Week 26 Update
Lightning is only bad if you get hit
Welcome Players! I almost logged my best round of the year again, as I was sitting 79 through 16 holes with a Par-4 and Par-5 left to go. I know almost doesn’t count, but I’m still not over the turmoil of playing well and it not counting so I’ve got to pretend just a bit. The good news is it looks like I’m in the territory of hitting a season-low and personal-best every time I play which means momentum is full steam ahead. Let’s see how this past week shook out.
Training Week in Review
Training Week in Review
I’m comfortable saying that the preparatory portion of training for this project is fully cemented.
I have not been to the driving range in a little over three weeks, and yet my ball striking is the best it’s ever been.
I’ve been diligent about practicing at home, and I was on track to shoot my best round of the year before we got rained out by classic Florida afternoon thunderstorms.
While I’m a bit disappointed I didn’t get to finish, I’m excited that I continue to play good golf and have been able to change from focusing on ball striking to focusing on strategical management of the course.
This was literally me, on 16 as the marshall warned us of a possible “tornado arm” (?!) touching down not terribly far from us.
“Come on we can finish let’s just hurry up!” I exclaimed as my playing partner picked up his ball and drove towards the clubhouse.
“It’s gonna miss us!” I yelled as I hit my approach shot to <10ft as it very clearly is not going to miss us.
“We’ll be fine!” I tried as my other playing partner, and driver of our cart, drove us past the green and towards the clubhouse as the rain started.
Maybe I would’ve finished like the Bishop, maybe not.
But we’ll never know.
A slow Monday/Tuesday as I shook off the lag from the weekend (AKA finally took my clubs out of my car and brought them into my apartment).
Starting Wednesday though it was back to the practice grind at home, playing small chipping and putting games to keep myself engaged and continue to develop feel for the club face and the ball.
Resistance Train (Gym): 2
Conditioning (Road Bike): 1
Two gym workouts to 1 cycling workout, a good ratio.
It’s so hot in Miami this time of year that all outdoor activities pretty much have to be done in the morning, which means cycling and range/golf time can get squeezed.
I’ve been doing a bit more work in the gym vs. outside for this very reason which is fine.
As long as progress keeps coming in one vertical or another that’s all that matters, continuing to stack forward movements in one area or another.
Will leave an interesting note here about some personal feedback from practicing at home so much.
My feel for the club face and its contact with the ball is the highest its ever been, and I fully attribute this to hitting different shots with my wedge at home.
I hit little 3-5ft chip shots into my couch, playing around with the launch angle (hi/low) and the distance (2ft vs. 5ft).
It’s not a structured practice, but something I do when I’m taking a break from work or on the phone or at night to unwind, and I’ve noticed a big difference on the course when I play.
For one, the confidence over the ball for a pitch/chip is super high. I used to get nervous at those “easy” shots because I had a tendency to lose my technique and flub it.
But now it feels much more natural like a muscle memory movement where I get over the ball and use the same swing that I have as if I’m chipping it into my couch.
The second thing is I think this is a big reason my ball-striking has improved on my irons, because my hand/wrist action is a lot more in tune with controlling the club face so I’m able to manipulate the club to a finer degree during my swing.
I’ve started getting comfortable with a shorter backswing to improve striking and it’s paying off, that combined with increased control of the face means I’m making less mistakes albeit hitting it not as far.
I wish I had a complete scorecard to show you guys this week, I really do.
I was playing golf.
Not the kind of golf where you’re whacking a ball up and down a field, but where you’re carefully selecting your shots, hitting the ball to where you want, and playing the game of strategically advancing the ball until you have a chance to score.
THAT is golf, and that’s what I feel like I’m playing for the first time in my life.
It’s exciting and fun although it may not feel like it in the moment.
I’m actually the most calm I’ve ever been while playing too. I’m not trying to hit it far, I’m not even taking full 100% effort swings.
I’m picking my line, setting up, and trying to hit the ball in the center of the face every time.
This approach (along with my increased skill) is fully transforming my ability level and it’s showing with my scorecard.
On Sunday I played at the Biltmore, a usually very-nice Coral Gables hotel + golf course. I will admit it was not in great shape and it looks like they’re not taking care of it as well these days. They removed all the garbage cans from tee boxes to make the maintenance easier on themselves? For over $125+ a round I can’t say I was pleased with the experience.
Anyway, I shot 46 on the front 9 and was settled into a really good groove on the back. I was at 33 through 16 when a heavy thunderstorm rolled through with lightning that prevented us from finishing.
I had a par-4 and easy par-5 coming up, which if I had bogey’d both would have brought me in to a 91. Had I par’d both would be looking at an 89!
We can play these “if, but” games all day, so reality is the score went un-logged because of the cancellation.
But if it’s any indication of how well I’m playing, breaking 90 is going to happen very soon.
Here’s a look at the card:
Remember I only finished 16 holes so these stats need to be taken with a little grain of salt:
4 fairways hit, 6 GIR
three 3-putts, two 1-putt
2 OB’s and 2 sand shots, one fairway one green-side
Who IS this guy?!?
That’s right, I’m scoring baby.
On the flip side I had 3 doubles and 2 triples, so that hurts the total quite a bit.
But the progress is encouraging to say the least. I don’t think I’ve ever shot 8 par’s in my life, let alone in 16 holes.
It’s a bummer these stats can’t go towards the project, but will only make me look forward to logging a full round and reconciling these results again soon.
It’s very exciting to be able to focus on the playing aspect without practicing as much.
With that said I do need to get out to the driving range to practice some of the things that I’ve identified to be affecting my game the most right now which is distance control on chip shots and misses off the tee box.
Other than that training is going very well so I’ll continue the status quo there.
I also want to plan to re-test a lot of my baseline numbers in the month of july so we can get an accurate halfway point update.
I know based off my feel that there have been improvements in almost every single metric, if not all of them, but we like to test not guess so have to get under the lab testing and see.
Florida summers are hot but we have to keep getting out there and playing to get better so onwards and upwards!
See you next week.