Saturday, July 12, 2014


Now that my big summer tournament has come and gone, I am a little bit aimless. Although I'm a little relieved now that I can resume my summer "off-season"--you know, take a break from all the sweat and sunscreen and slow-ass foursomes and what not.

I enjoyed playing the tourney as well as--in a perverse way--all the stress and worry that went into prepping for it. It was good to have an objective--really inspired me to practice with some purpose. I needed something to propel the pedals on all those uptown trips to the Randall's Island driving range.

The full swing, the thing I was the most paranoid about, held up alright. I hit a third of greens in regulation and drove it into good positions on all but one hole. However I did notice myself overswinging all day, probably on account of nerves. I didn't quite bring the smooth range-swing over to the first tee. But my fundamentals, sweated over for the past few months, were sound enough that I couldn't totally screw things up with my animalistic lurching at the ball.

A few other weaknesses were laid bare during the round. For a couple days after the round I beat myself up pretty bad for shanking two dead simple chips, both with a 9-iron. What killed me emotionally was that if I simply manage to avoid the fucking hosel in both those instances (never mind hitting a good chip) I could've had the second place podium all to myself. I mean come on, that is not a lot to ask, even from a sorry teen 'capper.

But I see it clear now. I totally deserved what I got. That very same type of shank--with a short iron, out of the rough--had happened before. Only I never bothered to get to the root of the problem, to understand the mechanics of it.

I see now that the fatal flaw was a simple case of taking the club back too far inside, and then from there swinging it out towards right field rather than following the path of an open stance and shoulders. Pretty basic stuff; was that so friggin' hard? No. And there were opportunities to address this snafu when it came up in the past, but like a chump I tried instead to stuff it in the closet, write it off as some sort of random goblin that just appears for no reason--maybe if I just ignore it hard enough it'll go away.

So philosophically speaking those two shanks didn't just happen during the tournament--they had been spawned much earlier and were simply gestating, lying in wait for me to make that inside-out stroke again.

There were a couple other issues that slapped me in the face during that round. For one I'm now hitting it too high with the mid and short irons. This is a one-dimensional way to play and a liability in the wind. Twice on that day I struck approach shots solidly with full-bore swings, and they ballooned straight upwards into headwinds and fell short. So now, I practice hitting it lower. Also I am still a bit clenched while putting, still kind of putting with a bit of fear instead of the balls-out arrogance needed to get it in the hole.

Also remembered that the sun was unmerciful and by the end of the round my retinas felt blasted. If only there was some product that could sort of shield the eyes from the effects of the terrible fireball. I'll have to look into it. Maybe I need to tap into my inner Na Yeon Choi and rock some kind of robo-eye protection on the course. I guess this is what happens when you get old--you start griping about things like sunlight.

Going forward I'll lay out a couple of goals to shoot for. First I have to score myself out of the teens. With all due respect to the teen handicap lifers, I need out of here. I am getting close--currently 13.4. The other thing is, for my own morale it'd be great to break 80 for 18 holes and hopefully do it before the summer's over. It has been too long.

Now, I shall take a little break from Marine Park. It is the best course in this golf-forsaken city but the commute is excruciating, for this Manhattan guy at least. In summer beach season the bus fills up to full capacity at Rockaway Beach, rendering the whole busline useless to anyone else along the route; it's a whole thing. It's going to be nice not having to swim against the massive Brooklyn/Queens human currents just trying to get to the course and back home.

1 comment:

  1. No matter. T- 2 is a great showing.



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