PLAY ENJOYABLE GOLF – my road back to golf (part 2)

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Golf is fun again! It has been 11 weeks since I started this blog series on getting my game back in shape so what has happened?

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  • Of the 11 weeks, I have managed to stick to the play practice agreement in 8 of them, just over 70% – OK, can do better but only one week was in my control of the other 2, one I was on holiday (no golf courses in Jordan!) the other was the Thailand Open (course/practice areas closed & I caddied).
  • 7 of the 8 weeks I played were on course; only one was a practice session! In hindsight this has been good for my game but the chipping needs some practice time.
  • The back is coming along nicely and even stood up OK to playing 18 holes one day followed by 9 holes the next!
  • My main aim for the first quarter was just to enjoy playing and practicing again and I can safely say that has been achieved, I have stayed happy and focused in every game irrespective of the how I have played – and there has been some up’s and down’s.

So what goals have I set myself – all very simple:

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  1. Maintain my playing/practicing once per week (every week!) for 2013
  2. Continue program to fix my back – see Dr. once per month; go to gym regularly (minimum once; target twice; outstanding three times); do my stretches everyday
  3. Focus on the one simple thing I have found in each area of my game

The first goal is the major point, controlling my time management is the hardest thing for me and with the development of the new business it is always far to easy to drop out ‘my’ things and I just can’t let that happen, it is key that I practice and play.
With this in mind I decided I didn’t need any ‘golfing outcome goals’ not for 2013 anyway, you see my weakness is not any part of my game right now, my weakness is/was not enjoying the game irrespective of performance and all my goals are geared to fixing that issue.

The back is coming along nicely, the chronic pain still exists, however I am getting a better range of motion and I stay mobile for the entire round. I stiffen a little the next day but things are certainly going in the right direction.

So what am I focusing on in my game, again simple things:

Golf swing – With a little more playing around, I have uncovered some basic factors were having a lot of the affect and this is really important for everyone to think about. It was all starting from my grip, in my case (remember it is always personal) the left hand was too weak, what this created for me was an overactive right hand, which added way too much loft at impact, unbeknown to me to try to get a better impact position I was coming over the top (out to in) and very steep, all things making the ball flight I want to change worse! So three simple things, get left hand stronger, keep body still in the takeaway & get the club swinging straighter through impact.

The result, well like most of you I am trying to fix this on course – purely down to time restrictions, we are all in this together! – so early on I hit some nice shots and some big pulls, but the most pleasing was I just let it be, there were some rounds in the mid 70’s, one or two in the 80’s but as the weeks came along the performances improved. -1 for 9 holes, a 77 from the back tees (this was very encouraging as was just one hole – a triple from inside 60 yards) and finally back to the forward tees for a 69.
NB. In the 2nd half of the year I will find out more on my limitations and how I can fix the reverse pivot in my swing, but for now this is my focus

Chipping: This is still the weak area, but is coming along. The simple focus here is to maintain my rhythm; all I need to do is get some practice sessions in.

Putting: big improvements, Pompetch had a look and told me I needed to change the putter – I agreed, but didn’t, not yet anyway! So what made the difference, well working with Thammanoon, especially caddying for him in the Thailand Open, I started to understand how he was reading the putt. With every look he was painting a picture in his mind, he was becoming more involved in the putt – most golfers are looking for things, they then see different things and get confused, this is different this is enhancing with every look – then once the picture is finished the simple focus is getting the ball started on the line.

It all reminds me a little of Caddy Shack when Ty is coaching Danny to be the ball – you got to be the ball: watch here!, it might be comedy but you do really have to become a part of the shot you want to hit.

I have simply worked on being more involved in the putt, putting more of myself into it and then focusing on getting the ball started on the line I want – the result, they don’t all go in but I would say that 90% of my putts now have a chance of going in and that is fun!

So I am enjoying playing again, I don’t always play great and I hit bad shots – but I am accepting it now. I have a clearer mind of what I am trying to do and I am sticking to those simple things. I am certainly hitting it shorter with my irons, but instead of fighting it I am accepting it (I think new clubs will help! – please) Most importantly I am no longer in a rush to be at the end, I know the limitations for the rest of this year and I will do what I can within them.
Make your plan for the year around what is realistic and get to work on it, the next time you have scheduled for golf.

About the author

I am a professional golfer and a Class AA member of the PGA GB & I. I inspire and improve golfers of all levels, currently at Thana City Golf Club, Bangkok and have been in Thailand for seven years. I am passionate about golf and want to bring the game to life making it fun for all including creating dreams for elite performers

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