As we approach the end of 2020 (thank goodness), it is easy to think back at our golf game and suggest that things were not all that bad. Excluding events of the golf course, I think that 2020 turned out to be one of my better years in the past 15. I am not going to offer up a bunch of stats and brag about my successes, I want to focus a bit more on how I grew as a golfer. It might seem strange that as I approach 60 years of age I am still learning. Well, I believe you can teach a old dog new tricks!
I actually feel that I my game grew in several areas. The first was my ability to let poor shots go and focus on my good shots. I have mentioned this before, however our COVID playing conditions demonstrated that worrying about the small challenges in my game is really made up problem. As Brian, Kevin, and Andre (faithful followers) commented several times, we all make poor swings from time to time. The trick is how we react. I would offer that I was pretty good before, but this year has widened my perspective and I feel that I am less stressed about poor shots than ever before. And this, my friends, is a good thing.
Next, I changed equipment to approach my game in a different manner. I always drove the ball with most of my clubs. But, last year I purposely purchased Mizuno MP 20 irons to have a steeper angle of attack on approach shots. This allows for less release on the ball and a greater reliance on my ability to hit to a distance. This change proved to be very beneficial. I am still working on this paradigm shift with great anticipation that my approach shot game will be able to rise to a new level of play.
I have renewed my passion for learning how to best improve my game. In 2018 and 2019 I struggled keeping my game intact. But, 2020 offered new opportunities to expand my understanding and knowledge of my game. I started to reread the rules to really understand the changes that were brought in 2019. I perused them when they came out, but I am ready to delve into the finer points to fully understand what each rule is intended to cover.
Setting up my DIY net and chipping area helped me working on the finer points of my grip and weight distribution. I continue to learn which minor changes help and as importantly, which do not.
One last thing that I think made a difference worth mentioning is the improvement of my putting. The COVID pins early in the season allowed me to be more aggressive on the greens. We used the noodle above the hole at first before transitioning to the pull up cup. By bashing my ball at the first of the season stayed with me throughout the year and as such, I was more accurate in my distance play. This resulted in closer lag putts and less 4 footers for par. When shooting a good round, converting more pars helps keep the momentum going.
I do have to mention that this past golf season also had many challenges for the workers at the golf course. They adapted well and the staff at Osprey Links were fantastic. Their ability to implement changes to react to the COVID restrictions actually enhance my golfing experience. They always had a smile on their faces and provide professional service during the entire season. I commend them for a job very well done!
What a difference a year makes is a bit of an understatement when talking about 2020. In my case, my golf game improved and for that I am grateful. I am hoping that 2021 is even better and I am looking forward to opening day. Only 116 days to go!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!