There is a good bit to talk about right now.
First off, I got my new Driver, Fairway wood and 3/4 hybrid this week. They are pretty awesome and feel great in the swing, I really feel like I can trust the clubs to get into the correct position in the swing. My old ones had more flex in the shafts (too much for my swing) and it always felt like the club would either snap out too quickly or still be stuck behind me at the moment of impact. With these I can put a good swing on and the clubs will do the rest, it’s a great feeling.
But… There is a bit of adjustment period in front of me, especially for the driver. My new one went down to 9.5 degree from 10.5 and during the fitting we realized that I was actually hitting down on the ball 3 degrees, which is not ideal in any way as if you hit up on the ball you get more distance and it is more inclined to produce topspin which releases the ball for good roll. Up to now, when I hit a solid drive the ball either plugs or actually rolls back a couple of feet due to putting 5,000 rpms of spin on it. The new one was spinning at 3,000 which is more ideal. At any rate, it will take some range work and course time to get the feel for the new swing, but when I do hit it as I want to I am already getting 20 more yards on my drives. It feels awesome and I love having less club in my hand on the second shot.
The handicap system just refreshed and over the past two weeks I have played some solid golf, so my new handicap is 6.1, down from 7.4 just two weeks ago and down from 8.6 before that. I don’t expect such huge jumps to continue, but I still don’t feel like I am playing to the level that I am capable of. Course management and staying away from OB will be instrumental from here on out. As I learn how to play the right stick off the tee and keep the ball dry the numbers will keep going lower.
I did have a goal of hitting a 3 handicap by 3,000 hours and I didn’t quite get to that level, but I’m extremely happy with my progress over the past 1,000 hours. I’m not going to predict where I will be at the 4,000 hour mark, but the sky is the limit now that I have clubs fit for my swing and actually know how to swing them.
My immediate goal for the remainder of the summer is to learn how to work the ball with the driver. In particular, find my go-to driver swing and develop a feel for what it means to hit a drive. I know what it feels like to hit a good iron, chip and putt, but have not spent enough time with the longer clubs and it shows. I’ve had a driver for about 7.5 months now, but am just starting to understand what you have to do with that stick to hit it correctly. It’s a long process, but developing a feel for the clubs is the best way to being a solid golfer. Anyone (way too many people offer advice) can tell you how to properly hit a club, but until you “know” it yourself you can’t reproduce the swing when it counts. So this summer is going to be spent learning how to get off the tee. I spent 5 months just putting and am not going to reproduce that with the driver, but will spend an hour each day developing that stick. If you can drive well and putt well you can play solid golf.
To change the subject, I’ve been worrying a bit about money lately. It’s never been part of the plan to make money doing this by any means, but I have been trying to figure out ways of finding a sponsor to allow me to continue my training over the next 5 years. To date, I have supported myself solely with savings from my previous career and most of that savings has been in the stock market, which, to say the least, has been a bumpy ride over the past 2 years. It’s actually been a lot like my golf progress: steadily up, but with a lot of lulls and valleys that had to be pushed through with time. Every couple of months I have to sell some of my holdings in order to support the project and since it’s been 26 months of Dan Plan to date, a lot of those have been depleted. I don’t foresee having to stop in the next year, but dwindling funds are always an extra pressure. I figured that with all of the publicity the plan has been getting someone would want to jump in and support the project. Perhaps the right company/person hasn’t been found yet, there is still plenty of time and people to chat with.
Here’s a pick of my new sticks. The irons are still to come:
Also, I will post the answer to how many golf balls I have hit in the first 3,000 hours of The Plan early next week. Thank you for all of the guesses!