Category Archives: Progress

The New Season Begins!

Freshly mown grass abounds.  Flowers starting to bloom.  The birds are back, and so is the golf season!  I know the winter allowed more golf this year, but the spring is what I always define as the new golf season.

The goal during the winter was to maintain and maybe even improve slightly before the first round of the year.  I didn’t want to walk onto the course rusty and need to build back to where I finished.  I will admit, I didn’t follow the winter schedule perfectly and got closer to 3 days a week than 4, but I succeeded in starting strong!

My first round happened last week.  I played the optishot most weeks during the winter, but the optishot isn’t the same as the course.  The adrenaline pumps a little harder when staring down a flag at 150 yards.  I was ready for the round, but I needed to get into my game quickly to stay on track.

My first tee shot flew high and down the middle.  The ground is rock hard right now in Oklahoma, so I also received a nice roll.  I only had a wedge left into the green.  I hit a thin, terrible wedge shot that settle right next to the green.  My chip was crisp, but I 2 putted for bogey.  Not a terrible start.

Similar shots on the second hole, but I made the up and down for par.  The 3rd hole is a longer par 3.  I pulled my hybrid and hit a high, beautiful, drawing shot that bounced, hit the flag stick, and stopped 10 feet from the hole.  2 putts from 10 feet for par.

I continue with another par on 4 and 6.  My driver was high and near the target.  My irons are a little short, but mostly high and moving slightly right.  Contact is as good as I have hit a golf ball in a couple seasons.  I had 3 GIR on the front 9, which is 2 more than I averaged a whole round last season.

The back 9 wasn’t quite as good, but my stamina isn’t perfect yet.  I had 2 pars, and only 1 GIR.  However, I hit 5 straight fairways.  I ended up with 9/14 fairways and 4/18 greens.  I shot an 84, which is better than most of my scores last season.  This is a great start to the year.

My goal was to begin the year as good, if not better, than last year.  I believe the winter was a huge success.  My swing is continually getting better.  My contact is more pure.  I think this year will see huge improvements.  No regression from last year.  I can’t wait to create my new spring and summer routine to keep improving.  Keep coming back to check out my progress.

End of Season Stats Check. Did I Improve?

Fall is here, or should be here at least. We have unseasonably warm weather.  My goals were set for the end of October, so while I may squeak in a couple more rounds, I will review the conclusion to the season.

My original goal this season was to decrease my handicap to 14. I planned to spend 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week practicing.  I started around a 16 handicap, and I believed I could shave 2 strokes off my handicap.  As my mid-season report indicated, I failed to realize my handicap was artificially low due to older scores.  My most recent scores averaged between 18 and 20 index.  I revised my goal mid-season to get back to 15.8 where I started.  While I didn’t drop it to 15.8, I decreased my handicap from 17 to 16.2 since July!  I am on the right track!  I may not be at 15.8, but a declining handicap is what matters.

I set the number goal at the beginning of the year, but research indicates focusing on the number does not lead to success. Numbers are the measurement, but focusing on the process makes the most difference.  My most important goal was practicing 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. I hate to say it, but I didn’t meet that goal as often as I hoped.

30 minutes a day is harder than I anticipated. I know that sounds silly, but all my activities combined with exhaustion make adding more work in difficult.  However, I did meet the goal about half the time.  I did much better in the summer and right after my mid-season report.  I struggled more during the fall due to my teaching load.  However, I never went a week without practicing.  I completed a simulated practice or real round nearly every week.  I reached 4 days a week the vast majority of the time.  Rarely did I practice less than 3 days a week.  I know I didn’t reach the goal every week, but I practiced significantly more than before.  My stats show continuous effort with the decreasing handicap.

My stats illustrate my improvement and areas to continue to work on. Below are the stats from April:

Time Period Fairways GIRs Scrambling Putting
May 2015-April 2016 42% 17% 10% 1.9

 

The work paid off this summer in most areas. Here are my stats since I started my plan:

Time Period Fairways GIRs Scrambling Putting
April 2016-Present 59% 11% 25% 1.8

 

Fairways and scrambling dramatically increased. Playing from the short grass must inevitably lead to more GIRs.  While I missed more greens (down to 2 per round), I scrambled for par on 2.5 more holes per round.  Scrambling alone decreased my handicap to the 16.2.  My glaring weakness is still GIR, so I will continue to work on approach shots to score better.

My winter improvement and workout plan will begin shortly. As I think through the plan, I hope to set it up to include activities my family can get involved with to increase my chances of completing the daily tasks.  Come back in the next couple weeks to check out the winter plan.  Enjoy your last rounds of the year.

Can Fitness Really Affect My Golf Score?

Wow, the Ryder Cup last weekend was great. The excitement boiled over.  I enjoyed each day.  Watching golf inevitably brings the infomercials and quick commentary that sometimes highlights a weakness I need to work on, and last weekend was no different.

A couple years ago, I experienced the pleasure of playing Erin Hills, next year’s US Open site, near the end of the season. The weather started changing, and the course was beautiful.  Definitely one of my favorite courses, but I struggled mightily walking the course.  Erin Hills is walking only, which helps with the beauty, but walking it is climbing up and down non-stop hills.  It is the closest I have ever felt to the phrase, “walking up hill both ways.”  I played really well through 9.  On 10, I felt my legs completely lose strength.  I could walk and play, but my legs couldn’t stabilize my swing.  I ended up 6 shots worse on the back 9 with 1 birdie and the rest doubles or worse.

Erin Hills is a unique challenge. I never considered other courses to cause the same problems, especially since I ride a cart 95% of the time.  However, recent experiences made me question my assumption.

I started integrating the swing plane and weight shift on the course last round. The weight shift is working really well and creating better contact.  However, the back 9 saw similar problems as my experience at Erin Hills.  I didn’t shift my weight on 10, and subsequently, I pulled my approach low and left.  I did the same thing on 11.  My local course isn’t as penal as Erin Hills, so I still salvaged a decent round, but my lower body felt tired towards the end.

Every week, we hear the infomercials or announcers talk about a solid foundation. I always believed I possessed the solid foundation.  I am not in the best shape, but I am not terribly out of shape.  Last weekend it clicked though.  Hearing it after my experience helped me realize that even the slightest tiring can make a golf swing get out of sync.  Looking back, almost every round I feel like I lose my sync at some point during the round.  I sometimes get it back for a few holes, but many times, I finish without the same swing I started with.  My base may not be holding up to a full round.

My goal is a consistent golf swing, so being out of sync at the end of the round will definitely cause problems. I now realize that I need to integrate golf specific exercises into my routine.  I don’t plan on changing my routine yet, but after the end of the season, I will integrate off season training into my weekly schedule.

I purchased the Joey D workout program a few years ago and have multiple books on golf fitness. We still have nice weather here, so I have a little while longer to improve this season.  Come back to check out the plan I create for integrating both swing practice and golf fitness during the winter.  As the greats always say, great players are made during the off-season.  Enjoy the last few weekends of golf!

3 Easy Drills I Implemented to Crush My Slice

The joy and beauty of a finely struck golf shot is immeasurable. If you are like me, you strive for the shot to gently curve towards the target as a draw.  The most coveted shot in golf is the draw, and most amateurs struggle to hit it.  I fell into that category for a long time, but now, I consistently draw the ball.

Hitting a draw is similar to breaking a bad habit. It is difficult the first few times, but after a while, it is second nature.  I drink Dr. Pepper daily.  I know if I tried to cut that caffeine out of my system it would be a struggle, but after a few weeks, I would be fine.  I had the same experience learning to draw the ball.

After playing golf a few years, I finally took a lesson. My instructor painted a great picture for me related to swing plane.  He used the baseball analogy and taught me to hit the ball to “1st base”.  I worked on that move for a while, and it seemed to work.  I found a similar youtube video online from Brian Crowell that is a great refresher:

Unfortunately, I got busy and stopped working on drawing the ball. I didn’t play much golf for a few years, and I ended up coming from the outside again.  During a winter right after I started playing significantly, I went for a driver fitting.  An instructor in our area guarantees increased distance from either better fit club or better swing.  He bluntly told me I lose distance because the club comes from the outside.  Without a formal lesson, he told me I had to come from the inside to get better.

