Project 2 Handicap

Online log of a quest to drop my golf handicap from a nine to a two within sixty months. Sink or swim, I'll give it my best shot. Advice is not only appreciated, it's encouraged!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Fleeting Nature of Good Golf

In my July 8th post I recounted how well I was striking the ball in the prior two rounds. That stretch of excellent ball striking continued through my next round at Keswick Hall last Monday, and through 16 holes of a Tuesday round at Stumpy Lake.

During this stretch my drives were nothing short of exceptional. Time and time again I found that I was able to essentially place the ball within just a few yards of my target. My hybrid and iron play was also solid.

Then, suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere, on the 17th hole at Stumpy Lake last Tuesday I badly heeled my tee shot. (It would have been a shank had I been swinging an iron.) I then stubbed an iron and limped to a double bogey. This was in stark contrast to my play earlier that day. Hole after hole I had been carding easy pars, just missing birdie putts. Through 16 holes I was just 3 over par and prior to a bogey on 16 was thinking about how I was going to card a couple of birdies and shoot par for the round.

So, after the fiasco at 17 I thought, "Okay, just forget that hole and play on". I felt like I was in a good frame of mind on the 18th tee, but once again - as it seems to happen with the shanks - I heeled my tee shot just as I had on 17. I recovered enough to bogey the hole, but my confidence, sky high just a few holes earlier, was a bit shaken.

So after finishing the Stumpy round so poorly I was eager to get back on the course, which I was able to do at Bow Creek on Friday. I could tell immediately that my ball striking was not at the same level it had been for the previous several rounds. I limped around the course, alternating good shots with poor ones, carding bogey after bogey and at the end of the day my confidence was badly damaged.

So then came yesterday. On the range prior to the round I struggled to regain form but except for a few good swings I couldn't find it. Then I played. As excellent as my recent ball striking has been - yesterday's was the polar opposite. So bad was my play, in fact, that I actually can't remember the last time I stuck the ball so poorly. At this point my confidence is pretty much shattered.

So, now it's on to the recovery stage.

My task now is to figure out where my swing went wrong. Did I over cook something? Is my complete lack of confidence a result of, or the cause of my swing failures?

My oh my, how quickly things change in this joyful yet frustrating game.


At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Always with the golf swing, it aint just where you're at, it's where you got there from. Might be better to take one or two steps back in the evolution of your swing, rather than leaping all the way back to square one.

What change had you made that led to the stretch of improved ball striking? Whatever was the swing thought with which you injected the new thing into you swing, I think that on the tee of #17 at Stumpy, you may have relegated the new thought to the accumulator of natural, subconscious actions, maybe a little too soon. (Also, 17 presents an unusual fairway image: the trees on the right seem constrictive, especially to a draw, which might have made you stand closer to the ball...?)

I think the shank shocked you quickly back to your same old used-to-be, when in fact you should have been grabbing the new thought back out of the familiar-accumulator and putting it front and center in your shot prep.

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