Lifetime on the Course: Golf in Streaks

June 10, 2013

Golf is an odd game. It seems that, as soon as you have it figured out, it eludes your grasp. We’ve all been there. You tell yourself to do something a certain way that’s different than what you did before, and it works. The light bulb goes on. Then, the remainder of your practice and rounds are spent working on that one thing–to a fault. Eventually, you’ve so overemphasized that one little swing thought that you have to try to undo it and go back to what you were probably correctly doing before. While we all might benefit from a lesson with a pro who is familiar with our games at a point like that, nonetheless, expense or time seem always to get the best of us.

Still, the ride is fun while it lasts.

About a year and a half ago, I posted of such a time in POTW 23. The ballstriking was on, and, but for a few really bad greens, I probably would have been posting some amazing numbers.

But truly good golf is something different. It’s not just a streak. Truly good golf is finding ways to play your best when you don’t have the whole package. And, lately, that’s what it feels like for me. I can’t say what’s different. I know that I’ve changed my mental approach to where now I no longer need a perfect drive to set up an approach to the green, and, often, from bad lies I’m willing to miss the green in the right spot to get up and down for par. Maybe after 20 years of playing, I’ve finally figured out what to do.

Truth is, I think it’s a complex mix of mechanics, equipment changes, and mental attitude. Altogether, it’s working. Three weeks ago, I shot a -2 69 (34-35) on a local muni. I played it again a few days later and shot a very poor 76 (36-40) that was very much hindered by slow play of juniors and seniors around the course. I played 9 holes with a friend and shot 34 (E par) on another muni and then played the same course a few days later, shooting 37-37 (+4). Then, this morning, I played the first muni again and shot -1 70 (34-36).

All of this has been done in very different ways. Some days, it’s lots of GIR. Some days, it’s scrambling. Today, it was 25 putts and nailing them down from everywhere. Even with lost balls, shots in the woods, you name it–I’m finding ways to stay around the E line.

Now, I take this with a grain of salt. All of this golf has been on a couple of pretty easy muni courses. But I’m encouraged by the play. Either way, I know it won’t last forever–and it doesn’t have to. Enjoying this ride while I’m on it is what the game is all about. There may be a bad streak some time (The Doldrums), so it’s important to enjoy the good times while they’re around.

Thank God that, for once, my good rounds are coinciding with non-aerated greens!

Here are the scores for nostalgia:
scores

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3 Responses to “Lifetime on the Course: Golf in Streaks”

  1. Slade Says:

    First off, nice job! Have you always used 5w from the tee on a regular basis or is this a new thing? Just curious

    • JK Says:

      I actually haven’t owned a 5w in the past. I actually played Dr and then 4w for a long time. Eventually, I threw in a 3w and played Dr, 3w, 4w for awhile. The 5w I use now replaces the yardage of the 4w I used to use. It’s around 255 give or take a bit. Oddly, for this course, it is pretty much the ideal club. There are a lot of places on this course where driver or 3w is just too much and brings a lot of trouble into play unnecessarily. For example, hole 7 is a short, straight hole (although listed at 429 on the card, it usually plays about 360, as the tees are rarely on the back perch). There’s a creek running diagonally accross the fairway from about 95 yards out on the right side to about 35 yards out on the left side. Driver brings it into play. 3w brings it into play on the right side. But just aim at the bridge (on the left side) and hit a cut 5w and you’ll be perfect every time.

      my more traditional setup, however, is Dr, 3w, and then 3-PW, so 5w is almost not a staple in my bag anyway. It really help you understand–set up your equipment for the course you’re playing and you’ll be in better shape. Here, I play D, 3, 5 and then 4-PW.

      • Slade Says:

        Thanks for the reply. Earlier in the season (I’m in Michigan), I hit more 4w off the tee and shot pretty well for early season golf. I strayed from that and your article made me reconsider it. Thank you!


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