Sunday, July 27, 2008

Boogie Golf - A Birdie Bomb

I finally made it back on the course this morning after missing some weekends due to travel and swim meets. My ball striking was lousy at the start but it improved as I played. By the time I made it to the back nine, I was striking the ball pretty well. I took awhile to figure out what I was doing wrong but it boiled down to three things. First of all, I was pulling off the ball early and looking up before contact. I got into the mode because I teed off at first light and I was trying to follow the ball flight in tough lighting conditions. That early look-up may work ok for Annika (and Duval in his prime), but I find I do much better if I try to see the club head strike the ball. It's an important part of hand-eye coordination for me. The second thing was stopping my tendency to put a death grip on the club. When my grip gets too tight, I don't release the club and the ball starts flying to the right. Finally, I started swinging as if I had a glove tucked in my left arm pit. Maintaining that "connection" AND keeping my arms passive are also crucial. When I finally put all three of those together, I was hitting little draws off the tee and from the fairway. I had to start aiming right at set up to stay out of trouble.

The highlight of the day came on the par 3 13th. I hit my tee shot to the very back of the green which has a lot of slope from back to front. I was about 65 feet from the cup and about three feet higher in elevation. I was just hoping for a two-putt when I started the ball about five feet to the right of the hole, but it started turning as it rolled down the hill and ended up dead-center for a long birdie. I've come to enjoy playing solo golf but it's at moments like these that I wish I had a playing partner to share my excitement with!

Another big swim meet next weekend so it may be a couple weeks before I get back out again. I may, however, see if I can't get out for some twilight golf this week.

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