I began the next season determined to hit a draw. I spent a full day on the range hitting half punch shots to the right.  I remembered the baseball analogy and forced myself to start the ball extremely right.  After a few range sessions, it worked.  I could start the ball way right.  I then worked on squaring the clubface to get the draw, and that worked.  In less than 2 months, I consistently hit draws.  I use draw loosely because they were more like planned duck hooks, but the ball rarely crossed the target line.  Video of my swing showed the club came from the extreme inside.  Hank Haney has a good video illustrating a technique to get that path:

The best golf of my life followed. I hit longer shots and more GIRs.  I was on Cloud 9.  However, reality started to set in that my shot shape was extreme and my distance wasn’t consistent.  I believe drawing the ball is the best shot shape for amateurs, but watch out for quick fixes without more instruction.  After another session with the pro who fit me, he loved the swing plane, but he noticed huge flaws produced my draw.  I cupped the left wrist throughout, so my clubface was closed at the top.  He joked that I could serve drinks from the clubface it was so flat.  To compensate, I didn’t release the club through impact.  I held on hoping it didn’t turn over more and go too far left.

I loved the golf I played, but a problem arose when I didn’t play as often.  My timing got too far off and I missed both directions. I worked to try to flatten my wrist and release, but I became inconsistent.  I signed up for GolfTec, but you can read my previous post about how poorly that went.  I continued to drift farther and farther away from the draw.

I hit the breaking point this summer. I am focusing on weight shift, but I have a difficult time moving my hips independent of my shoulders.  As I got better shifting my weight, my club progressively moved more outside the target line in the downswing.  Since my weight shift is good, I am now working on adding the proper inside-out plane with the weight shift.  The focus reintroduced the closed club face in my backswing.  The continued dance of reacting to the new flaws brings me back around to near where I began.  Just like riding a bike, I have the draw back.  The goal now is a happy medium between 30 yard hooks to the target with lower trajectory and no stopping power and a high, short, stopping fade.  The following video is a great tool to force the inside-out swing:

Comment on the best tips or videos you use to create the gentle draw of your dreams.

Is It Possible to Improve Fairways and Be Disappointed?

Golf is a wonderful game with breathtaking views and fun with friends. Spending quality time outside and being more active is outstanding.  While beautiful, the golf swing is maddening.  Have you spent time making a change that causes other parts of the swing to go wrong?  It happens to me all the time, but the continual working generally leads to improvement.

My most recent round illustrated both the glimmer of hope and disappointment. I feel like my swing changes are creeping over to the golf course.  My fairways are showing improvement.  I played 9 holes and hit 4/7 fairways.  Over the last 7 rounds, I hit less than 50% of fairways only once, and in one round, I stuck over 70% of the fairways.

I am playing the majority of my approach shots from the short stuff. One key to success is in the bag.  Unfortunately, 1 key does not make a 9.9 handicap golfer, or right now, a 15 handicap golfer.  I am struggling to hit greens.  I haven’t hit more than 20% of GIR yet this season.  My approach shots must get better.  To drop my handicap, I need better iron play.

All of the sports psychologist information I read will now be put to the test. I know I can hit greens.  I know the swing is getting better each practice session.  I know the improvement is creeping into my game.  Every round with 3 or fewer GIRs is a little more frustrating though.  Honestly, it is easy to either scrap the current swing change and try to find a quick fix and/or lose hope in the process.

I resolve now to not abandon the current focus. The definition of insanity is to continually do the same thing hoping for different results.  The same thing for me is to try a new swing change when things don’t work.  I read about a new theory or think a different move will be better for me.  I then try to implement it the next range session.  The constant changing prevents lasting change.  I originally focused on my weight shift this summer.  The weight shift is getting much better, and I resolve to continue that progress.  I am now adding in a few repetitions focusing on swing plane with the weight shift.  Focusing on the small pieces will add up to a better swing in the long term.

I also know hope is not lost. Changes are hard to integrate and take more than a few rounds.  I played mid to low 80s 5-6 years ago.  I know how those scores feel, and I will stay confident those scores are in my near future.  The good news is I do see some good swings on the course.  My scores are decreasing over the last few months.  I plan to keep up all the positive self-talk and believe success is right around the corner.

