This year I’ve paid close attention to where the ball is impacting the club face, especially on my driver. Despite lining up the ball on the center, when I actually hit the ball the mark is about a half inch toward the toe, and sometimes even farther. This kills distance big and decreases accuracy as well. Consistency? Forget it.
I told my good buddy and playing partner of many years that I keep hitting my driver on the toe. His comment was so dead-on and made so much sense that I can’t believe I didn’t think of it first. He simply said, “move closer.” So sensible! Since then I’ve been lining up the ball about half way between the driver’s center and the shaft. I’ve found the sweet spot more times this year than in many, many years. One big difference between really good golfers and higher handicaps is proximity to the center of the club face.
My distance is increasing more and more with the same clubs and same balls. This isn’t the technology people. It is simply making sure the ball is hitting the club at the perfect place. Yesterday I had several drives over 300 yards in my round, with an 86% fairway percentage.
In short? Don’t over-analyze. If you hit the toe of the club, move closer. If you consistently miss right, aim left!
Sunday’s round was one to remember with all sorts of excellent bounces and good breaks. The round was capped off by my holing out a 7-iron from 173 for eagle on the final hole at Bonneville Golf Course to shoot even par (and collect on all sorts of bets with presses!!). That was hands down the shot of the year for me and I doubt I’ll top it for some time.
Thanks to Game Golf, the GPS golf shot tracking system I reviewed a few posts back. They awarded that 7-iron the Game Golf shot of the week! I’m kinda famous now…
Many times I’ve used this golf blog to vent my frustrations with the game of golf. I do admit I’ve done my fair share of whining and snivelling about my scores and my short game. Golf is hard. Golf is frustrating. It is a game that cannot be mastered, yet I still do it and often wonder why.
Yesterday I apparently had some positive credit with the golf gods. I was the beneficiary of two crazy breaks, which both resulted in birdie.
First break was on the 7th hole at Bonneville here in Salt Lake. That hole parallels a busy street and the green sits next to a fence bordering the street. Any pulled shot left of the green could hit a car. I hit a wild drive into the right treeline. From 130 or so out, I punched a pitching wedge at the pin, but hit it way too hard. The ball bounced off the fence and settled to about two feet from the hole. I made the birdie putt.
The second break was on the very long par-3 15th. I hit a hybrid from 235 but hit a bit of an inside the club face thin shot which resulted in a low power fade. Not my intended shot. The ball rolled onto the green and settled about 15 inches from the cup, nearly going in. I made the birdie putt.
Finally the golf gods rewarded a good shot on the 18th hole. 18 at Bonneville is a 470 yard par-4 where the second shot is over a ravine (image below).
18th Hole – Bonneville Golf Course
After a 300 yard drive I sat at 173. I hit a 100% pure 7-iron on the exact line I visualized before the shot. The flight was nice and high with a tiny draw. It hit short-right of the pin and followed the green’s contour right into the hole for EAGLE. I was +2 on the round going into the final hole so the eagle got me back to even par 72 on the day, a tie for my best score of the season.
It seems like the ball bounces negatively more in golf than it does positively. Yesterday though, it was all positive and for that I’m thankful. Next time I’m out I fix a few more ball marks and fill in a few more divots. Need to keep making deposits into the golf karma kitty.
Yesterday I was the guest of a relative at the swankiest private course in town. I get to play there perhaps once per year and always look forward to it. I don’t typically play well there and I’m not a big fan of the architecture of the course. Maybe if I played better there I’d be a fan of the course design, but that’s a discussion for another day.
My cart partner was a 2nd cousin, a solid 9-handicap who hits the ball quite well. Unfortunately this poor chap is cursed with the yips.
What is the yips?
Yips or the yips is the apparent loss of fine motor skills without apparent explanation, in one of a number of different sports. The technical term is focal dystonia.
What this translates into for golf is the inability for the golfer to control the putter, especially on short putts.
It was very difficult to watch my 2nd cousin putt. Even if he was putting for birdie from five feet, he would three putt. The first putt would miss by a foot or so, and he would badly miss the one-footer. On one hole he actually double-hit a two foot putt. I’ve never seen anyone double-hit a putt and I hope I never see it again!
