haven’t had a chance to do my full routine last week or this. missed running. it’s been raining cats and dogs in NoCal lately. But the couple times I was able to practice putting last week boy were those green lush and “carpet-like”. AND I started employing Grateful Golfer’s advice and just did the cardinal numbers routine…. in other words placing golf balls like cross-hairs (12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock lines) around the putting hole from 3, 6 and 9 feet. Mostly 3 & 6 feet. And trying to make all 4 in at each distance in a row or all 3 balls in 1 line in a row or just all the balls from a certain distance in a row for as long as I can.
I overlayed my other two techniques (borrowed from others again – my training seems to work that way…) – of determining where the true-north or 12 o’clock position is and then judging in which of the 4 quadrants my ball was sitting (in case i wasn’t perfectly aligned when I placed them down) and using the standard (somewhat predictable but not always perfect) information from that data to judge my line with the intent of getting my ball to drop in from the 12 oclock north point on all putts. So if I was in the NW quadrant (from 9 – 12 oclock) I know the ball will want to curve in from left-to-right as it approaches the hole and vice-versa if I’m putting between 12 oclock and 3 oclock, etc.. The trick is to read how the clock face sit right. If you miss-read your true north point the ball won’t behave properly. BUT the good news is, the balls behavior can also help you work backward to find your true north point after a few strokes – so you can get it just right. Once determined, I find this to be a useful tool and one that can be employed with consistency and accuracy. Which makes me feel this could be a “keeper” routine.
It worked well. Enough so to give me confidence. It really solidified my sense of “Hey, I’m getting in a good routine!!”
I also got a new putter but I’ll talk more about that later.
Otherwise – I’ve been amiss with my blogging, retro-blogging, and practicing just because of holidays and stuff.
On the Mental & Psychological Front: Plus a couple days last week I was completely in the dumps. I felt like I was getting no where with all my practicing. Not because the putting drills weren’t satisfying but because I’m still just working on my short game. Nothing yet on long irons or drivers. It feels like I have such a long way to go (pun intended). But sometimes I guess that’s the pain of being persistent. I really felt like I was wasting time and like I should just give up this whole thing about pursuing golf. I have no idea where that sentiment came from but it came on strong. I just wished I was further along in feeling like I was reasonably competent to actually play a full round of golf. I mean, I haven’t even gotten into getting the basics on the rules and crap for crimmenies sake! And I’ve been actively pursuing the sport for over a year with commitment and easily two years off-and-on. So I devolved a little bit.
And then it passed. But I haven’t picked up a club for more than 4 days which is irregular – but my passion is coming back.
I really need to get lessons and maybe find a practicing buddy.
I gonna start jotting down my resolutions for next year but lesson, i think, finally have made it to the top of the list. I think self-enlightenment is a good thing but sometimes it’s better to no make it so hard and follow some poignant professional advice. My daughter reminded me of that as she continues to excel at track and viola playing. When in doubt – seek out help from those who know even when you want to be your own self-created super-hero. Or, at least be open to instruction. Right? right.
SVG-out for now.
I’m learning how to embed stuff from other social media and this was just to righteous – but it captures the rare fleeting feeling perfectly.
