Week 3 Recap:
There are now 2 weeks left until the PPC qualifier at Lake Nona. I'm 3 weeks into prep work and results have been up and down. It is something I remind students of all the time: and I need to remind myself of it as well: progress is not linear. Trying to get on the course more and be more competitive in my practice has created a challenge in balancing out my technical work.
There is no better way to prepare to compete in an event than to play golf. However, if the technical foundation doesn't maintain, as I play more, I regress more with the swing. If I focus solely on playing and results, my swing reverts back to its bad habits that feel comfortable. I can still hit it well for a while and score well, but I know it will become unmanageable soon.
In this video I am doing my foundational drill. When I make the swing with stick in the belt loop, notice where the clubhead stops at the top, and how the hands and the hips stop moving at about the same time at the top of the backswing.
This is after I am done my drill work. I am still trying to maintain the focus on the swing, but I am becoming more engaged in hitting the ball solidly and at a target. The swing gets slightly longer, and the hips and hands do not match up quite as well at the top of the backswing.
After I finished range work I went to the course. I want to go straight to the course as soon as I feel I have the swing in a good place to test myself. For those that know, the 5th hole on the Blue 9 at Longboat Key Club is a challenging tee shot. While I am still thinking about the swing, the environment has changed and now there are real consequences to the shot. Watch as the hips rotate less, the arms keep going after the hips have stopped and club goes much longer in the backswing. The shot itself was actually very good, but I know from experience, that the more I play and the less I focus on the technical work, the worse it will get and eventually I will not be able to control the ball.
This is also a really good example of why you should videotape yourself as often as possible both on the range and on the course. See what changes as your environment changes.
Mental and Physical Recap:
I have been able to stay on task with both the mental and physical aspects of training. I have finished Dr. Bhrett McCabe's program and have found some great takeaways to help get myself prepared for competition. I am figuring out more and more what works for me on the course to compete. I have found that I am much more of a tactician than anything else. I do not play well off of emotion. Some players are great at playing hyped up, it helps them focus. For me, I have found it does the complete opposite: it makes me sloppy and undisciplined. I now know that I need a few keys to focus on and a plan on every shot. This keeps me in a bubble where I can stay present on what I'm doing. I am creating a simple pre-shot checklist for myself with swing keys to focus on. I find when I go through those steps, I have the best results and it is manageable for me.
Workouts have been really helpful. I'm finding the gym routines to be extremely cathartic. Every time I leave, I feel clear headed and a bit better. It hasn't been a lot of time, but I do feel like the added strength is helping me practice better and maintain the work in my swing.
Week 4 Plan:
After what I saw this week on video and putting my data in Clippd, I know I need to make extra time for my foundational technical work.
As you can see from the 2 rounds I was able to get in this week, the scores are pretty good, but the driving score in the last round is concerning to me. That tells me I'm headed in the wrong direction.
To make this work with timing, I will limit time on the course to 9-holes. I had been playing more last week with shorter range sessions, more as warmups. This week I will have longer range sessions focused on my technical drills, followed by 9-holes which I will video to make sure the swing is staying in the positions I want when my focus shifts. I know that next week will be my last week to prepare. So, this week has to be productive on the technical front as I will need to shift leading into the event.
Workouts stay on schedule as those are now necessities for me. I've found the nighttime training to be best for me as I always know I can get to the gym after everyone goes to bed. I also need to test a warmup routine. The Fit for Golf app has some great routines, I need to find what works best for me before the round and when I need to do it. I will be experimenting on timing and routine during the week before practice and play.
Now that I have finished the Mental Program and worked through who I am, I am going to review the preparing to compete section in the program. I have found some great resources and strategies in there that I need to practice implementing in my rounds. The more I listen to it, the more I take away from it. What I have found works best for me is to listen in the car on my way into and home from work. The funnel of focus has been particularly useful and has helped me stay present on my shots when I play.
Finding the time for work, family and practice has been a great exercise. By defining when I am going to do all 3, planning and scheduling them, I have found myself more present in everything I am doing. I used to think about each aspect while I was doing the other one, which limited how present I could be at whatever I was currently doing. Here are a couple of shots of fun moments of home.
I can't thank everyone that has reached out enough for all the support. I'm glad you are all enjoying going on this journey with me and appreciate all the feedback. Please feel to reach out about lessons, programs or anything you might find interesting. I have some more stuff coming up soon that I think you will all enjoy.