Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Improving

On Sunday, I traveled and then took the afternoon off to watch the final round of the Masters. What good golf we got to see! The things that struck me the most were not the crazy hole-outs, but rather the way that Phil was able to get the ball up-and-down every time his crazy driver caused him to miss a green and the ease with which Anthony Kim and others rolled in 25-footer after 25-footer. I went to bed on Sunday determined to get better on and around the greens this week.

Of course, I don't want to ignore my ball-striking either. Some wayward drives contributed to my struggles over the final three rounds last week, so I am determined to tighten my misses with the driver. So far this week, I feel like I have made great progress in that area of my game. I'm continuing to keep my full-swing thoughts as simple as possible. All I have been thinking about is having good alignment and really good rhythm in the transition from backswing to downswing. I have been absolutely striping the tee ball! I think sometimes in tournament play when I'm not perfectly comfortable, I rush the transition in my swing, and it leads to some wayward shots. The simple thought, "rhythm," over each shot seems to be very effective for me. I'm excited about the way I've been driving the ball this week.

I have also felt great putting the ball of late. I have spent a lot of time on the putting green using tees in the ground as a guide to ensure that my putter is staying on a good path. I had been "hooking" some putts because I was taking the putter back to the inside and shutting the face, but I have eliminated this move and am starting to get comfortable with my new and improved putting stroke. The results have been dramatic. The ball is rolling truer and I am hitting my lines much more consistently. I've been knocking my three-footer drill out with ease this week!

My wedge play is still holding me back a little bit. I'm pretty sure that my hands and arms are a little too involved in my wedge shots right now, but I'm struggling to fix the error. Tomorrow (Thursday) morning, my coach, Bobbo, and I are going to go out on the course with a handful of balls so that he can watch me hit a bunch of different types of wedge shots. I'm hopeful that his insight will expedite my improvement. Wedge play is one of the strengths of my game, so I know that the talent to succeed is inside me, I'm just hoping to tap into again sooner than later.

Another bit of exciting news is that I changed my grips today. I had changed them just a couple of months ago, but the grips that I had put on must have sat in someone's basement for years, because they were dry, hard, and slick within days after I put them on. Now I have good, tacky grips on all my clubs, and I'm feeling ready to go.

I've got a couple more days in Tennessee before I will start the trip down to Valdosta, Georgia, for my first Nationwide Tour Monday Qaulifier of the year next Monday. I really do think I'm close to playing great golf. Next Monday could be my breakthrough round of the year! Keep it here for another practice report before then.

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