It’s Monday, my “favourite” day of the week. I sat in what can best be described as a river of brake lights from my front door to the office, my coffee was lukewarm at best and my boss is in a bad mood. Combine all these into one day and Ron is not generally a happy man, but golf is a funny game and 49 points can do strange and wonderful things to your brain and outlook on life as a whole!
Ladies and gentlemen the first big step has been taken; I shot an even 80, played to a 16 marker, had 49 glorious points and lowered my handicap for the first time ever, by two whole strokes. Everything from then on has seemed rosier!
So what was the secret? Well it was rhythm, my swing was smooth and in time, I never tried to hit the ball too hard, yet wasn’t lazy with my swing! I still managed 39 putts though, so I’m not going to sit on my laurels, more practice is in order!
In golf, people often say that trying to get everything in your game to work on the one day that matters is the hardest thing to do, my weekend’s golf was a prime example of this.
For the first time since I started this blog, I averaged two putts a hole, 36 of the best! But what I made up in good putting, I let go in a common hackers problem, slicing!
On ten occasions during the horror that was my round, I sliced the ball out of bounds. In so forcing me to take a penalty, that’s 20 shots lost in the blink of an eye (If only it had happened that quick).
I generally understand the physics of what’s going on when you slice the ball, being your club head coming from the “outside to in”, but fixing it on the run was impossible. But I am not perturbed, as I have found out, many a hacker’s gripe comes from the slice. So I’ll be out during the week working on this cool technique.
How was your golf? Anyone else slice it around the course this weekend?
The Hacker – Lowering The Handicap. – The Stroke Round
This is a day that has sparked fear in me since the day I joined my golf club all those years ago. The stroke round, the once a month game that forces you to count every shot, that doesn’t allow you to walk the hole even if you hit your first two drives in the drink, but makes you hit a third and sometimes even a forth. I’m sure I’m not alone on this fact, especially for us hackers where one hole can destroy an entire round, and lets be fair we are lucky if it’s just the one hole!
Well my round on the weekend started as most of my stroke events do, with a nine on a par 4, five over after the first hole, brilliant! I finished the day with 98 playing to a 34, and what part of my game was the worst offender – my putting, 42 putts in total. People complain about three putts well I had two four putts coupled with five three putts, it was a dark day for my putter and I.
So back to the course I go with a shag bag full of balls, my putter and a ruler(Check out the link below), to right the wrongs and make peace with the flat stick!
It’s often said its darkest before the dawn, well if that is the case then something sensational in my golf game must be just around the corner!
The dreaded “S” word, a word that most golfers try not to say or hear and one I dare not mention now, crept into my game over the weekend.
Off the tee by my own standards, I was exemplary, I hit 10 from 18 fairways/greens but once I stood over the ball for a chip or pitch shot the “S” word would come out. All day it happened from the first hole to the last. It was by far one of the worst rounds of my life, a horrific 21 points, my father was kind enough to call me later in the day to tell me I had come dead last in the comp.
So I’m heading back to the course this evening with the tips below in mind, followed by some lovely shanks for dinner!
Well Ladies and Gentlemen, the weekends golf started disastrously with the complete opposite of what I am striving to achieve happening. MY HANDICAP WENT UP! My oldest flag round of 26 dropped out, and my handicap went from 28 to 29 – Terrific!
I tried to put that disappointment aside, and stepped up onto the first tee and subsequently duffed the ball into the rough, things were going well. Even after that horrendous start I managed to calm down a bit and clawed my way back to finish off the day with 37 points.
That’s the first time I’ve bested my handicap in nearly 2 years, I was thrilled (even if I did only play to a handicap I held a week earlier).
So… was it all the practice I did during the week to get my gross number of shots from 102 to 92 and score from 26 to 37 points.
Where was my improvement? While I was hoping it would be my putting, chipping and pitching, it was actually in my course management that I saved 10 strokes. Rather then trying to hit over the pine trees in front of me, I took my punishment and chipped out into the open for an easier shot, rather then trying to hit an ambitious chip shot from just off the green I took my putter and putted on. I also selected the correct club on every hole, I didn’t always hit it sweetly but I knew when I stood over the ball that this was the club that was going to give me the correct distance I needed.
Course management for me was swallowing my pride, taking my punishment and understanding the risks associated with trying to hit miracle shots
Check out these helpful tips on Course Management:
Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Ron and I am one of the club builders at Golf Clubs.com.au/ Lind Golf. If you have ordered a custom built club from one of our websites, chances are I’ve had my hands on it – I’m also a hacker, I play off 28 (cough, cough) and at the rate I’m going its only going to blow out further. What’s worse and quite frankly more embarrassing is that I can’t even play to 28, my ten flag rounds are as follows 35, 29, 28, 40, 30, 40, 30, 29, 32 and 26. Over the weekend I had an uninspiring 26 points and was once again left to ponder what could have been.
I have been told that fundamentally I have a good swing but this does not translate to anything on the course.
(I have attached a video for your analysis and critique, don’t be shy I’m thick skinned). If you too are keen to get your golf game humming then maybe we can improve together as an online community.
So for me this is the start of a journey, a journey which you all can join me on, a quest to bring my handicap down from its lofty heights to something I don’t have to mumble and can say with a bit of pride.
So where do I start? What is the part of my game I need to work on the most? Surely the answer is in a bucket of balls at the driving range with the big dog out crunching drives? Well let’s start by looking at my numbers from the weekend: I played to a 38, a gross total of 102 (My home club Northbridge GC is a par 64 course).
I had 38 putts, 24 chips, 7 pitches, a couple drops and 31 other strokes. Now that’s a total of 69 shots out of 102 spent on, around or within 80 meters of the green – that’s about 68% of my round. (I was just a little bit sick seeing that). So rather then going to the range I’m off too the golf course to pitch 50 balls from varying distances, chip 50 balls and putt 100 putts.
Check out these helpful tips:
Who’s going to join me and get a practice session in?
I would love to hear your golfing stories, plights and conquers, if you have any suggestions or helpful tips and tricks or even just want to rant about your golf game, please feel free to comment below!
As no doubt most of you will have seen, fifteen year old New Zealander Lydia Ko became the youngest ever winner of an LPGA event, by winning the $2 million Canadian Open in Vancouver.
Lydia Ko finished the tournament an amazing 13 under par beating out her nearest opponent InbeePark ranked number 10 in the world by three shots. She also managed to topple 19 out of the top twenty players on the women’s world ranking.
Competing in the field was an even younger girl Brooke Henderson a Canadian local who at just 14 years old won CN Canadian Women’s Tour event in Quebec to earn an exemption to compete in the Open, unfortunately she failed to make the cut but it does beg the question how good are these child prodigies going to be?? Could we be looking at the female version of Tiger Woods who first broke 80 at just 8 years of age.
Or could they go the way of Michelle Wie who qualified for the USGA Women's Amateur Public Links at 10 years old and won the same event at 13 years, by 16 she was ranked no. 3 in the world. But unfortunately for Wie in 119 LPGA starts she has recorded just two wins.