Should you expect constant improvement in your golf – part two?

Now you tell me. But it does make sense. So I guess it’s that persistence thing but it total spades. …. Oh well what’s a golfer to do but swing away



“I dreamed one night that I had 17 holes-in-one and one two. When I woke up the next morning I was so goddam mad.”Ben Hogan

By Ian Hardie

In the post Should you expect constant improvement in your golf I talked about a conversation that I had with a golfer, who had recently made a decision that I suppose almost all golfers make during their golfing career:

To work on their golf game in an effort to improve their skills – with an expectation that by doing so they would lower the average score that they had each game as a result

I’m sure most golfers have decided to do just that at some point in their golf career

Unfortunately though, most golfers actually end up getting worse average scores rather than better ones when they attempt this – so the point I was looking to illustrate was…

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2014 Golf Season is Over

Just follow the sun

The Grateful Golfer

The 2014 golf season is over! The Ryder Cup was the pinnacle event that capped of a very interesting golf year. In future articles I will talk about the goods, the bads and the uglys of the golf season. But for now, we go into hibernation waiting for the 2014-2015 to start!

But wait, the 2014-2015 golf season starts in only 2 weeks! Thank goodness we do not have to wait too long! The 2014 Ryder Cup extended the professional golf season by 2 weeks, so that means we will have our golfing fix sooner than expected. For that, I am grateful.

Here is the schedule for the first seven events of the 2014-15 PGA TOUR season.


Oct. 6-12, 2014 | Location: Silverado Resort and Spa (North Course) | Napa, Calif.
FedExCup points: 500 | Purse: $5,000,000 ($900,000 to winner)

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Which Golf Grip is Best for You?

Which Golf Grip is Best for You?. From the Grateful Golfer….good succint review and often overlooked fundamental.  I’m an interlocker myself from the start.  it helps me really feel like i can get the grip on my fingers instead of my palms – but that said, i often forget to make sure the hand overlap just right and i think you’re right – it can explain sharp shanks when everything else seems to be in the right place.

New Weekly Routine – Day 1

Feels like I’m starting all over again – but my new moderated and more sane “Get Golf Ready” plan for the rest of 2014 is to do the weekly routine I posted a few days back.  And we’re off to a decent start!!!


Monday is a run day and I ran for 25 minutes at a local track (2 miles) down the street – it was like the crack of dawn.  And I made sure to stretch.  Stretching is important so thanks for the reminder (GratefulG).  I need to do it more when I practice as well.gt0508-putting-aim

No major problems.  It was dark but nice.  And then i squeezed in 15 minutes of putting practice after dropping her off at school.  I did right-hand only for left-to-right for a few minutes before using both hands.  The green was very damp so the ball really kept straight unless there was a big break.

I was not really concerned with hitting the stick – just getting into a pace, pattern and routine.  My read, my approach, my test swing, my 3 taps and breathing out and then a stroke.


Also – totally unrelated aside – I got one of those orange arm-band things to use while practicing my swing at home.  I used it on my new Lynx 3-wood (on major sale) and I tried to keep my wrist firmer while hitting into a net.  Wow! – Pretty nice feel.  That’s the deal.  I will keep working on my putting for the next 3 months with some 3-wood work using the arm-band – and maybe do like 50 swing a day or every other day or something.

One day down.  89 more or something like that to go until new year’s.

Tally ho!  Too bad about the Ryder Cup AND my Steelers  :-(.

My New (1st) Weekly Routine – Draft

I’ve given more thought to a weekly routine that can be more manageable and can support longer range goals.  The idea is to work on 2 swing types over the course of a quarter or 3 months and cycle through that process across all swing types over the course a year – switching between irons, drivers, short shots putting etc.. in rotation.  Afterall – it’s about continual self-improvement – right? so I need to set up a routine that can plug into an annual cycle for the long haul.  At least that’s my thinking.

With that in mind – what can my weekly routine look like without driving me crazy and stretching my schedule to the point that I can’t enjoy other things and still be highly productive at work?  Clearly – I need to extend my previous written or unwritten deadlines for getting amateur golf-tournament ready.  2015 is too aggressive.  One of the fundamentals of golf is to set yourself up for success.  Considering my still late-to-the-game status, it is unreasonable for me to think that 1-2 years of hard work will get ‘er done when many 1/2 my age take their entire pre-college and college careers to get ready for just the tour.  Stretch goals are fine but unrealistic goals are damaging and frustrating.  I need to re-jigger my expectations.

So – not withstanding the right to change my mind – 2018 sounds like the right year to pick as a ready-for-prime time year.  That’s not to say experiences may not begin as early as 2016.  But it is to say that I must affirm (not concede) that time is on my side if I let it be and if I care about other things around me before I become an empty nester – ya’ know?  Horror as it is to say it but “There are other things to life than Golf.”

So with that in mind.  What can I do now with what I have at my disposal and the other life pressures that exists just from breathing and living and paying bills to methodically improve an aspect of my game?

Dare I say – I will return to my short game – putting, chipping and pitching – and begin to study for either the 7-9 irons or a 3-wood.  Because these are the clubs i have that I like.  Plus, although I have confidence in my pitching I’m learning many nuances and on any given day I can still debate just how good I am at this aspect of the game and shake my head.

So the wireframe, given all this, for the week goes like this:

Monday:  Physical and Mental work – run in the AM, study 1 hour video or literature and record 1-5 short game practice routines for next 3 weeks.

Tuesday:  Mental work – review practice plans for later in the week.  Schedule a play date is it’s a play week.  Online stuff

Wednesday:  Early school day.  Practice 30-minutes putting routines

Thursday:  Early day:  Practice 30-minute putting

Friday:  Driving range, practice routines from earlier in the week or Play 9/18 holes twilight at least once a month (preferably 2X)

Saturday:  Afternoon 2-hour short game practice in afternoon (2X/month) – depending on family schedule

Sunday: – day of rest

This is a draft schedule but I like the bones of it.  I’ll kick it off next week.  I need to flesh it out a bit more but it’s a start.

So let it be written……