Posts Tagged ‘golf’

hit it straight, you can find it

January 15, 2013 Leave a comment

I think it had been around 4 weeks since I last had a chance to golf going into last weekend. The weather had been marginal the prior weekends, but it warmed up last week and while things were somewhat gray and mucky on Saturday, I got in 18 holes. Sunday was okay enough to golf, but the fog was thick. The forecast had been for the fog to lift by noon, but it never did. So it never really warmed up so much on Sunday, but I still went out and played 9 holes in the afternoon.

I shot an 85 on Saturday, and 44 on Sunday’s nine holes. Was fairly pleased with how well I was swinging after 4 weeks of no practice or play and the only warmup coming around the putting green for 15 minutes on Saturday. The big challenge, and a pressure of sorts on Sunday, was to hit balls straight, because the ball would disappear into the fog after about 100 yards. You didn’t want to hit any big benders, because it would be harder to track down where the ball might have ended up. But I did that pretty well on Sunday. The only ugly tee shot came at the second hole, where I elected to hit the hybrid off the tee — I squirted it off the toe. Other strokes were lost due to a 3-putt at the second hole and a bad bunker lie at 4. Look, people, I know the course has removed the rakes from the course during winter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t at least use your feet to smooth over where the ball was and where you anchored your feet. It only takes about 10 seconds. It maybe doesn’t do as good of a job as a rake, but at least you can make it so someone’s ball doesn’t end up in the bottom of your heel print. But after mucking around some over the first four holes of those nine on Sunday, I finished up with 4 pars and a bogey over the last 5.

One part of my golf game I’m getting excited about now is putting. It all stems from something another player said after a round we had played. He said that my swing reminded him of Zach Johnson’s swing. That might be true. I’ve never taped my swing, but my impression of how it feels and from what I’ve seen of Johnson’s swing, I think I can see how mine might resemble it. But I said putting, didn’t I? Then I start talking about Johnson’s swing. Ahhh, but since I am a golf fan freak, I have seen that Johnson has an unusual difference in how he grips the putter, and prior to me actually trying it, I’ve always respected the fact that he can putt really well.

Anyhow, that comment about my swing resembling Johnson’s got stuck in my head, and the next weekend, when I was playing on my own, it was a miserable day with my crosshanded grip. Couldn’t put the ball on line and yipped a few too. So at the 12th hole, I said to myself, “Let’s putt it like Zach.” So instead of the left hand being low and the left wrist flat, I put my right hand low, and flattened it while bowing my left wrist. From that, I drained a 15 foot putt really nice and smooth. Then the next hole, I drained a 10-footer for a par and to finish the day since it was getting dark by the 13th hole. It was a huge moment.

I thought a lot about that during the week, about how when I set up like that, it gave me a sensation like I was using my dominant right arm to control the putt, and just roll the ball. Plus, with the left hand bowed like that, it very much shut up the tendency of either my left wrist to break or my left side to pull my body around in a rotary fashion — a couple of glitches which have always plagued me. The next weekend on the practice green I began to be amazed at how many more putts I was sinking from 5 to 15 feet, and it’s been happening out on the course too. Anything inside of 20 feet now I feel like there’s a chance of sinking it. And I’ve been sinking more putts in that range than ever, over a number of rounds now, so I don’t think it’s just one of those fluky one round aberrations. Changing my putting style like this has finally enabled me to let my much more coordinated right arm control the stroke, control the line and speed.

I think it may effectively take 2 to 4 strokes off my putting average, and that along with the increasing confidence I feel with the full swing, will at some point combine this year and I will break 80. That reminds of another great sign with the full swing the past weekend. I had a good follow through and finish on every swing. I’m not shutting swings down anymore, which had plagued me a lot during the problem with frozen shoulder. I did have a couple of swings where I spun rather than shifting my hips forward, but I still had a full follow through.

So it’s all coming together, and once the weather starts warming up, it’ll be a matter of time before I get more fully in form, and I’ll break 80.



December 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Yesterday I used up some of the last vacation time for the year remaining to take a day off from work. The weather cooperated nicely. After some fog and clouds of the morning vanished, it would warm up over 60 degrees.


I lifted in the morning yesterday. Deadlifts were the main focus, I also did some burpees, db swings, and single arm db overhead presses. Then I finished off with a couple of farmer’s walks, really pushed the last one to the limit. When I finally and just barely placed the dbs on the floor before they fell from my fingertips, I noticed one, that my body felt incredibly light with the weight gone, and two, that my forearms now hated me intensely. The hate would take about half an hour to fade away. But luckily enough, the forearms don’t feel too bad today. A bit stiff, but that’s all.

