Monday, December 12, 2005

89 at Club West

I shot an 89 at Club West last weekend. My chipping and putting went well, which is good because I have been practicing my chipping at least. My irons weren't as good as I would like...in fact I had to take one extra club on my iron shots. My driving wasn't the best either, but it has been worse. I scheduled a lesson (my last of this group of lessons) with Blair on Friday. I hope to get more consistent and confident in my driving and irons.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Video

I video taped myself today. It was kind of embarassing, but provided some needed feedback that I can't get in any other way.

My putting looked good. I might be able to get more over the ball, but then that is very straining on the back.

My full swing looked pretty good, but I noticed three things:
1) My take away isn't a "one piece" take away. In other words there is too much wrist action on the take away.
2) I still have some "casting" of the club on the downswing.
3) I am not fully transferred onto my left foot at impact. My right heel should be an inch or two off the ground. I am about even weighted between both feet at impact. That is probably why I hit behind the ball alot, or "chunk" it.

Ocotillo


My father-in-law got a free foursome to Ocotillo as a consolation for paying out the nose for the wedding. We went with my co-worker and friend, Med, and a new friend we met golfing at Longbow named Everardo.

It was a beautiful day...a little overcast, so I didn't need shades and the temperature was perfect...low 70's. I wish my score reflected the temperature, but again I got a 90. Jimmy was right on my tail with a 91. I got one birdie and a couple of pars. I only had one real "blow-up" hole, which was a 7 on a par 3!

My irons and my chipping were pretty good, but it was my driving and putting that I felt were a bit off. Jimmy's drives were great! He was in the fairway on almost every drive.

The only negative thing I can say about the experience is that the ranger rushed us a bit and we were playing at a good pace I felt. We were keeping up with a twosome in front of us. The twosome behind us was waiting for us quite a bit, but come on! They're a twosome! We were a foursome!

It was a great time! Great course! Beautiful weather!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Longbow


My father-in-law, Jimmy, purchased a Longbow Flight Card that allows him and 3 other guests to pay only $40 for 18 holes of golf (cart included). So, we went on Saturday to try it out. Jimmy had played the course five times before, but for me it was my first time. The course was challenging and it was in good shape. I liked the views of the Superstition Mtns. from the course. The morning was quite cool and windy, but it turned out to be a nice day. Jimmy and I scored a pair of 45's on the front nine and then again on the back nine, so we had exactly the same score...90. I know I could have done better, but for this course and my first time, I was satisfied.

Tuesday we are going to Ocotillo golf course in the afternoon. It should be a good time, although I hear it is pretty tough. I need to bring my A game and hit straight. I still have a tendency to pull the ball, sometimes, and then slice it other times, and then hit it perfectly other times. I just need a heck of a lot more practice I guess to be more consistent.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Golf Lessons with Blair Douglass

This morning I had another lesson with Blair. This lesson I learned the following from Blair:
1) I need to stand a little taller instead of being hunched over the ball.
2) Take a longer back-swing with the driver to give me more time to close the clubface at impact.
3) Put the ball further up in my stance on the drive to give more time to close the clubface at impact.
4) If I start slicing the ball, try hooking the ball several times until I am confident that I can hook it....then SWING AWAY! This morning this worked great! When I swung away the ball went high and far with about a five yard draw.

Things I learned myself:
1) Have a looser grip. I found that I couldn't hook the ball because my grip was too tight. It's harder I think to roll my forearms over if my grip is tight during the downswing.

Blair was pleased with my swing at this point. He even said I didn't need to come to him any more unless I have problems. I just need to practice and use Blair's strategy of fixing problems by over-doing the opposite for a while. For example, he had me really close my clubface on the backswing when I was leaving it open. That way what felt "normal" was actually square, where as before "normal" was actually open....if that makes sense.

I am going to go back to Blair next week and take a short game lesson. I really need to work on this part of my game!

This weekend I am going golfing with my father-in-law to Longbow and then on Tuesday I am taking the afternoon off and going with him to Ocotillo, the place where I got married. Since we had the wedding there, we get a free foursome! Should be fun!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Club West


Med and I went to Club West on Saturday and had a great time. Club West is one of my favorite courses in the valley. We both got SunCor Players Cards which allows us to play for 50% off the current rates. Included with the deal was a free round of golf and a Southwest PGA Pass.

I shot a disappointing 92 and Med scored a 92 as well. I got one birdie and a couple of pars, but blew up on a couple of holes with triple bogies.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

1C

In my lesson with Blair today he talked to me about what my friend Med and I call "1C" which stands for "1 o'clock, Close". This means that if the target were at 12 noon then the inside-out swing path will go toward 1 o'clock with a closed clubface. This will start the ball out a little right of the target and then draw right at the flag, bounce a couple of times and stick in the hole!!! :)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Back to the Drawing Board

I have been playing terribly lately! I slice a lot and sometimes I "pull slice" where the ball starts left and then fades right. It's ugly and I don't get much accuracy or distance. So............I am taking more lessons from Blair.

