It’s time to start plugging rounds in again. I’ve spent some time (since early February) working on swing aspects and was not putting in rounds for a bit in the thought that I wanted to just work on the course instead of focussing on score. Now, I need to spread the focus out and do both scoring and non-scoring rounds.
But, don’t get me wrong, I have played a lot of rounds for score over the past 3 months, just in different ways. About half of the rounds that were played in that time were matches against much more experienced golfers than I and there have been things riding on the round from a couple bucks to lunches or sleeves of balls. Playing with consequences is extremely important for learning how to focus and to get over bad shots. Any time I am playing these rounds I will also determine beforehand if it’s an on-course practice round (important to have rounds where you drop multiple balls from different locations and to learn shots) or a scoring round.
Starting next week I will try and play at least two rounds a week specifically for score to see what happens with the handicap from now on. I really appreciate all of the comments about this from back when I took a short hiatus from this. I had wanted to only record tournament rounds to establish a tournament handicap, but they are too few at this point, so I need to record regular rounds in order to firmer establish my handicap so I can enter tourneys with a more realistic handicap.
I have been, slowly, reading through Josh Waitzkin’s The Art of Learning still and recommend it for anyone trying to improve in any aspect of life. It’s a great book and there are so many parallels between his pursuits and the one that I am on. Currently, I am on the chapter talking about his move from chess to Tai Chi and his insight on the proprioception needed for building martial arts skills is so similar to those I am trying to build for the golf swing. (He was an eight-time national chess champion as a child and then after getting overwhelmed by press after the movie of his childhood came out “Searching for Bobby Fischer” he lost focus on chess and found himself learning hand-to-hand combat in Tai Chi, which he took to the highest level, winning several World Championship titles.) He speaks of generating power from the ground and slowly learning how to shift power through the body. Eventually, he learns how to shorten his movements while generating the same amount of power. The same is true in golf. At first, I would take the largest swing possible when I wanted to hit the ball far. Now, my swing feels like 75 percent, but I have been gaining distances with all of the clubs. Golf is such a game of opposites. What feels like less is often more and the secret is to generate effortless power, allowing the club face to propel through the ball without over-swinging. It’s truly an art form and one that takes years to develop.
No matter what, hitting the ball in the center of the club face is still the most important aspect of striking the ball
The CBS story was pretty solid yesterday. Thank you all for watching it. I will post a link soon in case you missed it. There is one currently posted on The Dan Plan’s Facebook account: facebook.com/thedanplangolf. Tomorrow I will be speaking on NPR at some point. Not sure when, but I will try and post that as soon as possible, too. If you enjoy the story and have been following along, please check out the donations page. I feel bad about asking or pandering for funds, but there are no sponsors and The Dan Plan is, at it’s heart, a community supported project. I apologize for asking, but have to mention it every once in a while.
Time to get to the course. It has been sunny here in Portland for the past week and there’s nothing better than taking advantage of the rare sunny Spring days in the Pacific Northwest.
Have a great weekend!