- Didn’t run this week due to business travel to Phoenix (not the band haha – the city)
- Putted Yesterday and today
- Yesterday made 60% of 2-putts from over 30 feet, uphill left-to-right (felt great)
- Today made 50% of 1-putts from within 10 feet (felt not-so-great)
- Grass direction really impacted my reads i’m beginning to figure
- Kept trying to imagine the 12 o’clock spot with a large circle so i could figure out the plane and aim my target line accordingly to get the ball to drop in at the 12 o’clock mid-line (still not that good at it)
- Mental note – the direction of the grass (how the landskeeper actually washing it down) really impacts the last foot of ball path when the grass is really damp (it rained last night so the grass was really moist but still firm)
- I like playing on damp grass
- Also – note – need to read up on ball behavior going uphill – it seems like the ball breaks into the upslope when putting uphill because often i find it going left when i think right. in other words – ball path uphill seems to contradict my assumptions. There has to be some guideline to ball behavior downhill versus uphill…
- I do feel however – that I’m getting my set-up routine down pat – i still do the line up, practice stroke while facing the target line, adjust vertical-ness of grip, address the ball, tap 3 times – each time pushing the putter face angle forward more to make sure its flush (i have a particular claw grip and straight-back stroke) while completing an exhale, and then begin my stroke counting 1 on the backstroke as I inhale and then 2 when i exhale
- Putted today again before/after work
- Uphill left to right in the AM and right to left in the PM
- Grass was dewey wet again this morning
- I love to see it track in the moisture
- I’m better with moist grass
- Averaged 65% two-putt from 20-30 feet, did better in the morning, ball ran fast in the afternoon
- Gotta work on tempo more
- Practiced focusing on the 12 o’clock position to good effect
- Giants win the World Series
- It was a better day
UUUUgh – but not too bad of an uugh.
- Off day today. Ran 2 miles yesterday per my new weekly routine
- Putted after work (instead of before) for 90 minutes doing my 30 foot 2-putt drill.
- Only made 50%.
- Had a hard time reading the breaks and had to deal with a couple double breaks
- It’s so funny going to the practice range. Everyone is out there smacking balls, hardly anyone comes to the putting green
- Then someone stole (i think – let me give them the benefit of the doubt and believe they picked it up by mistake) my 3-wood cover which was on the grass by a bush and which I use to hold some spare tees and to carry my golf balls when putting because i only carry my wand on those days and bring about 10 balls. It’s just a cover but I’m like “Really? really? Ralllaaaah!?” Nothing at lost and found. I’ll check again in a few days. It’s not a big thing and most likely a mistake but it bummed me out after my shabby performance.
- And the Giants lost Game 6 – jeez, for the love……..
But the batter’s swing observation thingy is still instructive.
It wasn’t much of a bad day but days like these make ya’ feel like you’re never gonna get there. At least the weather came through – 68 degrees and delicious sunshine and no humidity – same as yesterday, same as tomorrow.
But what choice do I have? I’ll re-run my misses in my head and try and think of any takeaways
Takeaway#1 – For sure – I realized that I wasn’t aiming for the 12 o’clock of the hole (i mean really? i spend all that time figuring out a technique to try and then totally forget to do it – even though I reminded myself while pulling into the club).
Doing drills without focus is like cooking without a recipe and not thinking about what you want to cook.
When i remembered finally – it made a big difference in drawing my putting line. After I did that I actually noticed an improvement and even managed to get close on a couple double breaks.
Takeaway#2: putting in the afternoon on a sunny day – the green runs a lot faster (duh – but i had a hard time adjusting)
Takeaway#3: even on an upslope, if the hole is at the apex of the green I have to pay attention to where the water drainage holes are because once i did i knew where the ball was most likely to roll should it pass the hole and that made for interpreting the breaks better
My mind just wasn’t in it. I kept paying attention to other players and stuff.
Oh well. Nothing sleep can’t cure I guess.
Bah & Humbug!!
It’s been awhile but I did my routine last week:
- Ran on Monday, putted on my putting days, remembered to stretch and researched my new putting routine.
This week’s been harder. I didn’t run Monday but i will run tomorrow and I will putt on Wed or Thrus. End update.
FYI: I have a neat new 3-5 putt practice drill that breaks the hole into 4 quadrants. I researched something about identifying the true “12” o’clock north of every putting hole (on Bing) and found out apparently all holes tip one-way or another a little southward due to gravity and how the hole was cut out. So the putterer needs to try and place the ball at 12 so the ball has the best chance of dropping in as it slows down using gravity to its advantage. If you identify the 12 then you aim for that – is the thinking instead of the middle of the whole. It also helps me figure out stroke speed a little..
