Taking it to the golf course
Taking it to the golf course
My biggest struggle recently with my golf challenge has been my ability to take my driving range game onto the golf course. I don’t know what it is. I get to the range, a few swings and off I go, hitting it for the most part really well. Do the same on the golf course and it ends in disaster!
It’s a stableford competition at The Manor today. Could I put in a decent performance on the golf course and start making some progress where it counts?
I’ve not had much chance to practice over the past week with Santa coming to see us…but have taken the opportunity to do some reading, and listening. I busted out my ‘Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect’ audiobook by Dr Bob Rotella for some bedtime listening. I’ll be honest, as per usual I think I get about 5 minutes in before I end up in the land of golf course nod. Despite this inability to get further than the introduction perhaps my brain has absorbed more than I thought. Clever brain!
Not surprisingly, the golf course hasn’t dried up much. In fact, not at all. If anything, it’s soggier than last week. However, it’s not raining and the 60 mph wind seems to have calmed down a little. For this, we thank the golfing gods and assume it to be our members Xmas gift.
It all started relatively well on the 1st. Decent drive (still not really done any work with the driver so it’s still a lottery when I grab it!) and a really solid second to the green. However, the wind was a lot stronger than I thought and the ball shot off the back. After a chip and a two putt I walked off with a bogey. Another bogey followed and a double on the 3rd. I wasn’t my usual angry disappointed self though with these numbers as they were mainly on and around the green. My shots to the green were pretty decent. I felt really confident with my swing. More importantly, I actually felt like I had a pretty good idea where the ball was going to go. The biggest thing I felt capable of doing was simply taking each shot at a time, when it was done, moving on around the golf course to the next shot. The bogeys carried on until the Par 5 7th. Hit a great drive and a solid rescue to about 80ft, followed by a wedge that left me 10ft from the pin. The birdie put was on. Unfortunately, the ball did one of those roll around the outside edge of the hole before deciding it wasn’t quite ready to go in yet! I settled for a par. Another double bogey followed after a poor 3 putt, but finished on the 9th with another par, leaving me -1 for the front. I felt pretty pleased with that, especially given the conditions on the golf course.
10 & 11 are still closed so it’s onto the 12th. A par 4, SI 1, a big drive required off the tee with a second up hill, a big, horrible bunker to the front. It’s not a hole I can really reach in two yet. Hit a great drive though which left me in a great position. For once, I was sensible and didn’t go for it. Hit an 8 iron and chipped onto the green. Another bogey here, but it’s a tough hole so I’m happy. The rest of the round went ok too. 2 more pars and the rest bogeys and finished the back -3.
Here are the positives from today. The score was nice of course, finishing -4 when it’s cold, windy and with a very muddy golf course was great. Better than that, was that I felt much more in control of my game. The shots I was hitting were for the most part good. I wasn’t counting up my score all the way round. I wasn’t over-thinking my swing. The only thought I had (if any) was ‘AIM LEFT’ as that’s what Ryan and I have been working on. I wasn’t beating myself up over missed putts, missing greens or fairways. I accepted it and hit the next shot. I was a forgiving soul…and it seemed to work!
So…Dr Bob Rotella is a hero. I’m sure he’s subconsciously helped me. Of course, Ryan must take most of the credit as he’s essentially rebuilding my swing. I’ll take a little too whilst we’re dishing it out! Well done me. Oh, and well done muddy little golf ball for navigating your way around the golf course without misbehaving!
I’d heartily recommend Dr Bob Rotella’s book (link here) – give it a go. If it doesn’t help your golf, it will certainly help you get to sleep!
Also, there’s a great article here from Dennis Clark for Golf WRX, all about taking it to the course. It rang very true for me.