Sunday, January 29, 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012
This picture may not do it justice, but Dandridge Golf Course sits on one of the most beautiful pieces of land that I have ever seen for a golf course. Though the weather attempts to hide the beauty in this photo, the clouds sort of add to the mystique of the place. In addition to being the place where I first learned to play golf, it is still one of the most valuable places in my rotation of courses on which I practice. I am able to work on all aspects of my game at Dandridge, but I find that I have some of my very best short game and wedge sessions there. I have spent three full days at Dandridge this week and have really done a lot great work around the greens. I am fortunate to have a lot of really great "offices," but Dandridge Golf Course is where it all began.
I feel really good about the week that I have had so far. My fitness work has continued to be great, and I've gotten in a lot of really good practice as well. In addition to the great short game work I've been doing at Dandridge, I have also seen my ball-striking improve quite a bit in the past couple days. I feel really good about the progress by game is making.
I am in Athens, Georgia, right now to spend some time this weekend with my sweetheart, Miss Alicia. Though I will enjoy some time with her, I will still be working hard these next couple days in Athens. I am ahead of pace with my progress goals for the week, but I still have some work to do this weekend to finish them all. The weather forecast is good, though, and I have some practice facilities at my disposal down here, so I will get them all done!
Things are feeling great! It's going to be a good and productive weekend. Come back for a full summary on sunday evening!
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Saturday, January 21, 2012
My fifth “process goal” for this year reads like this: “SMILE—Stay relaxed and enjoy both the struggles and the triumphs.” Unlike the rest of my process goals, this is a hard thing to quantify, but I truly believe that sticking to this goal is one of the most important things that I must do to be successful. On a very small scale, I got a taste of that reality this week. After playing great in a match on Tuesday afternoon, I was feeling like my practice was really working and that I was invincible. Then on Wednesday, I got to the course early for some practice before another match and was just a little bit off. There was nothing too severely wrong, but I just was a little bit off with all aspects of my game and struggled to an even-par round of 72 that afternoon. (My opponent took advantage of my off day and rolled in a 15-foot putt on the last hole to clip me by one.) On Thursday I planned to have a very thorough afternoon of practice, but once again, when I got to the golf course, my game was a little bit off. I remembered my fifth process goal and became determined to enjoy a good practice session. By the end of the day, I had really improved the way I was feeling about my ball-striking and had completed a great hour of short game work and had nailed my three-foot putt drill on my first attempt. It was a triumphant day of practice, but I was only able to achieve it by choosing to enjoy the challenges presented by a tough day-and-a-half of practice rather than letting them frustrate me. I know that this is a very small-scale example, but it really did prove to me the importance of adhering to my fifth process goal. If I can display this kind of attitude throughout the year, I know that I will have a great season.
Oh yeah, and I should mention that my good day of practice on Thursday translated into a pretty good performance on Friday. Playing in a “big game” at Holston Hills, I hit the ball beautifully and made ten birdies on my way toan eight-under-par round of 64. I won my match and helped my team win the game. It was pretty cool!
In other news, I have got some new sticks in the bag now as I enter the final weeks of preparation for my 2012 competitive schedule. There are no dramatic changes as I was very happy with the work that Titleist and I did together last year, but I have simply upgraded to the new SM4 Vokey Wedges and the 712 CB irons. I have been practicing with the wedges for just more than a week now, but yesterday was my first day with the new irons. Needless to say, our relationship is off to a fast start! I am going to do some experimenting with Titleist to see if we can find a three wood that I trust a little bit more than the one I have now, but other than that, I feel great about my equipment.
This has been a very good week so far. I have been steadily knocking away at my process goals and need only a sprint workout, one putting drill, and a couple hours of work with my wedges to complete all goals for the week. It is currently looking like a pretty ugly Saturday of weather, but it is supposed to clear up this afternoon, and I am confident that I will finish all of my process goals.