That said – my routine included 3 paths to the hole for each of 4 quadrants around the hole. I would stroke 10 balls for instance in quadrant 2 along three trajoctories – (qd 2 is the southeastern quadrant for me) – per set with each set starting on a set line, for example 5’oclock, and at 4 oclock and just south of 3 oclock. Then I do the same for the northwest quadrant, the northeast quadrant and the southwest quadrant. For a total of 120 balls. I only count how many I make in – but my real goal if to get close to the hole and perfect my routine so I’m consistent and to practice my reading of the break left-to-right, right-to-left etc.
That’s all I have for now. I’m sitting thru a work quarterly business meeting that really is taxing my attention-span. Have you ever watched paint dry? It’s just not the same as watching a putt roll into the cup – if you get my drift. Cloud computing – whoo hoo! tell me more.
Last note: I’m re-visiting my stance and posture. I think I stand corrected about leaning forward a lot. I think I need to stand more erect and with better straight posture. I think this gives me less of a chance of hitting turf because my true absolute ground zero for my stroke has less chance off wobbling off axis due to me standing up or moving my spine angle.
So now I’m gonna work at standing a little taller and straighter in the back yard on my home kit and net. But I did some trial runs the last 2 days and was surprised at how well i hit it (i’m sure it won’t last but still – the first shot was like whoom!). In fact i whipped one right down the target hole #1 in my swing practice net. I was like huh? I need to re-visit this stance thingy – fo’ sho’.
that’s all for now – svg out
Can I say it one more time! During this longtime dry spell of burgeoning golf personalities – no offense intended to Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson or anyone else out there – if you’re looking for a player who looks like a guy you’d like to have a beer with…….Jimenez – he’s the golfer with Schwagg!!
Pre-round/pre-shot routine. According to Jimenez these are some things to do before a shot. Note: try to develop routines. Routines are what lead to consistency. By doing the same thing all the time before a shot, you can remove your mind from the activity when you’re under pressure and still perform. Some tips from Jimenez;
- Main thing is to get your heart rate down and to have positivism
- Do a couple of loose swing and feel like you swing to the left
- Deep Breathe & Focus
- Stay in the moment and keep the heart rate low.
On Putting & Visualizing
Visualizing the putt is fundamental to good putting.
- What to visualize? According to Morris Hatalsky – 4 career PGA Tour winner – one good thing to think about and visualize is how the ball will behave as it approaches the cup and looses speed. Will it break a lot, a little, not at all?
There are 2 schools of thought when approaching a putt
- You can try to look at the back of the cup and hit it a little past it so it drop in firm or
- You can let it die into the hole – this doesn’t assume big breaks where you start trying to place the place someplace on a cup-clock….still).
Here’s a Tip: Try putting in the morning dew when you can see the ball line in the dew when it rolls to the cup
Games for Training: Putt for dough – a good game to play to practice, check it out on About.com
Congratulation USA team for their world cup performance. This is great for world sports.
SVGsidenote of quirky golf terms: Definition: In golf, the word “buzzard” is a synonym for double bogey, or 2-over par on any individual golf hole. If you play a par-4 hole and score six, you’ve made a buzzard.”Buzzard” was much more common in the early parts of the 20th century; it is rarely used in modern golf. also Known As: Double bogey. Examples: “I made a 6 on that par-4 – mark me down for a buzzard.”
These notes (some of them, mostly the ones from the PGA pros above) are from the following show:
From Champions Tour Learning Center: Airdate April 22 2014 with David Marr III.