While the old saying “fairways and greens” is more like “fairways and rough” for me right now, I can see a slight glimmer of light in the distance. I will keep going forward to get to that light.

Share my struggles on social media with others to get us all on the track to improvement.

Mid-Season Progress Report: Doom and Gloom or Starting the Climb?

Progress and improvement is portrayed like a math equation. Add a little work here, do a few drills there, and lower scores result.  Incremental progress is the goal, and every ounce of work should get us closer to the goal.  If that is the case, results should follow the same incremental approach, even if the results are slow.  My experience is the progress is more asynchronous.

I planned to improve by spending 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week on different aspects of golf. Check out my Current Handicap Page to see where my handicap started.  I set 2 goals.  The first was to lower my handicap from the 15.8 to 14 by the end of the season.  The close to 2 strokes seemed possible with the work on each aspect of my game.  I believe extra work should lower scores.

Unfortunately, my handicap is not dropping right now. As you see, my handicap is now at 17.  17!

HCP 7-22 2

Not only is it not going down 2 strokes, it is actually up 1.2 strokes. My mind raced when I saw my trend up.  Is it possible that my effort is making me worse?  Would I be better off not practicing?  Should I change my plan?  What should I do?

After thinking all those thoughts, I remembered the important goal of completing the progress. Most research indicates focusing on the result doesn’t normally lead to success.  Focusing on the process is what matters.  My current situation is the exact reason why process is the most important.  If I succumb to the idea that practice isn’t working or my effort is in vain, I will stop practicing or drastically change my plan.  Revisiting a plan is periodically necessary, but continual refocusing diminishes results.

The real question should be whether I completed my 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. The honest answer is the majority of the time I did.  I have weeks with 3 to 4 days, but over half the time, I get to 5 days a week.  The practice time and completion isn’t the problem.  If true, then maybe I am not doomed.

The bright side begins to light up. Comparing the score lists on my Current Handicap Page, I realize why my handicap rose this year.  My oldest 7 scores were calculated in my original handicap, and all those rounds happened in 2014.  Unless I played at a similar level, then my handicap would rise.  My handicap at the beginning of my process was not an accurate reflection of my current performance level.  The handicap was artificially low due to good scores from over 2 years ago.  I breathe a little easier.

I also notice my handicap differentials for this year. Since starting the process, my differentials are decreasing.  From the beginning of the year through June, my differentials ranged from 19-22.3.  My last 2 differentials in July dropped below 18.  Looking closer at the numbers, I am improving.

I also feel like I am improving. My contact is much better.  I am focusing on shifting my weight correctly to compress the ball.  My trajectory is up.  I hit my 5 wood and hybrid better than ever the last couple rounds, and my ball flight is much straighter.  My GIRs are slightly up over the last 5 rounds, and I am still hitting a similar number of fairways.  I am showing improvement.  This is exactly what I am looking for.

My handicap is up at the mid-point, but I believe the numbers indicate improvement. My handicap started artificially lower, and my last 5 rounds are showing improvement in all areas.  14 may not be realistic by the end of the season, but I should be able to get back in the 15 range.  However, I am not focused on that number.  My goal is to practice 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.  Share my story on facebook and twitter to help others continue the journey to improvement.

Struggle and Joy of My Last 2 Golf Rounds

Pure joy, frustration, exhilaration, anger, fist-pumping, despair, and anticipation for the next round can all describe my last 2 rounds on the golf course. Golf evokes the widest range of emotions in a short 3-4 hours.  I experienced all those emotions twice in the last few days.  I can’t wait to go back.

April and May are busy months for me, so I wasn’t able to play rounds. I stayed on track with my plan, but optishot simulation is as close to the course as I came.  Optishot is nice, but it isn’t the same as the course.

 

Round 1 – Choctaw Creek 

I played a round at Choctaw Creek on Day 1. Choctaw Creek isn’t the best maintained course, but I found a great deal on Golfnow.  Our region received significant rain the last couple weeks, so the fairways weren’t mowed low (or at all) and shots wouldn’t roll out.  It played much longer than the 6000 yards on the scorecard.

