Golf swing + calm head = low scores
With a belly full of Easter Eggs, my golf swing is still looking for the low score. Already this week, I’ve had some reasonable numbers, ‘green shoots’ I think business folk would call them. I’m certainly heading in the right direction.
After Wednesday and feeling a little disappointed with my golf swing during the round, I spent some time at the range with a couple of baskets, just trying to re-group. As I’ve mentioned before, the achilles heal with my golf swing is having hands that are too active. I know that when I hit a bad shot it’s likely that I’ve started my swing using my hands rather than shoulder rotation. Or, the other culprit, my hips sliding forwards.
So, this is what I really worked on. If I’m honest, I focussed more on starting my golf swing with my shoulder rotation, NOT the hands. I tried to instil a trigger to give me that feel just before the shot. I settled on a little move that was essentially a 1 ft movement, replicating the start of my backswing using just my shoulders… NO HANDS. Once this was done, the feeling was there so all that was left was to focus on the target and ‘whack’. Seemed to work a treat, and I struck the ball beautifully. The next task is to take this out onto the course.
ROUND 4 (of the week) – Friday (9 holes)
I knew I wanted to have 9 more holes before Saturday to gain some more confidence with my golf swing out on course. This was essential for the challenge. The only way this would happen would be to get out there early. I hit the first tee at 7.20, with my coffee in hand ready to go and show this golf course who’s the boss (that’s positive mental attitude right there!). There was nobody else out either; it was beautifully calming.
Not much time for a warm up, so it was literally a case of ‘grip it and rip it’, see if this drill works. I tee’d up my ball and picked my target. Focused on it and stepped up to the ball. Used the little ‘shoulder trigger’ I’d worked on the day before, then had another look at the target. The rest was all down to my golf swing.
The ball set off down the middle of the fairway like a rocket. Ace! Hit my next shot just a little short, which I’d prefer as I’ve been generally over hitting them. The big positive here was that my golf swing felt great, and the strike was good too. It was just the wrong club. Chipped on and two putted for a bogey.
Hit another peach off the tee on the 2nd, and followed it with a great 8 iron that landed 10 ft from the pin. Again, both results of a really solid golf swing. Didn’t make the birdie, but always happy to take a par!
I had bogeys on the 3rd and 4th. A duffed chip on the 3rd and a slightly heavy 6 iron off the tee on the 4th were the main culprits. Still, I was only +3 gross after 4 holes. Mega happy with that, but more happy with the feeling I had. For the first time in a while I felt totally relaxed on the golf course. Even though I’d hit a couple of bad shots, I didn’t let it get me down. Nor did I let it affect my mindset. I just kept doing exactly the same thing before every shot.
Hit another straight drive off the tee at the 5th. It wasn’t the longest drive I’ve ever hit, but it was straight and it left me in the middle of the fairway. Hit a nice 6 iron just short of the green. Chipped it on and dropped an 8ft putt for a par. Still, my golf swing was feeling good.
Was again short with my second shot on the 6th hole after another drive on the fairway and was left with 50 yards (ish!) to the pin. Chipped a great shot, which looked like it was heading in. Just caught the flag and lipped out, but left me an easy 6 inch putt for another par.
I’m now through 6 holes and still only +3 gross. However, at the time I didn’t really know that. I was purposely trying to not think about my score so I didn’t get ahead of myself. Of course, I knew I was doing ok…
Another par at the par 5 7th. Again, just hit the ball really well. With every shot, I ran through my routine, my pre shot trigger and focussed on the target before letting my golf swing do the rest.
Hit the drive slightly right on the 8th, which meant the green was out of reach for me. With this in mind, just hit a 9 iron to leave me with a 90-yard (ish) shot onto the green. I’ve never really thought this way on the course before. Usually, I just want to get it as far up as possible! I knew if I hit it any further, I’d be making my third shot tricky as I’d have to go over two greenside bunkers. Hit my third shot onto the green but left a long downhill putt. Two putted for a bogey.
Finally, the 9th. Hit my best drive of the day, which dropped just 20 yards from the green. At this point, I got a little giddy and duffed my chip! Hit my second one to about 1ft and putted for another par.
After picking by ball out of the hole and replacing the flag, I looked at the score…it was my best yet for 9 holes.
I shot a 40. I actually shot +4 gross.
As I walked to my car, I was grinning like a Cheshire cat. It felt amazing. Not just the fact that I’d had a good score, but the way I’d got there. Also, it probably could’ve been a shot or two lower (sorry, that’s a bit greedy isn’t it!).
Everything felt good. In fact, everything felt great. My golf swing, my mental approach, my course management; it all came together for one fine 9 holes of golf.
Obviously, the first person I text was Ryan. He’s been instrumental in getting me to this point. Not only has he helped me rebuild my golf swing, but he’s also persevered with me, encouraged me and not let me get disheartened…knowing it would come. So, he deserves some serious credit for this first major step forward.
Now, I know I shouldn’t get carried away here. Firstly, it was just 9 holes. Secondly, it was NOT off the comp tees.
However, for this evening I will bask in glory and try and bottle the feeling I had for tomorrow![jetpack_subscription_form]