I’m spending today lying on the couch. It has been a long long time since I simply didn’t do anything for an entire day, but my body is aching and I have some bad pains in my chest, a cough, stuffy head and all that junk that comes with whatever virus has settled into my lungs. It’s most likely a common cold and I would usually push through it, but when I woke up today I knew I needed to take it easy to allow the body to rest and heal.
The last time I felt like I do today was during the Men’s Journal interview back in summer 2011. I literally lost my voice half way through the day and had to resort to writing notes so that the journalist, Gavin, could get his questions answered. In retrospect, It was a comical scene and we have managed to stay friends since that story.
Today is a good day to try and figure out the best ideas moving forward. I have the entire afternoon to write, read and ponder on progress both past and future. It’s a quiet day and a reflective one.
The first thoughts that came to mind when thinking about ways to continue to improve was chipping and putting, especially the latter. Lately I have not felt my putting stroke and I have not been putting up to the standards I have set for myself. Some of that is due to the fact that I have been working on the full swing for so long that a bit of the other aspects have suffered, and part of it is just a cyclical confidence issue. When you are rolling it hot you don’t think about it and tend to drop a lot of putts. Once you start missing you think about it more and get overly nit-picky about the stroke and focus too much on mechanics instead of just finding your line.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a bad roller of the rock nor am I in a putting funk, just have been missing a couple of putts per round that I think I should make and haven’t really been dropping anything outside of about 5 feet. Some of this might be due to the fact that the greens on a lot of courses have been punched and sanded and some because my alignment is out of whack. When I saw Bruce on Wednesday he noticed that my shoulders had gotten closed to my intended line so there is some concrete setup issues to unkink. Outside of that, I must remember to continue to improve the basics even if my main focus has transitioned to a different part of the game. In order to succeed all things must be improving, not just what you are focussing on that week.
It is important to have specific goals and you can’t always work on everything, but don’t allow yourself to lapse on anything in particular. I’ve always had a goal of being one of the best putters in the game and there have been times when my putting was rock solid, but over the past few weeks my stats have gone south in that arena. Now is a good opportunity to pick it back up and drop those birdies.
Yesterday I played in a 4 man tourney at Riverside. When I woke up I didn’t want to play as I was feeling crappy, but I had signed up as part of a team and wasn’t going to cancel at the last minute. With a head full of cough medicine and a belly full of what Riverside calls meatloaf we all went out and teed it up starting on a lightly rainy 17th hole. As a team we played great, Eric had 4 birds, Mick 2, Tom 1 and me 1 and we pretty much ham and egged the entire day to shoot a good score on the 2 ball best ball (they take the best two balls for each hole out of the four of us). There were only one or two holes where 2 of us didn’t get par or better and despite all shooting 78-84 we were second gross and first net for the event. It was really just a fun round as the competition was as light as the Spring drizzle, but I was proud of the team for sticking to it and finishing strong.
Personally, I shot 78 with a couple of missed short putts and some chips that led to two-putts which were easily avoidable. The short game woes may just have easily been from the swimming head as from lack of consistent chipping and putting drills over the past month. It’s hard to say, but after each round I am upset with myself for not taking better advantage of some good opportunities. In particular, I never like leaving birdie chips/putts short of the hole and need to improve that. At least give it a shot to drop. And, I seriously need to focus on making 6-12 foot putts as I have had numerous birdie putts from that distance lately and far too few make the bottom of the cup. It has been a long time since I had more than 2 birdies consistently in any single round and even though I have limited the number of bogeys or worse per round I am not scoring as well as I could be due to those situations.
Luckily there is a very easy solution to this: work and work harder. I need to rediscover my putting routines and spend more time on the greens, especially as my swing is starting to shape up better.
On a side note, the trip to NYC was postponed for 2-3 weeks. We will be heading over there soon, but couldn’t do it this week due to some unforeseen conflicts.
Also, I have been testing the Game Golf tool lately and have a few rounds in there to share on the site. But, I’m not exactly sure how to do that yet. Will discuss with their tech people and post something soon.
Back to resting. I want to get out tomorrow and work on putting and chipping so need this body in better shape than today. One day down for rest is okay, anything more is unacceptable.