Winter’s Bones

I suppose it’s officially the golfing winter here in Portland, OR seeing as the GHIN (the national system for score keeping in golf) registration system stopped taking scores yesterday and will not come back online until March 1.  This makes sense because most people/places play “winter rules” through this time of year and if you are improving your lie you shouldn’t be counting your scores.  And, with the weather and conditions how they are I can see that people could get frustrated posting higher numbers throughout the winter even while improving their lies.

For my purpose, though, I wish that I could keep posting without a break, although I think this is a blessing in disguise.  It is much harder to make necessary changes in your swing if you know that each shot counts and you are going to post the round.  During the summer, I was posting everything and once I got into the round I found myself reverting, on way too many occasions, to old habits that I knew “worked” instead of sticking with a new swing or swing thought.  I definitely worked on things off of the course and would bring new swing techniques to the round, but there were plenty of times when a crucial shot was in front of me that I found myself going back to something that I wanted to remove from my game because I knew how it would perform at that moment.

Now, I have a couple of months where I can’t register and this is going to allow me a break from score keeping in order to get to the important swing mechanic work that I need to do.  The winter is a great time to adjust, grow and workout.  The summer is for playing and learning how to score.

In a nutshell, this is a type of naturally structured periodization training.  What is that?  In the simplest form (ie wikipedia):

Periodization is an organized approach to training that involves progressive cycling of various aspects of a training program during a specific period. It is a way of alternating training to its peak during season. The aim of periodization is to introduce new movements as one progresses through the macrocycle to specify one’s training right up until the start of the season.

Tiger uses this to make sure that he is at the pinnacle of his game for each Major.  Right now, I am going to use it so that I have all of the kinks out and am in the best shape physically, mentally and swing-wise by next Spring.  There will be a ton of tournaments next year and now is when I need to make the changes I need to make in order to perform better than I did this year.  Improving, one season at a time.

This past year was for getting the feet wet.  I played my first full round with a full set, learned what it meant to shoot in the mid-70s and played in my first single and multiple day tournaments.  I know so much more about the world of golf and tournament golf now and I know what I need to do to perform better next year in every event I play in.

I’m going to hit the greens running this winter.  There is a lot of work to do and I’m excited to do it.  Preparing for the season is what the off-season is for.  Let the preparatory phase begin.

For an example of what I am working on, check out this photo, it explains a lot.  I’m on the right:

Being a right arm dominant person playing golf as a lefty definitely has some plusses and minuses, but that is an entirely different blog that I will post soon..

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