Host – Sportstalk Weekend
This past Saturday, with the weather being so glorious, Janice and I were able to get nine holes in over at the Hazelmere Golf Club in South Surrey.
My expectations upon arrival were high…and I know that I should have tempered them a little bit, based upon the fact that over the past three weeks, the lads at TPA were filling me full of information that may or may not have adversely affected my golf swing. Add to that, I had not been on the golf course since early October and psychologically I could have put myself in a big hole by having any kind of expectation at all.
Here’s the thing, over the past three weeks in sessions with Fraser, Dave and Chris, what I saw wasn’t a transformation of a golfer, it was the evolution. First and foremost I wanted to hit the golf course with consistency. This was accomplished. Without boring everyone with the details, I hit five of seven fairways and the two that I missed I was no more than a combined five yards off the fairway, meaning I was still in play. Some of my media friends out there that I have golfed with (Alfie Lau – I will single you out!), have mentioned that I only seem to play well when I have adversity hit me on the golf course. When I am behind a tree, or buried behind blackberries, or when there is only that triangle of daylight twenty yards away and thirty feet in the air, it seems that I rise to the occasion. While I thank Alfie for the compliment (at least that’s how I take it), I would like to be the golfer who creates from the fairway! This opening nine at Hazelmere, if nothing else, showed me that I could freely swing away and still be in play, allowing me to really score. Let’s face it, hitting out of trouble only allows you two options, to save your par or make a big number. Being in the fairway gives you a few more options.
Second, I made seven bogeys and two pars…consistent. I am not a huge fan of taking bogey, but I had a chance to score on EVERY hole. On four of my approach shots, I under-clubbed, forgetting that despite the great weather it was still only six degrees out and the ball was not travelling. On three of the remaining five holes, I three putted. I can fix that, as putting has always been something I have been good at, even as a kid.
Taking a 43 on the opening nine holes of the season was not a highlight reel moment for me, but the ability to stay in play and have the ability to score surely was. Oh, for the record, I played from the blue tees as well. If I am going to be competitive this year, blue is the game.
While Janice did not have the success she wanted on Saturday, she was pleased with her progress as the round came to a close. You could see her getting stronger as the day wore on and know that practice and play will evolve Janice into being a stronger player.
Three things that will make both of us better:
1) We have been given a lot of information. With that being said, just go hit the ball! Over-thinking the shot will only frustrate you. The remedy to over-thinking is to practice. Get the repetition of what you are doing at the range down and bring it to the course.
2) After each round, do the opposite of what you are doing now…and you know what I’m talking about. Far too many times, I will walk by a player in the parking lot who has just finished his/her round. I will ask how the round went, and I will get a heavy sigh, or the golfer lamenting his or her bad fortune on the golf course. Take five minutes and celebrate what you did RIGHT on the golf course! Reinforce the positive. You have heard the expression ‘That shot will bring you back’. I can tell you that each round you will have a dozen of those moments. Celebrate the good in golf, remember, you are out there to have fun!
3) Playing on the course is not practice. I know you are going to hate to hear this, but even if you practice once a week, you will improve your game. Too many golfers go and hit twenty balls at the range, then run out to the first tee, only to be frustrated by having a tough day on the course. If you are going to spend on average $80 a day to golf, why not spend $10 bucks a week to hone that game in so you can better enjoy it. I am not saying that it is a quick fix. I am saying that taking away a good day of practice at the range and applying it to your golf game later in the week is a good recipe for having better success at the links.
Happy golfing! Talk to you soon!
*Special thanks to Troy Peverley and Tracy Matthews from the West Coast golf Group for having us out and putting up with us! Thanks!