My Journey to Better Golf in 2015

Two rounds in the books for 2015 and I couldn’t be more pleased with how golf is progressing for me on a personal level.  I’ve played with an inner peace I haven’t felt in quite some time.  Call it “being in the zone” or “feeling the flow”.  I’m just grateful to be playing, and I think that makes a huge difference! Two rounds recorded, +6 over par combined, helped by a solid round of 71 (+1) last Saturday  Stats are below.  Grateful Golfer, I’d love your thoughts!

Scorecards

Playing without expectations, focusing on the present shot and picking out a really specific target has worked well.  Having great songs in my head while walking and enjoying the peacefulness of a golf course is a feeling I love.  I know it’s different for every player.  Me? I can spend four hours in contemplation while “clicking in” to each shot for 10-15 seconds of intense focus.  I love that. So, what have the results been so far on my journey?

  • 15/28 fairways hit for 54%.  Not bad, and the “misses” have been just a few yards wide, typically a touch left (I’m a right-handed golfer).  A few miscues, specifically the tee shot I hit in a lake to the left during round 1.  Forgot the lake was there off a blind tee shot.  Oops.
  • 20/36 greens in regulation (GIR) for 56%.  Again, not horrific, considering I’m still trying to figure out my consistent carry distances.  I’ve found I actually feel like I’m hitting my irons FARTHER now than I was pre-knee surgeries.  I guess the workouts are paying off?  I air-mailed one green last week with a 9 iron from 144….by about 15 yards.  Did not get it up and down. Oops, again.
  • Putts per round – and this is the big one – 30.5. Putting has always been a struggle for me, more often confidence than anything else.  I have several putters (well, six…) but I’ve stayed with the same Scotty Cameron Newport 2 for both rounds.  I have the SuperStroke grip on it (yes, the really thick one).  Keeps my hands quiet and lets me rock the stroke more.
  • What’s the difference in the putting? Fellow PGA Professional Preston Combs invited me to his AimPoint clinic a month ago, and it changed the way I view putting and how to truly focus on my “aim point” and trust my feet.  I still can’t explain it, but I seem to make a number of putts! I’m super-confident, be it from 4 feet or 35 feet.  Made 5 birdies on Saturday!

Two finger readWhat’s challenging me?  The short game, silly!  I haven’t practiced anything except for my putting. Just imagine what can happen if I pay a little attention to chipping and pitching!

Overall, very pleased and just riding good vibes.  I’m a grateful golfer too, Jim 🙂

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5 Comments

  1. Rick

    Sounds like things are progressing extremely well! You are definitely playing like a grateful golfer and that always makes things better. Here is how I read your stats!

    Bravo! You are completely on track for low scores to come. After two games – your fairways hit and GIR stat are excellent. Above 50% is very good. They will only improve as you play and practice more.

    Your putting stat – not a problem either. Yes, you want to shave at least 4 stokes from your putting stat, but the question I would as is how are you putting between 6 – 10 feet and 1 – 5 feet. These are the scoring distances. I recommend that you determine which is your worst of the two distances and start practicing from there. You new system to determine the break is solid, I use it as well.

    Lastly, your statement “playing without expectations, focusing on the present shot” is a recipe for success. It is far to early in your golf season, with only two rounds under your belt, to change anything. You sound mentally strong, enthused, and happy to back on the links.

    It has been a long road to recovery, it is not time to enjoy all your hard work. I look forward to hearing more about your low scores and fun on the course.

    Cheers
    Jim

    1. Jim, the putting from 8′ and in is very solid, haven’t missed many. Have made a few good ones from 8′-15′ too. Yesterday was a +5 round (75), and I didn’t make any putts over 8′!

      What is a must? Hit approach shots closer. Seriously, the average distance to the hole in my GIR’s was outside 30′, so ball striking was poor, as was club selection/distance control.

      Chipping was average, made a few up and downs I can be positive about. Only 1 birdie, rather unproductive 🙂

      But you know what? I had a blast with the challenge!

      1. Rick

        You have just described the woes of many players who are getting back after a long lay off. I really see nothing by great things ahead for your game. Your expectation management is what drives you to get better and things will get better. Keep it going and letting us know your progress!

        Cheers
        Jim

  2. Discover something each time you practice and play. I found I can still hit a low, slinging 30 yard hook off my back foot 6′ high and let it run 75 yards to about 15′. Pretty cool shot, fun to execute.

    Positive recall 🙂

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