The round started exactly as planned. I scored well on the optishot recently, so my expectations are high.  I placed my first drive in the middle of the fairway.  Great start.  I hit the second shot poorly and left it short of the green.  Chipped it past the hole.  2 putt bogey.  Not terrible.

The second hole started a poor stretch. I pulled the drive way left.  I didn’t get close enough for a chip, so I pitched it over the green.  Couldn’t get up and down for bogey, so double.  Third hole is an uphill par 3.  I pulled an extra club because I wasn’t hitting the ball pure.  The shot landed short.  Chip up.  2 putt. Bogey.

The frustration begins bubbling. Every mishit or off target shot brings me closer to screaming.  I double 5 and 9.  Front 9 47.  Choctaw Creek is not a difficult course.  I take a deep breath and decide to make a swing change.  I know changing the swing mid-round is a terrible decision, but this swing is not working.

As my Golftec post indicated, I have multiple different instructors’ swing philosophies duct taped together for my swing. I can tell I am out of sync and trying to manipulate the club with my hands.  My lower body and shoulders turn faster than my hands move, so I get stuck.  My shots are either wide right or hooks left.  2 way misses are unplayable.  I decided I would swing what felt like only halfway back to keep everything in sync.

In the age of instant gratification, the change tested my patience. Hole 11 and 12 were terrible.  I tripled both holes.  However, I struck the ball more solid.  My short game contributed a few of those strokes.  My swing was more in sync.  Pure strikes built confidence and my short game touch came back.  I played the next 6 holes in 3 over par with 3 one-putts.  I didn’t hit any GIRs, but I placed the ball close enough to get up and down.  I strolled to 18 tee box planning to hit my last fairway, and I did.  I still missed the green with an iron, but an up and down finished off the round with a par!  92 isn’t what I wanted, but only 3 over on the last 7 holes is exactly what I needed.

 

Round 2 – Guthrie Country Club

I found another good deal on Golfnow for Guthrie Country Club for the following day. The course is only a 9 hole course, but the slope is 133.  The greens are tiny.  The fairways are tree lined.  The course is better maintained than Choctaw Creek, but the recent rain still meant the grass wasn’t short.

I finished strong yesterday, so I walked to the first tee knowing today would be better. The first hole is a long par 3.  I struck a 5 wood reasonably well, but it landed short.  Chipped up and 2 putted for bogey.  The greens are moving a little slow, and my putter must be open at impact.  All my putts fall right at the hole.

The 2nd hole is a short par 4.  I crush a driver down the middle of the fairway.  I flush a wedge to 30 feet.  2 putts and a par.  My first GIR in 2 days.  The joy is growing.  The feeling of halfway back still works.  Hitting it solid also means I am not losing distance.

Everything feels and looks better after an easy par. Then the 3rd hole happened.  Crushed driver, but it faded too far right.  I proceeded to hit every tree on the right of the fairway before finally taking my double.  I proceeded with bogey, bogey, double, double, double.  The exhilaration is gone.

I am on 9 with despair. My fix isn’t working.  All my shots are pull hooks.  I finally realize on 8 that I am significantly closing the clubface in the downswing while also pulling left, so I hit numerous pull hooks.  Something must change.  Again, I uncharacteristically make a slight tweek on 9.  I focus on the club exiting right.  I can handle the draw or hook as long as it starts enough right.  I hit a pure 4 hybrid with a baby draw.  The gentle breeze brought it back towards the pin to 20 feet.  2 putt par to finish the firsts 9 at 46.  Not ideal, but progress is possible.

I played another 9 to get my 18 holes in. The back 9 got better, but I struggle with consistency.  The reason making swing changes doesn’t work on the course is because the changes won’t happen every swing.  My swing and emotions flipped back and forth with nearly every shot.  I had great drives down the middle but mishit the approach.  I had 3 doubles on the back, but also managed 2 pars going into 9.

My confidence rose walking to the 9 tee box. Water lines the right, but I hit such a beautiful shot the first time.  I knew I could do it again. I pull the same hybrid, make the same smooth swing exiting right, and the shot came off the club even better.  My ProV1 starts just right of the flag.  A small curve left and lands 15 feet short and right.  The ball rolls towards the hole and stops 3 feet short.  Great Shot!  I loved it.  I sped to the green.  I line up the 3 footer and sink the birdie!  Great finish.  2nd 9 43 for an 89.

