The temperature got up to 43 yesterday. The practice green was semi-thawed, if not a bit sluggish and soggy. But I did manage to get 30 minutes of putting practice in. Lots of 3-5′ rolls and a bit of 20-25′ to test the feel. Not all bad. My ribs/chest/back still felt fairly tight even on shorter strokes, but the mobility is coming back. I can breathe fairly pain free, so that’s a bonus.
Then last night, the sleet started and by 8pm big fluffy flakes were falling and laid down 2″ of snow. Obviously any thoughts of outdoor practice were quickly extinguished.
What to do while watching the snow fall? Turn on The Golf Fix with Michael Breed on The Golf Channel! I like his take on instruction. He makes it fun, interactive, uses all types of household items (seems like lots of pool toys) and is able to bring an understanding to more complex issues in the swing.
I had the pleasure of meeting Kevin Lacey, a PGA Professional from Destin, FL who works on the show with Michael when I was at the PGA Show in January. Great guy, sounded like a solid instructor and we had a conversation about regular players vs. the Tour players. What I think the Golf Fix does well is utilize technology and video to explain what Tour players do really well and relate it back to what mistakes amateur players make. If you don’t watch it, I highly recommend catching an episode. Quite entertaining.
One thing Kevin said caught me by surprise when we were discussing what holds players back from getting “better”, and that was the concept of “fear of success”. I’ve written about this before and what Kevin said from what he sees on Tour (he works with some Tour guys) is that fear and insecurity play a role in success. Some players get into the mindset that they just aren’t “good enough” or take it very personally when they don’t put up good scores. Or they look at the idea of winning on Tour, start thinking about how things might change and wonder if that’s really what they want. It’s an interesting thing to think about. I remember reading about David Duval when he won the Open Championship in 2001 at Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s. he was sitting on the clubhouse roof with friends and the Claret Jug and said (I’m paraphrasing), “Is this all there is?”
Another question you might ask is “what defines you”? Is it golf? Is it your career? Is it simply who you are? I can’t imagine the internal struggle of PGA/LPGA Tour players have each week of the “am I good enough” questions of having to perform week in and week out as a world-class player. In my book, there are only about 1200 golfers in the world actually making a living playing golf, and that’s an amazing accomplishment.
Everyone has a different take on success and the trappings it brings. How would you handle winning the U.S. Open or just a Tour event? Definitely a question I’d love to be challenged with answering!
Back to the indoor practice sessions: I’ll be swinging the Orange Whip every day, working on my foam roller, physio ball and getting stronger. Balance and transition are big goals of mine this year, so my legs and core need to continue to get stronger. Looking to change my ball flight and I’ve got ideas, but a few sessions with my PGA Professional, Joey Poehl will be in order.
Before we know it, the snow will be gone and the temps will be dealable. Layers won’t be necessary and the greens will roll more smoothly. Then the serious practice can commence. For now, it’s the little things that can make the difference making that indoor to outdoor transition.
Happy winter golf!