What a week. Fourth of July and Mary opened a bakery! She has been working so amazingly hard over the past month to get everything ready. It’s truly inspiring to see her go and amazing to see what it takes to turn an empty concrete box into a beautiful bakery:
I’m very proud of her for working so hard and growing her food cart into a full-on bakery on Mississippi street. It has, by no means, been an easy journey and she still has a lot to do, but the shop is up and running and they have had a good first week so far. And, watching her work 15 hours a day every day has encouraged me to push myself harder both on the course and in the gym, which is a good thing as I have been eating my share of pie
Go check it out if you are in the area, it is located near the corner of Mississippi Street and Skidmore, across from Prost. The menu: http://thehoneypotbakery.com/menu/
It’s awesome where hard work can get you. In golf, though, it’s not always just the hours that make a difference. It is easy to head down the wrong direction as our proprioception throughout the swing is limited because of the duration of the event. So, it is imperative to have a good coach show you the way. For me, at the end of every Bruce Furman lesson I am hitting the ball like a champ. Consistently shaping it how I want, hitting it far and better understanding all aspect of my golf swing. It is merely my inability to consistently reproduce this new swing over the next few days on the range and course that is holding me back from a huge boost in my game. That is learning; it is taking a great teacher’s lessons and implementing them in real life. It doesn’t come quickly, but with an appropriate number of reinforcement swings it will surely become the new ingrained motion pattern.
This is why change is hard, because it can take someone telling you what to do over and over before it seeps into the new you. You have to stick with it and trust the process and the only way to do that is to have faith in your teacher. I believe in the direction that Bruce is taking my swing and am dedicating myself to making sure that I ingrain it completely.
It hasn’t been the easiest transition, either. Over the past two months I have struggled with hitting the ball and my misses have been wider than I can remember at any point over the past two years. A lot of this is because of the nature of the golf swing: It happens in the blink of an eye and to execute successfully a lot of movements need to align in perfect order during that split second. And, a round takes place over a four hour stretch of time where it is very easy to have the mind wander or to lose focus for one swing. When that swing is grooved it’s easier to produce a decent result during that focus lapse, but when you are working on change it is imperative to be fully engaged at every moment or reverting to an old habit comes quickly.
For me, the old habit has been a flip of the wrists. My old swing was flat and came from the inside where I would get the club trapped behind my body and have to flip my wrists to time the club face correctly. The new swing is more neutral and allows me to have a straighter wrist through impact. On the course, when I don’t consciously think about not flipping my wrists that habit naturally happens and I snap hook the ball. The longer I work with Bruce and the more time I invest in this new move the less frequently this happens.
Yesterday I had an “a-ha!” moment out on the range. I finally, after about 9 weeks, understood what my new swing should feel like. It was an absolutely wonderful moment and taking it to the course I actually hit 6 of the first 11 greens, including 2 of the 3 par 3s I played. A HUGE improvement over what my game has been like over the past 6 months.
Up until that moment and those 14 holes yesterday my confidence over tee shots was approaching a career low. My misses were so wide and I didn’t understand what I was doing right or wrong, it had been a hit and hope type scenario. But, I do believe the tides are turning and the breakthrough that I have been working so hard for is about to happen. I’ve transformed my swing quite a bit and although it may not be fully grooved for some more time I am at the stage where I now understand what it feels like to do it right and why my misses go the direction that they do.
I owe this knowledge to Bruce and everything he has done to teach me about the golf swing. There is a ton more ground to cover, but having someone like him there to show me which direction to head is the only way to make this possible. You have to have a good coach. They will tell you what to do and then the ball is in your court as to whether you will implement their lessons or continue down the same path you were already on. Again, faith in that coach is the only way to move forward. If you are questioning their decisions and have doubts in their abilities then it is time to step away and find someone else.
To close, here are some images from the new club, starting with the hole that gave me the first birdie at Riverside, number 5:
A rather nice par 3:
Finally, a very tough second shot: