Monday, April 29, 2013

Trying the JPX 825 from Mizuno and doing some short game practice

After a long weekend I first thought I will go right back to practice. But my shoulder told me otherwise and I had to take it slow. So I did 1 hour of short game, which is the key to everything. Went to Tatum Ridge Golf Course in Sarasota. I hit 120 35 yard approach shots from 3 different locations with 3 different clubs. PW, SW and LW. It looked good and my feel gets better by the day. The great news is that my shoulder actually god better. I still did not want to overdue it. Today I also went to Edwin Watts and Golfsmith to try the JPX 825 and JPX 825 pro by Mizuno. What a fantastic golf club. Both models are very nice. I hit a 7 iron and later the 6 iron. They fell so smooth. The sweet spot is huge, compared to my little tiny blades and even with a miss you still get a pretty good shot out of it. They are much lighter then the old things and look good. So I think my mind is pretty much set on which route I am going to go. However, I need to go back one more time and see if I can hit the 5 iron. If I could do so, I would use the 5 iron and take my Quick Strike out of the bag. Only question left is where to fit? I rally have to find the right place. This will be a club for long term. Like a couple of years or so. So , it needs to fit and be right and matching the goals I have within the next few months. Anybody playing those clubs? Let me hear it. What is you experience? What shaft are you playing. Overall, the Mizuno JPX 825 pro was my favorite and soon I will write reviews on that one on our website. You can check it out on our equipment page at . Further, we need help with our website and are looking for a full service provider who can help to set up the site with a different software. I have a hard time finding the time to work on it all the time and yet it is crucial that all websites run. Tomorrow I will do a 3 to 4 hour practice session and will take easy. No driver yet. Just irons. It is exciting. I absolutely believe, that with the new equipment, my game will improve dramatically within a few weeks. So there is hope :) .

