My plan for these first three days of practice was to play as much as possible. I know that I am not the best player on the driving range, so I figured that trying to beat off some winter rust on the range or around the practice facilities might be a little frustrating. Getting onto the course and just using my feel and instincts to hit shots really gave me a good idea as to the state of my game, and I have been really impressed the last three days. I've driven the ball pretty well, hit a lot of good iron shots, looked fairly sharp with my wedges, and had a few highlights on and around the greens. There has been some inconsistency, too, of course, particularly in my chipping and putting, but all in all I feel pretty darn good about everything.
In the coming days I will continue to spend a lot of time on the course practicing that oh-so-important skill of getting the ball in the hole, but I also think that I am ready to spend some time on the driving range and around the short game area and putting green. I do not feel like I need to have any dramatic changes in form; I simply need to regain my comfort over a variety of types of shots, and I think the repetitive nature of practice on a driving range and the short game facilities will allow me to do just that. I already feel good about my game in its first few days after coming out of hibernation, but I know that some solid practice sessions in the coming week can have me on the brink of achieving a goal about which I have talked for a while: playing the best golf of my life when February rolls around.
I'm excited to be practicing again. I love what I do and learning ways to do it better. My competitive juices are flowing, and I want to start my tournament schedule right now, but I know that I need some time to get my game where I want it to be. I'll have it there, though, and 2011 will be a fun year! Check back here for a practice report in the next couple days, and I'll also give some more info about what to expect this year!