I got up this morning and got in 9 holes at a local public course and still made it to my desk by 9am. I used to do this all the time when I lived up closer to the course, but I haven’t since I moved closer to downtown. This morning made me realize just how much I miss it and just how realistic it is to get some golf in during the week even with a full work schedule.
The golf wasn’t fantastic, but it wasn’t bad either. I had one scramble Par, which I now treat like birdies, and another great up and down for bogey from a shot that normally would have terrified me and led to a double or triple. It is still crystal clear that I absolutely must clean up my short game if I want to break 80 this summer. I am on a mission to find a way to get some indoor practice both at my apartment and at my gym at work. I have a few ideas that I think just might work.
Besides the short game, my full swing actually felt really good and I attribute that to my decision to go back to two swing thoughts I used to have some success with. The first was to swing 80% and think about having an oily swing. Too often in my past rounds I have tried to muscle the ball and really hit it with speed only to spray it all over the course. Last summer when I was playing well my swing felt effortless and I got a bit of that back today.
The second key was to be relaxed and natural in my back swing. Recently I have been trying to produce a swing that looks “correct” according to the pros on TV and magazines. The reality, for me, is that I am not flexible enough to have a completely straight left arm on the back swing. It creates tension for me and gets me into all sorts of bad positions simply because my body doesn’t move that way. This morning I allowed myself a slight bend in my left arm at the top of the back swing and it very quickly helped me hit the ball more consistently. I wasn’t fighting my body during the swing and it felt natural.
The last good piece about having this relaxed and natural feel to my swing was that I was actually RELAXED while playing. I wasn’t worried about my score or the shot at hand. I was able to stay in the moment and hit some good shots when I needed to. All in all, I was very pleased with this mornings progress and will need to make my way out there again very soon.