser.
2. Hit the sweet spot more often. (See number 4)
3. I’m generally more accurate.
4. My swing starts to break down AFTER the 80% mark. The triangle gets mangled because my elbows start to bend past that point.
I once watched a lesson given by Annika Sörenstam. She was telling her students they needed to be able to hit each of their clubs to 3 distances. Obviously full swing was the longest distance, then you had to pick two shorter distances to practice on with each club. This so you could do things like hit under the wind and know how your ball will react on the green at those speeds and trajectories. It was very interesting stuff. And far more practical than I gave it credit for at first.
You’ve had discussions in the past about things like what club do you use from 100 yards. I club up and use my pitching wedge. Because that partial swing leaves me a shorter putt most often. And it works great in the wind and just as well with a short sided flag as one in the back. I guarantee that if you hit a smooth easy pitch and drop it close, no one will call you a poser when they catch you posing.
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Thanks fornthe advice and I will keep these in mind as I play today. So many things to remember and so many things I overlook. Gotta love this game!