Sunday, October 24, 2010

Q-school Time!

Sorry for the long silence since my last post. I have been at Callaway Gardens balancing preparation for this week's First Stage of PGA Tour Q-school with some time enjoying the friends that I have made down here. I have definitely grown very comfortable with both the Mountain View course at Callaway Gardens and the small town of Pine Mountain, Georgia, which is it's home. I have practiced and played here every day since arriving last Tuesday, but have also spent some time hanging out with my great host family, the Sykoras, and exploring the hiking trails at Franklin Roosevelt State Park. It has been a really good week, and it has me feeling ready to go.

Q-school week officially kicks off on Monday. Practice rounds on Monday and Tuesday will lead into the 72-hole competition Wednesday through Saturday. The field will consist of 78 players vying for something like 20-23 spots in the Second Stage. I played well at First Stage last year, and I've gotten better and smarter since then, so I'm hopeful that I can just stay relaxed, enjoy the week, and execute well. I know that I'm going to do the first two, and I'm pretty sure that I will do the third as well.

My practice in the past week has actually not been my sharpest of the year. I've had some funky inconsistencies in my ball-striking that I haven't really liked, so I made a slight little adjustment to my backswing over the weekend. I have a tendency to the let the club swing back a little bit outside the target line but have never really worried about that in the past. However, I think it might have been getting a little extreme and causing me to have to make some manipulations elsewhere in my swing in order to get back into a good position. I did some drills on the range to promote a better takeaway, and I like the results. I still haven't hit the ball consistently well on the driving range, but I hit a ton of really good-looking shots on the course over the weekend. I'm still very confident in my ability and really trust that this minor change will only help me this week.

My short game practice has been very good. Callaway Gardens has bermuda grass everywhere, and that means a lot of different types of lies around the greens. There are very tight lies in spots and very thick lies in others as well as very grainy spots in rough and also spots where the rough is just thin and wispy. Many of the lies are unpredictable, which makes bermuda a tough grass, but I have spent a lot of time this week around the greens practicing from all types of lies. I feel good about my short game.

I'm also putting the ball well, and really feeling comfortable on the bermuda putting surfaces here. The extra week of practice has definitely been nice in that regard, but I'm hitting my putts very solidly, and I feel like I can put a true roll on the ball on any surface right now.

I'm excited. It hasn't been my greatest week of practice, but I feel like I've worked on all the right things to maximize my performance this week. I know it is going to be a good week because I'm in a place that I love doing something that I love, and I know that I'm going to do it well! Keep it here for another practice report before I tee it up for the first time in Q-school 2010 on Wednesday.

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