Week 13 Update
Q1 Review & Format Change
Welcome Players! Three months and 1/4 of the way through Project Par I’m no less motivated than I was when I started. I’ve established great habits and consistent practice - although have yet to see results. That’s not to say I expected them this quickly, so we’ll look at the Week 13 update and look at what’s been going right and how things will change as we enter Q2.
Training Week in Review
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Training Week in Review
Last week was a bit of a blur. Come to think of it most of March was a blur.
But now we’re in April, which means Q1 is officially over. We made it 3 months, and officially are 1/4 of the way into Project Par!
This isn’t going to be a big review of the past 13 weeks. It’s business as usual here on the Weekly update. We look at what went right and what went wrong last week, and focus on improving for next week. One step, one week at a time.
It’s interesting that when I don't train as much because I’m playing more golf I feel like I’m falling behind when in reality the opposite is probably true.
I was at the range once, and played two 18-hole rounds over the weekend (Friday + Sunday).
One thing I will note is that I’m going to be making some updates to the formatting of the weekly update. It takes me quite a bit of time to put together the visuals and summaries of certain data, as some of you might have noticed from the propensity to not get the review out on Mondays as planned. In order to help manage my schedule to be able to publish in a more timely manner I’m going to be going through a re-formatting of the weekly update, opting not to include certain visuals and statistics instead going with a subjective accounting. I’ll still be keeping track of everything on the backend, but just will no longer be including everything. I’ll include what’s relevant, describe what’s not, and go from there.
One other reason for this change is I want to shift focus a bit. I included everything such as the physiology and the training plan throughout the first three months because I wanted to show everything that I take into account when making my program and how I factor different things in. I believe I did a good job of this, and each of the weekly updates prior can serve as reference to demonstrate that.
But as we enter Q2, the tracks have been laid. The habits are formed. I am beyond secure and confident in my plan. I want to shift the focus now from developing structure and consistency to making tangible improvements - something I have yet to prove in this journey.
Let’s get into it.
The habit tracker stays!
Wins: 2 rounds and a range session is rare to get in one week. Although I had 3 duds (of no practice at all), cumulative time far exceeds what would have been done with a little each day.
Losses: The only real loss I’ll consider here is not putting at home on the 28th & 30th. I find that after playing a round I need a day to settle and get away from the game in order to better allow my body to adapt and reconcile my play the day before, so the no practice on the 1st was intentional.
The training log section is going to be reformatted into a simple numbers game: What kind of (non-golf) training I did and frequency throughout the week.
Resistance Train (Gym): 0
Conditioning (Cycling): 1
Yoga (@ home): 0
Wins: It may be better to start with Losses here, but at least I got 1 conditioning session done early in the week.
Losses: The shortcomings are clear here. No gym sessions and didn’t even do yoga. It was a tough week schedule-wise and I played more golf than I did train. Even so, it’s no excuse not to spend 30 minutes in the gym or doing yoga at least once or twice.
I’m going to spend a lot more time on these sections as they relate to golf specifically.
The past few weeks I’ve been able to string together some really amazing range sessions thanks to a fair amount of hands-on time with my coach. We’ve been working on some significant improvements in the mechanics of my swing that when I master them will lead to more consistent striking and a better ball flight.
For the changes we’re making now it comes down to a few simple things:
Getting my hands high in the backswing so that I don’t come back so flat.
When my hands get high (above my shoulder from a down-the-line view), I need to be patient and allow my hips to start the downswing by rotating as my hands drop behind them shallowing the club shaft.
If I can get into this position I can get the club-head traveling in-to-out and will square the face on impact leading to a push-draw shot that can be repeated consistently with maximum distance.
Of course, much easier said than done, but these are my keys for now. There is kind of one more thing, and that’s getting my back to target at the top of my backswing signaling a full shoulder turn and keeping my hands in front of my chest (not coming across flat in the backswing), but too many cues can lead to a discombobulation so we’re trying to keep it simple for now.
One of the more disappointing rounds to date, I did not end Q1 with a solid round as I was hoping. Before I break down the scorecard, some disclaimers:
The handicapping system for golf is ingenious in the sense that it displays a golfers potential, not their current playing capacity. It was a little foolish for me to expect me to play significantly better in this round as opposed to any other round previous - especially considering that I had not played a full 18 in over a month.
The second thing, and I know this may sound like an excuse - but I definitely drank way too much coffee before this round. I was excited to play, went to an event with some friends and treated myself to a coffee as usual and then an Affogato (because who doesn't love ice cream + espresso in the morning), and let’s just say the result was a wired, jittery golfer who couldn’t hit a driver to save their life.
In light of this I am putting some hard rules in place regarding caffeine on game days. I’l be following these guidelines:
No Caffeine within 3 hours of tee-time.
Maximum one (1) cup of coffee on game days, restricted to timing as above.
No espresso on game days.
Simple rules, but necessary.
Now that you’ve got all my ‘reasons’ for playing poorly, let’s check out the scorecard.
A 107. Yikes. Am I getting worse?
Oh - another disclaimer. This time it has to do with the course (no it wasn’t the courses fault).
We played the blue tees, a distance of 6455 yards. Nothing crazy, and certainly within my range.
But what I didn’t factor in, and had never factored in, was the slope.
The slope of a golf course is a numerical rating that delineates how much more difficult the course is for a high-handicap golfer vs. a scratch golfer. With a higher slope, the worse you are, the exponentially harder it is.
Up until this round I was averaging a slope of about 124 on the courses I played.
And here at Pembroke Lakes, from the blue tees, was a slope of 136. In retrospect, it was much too difficult for my skill level. And it showed.
17.5 penalty strokes. (No I don’t know how the Grint calculates 0.5 penalty strokes).
That is A LOT.
OB. Water. Many times over. It was a long day.
The good news is the 36 putts, as my short game was close to the best it’s ever been. A positive sign especially since that’s been a major focus of mine through these first few months.
With a score that high I don’t need to get into too much else of the statistics. You can see for yourself.
I couldn’t get off the tee box, I couldn’t hit fairways, I only hit 1 green in regulation, and I had seventeen (and a half) penalty strokes.
When you do all that…
To put it all in perspective, let’s look at all my rounds that were on the books, including the initial round that started it all.
It’s not entirely fair to match up the Quarterly goals with the last round played in that time period, and for a more accurate prediction would require a system more similar to the handicapping system that displays ability or potential, but I’m not going to spend that much time on the stats.
Looking over the rounds it’s clear I’m improving, although it may not feel like that during times like last weekend.
My goal for the next few months is to put my training on auto-pilot relying on the habits and consistency I’ve built up to this point and really double-down on the golf improvement side of things to lower my score and post better numbers.
It’s been a hell of a journey thus far, and if you’re following along I appreciate your interest.
There’s still a long way to go and I’m just as excited as when I started!