Project Par Week 7 Update
36 Holes, KPI Review, and Don't Stop Digging
Welcome Players! Two rounds in one week wasn’t in the schedule, but who am I to say no to that! This week I break down more golf and less training, a KPI review through 7 weeks (and 1/2 way through Q1), and highlight the importance of Project Par’s planning.
Training Week in Review
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Training Week in Review
It was a week with no shortage of activity, that’s for sure! Highlighted by two full rounds, a range session, and only one day without practice - Week 7 was one of improvement consolidation and a false-step backwards. Let’s get into it.
It’s not very often I get to play two full rounds in one week, but when the opportunity presents itself you gotta take it! Putting practice at home in the beginning of the week and a range session in the middle, I’m even starting to practice full swings in my apartment.
Wins: Full practice every day except Saturday.
Losses: Still slacked on putting practice towards the end of the week.
In order of day completed I did the following for physical training:
3ish-hour cycling ride
Wins: A good resistance training session followed by a 30 mile back-ride.
Losses: You can see that I did not keep up with scheduled training sessions this week. I had a yoga scheduled for Saturday morning that I missed. Playing twice in one week also inhibits training a bit as I feel I do best with either a Yoga or Stretch day following. I did stretch at home but not in a full dedicated session so did not include it.
*Note: Important to remember (and remind myself) that the goal here is to improve at Golf, not improve at Training for Golf. So weeks like these where I don’t get as many training sessions in because I’m spending more time on the Golf course, well, I’m OK with that.
The three main physiological metrics I track are Heart Rate (HR), Heart Rate Variability via rMSSD (HRV), and Sleep Opportunity (SO).1
Quick legend: Gray bars are daily scores, blue line is trend line, and green range is moving average.
Not much to note here. A solid week that saw my moving averages all stay within baseline. We can see I had two very low HRV measurements in a 3-day span, something that I took note of at the time and responded by really maximizing my sleep opportunity.
It’s also interesting that on those nights where my sleep opportunity were 9+ hours I was insanely tired. Not just sleepy, but my body was exhausted. I think there was a clear coordination between my HRV starting to go low and my body needing an ample amount of rest. My sleep those nights was subjectively fantastic!
The good news: I got to the range one day to work on full swings.
The bad news: It was not a very good range session.
My camera holder broke after the first video, so this is all we’ve got for progress checks. I also made a few logistical errors in the planning of this session.
The morning of I rode 30 miles on the bike, got home ate a big meal, had a shot of espresso and went to the range to practice. It was way too much activity without spending at least 3-4 hours of true relaxation/rest time in between.
If you’re going to complete two sessions in a day, you need to make sure you space them out enough so as not to affect the second session. The espresso had me a little too jittery and my body wasn’t fully re-energized following the bike ride so it was very tough to get my body to do what my brain wanted it to. It’s like both components were running at different frequencies.
How you practice is important!
And yes - that kid you hear talking did not shut up the entire time. Definitely one of the most frustrating parts of the session was the inability to concentrate because of it. But on the flip side if you can only practice in perfect conditions you’ll never translate to competition well. It is what it is - but that’s the perils of practicing at a public course.
If this was a journal to impress you - I certainly would not be including these two drives from my round. But this is not to impress you. This is to show you that I am very much still a work in progress. And that I love the progress!
First drive, face wide open, sliced into adjacent fairway.
Second drive, topped it while cutting across it for a 100yd roller down the cart path.
It happens. I don’t get caught up in singular videos of good/bad shots. Golf is game of consistency over time. More so than almost any other sport that I can think of at the moment.
This week I won’t be breaking down my two rounds.
Through seven weeks we’re officially halfway through our first Q1 checkpoint, and with four full rounds in the books is a good time to pause and evaluate my KPI progress.
From my first round to my most recent round, here are the changes in Key Performance Indicators:
Strokes down from 121 to average of 103 👍
Fairways hit up from 3 to average of 4 👍
Greens in Regulation up from 1 to average of 2.5 👍
Putts down from 40 to average of 39 👍
3-putts down from 8 to average of 3 👍
Penalty Shots: see notes2
Scrambling % relatively unchanged
Numbers don’t lie! These are all very good things.
Are the changes small? Yes. But are they significant? YES!
They prove that my plan is working. My effort is being focused in the right directions. My training is contributing to helping my practice and my practice is translating to improved performance.
The subjective side of it is that this first phase of training/practice was very much so focused on rudimentary things. I’m still working on getting my swing plane on path and not coming over the top. I’m still working on basics such as posture at address. I’m still working on hitting the ball in the center of the face consistently. I’m still working on keeping concentration on “easy” shots so as not to mis-hit them.
Improvements in these areas don’t equate to a -10 drop in handicap. They snowball. Starting slow, seeming to make no difference. If you’ll notice, my score is actually getting higher! Not a good thing… But I’m striking the ball much better. I’m making better mistakes - ones that come from being too aggressive or poor course management. Not mistakes because I’m unable to hit the ball well.
As I continue to practice, play, and improve the foundational skills they will become ‘stickier’, lending themselves to more improvements. I’m firmly committed to being great at the fundamentals before trying to improve at advanced skill development. You won’t see me trying to shot-shape until I can hit my stock shots perfectly 9/10 times.
I don’t know when my practice will lead to an objective and measurable drop in strokes. I honestly don’t care either. The benefit of having Project Par meticulously planned out is I don’t need to worry about it. I'm simply falling back on the trust of my initial planning and thought processes removing my emotions out of decisions that I’ve already made.
My key performance indicators are improving. That’s all I need to know to continue doing what I’m doing. Eventually those improvements will lead to measurable changes in my OKR’s. I have full confidence in that. Until then, I’ll continue to manage my training, practice, and lifestyle so that I don’t get burnt out.
And keep on digging!
I definitely feel a small renewal in confidence after doing a KPI review. I’m halfway through Q1, which puts me 1/8 of the way through Project Par as a whole. Wild to think it’s already been 7 weeks!
But I’m happy with my improvements. I’m happy to be chasing this goal. And most importantly I’m enjoying the process every step of the way.
I love cycling for conditioning more than I expected I would. I find that my resistance training is at a very maintainable frequency and intensity, and I really really enjoy practicing for golf. And I love playing!
Things are going according to plan. No major changes, just continuing to put in the daily deposits.
See you next week.
Note: I don’t think I’ve properly logged all my penalty shots in my last few rounds, especially my most recent one. I’ll be moving forward under the assumption that my penalty shots are actually UP from initial evaluation and not down.