Things are going very well, and I am feeling great! Come back tomorrow evening to check on me and make sure that I completed my process goals this week.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
I'm already seeing the benefits that good, focused practice can have on my golf game. In a match yesterday Holston Hills Country Club (number 5 pictured) in misty and windy conditions, my short game and putting were very sharp, and they allowed me to overcome some inconsistent driving of the ball to shoot a seven-birdie, one-bogey round of 66. I won my match, but more importantly, gained a lot of confidence from seeing the hard work that I've been putting into my short game and putting yield strong results.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Though I have been working hard all winter, I am really feeling a new sense of focus and purpose this week. I have set the standards pretty high with my process goals, and I am definitely having to do some good work to pursue them. It has been a tough but very productive week so far, and I'm really enjoying it.
I had a couple of matches with my buddies in Knoxville on Monday and Tuesday. I was very happy with the way I played on Monday but a couple of loose swings and some penalty shots cost me the match. I cleaned it up a lot on Tuesday and played a very solid 5-birdie, 1-bogey round to get revenge from my monday loss. On both days I showed a lot of promise and really felt like my game was very close to being good.
I put in a great 1-hour short game session before the match on Tuesday and am feeling good about that. I have also been working very hard on my putting drills, though they have been quite a struggle. I just had a great session on Wednesday night working on my alignment and putting stroke (see picture). I am very confident in my putting stroke, and I know that getting myself back into a consistent practice routine will get me on track in no time.
I am right on schedule with my fitness routine and feeling great about it.
I've got some work to do to finish my short game and putting goals for the week, and though I may have to battle some weather, I'm gonna get 'em done! Hopefully I'll the able to squeeze in another match or two as well. Keep it here for more news!
Monday, January 9, 2012
It has been nearly a month since my last post, but that time period has been packed with more of the same kind of stuff that I was reporting during November and December. I have continued to work hard at incorporating a few small changes into my golf swing and putting stroke and am progressing very nicely. My ball-striking becomes more and more consistent everyday it seems, and I feel great about the work that I have been doing on my putting and short game. My game has held up well in a few matches that I have had with some buddies, as well, so I feel like the changes are really becoming ingrained nicely. In addition to my golf game, I have stayed on track with my fitness routine and have made noticeable improvements to my flexibility and endurance. I’m sure I am getting a little bit stronger as well, but that is less noticeable (despite my huge muscles!). I really do feel good about all aspects of pre-season plan, and feel like I have laid a good groundwork for the upcoming year.
I have had a great winter of preparation for my 2012 season, but now it is time to really get to work. Though I have been practicing daily and working hard at my game, I have not challenged myself with any practice goals until now. It is time to get back into a tournament-specific practice mindset and add some elements of pressure to my practice. I have spent the better part of the last month coming up with some realistic yet demanding goals for myself during the 2012 season, and I am publishing them and putting them into effect today. See the tab above titled “2012 Goals” for a look at some of the things that I am setting out to accomplish this year.
I absolutely love what I do for a living. Even the hard work doesn’t seem hard to me, but the goals that I have set this year are going to push me. Last year I did a very poor job holding myself accountable for my process goals throughout the busy time of the year. Looking back, I can see that this was due to a lack of efficiency. I would spend all day at the golf course, but sometimes would not be focused on doing the specific things that I needed to do to get better. This year I will learn from that experience and be better. My process goals will definitely challenge me each and every week, but with proper focus and some determination, I will achieve them. In doing so, I will set myself up to achieve my outcome goals.
2012 is going to be a great year for me. I am the most relaxed and yet the most excited that I have ever been heading into a year of golf. My first event is scheduled for February 15-18 when the Egolf Professional Tour heads to Hilton Head Island. I will be on here regularly between now and then keeping you posted on my progress. I will also be using my blog as my accountability tool for my process goals. Look for weekly updates, and make sure that I am taking care of business.
Thank you so much for continuing to follow and support me. This is going to be an exciting year, and I hope that you will enjoy it with me!
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