Today I got to play in a charity golf captain's choice event, and we tied first!
Before the golf event, I got a chance to work out with my trainer Will. We started off doing some reverse pull-ups to get warmed up, and then we immediately went into the full workout. The first thing we did was jerk and cleans. I had not done these in a while and forgot how exhausting they are (it is a full body exercise). Here's a video of me doing a set of jerk and cleans:
We then proceeded to do many balancing exercises on the Bosu balance ball, one of which was holding out a pipe straight in front of me while doing balance squats on the ball. Here's a video of that below:
We also did side-to-side weight shifting on the balance ball as well as rope swings in a half squat on the ball for 30 seconds per set. We finished with some leg lifts with one foot on top of the other, 10 on each side (which works core and stretches out the hip flexors).
This was the first chance of really getting to play since starting to practice in earnest last week, and I was pretty pleased with how I played. Since it was a captain's choice tournament, you got to play the best ball for each shot. Typically that means you hit lots of drivers and short wedges, and that was exactly the case. I drove the ball well and hit it pretty long considering it had rained hard the previous day, and I had 6 or 7 wedge shots (130 yards and in) inside of 6 ft. I didn't get a chance to putt a lot, but putting was very good as well.
All in all, we finished T-1 for the tournament.
The biggest bonus was after the tournament had ended. A friend of mine, Dennis Denton, was at the tournament. I had played with him before on a few occasions and noticed he was always an exceptional putter. We talked briefly after the tournament. I told him about my aspirations and what I needed to focus on in order to improve my game. One area was putting, and he said he would be happy to help me out. I didn't know it would be right then!
We went out to the practice putting green and stayed out there for about an hour. After analyzing a few of my putts from 10-12ft or so, he immediately adjusted two things.
First, he told me to spread out my legs more to get a stronger base. I had over time developed a very narrow stance when putting (9in at the most) and we widened it out to more like 18in.
Second, he moved my head right over the ball instead of away from it. He posited that it is very hard to see the line you want to hit and if you aren't directly over the ball.
Those two small adjustments made a world of difference. I immediately started hitting the ball down the line I wanted and began to sink putts. I couldn't believe two tiny changes could make such a big difference, but wow.
He then placed two tees right in front of the cup where the fall line for the ball was located. It was just wide enough to place a golf ball through, and then he told me “Aim small, miss small”. I didn't think it would even be possible to make putts through that gate, but sure enough, I took that idea to heart (to aim small, miss small) and before long I was making putts through the tiny gate!
I wish I had taken a picture to show here, but it immediately forced me to think about the line I wanted to take. He also encouraged me to always attempt to put a foot past the hole and to never miss on the low side. 100% of putts on the low side will never go in, but you always have a chance from the high side to make it from the backdoor.
And all of this, mind you, was without even lining up the ball! Intrinsically I can see the line to putt – I just needed the adjustments to make sure I was putting down the line I envisioned.
I was better than 60% from 15ft and better than 30% from 20ft, which was incredibly to me. I can easily shave a couple strokes off my round by sinking 1 or 2 putts from 20ft.
Now I can't wait to get out and practice putting again to make sure this isn't just a fluke (and I really don't believe it is!).
Tomorrow is going to be a great day!