Thursday, June 09, 2011

Golf Update

I recently read that book - The Inner Game of Golf - at the behest of my partner in preparation for our tournament last week in South Jersey.

It's an old, classic book that I hadn't even heard of, first published in 1979.

Gallwey is actually a *tennis* coach/guru who endeavored to see if he could apply his methods to golf.

Guess what, it wasn't that bad. Without going into unnecessary detail I would describe his approach as very similar to *yoga* in the sense that he advocates *awareness* of all sorts of lesser sensations when swinging a club. His core assertion is that it's impossible for a golfer to be instructing his body to *do* things AND for him to *feel* the club at the same time. As someone who's always tinkering with my game and short on was a most appropriate read for me.

How'd we do in the tournament?

Well we placed about 28th out of 128 teams which was okay. I did my usual - playing decent one-third of the time, playing mediocre one-third of the time, and sucking big time the other third of the time. We lost our match on Friday on the 19th hole to two South Philly jabronis whom we should have buried. (I missed some short putts....they were chipping in.) On Saturday we rolled, starting 3-up after three holes, gave the lead up and then some, but ultimately won 2-and-1. And on Sunday we ran into a juggernaut. Our opponents birdied 5 of the first 6 holes! We were lucky to only be 3-down at that point on account of making two birds of our own. We lost badly though, 6-and-5.

I really do need to work on my short game and while I've known this for quite some I just haven't been able to shift gears and concentrate on chipping and putting like I need to. I don't have good access to practice greens and quite frankly I've always found it more exciting to smash my driver at the range. Somehow, some way I have to figure out how to turn my short game from a weakness into a strength.

Twentysomething years ago, while a bit of a shrimp, I was not a very good ball handler for the thousands of hours I put into basketball. What could be more worthless than a point guard who couldn't dribble, right? Well I acquired a Dribble Aid and learned some ball handling drills....the next thing you know I was a terrific dribbler who you'd just about have no shot at picking my pocket. This is precisely the type of turnaround I need to effect with my golf game.

I may try to play in my local club championship; and I'll play Bethpage Black a couple of times this summer. But golf is mostly on hold now as I get back to work on my websites and whatnot.


paul mitchell said...

The thing that I have been working on this Summer is the knockdown. Man, I hit so many knockdown five irons during my practice that I dream about it. But, my eight is dialed in on 150 to a point. My back feels good, but the ring and pinky fingers on my left hand are numb all the time. This year should be really strange to say the least.

Putter? Fiyah. Wedges? Teh suck.

CaptiousNut said...

Weak left hand digits aren't good at all - that's what I suffer from on account of my back issues too. The good players have a really strong grip with those two fingers.

What do YOU need knockdowns for? There ain't an ocean around for miles!

I didn't think it got that windy inland - but what do I know about flyover country?

The last three years in Boston I played on an oceanside course. Play the ball back a little, take more club, choke down, and bunt it. Of course my knock-downs ALWAYS hook. A couple of weeks ago some Jamaican dude advised me to simply open the clubface a little. Have to try it...

paul mitchell said...

I learned to play golf with forged clubs and the cast ones hit the ball too high for me. Since I am not going to shell out a bunch of money for new sticks right now, I am trying to keep the ball down in a different way. Plus, it spins like crazy with the short irons. I am backing it up again and it feels really good to be able to hit at the sticks around here. Plus, it seems like I am getting more turn and my stomach feels better. And I ditched the glove again. I am 15 all over again.

My mishit on the knockdown is blocked right because I never get all the way through. But, it is really helping me with the long irons to try to NOT hit them so long. Driver is smoother too with that practice. Slowing my swing down has really made me a much better ball striker.

CaptiousNut said...

I just bought *pre-owned* Titleist forged irons for $185. They were new in 2006. Working out totally fine.

paul mitchell said...

I might do that when I get to the point of playing as much as I would like. I bought a set of DCI Golds and a set of DCI Blacks about five years ago and use the Gold long irons and the Black short irons. Works well, but I want to hit a lower ball, so I'm messing around with the knockdowns.