This morning was my first lesson of my 2nd round with Blair Douglass at Dobson Ranch. He saw right away what my problem was. A huge swing flaw that I had when I started golf back in Boise four or five years ago had creeped back into full force! My club face is completely open!!!

When I started golf, I had this open clubface problem. I worked and worked at it to keep it closed. Then, I took two years off from golf while getting a masters degree at ASU. Upon starting back up, I feared that I would have this problem again, but in my 1st round of lessons with Blair, he said my club face was perfect throughout the swing. So, somehow in the last couple of months the open clubface syndrome has come back to haunt me!

Blair gave me a drill that I am going to work on all week. It is simple....just take the club face back to halfway and keep it very, extremely closed the whole way. I am not going to look at the clubface on the way back because I don't want to get in the habit of watching the club, but I am going to freeze at halfway back and then look at the club. At the halfway point, my club should be very closed, not straight up, but closed. By doing this, I can feel what it feels like to have a closed clubface. Then, on the swing through the ball, I am going to take an inside-out approach and the ball will probably start at the target and have a slight hook. What I don't want is to start left of the target...this means I am still pulling or coming over the top.

I am not going to take a full swing all week. I am going to drill this to death! Well, ok, this Saturday morning when I golf with my friend Med, I will at least have to take a 3/4 swing....but even this Saturday, I am going to have a closed clubface. I will recover from this illness quickly!!!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Courses I have played in AZ

Dobson Ranch
Club West
Foothills
Riverview
Painted Mountain
The Legacy
Vistal
Lakeside Country Club

Set up, Rhythm, and Pre-Shot Routine

I watched a golf channel academy where these three elements were explained to create more consistency in one's golf game.

The Set up should be the same every time. Make sure the hands fall down freely, approximately over the toes. When you realize you are too far in one direction, instead of just moving your feet, move your whole body as if you were rotating around an imaginary circle, where the ball was in the center. Make sure when you set up and bring your right hand onto the club that your shoulders are still parallel to the target. The tendency is for the right shoulder to then be in front of the left.

Rhythm should be consistent. The club should hit the ball when the weight is shifted onto the left foot. Try hitting the ball at 50% until you get the right timing. Then move up to 70% while keeping the same relative rhythm. If that doesn't work, move back to 50%.

A drill you can do for this is line up four balls on the tee. Hit the first with good rhythm...the ball should fly straight. Hit the next one where your hips and weight rotate first and the hands are late. The ball should go right. Next, hit one ball where the hands come through first...the ball will go left. Lastly, hit a ball with perfect rhythm and timing and watch it fly straight as an arrow.

The pre-shot should be basically, assess the surroundings, envision the shot your are going to take, select your club, practice the swing feel, and then execute the swing feel. During the swing, just try to recreate the same swing feel you had during your practice swing.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

9 holes for $6.50!!!

I just played 9 holes last night after work for only $6.50! Dobson Ranch has a twilight special that runs through the summer months. Since it was below 100 degrees yesterday on my way home from work, I decided that it was a good idea to play some holes.

I shot a 43, which isn't too bad. I can do better if I just don't lose any balls. I lost three balls in nine holes. Each one comes with a penalty stroke of course.

I'm going to have to do this again next week! You can't beat the price!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Logan River can kiss my arse!

Last weekend I went up to Utah to visit my brother, Anthony. We golfed Logan River and it is a tough course! The fairways were narrow and lined with reeds, water, and basically if you didn't get it on the fairway you could not find your ball. I lost many a ball at Logan River and will not even publish the score I got. It was horrendous!

I got an 83 at Dobson Ranch!


The Saturday before last (July 16) I scored an 83 at Dobson Ranch. It has been my goal to break 90 this summer and not only did I break 90, but I got close to 80! I was so stoked!

I went as a single so I didn't know the two other people I was playing with. I played with this cool guy who was Phillipino that worked at Intel. He was in the cart with me and was an excellent partner because he played well, but didn't rush....very layed back just like me. The other guy with us pulled a cart...no thank you! Not in the 100+ degree heat!!! He was wearing headphones and didn't talk much. He played really well.

Another statistic that my Phillipino golf partner so generously noticed and shared with me is that I was even par on all my par 3 holes. That's awesome! That means that my approach iron shots were right on target and my putting was on too.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Most Beautiful Golfing Weekend Ever!

