Previously on Project 17 to 14 handicap...
After we devised our plan, Anthony and I went out to play four holes that turned into seven, because why not. He wanted to check that my assessment of my own game was correct. On the whole, he said that it was, and over those few holes, he gave me a few tips to try and fix obvious shortcomings. There were three main tips, and what I liked was that they were quite simple to implement. He asked me to:
- Line up my putts
- Use my pitching wedge instead of my lob love wedge to get onto the green if I don’t need to get over a hazard
- Slow down my swing with my driver and fairway clubs
The point of lining up your putts seems obvious. You draw a line on your ball and you make sure the line aims at the hole. However, I never line up my putts because once I’ve done it at ground level, when I stand up over my ball, the line looks all wrong to me and I don’t trust it. Also, the ball moves once you’ve lined it up! as I kept wailing yesterday. But really, it doesn’t if you take the time to do it properly. Anyway, Anthony wants me to pick a line and trust it. He gave me an exercise to practice at home (I didn’t do it).
Using my pitching wedge is more difficult for me. You see, my love wedge is my favourite club. It produces beautiful, lofty shots. It laughs in the face of bunkers, ponds and (small) trees. It loves me and I love it, because when I play it I feel like a proper golfer. So betraying it for its plain, dull cousin is a bit of a wrench. However, I had to admit to Anthony that my love wedge can be fickle and fussy and misbehaves if the lie isn’t perfect. My pitching wedge is far safer if I just need to get the ball to the green without going over an obstacle. Ok then. Sob.
Slowing down my swing is linked to me wanting to hit the ball as far as I possibly can, so I rush my shot because faster swing = longer shot, right? WRONG. It’s all about timing, tempo, etc. In Paul Simon’s immortal words: slow down, you move too fast.
The result of implementing these simple tips? An 84 during my practice round yesterday. I played off 14. Yes Anthony, we’ve reached our summer goal already and, let me check, yep, it’s still midwinter. That was easy. We’re done here. This blog is now closed until Autumn, when I’ll attempt to go down to 12 in one afternoon.
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