I have recently set myself a 16-month goal of cutting my handicap in half. Currently, as of the 8/15 GHIN update, I have a 10.8 handicap. What this means is I would like to have my handicap down to a 5.4 by end of 2015. Is this possible? I think so. It will take some practice and focus, but I think I can do this.
Starting with yesterday’s round, I am going to begin tracking each round of golf I play and identify where I could improve the most. Sure, it’s easy to say my entire golf game needs improving, but by dwindling it down to 2-3 specific parts of the game, I think I can stay more focused. But just thinking back over my last five rounds, I think a trend will develop very quickly and parts of my game will need drastic work.
I would say I play 30-40 rounds of golf per year. Most of these rounds are weekend rounds with buddies, my dad, or other family members. They are friendly rounds with not much on the line. I have played in local amateur golf events in San Antonio before and plan on playing more as I improve. My practice sessions number about 2-3 times per week. I currently don’t work on my swing with anyone. I have taken a series of lessons in the past and will possibly look into finding another instructor in the future. For the meantime, I am going to work on my own by feel and what I have learned in the past.
As I mentioned above, I played yesterday and will start analyzing my golf game with this round. I played out at La Cantera Resort Course with my dad and cousin. We teed off 10:45 and it was hot by the end of the round, near 100 easy if not over 100. The heat doesn’t bother me though. I felt good and didn’t feel tired at all.
I shot a 89 from the gold tees at the Resort Course. Not my best, but I had a couple glaring deficiencies I just could not straighten out during the round.
What Needs Improving
- I lost four tee shots resulting in a one shot penalty each time. For pace of play reasons, we play the woods as a lateral hazard and after looking for the ball a couple minutes, we normally will drop and take out penalty. Not losing these four tee shots would result in four strokes saved at least. Now, I am not saying I would have done anything better with a better tee shot, but I know I would not have to take those four 1-stroke penalties. Strokes lost: 4
- I had 35 putts total, with one 3-putt. This is something I am happy with. Sure I would have liked to have a couple more 1-putts, but if I can have no 3-putts I am happy for now. Strokes lost: 1
- When I am chipping, I try to imagine a 3 foot circle surrounding the cup. I do this when practicing and try to land or stop my shots in this circle. Yesterday, I had five chip shots that I missed terribly with and ended up not even close to this imaginary chipping circle. I feel if I can get it inside the 3-foot circle, I have tremendous confidence I can sink those putts. All five chips I counted missed this circle, sometimes by 3-4 feet. I missed all five putts as well. Strokes lost: 5
Looking at these three glaring mistakes in my game, I figure I could have saved at least TEN strokes throughout my round. Sure, if I would have saved all these strokes, I would have shot 79, and #ProjectBreak80 would be celebrated. Most likely, I would not have saved all of them, but what if I could have saved 5 of those strokes? I am now down to a 84, which would make me much happier.
What I Did Well
- I hit three-out-of-four greens on the par-3’s. On the fourth, I missed just long and was about 6 feet off the back edge. This tells me I was hitting my irons decently off the tee box. I felt I was striking my irons solidly throughout the round.
- I only had one three-putt. I feel good about this. You might say you should have ZERO three-putts, and I agree. But the way my putting is right now I will take this and build off this.
So moving forward, I have three things to work on.
- I have got to straighten out my driver. It’s hit and miss every round. One day I hit 75% of fairways, the next I hit 35%
- I have to work on my putting. The plan is to do more “around the cup” drills from 3, 6, 9, 12 feet and making specific percentages.
- I need to get the rust off my chipping. Can I blame the rough at the Resort Course? I guess I can. I mean there are spots its deep and just plain tough. But that’s not an excuse. I still have to get up and down.
Final Stats for the Day
# Putts: 35
Greens In Regulation: 6/18 or 33%
Fairways Hit: 5/14 or 36%
I’ll get to work on these parts of my game and hopefully can save at least 5 strokes next round. Hell, I might even save all ten. Do you have something you’re working on? Let us know below or hit us up on Twitter using #ProjectBreak80 @Front9Back9.