Eventually the group was giving him putts, saying “that’s good” in order to not have to watch him miss putts that were even under 10 inches.
He asked me for advice and the best I could come up with was to swing the putter with his shoulders, keeping the hands and wrists quiet. It seemed his hands and wrists would twerk, jerk, flip, and spazz out on those short putts. Either the advice didn’t work, or he chose not to try it during the round as the yips and putt problems lasted all day.
I thought perhaps I had the chip-yips because my short game is so bad. I realized that I don’t have the chip-yips after yesterday. I’m actually in control of my shots. I hit the chips and pitches solid and crisp, as I intend. My issue is not having a feel for distance control.
I feel bad for ANYONE who has the yips. This is the first time I have witnessed the yips. I’ve heard about it before, but seeing it in person left me (as they say in the UK) gobsmacked.
By popular demand I’m posting the official “what’s in the bag” for my 2014 club championship at Sandy, Utah’s splendid River Oaks Golf Club. It took me a while to get the photo because I needed it to be “official,” thus having the Golf WRX watermark on it. The photogs at WRX are so busy shooting every golf club and golf bag on the planet and putting their watermarks on them, that it took me a while to get this photo. As you can see, this photo is true and authentic since it has that WRX watermark. Enough about high end photography and on to the meat of this journalistic brilliance.
I’m very happy to have won the 2014 club championship at River Oaks. I’ve been a member of the club for many years and won my first championship there in 2005. This year’s championship seemed to fall in my lap as the field was narrowed down to a few left standing, and I managed to outscore the closest competitor by 13 shots. Yes, 13 shots. In the land of bogeys, the par man is king.
WITB – Tony Korologos 2014 River Oaks Club Champion
Let’s take a look at the winning sticks and the other crucial script items…
Driver: Cobra Amp Cell
3-Metal: Tour Edge Exotics XCG7 Beta
Hybrid: 19 degree Cobra Baffler XL
Irons (4-PW): Hogan Apex Edge Pro, circa 2002
Shafts: KBS Tour 90
52 and 56 degree wedges: Eidolon V-Sole
60 degree lob wedge: Vokey Spin Milled
Putter: Dornoch Putters Bird Dog 1, handmade in Scotland by Grant MacKay
Bag: Nike Sport Lite
Ball: Bridgestone B330
Head Cover: Sumi-G with custom Black Mesa Golf Club embroidered logo
GPS: Golf Buddy VS4 talking golf watch GPS
Laser Rangefinder: Callaway (Nikon)
Club Brush: Frogger BrushPro
Golf Accessory Accessory: Snap Hookz
Golf Polo: Bobby Jones XH20 Aero
Golf Shorts: Tattoo Golf shorts
Golf Socks: Kentwool Tour
Golf Shoes: FootJoy DNA
Cigar: Gurkha Centurian
Green repair tool: Champ Flix
Toothpaste: Crest with mint sparkles
Hat: Pukkha custom Hooked on Golf Blog/The Golf Space hat
Glove: Don’t wear a glove, but for the sweaty shots it was the Asher skull glove (RIP James)
Tee: Tornado Tee
Grips: Golf Pride CP2
Sunglasses: Under Armour Phenom Sunglasses
Rain Jacket: Nike Hyperadapt Storm-FIT
Push Cart: Sun Mountain Micro Cart Sport
Ball marking device: Tin Cup Utah Utes stencil
Beer: Slammin Sam Snead Premium Lager
Spikes: Champ Scorpion Stinger
Travel bag: Sun Mountain ClubGlider Journey
Belt: Switch Belt rubber custom
Towel: Frogger Amphibian
Driver: Bombtech Golf Grenade
3-Fairway: Nike VR-S
Hybrid: Bobby Jones
Irons: Bridgestone J40 Dual Pocket Cavity
Wedges: SCOR, Miura
Putter: Ping Scottsdale ZB S
Bag: Datrek Go-Lite
Shoes: Ecco Golf Shoes
Tee: Champ Zarma Fly Tee