Outdoor Practice Session, Finally


Yesterday was the first “full” practice session of the young season. 75 minutes of focused experimentation on cause & effect. A little bit of charting shots, beginning to figure out tendencies, getting a short game feel and seeing how I’m doing at playing 20 yard bunker shots.

My definition of “fun” when it comes to golf has a bunch of meanings. One of them is taking a new swing idea, one that makes sense and is applicable to how I swing my club, and putting it into action. Eric Kennedy, PGA has me focusing on setting my body up differently at address in order to “pre-set” my right hip & leg. Then from the top (transition), I’m thinking “patience” and feeling my arms drop. That’s it. And these things have changed my ball flight for the better. At least yesterday.

Experts say that it takes 21 straight days of practice to make a physical change in motion. I’d say that’s probably accurate. I’d love 21 straight days of practice!

My main miss has been a ball that starts slightly right of target and cuts just a bit. Not good when you’re aiming at a target that is 30 feet left of where your ball ends up, all the time! I found out from the FlightScope data that at impact, my club face was open (to the right) and my club path was going left. The open club face starts the ball right and the ball will spin (axis) opposite of the club path (all depending on degrees here).

Eric’s keen eye on making set up adjustments and helping me change physical motion in the swing so far has changed the ball flight to mostly straight and every so often a little draw. That tells me the club face & path are working more towards where I need it. Out of 40 full shots yesterday, I lost 6 to the right, 4 quite left (a little over-compensation?) and the rest very solid to my target. For me, that’s very encouraging.



The short game area I have to play with is unreal. Above is just one of the bunkers we have at the upper practice green. This space also has room to play up to 60 yard shots, rough areas, shortly mown/tight lies, another huge bunker and several contoured places where you can play uneven lies. Lots of fun to be had here. I played 3 rounds of "7" to different hole locations (10, 20, 30 yards). Simply throw 7 balls into the bunker and pick out a flag to play to. How many can you get within 5 feet?

Here is one grouping from 20 yards. Not horrible. 5/7 were acceptable, I t


Ball flight changing for the better. Short game practice & bunker play. Froze a bit since it was 38 degrees, but the wind was down. Felt good to shake some rust off and begin getting ready for the season. First professional event since 2004 coming up in April and I’d like to feel well prepared and “comfortable” with my swing. Good stuff in any case.

Happy Sunday, golfers. I hope you get a chance to swing.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Rick

    I am jealous. We still have 3 feet of snow on the ground and it is only minus 20 degrees Celsius today. (14 degrees F) However, the snow is going to disappear very quickly and I will be practicing in 5 weeks or so! Thanks for the description of your workout. Many of us wonder the importance of keeping track of successes when practicing. Good luck with the changes.


    1. Thanks Jim, always appreciate your comments. 3′ of snow?! Yikes. We’ve been lucky here in the Philly area of PA, just a few storms with 3″ or so, quick melt off. It’s just fairly frozen, then mucky when it gets around 40 degrees.

      5 weeks until you can practice and six weeks until the Masters!

  2. Leslie Jo says:

    Which professional event are you playing in April?

    1. I will be playing in my first Philadelphia Section/PGA event since 2004. Right now, I think it will be on April 29. It’s a qualifying round for a select field event for a tournament in May.

      1. Leslie Jo says:

        That is so cool! I can’t wait to hear how it goes! Much luck to you!

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