Sunday, April 26, 2015

Practice Report and Process Goals Update

This has been another great week at home. I was pretty lazy early in the week but necessarily so after a long tournament in Mexico and a nightmarishly long day of travel home on Monday. I did some fitness work on Tuesday and Wednesday and played a fun 18 holes with some friends on Wednesday, but I did not do any practicing until Thursday. I have since made up for lost time. The weather has been nice, and I have had great days of work the last three days. I feel like all areas of my game are good, but I'm excited because I feel like my ball-striking is continuing to improve and I can tell that my short game and putting both have plenty of room to get better. I am nearly done with a Full Fitness Routine and Full Practice Schedule for this week, and I am ready to have a productive Sunday afternoon and achieve both. 

In addition to a lot of good work over the past few days, I have once again been able to soak up some great time enjoying the pleasures of HOME. I have spent some quality time with my family, and we even had some friends stop by to enjoy an early dinner from the grill on Saturday. We had my parents, my sister Laura, and two of my golfing buddies who live in the Carolinas, and it made for a fun Saturday afternoon! After dinner, my sister stayed in Knoxville with Alicia and I, and we needed something fun to do together on a beautiful evening, so we all went to the driving range and hit some balls. Alicia and Laura teamed up to beat me in a chipping contest and a putting contest, but that is okay! Here are a couple of cool pics my sister took of Alicia and I at the driving range:

That was great fun! Alicia says her goal is "to be bad at golf--because right now I'm so awful I don't even register on the scale." She makes contact almost every time now, and that is great progess!

As for me, I make contact most of the time, too. I am very proud of the work that I have put in this year, and I feel like my game is showing the results of my dedication to my process. The tournament week in Mexico marked the final week of my third five-week segment of the year for my Process Goals. For the entire five weeks, I came up one six-foot putting drill and one holed bunker shot short of completing all of my Process Goals. I obviously want to complete them all and don't like coming up short, but the effort was once again there to finish everything. I feel very good about the work I did over those five weeks and am excited to keep at it. 

I am going to make a change to my Process Goals moving forward. I feel like my current practice goals require too much time and mental energy during a tournament week. I am not the least bit afraid to put in hours and hours of work; in fact, I quite enjoy it. However, when I consider that in a typical tournament week I play five official rounds (the Wednesday Pro-Am fields are selected based on the money list) plus a full practice round, that means I spend a lot of time on the golf course. That is not a bad thing at all because I believe that on-course preparation is some of the most valuable for me, but when I combine that time on the golf course with my rigorous practice schedule, it leads to very long days that can become counterproductively taxing. So, here is the challenge: how do I lighten my practice load without feeling less prepared. I think I have a good solution, and I am excited to try it out. I will continue to do all of the same drills and the same number of drills as before, but during tournament weeks, I will lower the number of reps per drill. For example, I typically have to make 24 of 24 three-foot putts to complete that drill and 18 of 24 six-foot putts to complete that drill, so during a tournament week, I will instead have to make 12 of 12 from three feet and 9 of 12 from six feet. I will still do the same prescribed numbers of each drill for the week, I will simply cut the reps when I'm at a tournament. I will apply similar cuts to other drills as well. By lessening practice in this way, I will still have daily work to do to keep me feeling sharp and fully prepared, but my drills will not be quite as taxing when I am at a tournament. When I'm home, I will continue to follow my original Practice Schedule. I am excited to try out this change and see how it affects me. My hope and expecation is that I will be as prepared as ever and will still feel mentally and physically sharp at the end of each week. 

I am excited to keep improving. I am obviously quite pleased with the start that I have had to the year, but there is still much to accomplish. I can't wait to keep getting after it! Alicia and I are off to Evansville, Indiana, this week for the Tour event at a great course called Victoria National. It's going to be a very good one. Thank you for keeping up with me and for your support. Keep it here for more reports moving forward. 

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