Then about 5 minutes after that, I went out and roughly measured out a distance of 50 yards. Another workout I’ve been throwing in if I have time and feel good enough has been one of squat some weight 8x, then sprint hard as I can for some distance. I’ll do that 3 or 4x or so. The basic idea is to get a small bit of conditioning and also improve my top-end sprint speed. So yesterday measuring out that 50 yards of distance was just to give me a way to test a few sprints with a stopwatch, not actually do a squat then sprint workout. But yesterday I got my first measures of sprint speed. It kind of sucks. 8.47 seconds, 8.09 seconds and 7.94 seconds in the final one. If I calculate the numbers, that means my fastest sprint yesterday is still slower than the speed at which the fastest marathoners run marathons. Now I’ve always been slow, but it’s a little painful to realize how slow I am. Usain Bolt is nearly twice as fast as me at sprinting. But I think I ought to see some improvement. Maybe nothing ever all that fast, but hopefully at least fast enough that I could sprint alongside an elite marathoner for 10 to 12 seconds as they go 26.2 miles.

Another lift I’ve begun doing and plan on using them in the warmup with the workouts where I’m zercher or front squatting is Dan John’s goblet squat. It’s a brilliant setup and makes it stupid easy to practice squatting with proper form and hip drive out of the bottom. I also tend to feel a nice stretch at the bottom with them. And that’s good. I need that.


I’ve always been kind of lopsided some. I’m right-handed and have always favored the right hand strongly. When I had frozen shoulder in my right some years back, it did help teach me to use my left side a bit more, with a bit more coordination, but now that I’ve dealt with frozen shoulder in the left for getting towards 3 years now, that’s exacerbated my lopsidedness. I’ve lost a lot of strength in my left arm. I can press a 60-lb db overhead with my right arm, but my max with the left arm right now is about 30 lb. Although I’m limited some there because I can’t quite get straight vertical with my arm and body line on the left still. It’s getting closer though. Every day now it feels like I have a bit more range of motion in the left shoulder.

Strangely enough though, I’ve found my left hip region is tighter than my right. There’s a noticeable difference in how deep I can get with piriformis and hamstring stretches. And the hip flexors. The left hip though is making quicker progress than the right side though. So hopefully one day I will have nearly equal flexibility on both sides of my hips.


I felt the improvements in strength and flexibility while golfing yesterday. For much of the past 2 years, I golfed with a sensation that I was kind of stuck almost. Stuck while trying to turn, stuck while trying to shift weight. Yesterday for the first time I felt a really good sensation of my body having some freedom to it. Although in golf it doesn’t mean you want to begin waving the club every which way. It’s definitely showing up in my distances with the shorter irons, from the wedges down to the 7-iron about. Not quite as much or as consistent with the longer clubs, but maybe as I continue to unbind my body they’ll follow suit. And hopefully next year I might find myself longer than I’ve ever been with my clubs.

I didn’t shoot too badly yesterday either. 11 over through 14 holes. Got off to a real good start with a birdie at the first. Then I had a 3-putt bogey at the second. But another GIR and par at the 3rd. A little sloppy at 4 and got bogey. At the fifth, I caught up to the end of the line of the slow group chain out on the course and became the fourth of a foursome. I parred the 5th. The 6th hole, I was a little long and my ball ended up underneath a bush. I had to take an unplayable, but I pitched on and saved bogey. Got a bogey at 7 too, then parred number 8. Hole 9 I smacked my 4-iron pin high, but in the bunker to the right. I’ve got some real problems out of bunkers right now and I didn’t do this one right. I then ran a chip about 8-feet past and 2-putted for double.

At the 10th, I wasn’t able to pick a ball clean off a tight lie for my 3rd shot. I then hit a great chip, just far enough past the hole to make the putt not dead certain. Then I missed it and walked off with double bogey. Came back with a par at 11, a bogey at 12, then a 3-putt double bogey at 13, but parred the 14th and the daylight had run out.

One of the guys I played with said how he had shot a 74 on the course back in November. I just remember thinking after seeing him nudging his balls to better lies many many times that wasn’t any sort of real 74. I probably could have saved 2 or 3 strokes yesterday if I had nudged my balls into better lies for a couple of shots. I held my tongue though.


I’ve also got one other kind of fun workout now. There’s some woods nearby with horse trails. I got out on them, walk some, jog some, but also when I come across some larger rocks, I try to see what ones I can move or lift in some way. No formal reps or anything. Just see where I can go and what I can move.