Sarasota City Cahmpionship

Friday was my practice round at Bobby Jones Golf Complex. Shot a good round of golf and am satisfied with what I accomplished after last weeks beginning of full time practice. My swing looks good and I just need to stay at it to get more distance and even more confidence in my mid irons. I am still playing with my little blades and last weekend, I found out that it actually does have an impact on my result. Amazing, but true. Saturdays round at the championship was ok. I was able to give myself chances for birdies, of which I made 1 ! Now , that is not enough to play a good round of golf, but it is progress. I was able to hit greens in regulation and at least have a shot at it. Got good pars out of it. My driver was dependable and I did not make mistakes with it. Only a few situations where I had some obstruction in form of a tree. But then I still had a shot. My fairway play was ok. Best was my 4 hybrid. This is my most dependable club I use in the fairway or rough when going for the green. Kind of a utility wood I think of it. Funny, but this club does not even belong to me. It is a borrowed club. My short irons are very good. My 6 iron is fine, but I need some more distance there. Best are my wedges. Everything from 100 yards in I am feeling confident and can execute almost any shot. So that is a great step forward. Chipping is good, but I need to work harder and more on it to make it even easier for me to execute the shot. Putting was good as well and I got the ball to the hole , but left it short on several occasions again, even down hill. So you might ask , why I did I shot 83 if I am satisfied with my game? Simple answer: Mistakes! If you would look at my score card you would see 4 double bogeys and 4 bogeys. Those scores do not help, but even more important , how they developed does not help. One hole for example. Dog leg right par 4 number 7. This hole calls for a fade over some big trees in order to have a good shot into the green. When I was setting up , I did so with a little bit to much fade stands and then had a super fast swing, trying to make it go left to right. I sure did and I flew right into the trees towards the water. The great news was , I did not make the water and I was 1 yard from being OB. I did not have a good shot at the green, but I could see parts of it. Had water in front of me, 3 palms trees in front of the green and some trees to the right. I had three shots to pick. I decided to pick 2nd option. Take a 6 iron and go for it. Mistake! I tried to clear the palm trees and hit it at the top, which made my ball fall down right behind it, leaving me nothing but a chip shot for the fairway, which I did. My approach was ok, but not good enough to save bogey. 3 mistakes on one hole. 1. Trying to cut it to much and have a short 2nd shot, 2. Instead of going for the fairway and play three into the green, trying to hit the perfect shot over the trees, out of the trees with a downhill lie. 3. Approach to aggressive. Should have put it below the flag for an uphill put. Similar stories you can tell on other holes. Now I have to say, that for most golfers who would be on the same hole in similar situations, a 6 would feel like a birdie to them. But I can easily make a par out of it. In all , the first round was ok and I will work on my mistakes and certainly I look forward to my new equipment. Round 2 was a mixed round. Again I gave myself a chance, but it was like a roller coaster. I played 3 good birdies and some good pars, but then I shot a couple doubles and one triple. On 18 I had a good driver and 150 into the hole. Wide open. All I had to do was put it close to the green or on it. Instead, I did the impossible and hit it OB left behind the green. Incredible bad shot. So I put it on the green, laying 4 and a long putt. I put my putt within 2 feet and then missed the 2 foot putt, getting a 7. Frustrating. I did not take enough time. My fault. But that hole cost me 4 strokes!!!! and a good round of golf in which I came back from bad situations. I answered a double bogey with a birdie ( btw, that was on number 7 which I wrote about above. Perfect driver, approach within 4 feet and perfect putt) and I answered bad drives with very good ones. The score turned out to be 1 worse then the day before. So can you imagine who your mind will work? Played 14 great holes and yet end up with a bad score ( in my mind bad score that is). Overall, it was a good weekend, I was walking and able to do so. My muscles are a little sore, but I can work on that. Not sure how I can practice today, but I will give it a shot. Need to get ready for next week. No matter were you stand in the tournament, you want to play the best you can and give yourself a chance to win a flight, no matter which one. We had one player in our group walking of the course because he would not play in the championchip flight since he played poor. This is not acceptable. It is more important to him what people see published , then playing the game and being a sportsman with respect. I have no tolerance on any level for that. It shows a certain part of character which I do not find very attractive. I am not excited about my score, but I gave it all I got and actually saved many strokes. There is many players out there who would love to shot those scores from the back tees on any course LOL. Now back to breakfast and get ready for the day.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

4 housr of practice in Bradenton

Just got in from a great practice day. First 2 hours of intensive short game yet again. Looks good and gets better. Nice feel for all shots. did many lob shots today. Second part I worked on 100, 130 and 150 irons. Looks good. My main focus was the driver. It was ok, but still not where I need to be. So we keep working. But now we have 3 days of competition coming up and I am ready and excited to play :). On my way home I stopped at Dicks Sporting Goods. They do not have Mizuno or Bridgestone. So I tried the Taylor Made Rocket Blades and the Cobra AMP. Forget the Taylor Made. Not worth it. The AMP was amazing. I hit 15 shots with the 7 iron. 13 great shots, 2 miss his and those even went straight, just a little shorter. Incredible the difference between my little VIP blades and those new clubs. I think I make it harder on myself then I should. Next week I will check out the Mizuno JPX and JPX pro 825s. I have a feeling that I have a feeling my game will sky rocket soon. Anyway, it was good stop by there. Try those new clubs and just look at the clubs. Next time I try some putters as well. I need to take advantage of new technology as well. I always thought I will stay with my old fashioned clubs and stuff. But it is time to change and progress. My game is getting better by the day. With 4 to 6 hours a day practice and soon more play, no doubt there is good things to come. Now I will get a good rest and work on some websites. Tomorrow I play the practice round for Bobby Jones. It will be fun. It is amazing how I feel. It is extremely satisfying when you complete a day of doing things you really like to do. I can feel, that I am on track again, after may years of just doing things.

