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couple of notes

Lots of memories over the past few days.

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The stretching and yoga poses are slowly opening up my hips and all-around flexibility. On Wednesday for the first time I got a stretch going where I was able to reach my toes with the tips of my fingers. But I am a bit lopsided. Thanks to the left shoulder and its slow recovery from being frozen, first my right hand touched my toes and then it took a bit more of stretching after that for the left hand to reach.

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I went to a putting green after work yesterday to work on putting and chipping. On the PGA tour, the players make about 99% of the putts 3 feet and in. Lately, I’ve noticed it seems like I maybe miss at least one putt of that length every round. Sometimes 2. So I’ve been losing strokes with that.

Began with practice of 3-footers last night. I put 6 in a circle around the hole and made 5 of those 6. Set it up again and made only 3 of 6. There was  a sensation like I got tense when I went through my usual putting routine of line up the putter, take stance, then look at hole, look at ball, look at hole, look at ball, look at hole, look at ball, make stroke. I noticed the sensation something was being lost during the 3-looks part.

So on the next circle of balls, I went to line up putter, take stance, look once, look ball, stroke. I then made 17 of the next 18 balls I set up. So a total of 25 of 30. What I would like to do is get that to where I consistently make at the very least 28 of 30. If I get that, then I’ll feel a lot more confidence on the course about stroking in those putts of 3 feet or less.

I also tried some 6 foot putts, made 12 of 20 there.  That needs to be higher too, more like 15 of 20.

Then I practiced some chipping. I found something in there which should help. One problem I have some is a tendency to yank chip shots to the left. What happened sometimes is that the right elbow would pull away from the body, and I would end up doing a small out-to-in golf swing. So I worked on keeping the right elbow tucked near the body and I saw much more consistent results of the ball going towards the target.

Hopefully putting in some practice like this will help me start to shave some strokes around and on the greens. I need to begin putting in some practice with the mid-range putts and improving my distance control on those. On the PGA, it’s not until putts reach 35 feet in length that the putting average goes above 2 putts. It would shave off some strokes if I got to where if I was 3o feet away it’s an almost sure 2 putt, that is, putt the first one inside of 3 feet and then knock that 2nd putt home.

So a couple of things were learned. On short putts, trust that the line and setup is good, go ahead and make the stroke with just one look. I don’t know if mid-range I’ll continue to look at the hole 3 times first. For chips, work on keeping the right elbow tight to the body. I got much better results, both in line and consistency of clubhead contact when I did so. When the right elbow drifts away from the body, bad things are more likely to happen.

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