- Did 3 days of putting practice but didn’t get to run this week.
- Continued work on 10 – 20 – 30 foot putts with decent breaks.
- Did not work on finding the 12 o’clock spot of the whole this week. (need to re-engage next week)
- Focused on how many 2-putts I could complete with a round of 10 balls per hole
- Averaged 75% 2-putts on all types of breaks – all types of distances
- Noticing the difference between playing on dewy morning grass and dry afternoon grass and breaking behavior.
- Continuing to focus on just doing my routine.
A few times I got nervous when some people started watching – doodling around. I got distracted and over-shot terribly. Forearms felt like electricity running through water.
Then I just when back to focusing squarely on my routine.
- Walk to/from the hole and try and feel the ground and slope with my feet
- Observe the grass where the ball will die approaching the hole – what direction is it going in?(for last bit movement direction)
- Observe the ball path from under the hole and pick a mid-point or target point
- Go behind the ball and begin visualizing ball path. Keep visualizing until I am confident on ball path behavior.
- Find the line,
- Find a spot close (sometimes easier said than done) to the ball to draw the line without having to look at the hole
- Line up my club.
- Draw the club back and practice swing once or twice to make sure my grip is in the right place and I won’t strike the turf – basically make sure I’m not holding it too high or too low.
- Place the club back behind the ball, Line myself to my club.
- (*If necessary, tweak my left foot a smidge up or back if I want the ball to veer a little right or left (kinda like setting up for a very mini-fade or draw putt)
- Toggle myself by pitter-pattering my feet a little bit like a cat does before it lays down to sleep and rocking until i feel like the club head is dead-center gravity to my set-up. Again, I’m a straight back putter – no arc (which kinda tweaks me because it took me a long time to figure out that there was a distinction AT ALL and this is one reason I fear instructors – they might just teach me some old way of doing something that doesn’t apply to me and i would have never known the difference between arc/straight had i not uncovered it myself – but I digress.. but my fear continues – I mean, I was watching David Leadbetter the other day and he’s talking about all these new schools of thought that liken golfing to a batter’s swing and how Furyk and other unorthodox swings are actually just as VALID in form and fundamentals [with his “outside the line” swing] than previously thought and so I’m afraid I’m gonna get last-century’s knowledge instead of the latest greatest school of thought and chances are they still won’t apply to me because I’m not a teenager so my body is pre-disposed to swing in an even more peculiar style than what would be recommended for amateurs. Basically, i have the crazy notion that i can do it better myself but that may also have to do a little bit with my entrepreneurial DNA – see below Sidenote3)
- Take a breath while I tap the clubhead 3 times, each time nudging/leaning it a smidge closer forward – trying to make sure the putter face is flush perpendicular with the ground or slightly forward (I find I roll the ball better that way). It’s a total feel thing.
- This part if crucial for me: Then on my next inhale, take the club head back and thru on the exhale. (Trying to time the stroke with a 1-2 count). Invariably, when I strike the ball on the exhale I follow-thru smoothly and evenly and perform better.
I try to do all of the above in 60 seconds or less.
I don’t know what will happen when I begin to play tournaments but I suspect that I’ll have the most confidence with my putting game. It’s the only area where I really feel I know what I’m doing even though I have a long ways to go.
Sidenote1: that blog this week from the Scratchy Golfer was awesome and thought provoking. Why do we play golf – and getting to why. I have reasons that strike me with similar gravity and life retrospective “what-ifs.” My pursuit so far has produced a number of wonderful results for me – but they are all off the golf course. They deal as much with learning how to navigate personal and work terrain (for which I find golf axioms in terms of fundamentals required for good ball striking and par performance – they seem to apply to having good relationships, trying to deal with projects gone haywire at work, trying to be a good friend or father or just getting thru the day and accomplishing some stuff) and dealing with the back nine of life and its challenges – metaphorically speaking. I haven’t wrapped my thoughts around them completely yet – but when I do I’ll need to jot them down. Self-discovery and an ability to share that journey in a way that might make sense to a similar minded person – is high on the list of definite benefits for sure.
Sidenote2: These “Golf Now” commercial have just gotta go (just finished watching one – oy vey!! while watching the Australian Tour – [ISPS HANDA]). They get staler and staler and speak to the wrong target audience profile big time (at least for Northern California metro area – IMHO).
Sidenote3: the World Series continues to be informative as I watch all the various batter set-ups.
Sidenote4: I need to look at getting formal instruction in 2015 as a new years resolution. The writings from other bloggers – despite my strong entrepreneurial desire to figure this out myself (call it my Silicon Valley hi-tech DNA combined with thoughts of Bubba Watson and others who are self-trained – which makes me believe the Holy Grail is attainable by those who are persistent).
Maybe part of the self-discovery process is recognizing built-in weaknesses or predilections that might prevent us from moving forward. Taking formal instruction is one of those for me – despite my fairly good performance during grade school (notice I didn’t mention college where I was more Animal House than Leave it to Beaver – although I guess I learned something there as well and I wouldn’t give up my degree for nuthin’. What was it in you ask? Economics – go figure. And I don’t even like math – hah!), I prefer to DIY big time!- and I think that’s what attracted me not just to the sport of golf which is very individualistic in nature and in pursuit (no team here – at least not in the obvious sense) BUT to transplant and come out here (twice over no less – I came out in the mid-1990s, moved back east to the mid-Atlantic, NYC and Boston – all of which also have high-tech hubs but none of them like San Jose – only to come back about 5 years ago) to the Valley and pursue various forms of “manifest destiny.” If there’s anyplace that still feels like a brave new world where just abotu anything can happen if its a good idea and you can put your mind to it and try real hard – it’s the brave new world of this new economic engine.
Golf is part of that manifest for me but getting good at it is quite different from trying to create the next big Facebook, Google or marketing the latest online doohickey or cloud technology.
For now, the apprenticeship, the learning and the stories from others who are somewhere along the same path – this is slaking my thirst for meaning, belonging and accomplishing………..even though the reasons run much deeper.