Practice Makes Perfect?
This week was filled with hours of practice with the driver. Typically practice with the driver is a low priority since I have never really struggled with this aspect of the game. Since switching to a 9.5 degree driver I have struggled, but with the struggle has come leaps in learning and adding and additional 30 yards to my drive (average 260yd). Practice has led to hitting 9 out of fourteen fairways this week compared to my 5 of fourteen last week. Confidence is important when addressing the ball and the practice this week has helped address my doubt at address.
What I learned about gaining distance and consistency this week was the ability to get under the ball as opposed to the iron shot where you would typically want to come down on the ball to optimize compression for distance. My education on driving really clicked when I started watching the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship and how they would gain incredible distance from the way they teed their ball to the equipment they used. The tee height is important so if you want to increase your distance tee it high and let it fly.
The Mental Side
While on my morning bike ride this week I was reminded how often the mind drifts away from the task at hand. While reading The Inner Game of Golf I was reminded about “relaxed concentration” and the ability to concentrate on what is in front of you at the moment not on what happened or will happen. This week I really worked on concentrating on the road section that I was riding instead of wonder to the next section of my ride which happened to be a difficult elevation climb. While climbing the increased elevation I then had to shift concentrate on pedal efficiency and really focusing on the section at hand. This was not easy since my concentration would drift to the finish of the climb when exhaustion leaked into the mind. The interesting thing was that once I started concentrating on the efficiency of my pedaling and the micro section of the climb I began to enjoy the ride with a relaxed concentration and before I knew it the climb was over and done.
This week I also had the chance to play with my Dad at Woods Valley Golf Club while achieving relaxed concentration throughout the first twelve holes, I was 5 over after twelve and that’s when I started to think, this could be the best round of my entire life if I keep this going and wouldn’t you know I triple bogey the thirteenth hole. From thirteen on I shoot eleven over and lose my relaxed concentration and end up with sixteen over for the day. This may seem like a failure by not keeping it together for all eighteen holes but for me this was the longest streak of consecutive holes of focused concentration in consecutive holes since starting my goal to become a scratch player. My confidence continues to grow week by week and I have no doubt that I will achieve my goal in 2014.
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