Part C – Visualization & Imagery
The Hole is a Clockface
[SVGolfer Observation & Reflection: time is the fourth dimension. Every thing that requires expertise and dedication in order to reach a result – like, let’s say – finding the truth or finding your bliss or dropping your ball in the right job – requires time and a timing metaphor. Extend the analog even further and if one’s life is measured in years and 18 years is how long it takes to go from being a baby to being an adult – then maybe we have 18 holes because each hole represents a year-in-the-life of trying to reach a resolution or a growth goal and the fairway is the most direct or ‘straight’ line but, as we all know, life can take you on an adventure, a frustrating ride, a journey of confusion and misshaps and everything in between.]
Hall Sutton’s & the GC’s imagery tip: Look at he the hole like a clock face. The right furthest lip is 3 o’clock, the top is noon, the left side is 9 o’clock etc. Aim for section of the cup – right lip, inside right, down the middle, inside left, etc.
Commercial Sidenote: the GCAMTOUR.com I want to do this in 2015 or 2016.
Part D – Reading a Hole
Go all the way around the hole
- Read the grain – if it’s slick and shiney it will roll fast away from you because the grain is leaning away from you. If it’s a drak green it is growing towards you – and you’ll want to stroke with more speed. Obviously if your path crosses two shae type you’ll need to factor increase and decrease of speed during the putt.
Best way to read the green is to read from under the break of the ball – walk the whole length of the putt from underneath the line (not above) because it’s easier to read the break
About drainage holes – beware, these are natural areas to drain water and the grain of the grass always grows in the direction of water flow so make a note.
How to miss properly? With breaks – try to miss on the upper-side of the hole so that the ball could break into the hole
Its all about putting yourself in the right position
Next session – Bunker Play
Part A – On Fundamentals of Putting:
No violence – meaning no sudden moves or shifts. Learn about speed control
Practice Drill / Nice Drill: The 3 putt drill. Try to putt with the following 3 intentions;
- Try to hit the back of the hole (a hard putt)
- Try to roll the ball so it dies at the lip of the hole and drops in
- Try to putt right in the middle
This will help with finding the length of the stroke and the right speed of the stroke.
Interesting Fact – Did You Know?
When a player puts the ball – the ball rolls the length of your hand in one revolution. Hmmm – I guess that means it travels often much further than you would assume so learning how this thing rolls is key. Think about it as you try to learn “true” speed.
**SVG Side note: so much in golf entails getting to “true” something – true square face, true hit, a true swing (in the slot), etc…. it reminds me of truth being the ultimate ruler of all graces in great philosophies like Kabbalah or even our Judea-Christian cultural belief systems. Truth – many paths to it (as there are many snowflakes of a golf swing) but only one truth for all.
LESSON1 – Learn TRUE speed.
Part B – How to Read a Putt and Pick Your Line
But first – a little adage: “You can’t make a putt until you know how hard you’re going to hit it” Figure out your speed first, then putt. [SVGolfer sidenote – I guess that really means that speed and line-of-roll are interdependent and that’s strikes me as true. The harder you stroke the straighter the line but the greater chance of a very long putt if you miss. In reverse, the gentler you stroke the greater the curve of the line depending on the slope which means greater ball movement but, hopefully, a much shorter second putt if you miss. A lot about golf seems to be about covering your backside when it comes to misses. I heard Tiger talking once about how he knows how to miss well. One man’s shank is another man’s graceful power fade – or something like that.)
Another SVGolfer sidenote: the mobile phone golf practice app GL Lite is great for grasping the concept of speed and line when putting. I love it and use it all the time when riding the traing to virtuall read putts. It even shows the ball speed and slope with little virtual balls floating around before you putt. It has helped me mentally when it comes to physically playing the greens.)
Reading a putt is a function of how hard you hit – then you pick your line. Likewise, you can decide on your line and then figure out what the best speed is to have the ball roll that line. I’m reminded of how many golfers pick a mid-point (almost like they’re picking the apex of a triangle – where the direct line is the base and one side represents the ball trajectory up – the mid-point, and the other side represents the ball roll down into the hole. Every putt is a triangle waiting to be drawn.
Faster = straighter line. Slower = more curves and action at the end of line.