After my disastrous last two rounds out, I made myself take a day off. I did still consult some of my favorite online pros but I didn’t swing a club.
The skulling thing has GOT TO GO. It is even demoralizing to be alone in front of the computer and read that skulling the ball is a common beginner mistake. All fine and well but I AM NOT A BEGINNER! Experienced golfers should know better. I understand experienced golfers skull the ball once in awhile but for the past month I’ve been skulling the ball close to fifty percent of the time. Unacceptable. And worse, I never used to do that until I started working on my game.
So I zeroed in on an instructor I really like (there are many). His video gave me tips that I can have in my head at address and it doesn’t give me too much to think about. I also have been reading The Red Book by Harvey Pennick and some of his little pieces of advice like ‘always aim at something during your practice swing’ have really helped. A dandelion. A dirt clod. Don’t waste a practice swing!
Here is the video that helped me bunches and better yet, the first few drills can be done in the living room.
The title is “Solid Contact Every Time” and is part one of two youtube videos put out by Troon Golf Academy. The instructor is Derek Hooper. Because I don’t want to infringe on any copyrights, I will just post links of videos I have found helpful.
Another video by the same outfit that I found extremely helpful was “Topped Shots Are Not From Lifting Your Head”
I want to report that on the ninth hole, I hit a really beautiful drive. My husband and I had been muddling about the golf course on a fairly slow-moving day and when we got to nine there was a guy sitting on a bench. I looked at him and asked him where he came from. He replied that he is a member at the course and when he doesn’t have time to play a full round he just plays one and nine over and over again. I’ve seen this man before. So he asked if he could play in with us and of course we said sure.
My husband hit a bad shot that would have surely sailed far into OB land if I’d hit it, but since the golf gods take care of him, it hit a tree and dropped just in bounds – albeit only about 30 yards in front of the forward tees. The mysterious stranger who never plays a full round of golf hit next. The shot was passable, down the middle, not particularly far. I stepped up to the tee box with my trusty five-wood which was coming through for me consistently. I remembered one thing Pennick said about hitting tee shots – Line the handle up more with your zipper than your pocket at address. This does place your hands behind the ball slightly but trust it. I did. I smacked the ball past the cart path that divides this par four into two sections. I out drove both boys by fifty yards and would have even out drove the stranger by a few yards had we hit from the same tees. For gals, that really feels good!
Looking at the yardage of the hole and where my ball landed, it was only about 150 yards so clearly, the other guy hit a really short drive. But still, not bad with a five-wood! What’s more, the distance isn’t really the thing here, it’s that I made perfect, solid contact and the ball went exactly where I aimed it and was bone straight. It was a perfect last drive of a round. It was the way one wants to drive the last hole!
At the end of our round my husband and I were talking to the starter, a chatty fellow named Kevin who is always there on weekend afternoons. He had seen me swing the club on the first hole.
“You have quite an aggressive swing there!” he said.
I have heard similar comments to that since I first picked up a golf club. This ‘ability’ comes naturally. I do have a good turn, acceleration and snap. If I can ever get it together with all of my game, I should be able to bring my scores down and be a force to be reckoned with. If ever. Kevin is certain I’ll be taking the club by storm by next year but I’ve heard that before too. Well, I am willing to spend the winter practicing and working on my game so that next season, I’ll be ready. Our fair weather days are winding down where I live.
The rains are coming, then the cold.