The Round that Finally Clicked!

This season I have gone out and played a handful of times, but have felt hindered by the cold conditions and my lack of practice throughout winter.  The only real piece of my game that got any attention this winter was my putting.  I have seen an improvement thus far, but the rest of my game was just rusty.

I finally had a great practice session at the driving range where I keyed in on a few things that produced the best shots I have hit all year.  I didn’t get too excited because success on the range doesn’t always equate to success on the course for me.  I tend to over think the changes and always have a few shots where I revert back to my old bad habits.  This time felt different.

My only real adjustment was standing closer to the ball and making sure my back swing felt like I was bisecting right in the middle of my two drastic take away moves.  This might not make a ton of sense at first, but stay with me.  If I take my club back on a very steep vertical take away I tend to hit the ball with an open club face because my hands are behind in the swing.  This is helpful when I need to cut or slice the ball, but isn’t a reliable and repeatable swing for me.   Likewise, if I take the club back around my body more I can hit a big draw/hook, but the contact is not very consistent.  My focus then is to make sure my take away find the happy medium in between both extremes.  The results tend to be solid contact and a much straighter ball flight.

I took these changes to the course today for a quick nine holes.  I mentioned earlier that I tend to over think changes sometimes.  Today, I committed to accepting the changes and playing each shot with those two swing thoughts in mind.  What I found was that the results where much better.  I also started to feel like I was actually “playing” golf instead of trying to avoid disaster.  It was gratifying to free my mind and just hit shot after shot without thinking about all the bad things that can happen during the swing.  I also found that I was taking less time in between shots and less practice swings.  Maybe this will be a key for me going forward.  It felt like I was able to let go and embrace each shot a little bit better when I didn’t take a lot of practice swings.  Maybe I had less time to psych myself out.  Who knows?

The results were incredible.  I shot a +3 39 at my local course which is the first time I have broken 40 in my life.  I couldn’t believe that my score had so drastically changed with the few simple fixes.  Will they last?  I feel like they will and I hope they do, but this is golf we are talking about so I could have a big fat piece of humble pie coming my way soon.  It definitely felt like I finally had a round of golf where everything “clicked” and my swing took shape.  I am hoping to build on this momentum and keep hunting those birdies!

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