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If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right? So John Richrdson has already done what I am aiming to do (see breakingparblueprint.com) and as it would seem he has done it better. Oh well. I might as well learn from him what he has done. So, I checked out a tip he sent when I joined his mailing list and as it turns it – there is some great info there. He recommended hitting pitch shots with just the left arm – it’s something John Daly does and so I tried it tonight…it was tough.
But, here’s the epiphany – everytime I tried to force the shot, or rather muscle the club I shanked it and it was very difficult to control with just my left hand, especially trying to use the counter rotation take away used in a Mike Austin swing. The huge AH HA came when I stopped trying to muscle it and simple let the club reach the apex of the swing and start to fall – my left arm was simply there to accelerate the club head on it’s downward path. I hit about 100 balls that way and sure enough, when I grabbed the club with 2 hands, I could it it more solid with much more feel… So what do you know – John Daly and Richardson were right. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em…
I’m not sure whether to be disappointed or elated… You see, I got an email a few days back talking about a guy who made it from 100+ on 18 to par in 1 year. His name is John Richardson over in Ireland. I checked out his story and he has a book out “Dream On”, all of which can be found at the site www.breakingparblueprint.com. Compelling stuff for sure but I’m not sure if I should be bummed that someone else has done it or if I should be happy that my goal is actually doable. As I read a bit more about his story there are a coupe of things that came out:
1) He set a time frame which gave him a sense of urgency about achieving his goal. I haven’t done this and it shows in how I approach it
2) He pursued his goal ferociously – he read books, hit thousands of golf balls and basically went after it. I’m admittedly being a bit lackadaisical about it. I get down there every couple of nights to hit 20 – 30 balls and that’s about it. Hardly the best way to achieve a goal.
I guess I’m at a bit of an impasse…do I continue to languish along the path or really hit it? I’ll let you know what I decide.
I am truly fortunate to work for a company that values a little recreation and decompression from the stresses of work – it is certainly needed. And as such a company it has seen fit to provide a driving range on site for our use free of charge. It opened today after some site construction and I had to bring my clubs and give some of my indoor practice a whirl outdoors. And, it was bad. Trying to change my swing without the feedback of a coach, book, dvd… is hard. I honestly thought I was going to get out there and crush the ball, straight and long. I don’t know if I’ve succumbed to “Gain 30 yards overnight” marketing (well, kind of) or if I just had grandiose visions of how great a golfer I am, but all of that has been sufficiently and most decidedly dashed. If I wasn’t skulling the ball, I was hitting it fat or straight left. So disappointing. And to boot, I’m not going to spending a whole lot of time at the driving range what with the whole “not going to alienate my family” and all….I guess there are always going to be setbacks on any journey, I just didn’t expect it would be this awfully bad.
So I’d like to shoot a par round of golf and with literally no time to practice (I just added some additional responsibilities unexpectedly which will take even more of my free time away) and very little discretionary money to spend on this pursuit I have to get creative. But first, I need to take stock of my game.
I recorded a video of my swing during a round I played at the local par 3 course with my son a couple months back. This is the 8th hole at the Little Course in Franklin – back tees are 191 from the pin and I was swinging a 6-iron.
Notice the path of the ball – yeah I shanked it.
And here’s a video from a different angle a couple of months later – I missed the green right on this one and ended up in the trap.
I am sure there are several things wrong with this swing (go ahead and comment) but the one thing I noticed is that my hands don’t turn over completely. If I roll the club back to get into the toe-up position at the shaft-parallel-to-ground point in my swing, I am not bringing the club back to the proper position because I’m not getting my hands turned over.
I started to search a little bit online and came across some interesting swing sites, including DJwattsgolf and it piqued my interest as a swing theory that might help me improve on my natural tendencies. So I started doing some more searching…which led to more searching… In other words, there is a lot out there to help with swings and several different swing theories. I’ll explore this all a little bit more in future posts and needless to say, I’m looking forward to the journey, but I’m a long way off!
The stars have aligned more or less and I am as ready as I’ll ever be to officially kick off this blog, and for that matter, journey. So here is what has happened to finally get me going on this website:
1) My son Tyson (2nd of four boys) has taken a keen interest in this great game of golf. This has has given me some flexibility to focus in on the game with him a little bit and of course work on my own at the same time.
2) I played in a scramble and thoroughly embarrassed myself for the first 5 holes completely dashing all hopes those who invited me to play might have had that I was some sort of good golfer. After the first 5 holes I settled down and actually made some contributing shots – I blistered a 3 iron (yes I still use a normal 3-iron and not a hybrid) longer than I hit most of my drives that day (can you say “duck hook” drives???). When the day was over and all the bad shots sort of forgotten I recognized that I had hit a few good shots and maybe had a little something to build on. I saw a faint (very, very faint) glimmer of hope that some day I might actually shoot a par round of golf.
And so it begins…