Happy New Year to everyone. I hope 2023 treated you well and saw more golf and lower handicaps. As we jump into 2024, I needed to follow up on what I said I was going to do when I finished writing about my prep for the PPC qualifier over the summer. I had said that I would update you with how things were going and the work I was doing to try and continue to improve. I thoroughly failed on that promise. While I didn't write anything, I have maintained some degree of work on my game and myself. As I look towards 2024, I wanted to share how things are going and the plan moving forward.
My goal for 2024 is the same as it was in 2023, qualify for the PPC. What was very evident last year was that trying to prep for 5 weeks, wasn't a very good plan. The good news is that I managed to maintain a lot of the positive habits I implemented in preparation and am seeing some big changes. When I started my prep work over the summer, I was 196 pounds and 18% body fat (and not a lot of strength). I have been able to stick to my nutritional program and workout plan and am now 162 pounds, 12% body fat and significantly stronger. Technically, my swing is in much better positions than it was, and I am starting to feel more confident with my ability to make the swing I want.
To create my plan for 2024 I have spent time evaluating my game with Clippd to see where my strengths and weaknesses have been on the course. What is very clear is that my driver has improved immensely, while my approach play has lagged behind. I have been especially bad from 50-75 yards and 100-140. I have been good enough from 150-175 and 200+. If I want to capitalize on better driving and shoot lower scores, I must improve from 50-140 yards. And while I know this is a big area to improve for the tournament season, it will be a small emphasis in phase 1 of my plan for 2024.
As I am creating my plan for 2024, I am making sure to be realistic with my time. This time of year, my lesson schedule is extremely busy, and it will be like this for the next 4 months. When working with any student, I always ask about work and personal life, to make sure the plan we put together will be manageable. And for myself I have to be reasonable with what I can actually do this time of year, while keeping in mind that the less I do now, the harder it will be to get my game in shape when the season ends.
As my schedule shifts seasonally, I have broken my plan down into phases. During the winter phase my focus is on strength, speed and technique. My driver has improved immensely; however, I do need to work on increasing my cruising speed on the course. I will be utilizing new programs in the Fit For Golf app for strength training as well as incorporating The Stack Speed Training System. I tested myself the other day and my comfortable speed with the driver was 110 MPH and my absolute max speed was 116 MPH. With quality strength and speed training, as well as improved technique, my goal is to have my comfortable speed at 116mph and my max speed over 120mph as my winter phase ends at the end of April.
To go along with speed and strength work, my practice focus will be on the technique. I have finally started to see the ability to maintain the backswing positions I'm looking for, even when adding speed. The next progression is taking that backswing work and matching in the transition and downswing that I want to see. I will spend the practice time that I have doing a lot of slow speed swings and drill work. When I'm working on technique there is a great deal of video feedback with both down the line and face on views. Down the road when I start to work more on skill, the video will be used much less frequently.
This phase is manageable with my schedule because the majority of the work can be done in the gym or my garage very early in the morning or after the kids are asleep and all lesson follow-ups are finished. To meet my goals, it will be 3-4 lifting sessions per week and 3 stack training sessions per week. Range practice will be done at the end of the night at Suncoast once a week and once a week before work.
Trying to get better at golf is such a test of your ability to stay patient and not get bored with consistency. I will stay on top of the writing this time and write an article every 2-3 weeks. I will talk some about what I am doing, but more about things I find valuable for those golfers looking to get better. If you have any questions or any topics you would find interesting, please let me know. As always, it's a pleasure to write to everyone and I always enjoy the feedback. I hope 2024 is a great year for you, your families and your game. And here are a couple of my favorite photos from the holidays!