I just got back from one of the best golfing weekends ever! My girlfriend and I went to Lakeside again to vist her parents. Her dad and I golfed our hearts out! The weather was beautiful and the country club course is gorgeous. We golfed 18 holes and I was doing great with my driver, which is a change for me. All that I changed was my setup routine. My setup routine goes like this:

1) From directly behind the ball, survey the fairway and determine exactly where I want to hit the ball.
2) Take a few easy practice swings while surveying.
3) Approach the ball and rest the handle of the driver on the inside of my left thigh, holding onto it with my left hand only. The head of the driver will be inside the ball so that when I extend the arms, it will be directly behind the ball and I will be the proper distance from the ball.
4) Apply the right hand to the grip and extend the arms.
5) With the clubhead above the ball, simulate the position at impact with my hips rotated.
6) Finish the swing.....repeat the impact position and swing a couple of times.
7) Swing Away!!!

This was very effective and I think Alicia's dad only out drove me like two times. He usually outdrives me more than that.

My score ended up as a 91 for the first round. We then had lunch at the clubhouse on the patio, overlooking the course. It was absolutely beautiful.

After lunch we went out again for a second round. I started out strong, hitting my driver and my irons rather solidly. In both rounds I was struggling with my short game, especially chipping and pitching with my wedges. I really need to work on this part of my game. I ended up with a 94 in my second round. I should be breaking 90 by now, but I still had a great time.

My girlfriend's dad shot in the 80's both times. Both of us were extremely tired with about 3 holes left in the second round. We were dragging afterwards, but had to hurry back to the house, shower, get ready, and go back to the clubhouse for an amazing dinner out on the patio.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Lakeside Golfing

I just got done golfing at Lakeside/Pinetop area, which is about 3.5 hours northeast of Phoenix. It is beautiful up here with pine trees and squirrels. The golf course was absolutely beautiful, but I played absolutely horrible. I shot a 103 (par is 72)...I sure got my money's worth! :)

I ordered my new Ping I3 blades last Wednesday. They should be in by Monday. I am so excited! I am going to practise more...I really want to get good at this game.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Jimmy gave me 2 Cleveland wedges for Graduation!

Alicia's dad...my future father-in-law...gave me 56 and 60 degree Cleveland wedges! I am so stoked!

I will be able to try them out tomorrow twice. I am golfing 9 holes at Dobson Ranch in the morning and then 18 holes at Foothills in the afternoon. I got a great deal at foothills using www.golf602.com. 32 bucks for 18 holes, including tax and a cart! I can't wait!

I will let you know how I do.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Some Scores

I scored a 96 last Saturday at Painted Mountain in Mesa, AZ. I golfed with my girlfriend's dad, Jimmy, who is fun to golf with. We were paired up with an older couple who both had the exact names of my parents. Woah, that was weird! They thought they were in a race! On the first hole, they had putted their balls in the hole while I was still approaching the green! Jimmy and I got a little upset about their bad golf ettiquite, but they got a little better as the round went on. It wasn't like we were being slow or anything.

On Sunday I scored a 43 (I think) on 9 holes at this course on Dobson and the 202. I met a Microbiologist consultant named Mike who was pretty cool. Oh, and I bought some new Footjoy golf sandals...they were way comfy! I am going in the morning to this same course with a guy from work. I will let you know how it goes.

Golf Lessons with Blair Douglass

I have been taking golf lessons from Blair Douglass at Dobson Ranch Golf Course in Mesa, Arizona. I wanted to keep a record of things I have learned at each lesson. Here is a summary of what I have learned so far:

Lesson 1) Basically in this lesson I learned that I was distributing my weight more to my right foot than I should. This was aparent because my left heel was coming off the ground a lot. Blair corrected this and this is what I worked on until the next lesson. Also, finish facing the target, with my weight on my left foot and my right foot on the toe.

Lesson 2) I learned to set up with my head slightly behind the ball and my hips slightly rotated. This way, I will avoid the swaying on my back swing.

Lesson 3) I learned to point my butt at the target. This totally stops me from swaying. If I point my butt at the target, then I coil onto my back foot, which is what I want to do.

Lesson 4) Basically I want an inside out downswing. Keep my hands behind my right shoulder at the top of the backswing. Cock my wrist at the top to get the club parallel to the ground.

Lesson 5) I didn't feel like I learned much on this lesson except again at set up to stay behind the ball, create a curved body, and bring the club face back at a slight angle...not directly back. Also, keep the right shoulder slightly down at address and back from parallel. This way my back swing will be more at an angle which will create an "inside out" downswing that I want. This probably doesn't make sense, but as long as it makes sense to me....that's what counts.

Other things I have learned is that I should keep my head up, back straight. I worked on weakening my grip on the left hand in one of the lessons because I was hooking it every time. Also, if I pull the ball it is because I don't have the inside out downswing. If I chunk it, it is because I didn't get my hips around fast enough I think. I will ask him that again next time. Also, I should line my feet up to a target about 5 yards left of where I want to hit the ball...line my clubface perpendicular to that line. Hands in front of the ball is good. Right shoulder a little back from parallel to feet.