Immediate results with huge score drops don’t happen. I am happy I scored better my second round.  I know my focus now.  Feel like half swing to stay in sync.  Club exits right, and I should focus on club hitting ground after ball.  Improving those areas will consistently give me a chance to score well.

 

Sign up with your email to follow along my progress. Good luck in your next round.

Executing and Assessing My Golf Improvement Plan

I love to eat, and I definitely love to eat a variety of foods. Quality buffets (yes, there are a few) are among my favorites because I can pile my plate high.  I put everything on my plate with huge expectations, and then, I fail to eat everything.  My eyes are always bigger than my stomach.  Our practice expectations succumb to similar problems.  After buffet style planning, executing and evaluating our execution are the next steps to success.

 

Executing the Plan

Top sports psychologist continually profess the need to focus on the process and execute a clear plan. We all hit great shots that take bad bounces or have putts hop on bumpy muni greens.  Focusing on what we can control is important, so we must focus on the process.

The key to execution is following the plan. My plan is to spend 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week practicing.  The plan is fool proof.  30 minutes is easy to find in a day, right?  I spent 3 weeks so far trying to follow the plan.

You should write down or make mental notes of the progress for evaluation, so I noted a few patterns. I don’t get my 30 minutes on days with kids’ sporting events.  30 minutes seems easy, but working and the sport make getting through anything else difficult.  However, I can spend time at the course with my son for longer than an hour and work on chipping and putting.  Doing both doesn’t follow spaced repetition as well, but I practice the same amount of time on the short game.

 

Assessing My Execution

Execution is easier said than done. We must now assess whether our eyes were bigger than the time to practice throughout the week.  30 minutes a day sounds easy, but work, kids’ games, and life can take up every extra minute.

When assessing execution, analyze:

  • Did I complete the tasks in the plan
  • Were the tasks effective
  • Do I need to adjust the plan or tasks

 

 

Completing the Tasks

I succeeded week 1!! The first week is also when motivation and intention peaks.  Unfortunately, I didn’t succeed in week 2 or 3.  I made it to 4 days of 30 minutes in Week 2, and Week 3 fell to 3 days.  3 days is more than before my plan, but I need to determine whether to change my plan.  Psychologists say continually failing will decrease motivation, so if I set myself up for failure, I won’t continue the journey for the long term.

Week 2 included 4 days of at least 30 minutes, and I only missed my chipping day. Week 3 missed a short game day (either chipping or putting since I did both one night) and the round.  Looking back, I want to say Week 2 and 3 were abnormally busy, but those weeks were probably similar to my normal week.

 

Tasks Effective

Completing the plan is great, but the tasks must improve my golf swing. I do believe the interleaving tasks helped me.  At the range and my house, I continually change clubs.  Switching forces me to focus on the new setup, swing, etc.  I perform each swing more deliberately.  Putting practice is harder at home, but I worked on starting the putt on line.  In a future post, I will discuss the different indoor putting work I do without true roll, but starting the putt online is helping.  As I said a couple weeks ago, the optishot helps with simulation.  I like switching clubs and creating the pressure of a round.  I normally play online with someone, so I have the added pressure of winning.  The tasks are working.

 

Adjust Plan

3 Weeks is a short period to make adjustments, so I will continue to note whether I can execute. I will continue to update my progress.  To stay the most up to date, sign up below to get the newest information as I post it.

 

Everyone enjoy the nice golf weather!



Powered by WP Email Capture

Is the Optishot a Good Improvement Tool or Just a Fun Game?

The beauty of #7 at Pebble Beach.  The danger of #17 at Sawgrass.  The Road Hole at the home of golf.  I played all of them, in my house.  The Optishot provides a great opportunity to play historic courses, but can that experience help improve your normal Saturday round?  I believe the answer is unequivocally yes.  Optishot measures face angle and club path extremely well.  Most golfers can get better by improving swing plane and face angle.  Optishot will help with those.  I played a round a couple weeks ago and was frustrated because I thought the sensors were off.  My shots were either blocks or duck hooks.  I went to the range a couple days later, and shockingly, I either blocked or hooked my first 20 shots.  The Optishot was completely accurate with my ball flight.

The Optishot is also a great tool for practice because it integrates interleaving practice. Load up one of the courses, which are good replicas of places I want to play, and play a round.  Each shot is slightly different with a different club.  I get to practice chipping, pitching, and putting.  The simulation and score creates the pressure and focus of a normal round.  This is a great tool.

Optishot does have drawbacks. The most accurate reading is path and face angle.  The sensors don’t detect fat vs. thin shots because it is reading the club, not the ball.  For that reason, the trajectory isn’t accurate.  You will most likely get a favorable trajectory, which makes holding greens easier.  The club speed isn’t precise, but that is adjustable.  Putting is obviously easier with a putting grid to read greens.  For all those reasons, most players score much better on the Optishot.

Scoring better isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I compare Optishot scores only to other Optishot scores, so I still get the benefit of simulation.  My focus right now is plane and face angle, so this is ideal for me.  I concede there are far more accurate simulators, but for amateurs, the Optishot provides the information needed for improvement.  I highly recommend the Optishot.

My latest round on the Optishot was my best ever!  The fairway looked wide on every tee box. The pin locations were accessible for all approaches.  The greens rolled smooth and straight.  Have you ever had your shots go exactly where you wanted each time?

I hit a sweet draw down the middle of the fairway on #1.  The shot felt good.  I put the approach on the green and 2 putted for a nice par.  The tee shot on #2 landed in the middle of the fairway.  My wedge shot landed close, and I 1 putted for birdie!  I thought, “if I stop now, technically, I shoot under par.”  The round started perfect.

The perfect start laid the foundation for the round.  I hit a wild tee shot to the right of the par 5 3rd that bounced off a house (no problem since fake, right?).  The second shot hit the house again and went backwards.  The third shot landed right of the green, but I chipped it close to get up and down for par.  Even the bad shots were manageable.  At that point, I knew the rest of the round would be smooth.

I finish the front 9 with another birdie and a bogey for a 35. 1 under on the front, which is my best 9 holes on the Optishot.

OS f9crop

The back 9 could derail the round.  A par on 10, but then, I hit my 2nd shot in the water on #11.  I doubled 11, and for the first time all night, I was over par.  The next hole would determine the success of the back 9.  I hit a great drive on the short par 5.  My 2nd nestled just off the green.  An easy up and down for a bounce back birdie!  Even par through 12.  I have a chance to beat my previous best of 76.

I birdie the short par 4 14th and par 3 17th.  I get to 2 under going to 18.  In my mind, I think, “bogey or better finishes under par and anything less than 10 beats my previous record.”  Terrible thought.  I should have focused on making a good swing and trying to par or birdie.  Instead, I tried to avoid a blow up hole.  Trying to avoid disaster almost caused disaster.  I hooked a tee shot left, and then hit my approach even farther left. I faced a tough shot to get on the green in 3, but I made it.  2 putts for bogey and a 1 under 71!  My thoughts probably cost me 1 shot in the end, but I will take my first under par round on Optishot.

OS2b92

Sign up for my emails to be the first to see if I can break my record.

Week 1: Success!!! (and struggle)

The key to improvement is focusing on the process, so I am excited to say I succeeded in following my plan last week!  I had 5 or more days of at least 30 minutes of practice.  Monday I worked on myhappy-face_veer_3x4 full swing without a ball, Tuesday was putting, Wednesday was off, Thursday was on the range, 16 holes walking on Friday, 36 holes on Optishot on Saturday, and Sunday off.  I didn’t have the specific short game session, but I had an extra round, which had a ton of short game shots.  Success!

With every success though, comes the struggle.  My round on Friday was bad.  I didn’t record an official score because I wasn’t putting out to get through more holes on a twilight round.  My estimate is a 48 on the front 9.  I missed most of the fairways and all the greens.  The swing wasn’t there, but I know the process will get enough spaced repetition to make the improvements.

Now, time for week 2.  Post any successes you had last week in the comments.