Blue sky in Bradenton makes a great day for practice

After the kind of not working out practice yesterday , I am looking forward to go on the range today. What better place to be? But first we have to wait for our car to come back from the shop yet again. Did not realize that this will take another 3 hours of my morning. But oh well. Things need to get done. So I am off to the range a little later. Todays work will be mainly driver, hybrid, 3 wood. Irons I will warm up and hit the par 3s I am playing this weekend. It will be a hot day. Just as I like it. I am really looking forward to be out in summer time. Nobody will be out there on the course. Nice practice environment. Thank you for the messages in regards to golf clubs. I really appreciate it. I hope next week I can go and try some of the clubs suggested. I have not hit any of those clubs. Always played very old fashioned , tiny blades. Which I like, but I think in times of technology I really need to be on board here and make my life easier. Just found out that the WFGT added summer events. Nice opportunity to compete, practice and play with a good group.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Practice cut short

My plan did not work out today. Thought I will be doing my afternoon session at Manatee Golf Course in Bradenton. When I arrived there at 4 pm I was told , the range is closed. Seems that it is every Wednesday. Funny, I thought it was Monday last time. They do have a good putting green. So I decided to do 90 minutes of putting, which I really need. It was great. Keep working on getting back to my old putting stroke. Problem with that is, that the putter I have now is actually for a pendulum stroke and my putting stroke is based on Jack Nicklaus's set up, which is not such a stroke, at least that is what I think and understand. Well, we will see how it goes. For now I am working with the Putter, but will try others when in the store. Just to find out, how it feels. I worked on 6 and 7 foot putts for the entire time. This is where I lost 10 and 12 strokes the last three rounds, per round that is. Imagine what kind of scores that makes LOL. It went well. Still a little weak when putting uphill, but much more confident on straight putts. It will be a long process to get in the mode I was in some years ago. But , I love to practice and so there is no doubt I will be back. Once done with putting I realized, that Terra Ceia is closed as well and traffic was way to much for Sarasota. So I redid my plan. Went home and took care of some other things I had to do today. I did take my driver and worked with it a little in the yard. Just for the feel. There is so much admin work to be done. Way behind with statistics, play and financial and way behind with websites. But the truth is, it is impossible to do it all by yourself. When in focus for playing, time is not plenty for other things. So first we will delegate the websites. Started looking today, but simply not sure which way to go. Suggestions are welcome. For questions what I am seeking, please send me a message. The greatest thing is my mindset. I am absolutely relaxed and in focus for my task. It is great to have a peaceful mind. This is partly a result of improved environment, but even more a result of my mindset overall. So we are making progress on all fronts. 2 more days and Sarasota City Championship is on. Until then one more day practice and one more practice round. My tee time is 9 24 am on Saturday. 10th tee. That is a huge advantage. I believe, that the back 9 is the easier one. That will give me time to get into rhythm and be warm. Before I play I will warm up at Suncoast Golf Center. They have a fast putting green. So there is the program. I am excited and getting into a good state of mind, which will help me progress faster and in the right direction.

Chipping and putting at Terra Ceia Bay Golf Club in Palmetto

My first session successfully completed. What a great morning. My focus was chipping around the green, some lob shots and bunker shots. Worked on PW shots from different distances first. Then used my PW from off the green. Bumping short chips to the fringe and let it run to the hole. 30 yard approach over the bunker, high lob shots from different positions, more short chips around the green and last bunker shots. After full concentration I played some 6 iron run shots and some PW shots for longer pins. After about 200 balls I finally got my feel for the arms back. Lost it some years ago LOL. From there on, I was right on the money. Now it is just a matter of keeping this feeling alive, through more and daily practice. My PW and SW are the two clubs I use most around the green for all kinds of shots. Long , short, high, with spin, without spin etc. So I will keep working on it daily. My LW is mainly for special situations. Short pin behind the bunker, other obstacles and special lies. I have to say , the more I go , the better it feels and the more lucky I get. Holing out short shots more often. Really brings up the question if I should stay with my LW and SW when getting the new irons. At the same time, I like to have clubs which look the same. But there is time to think about it. My 6 iron roll shot was very good and I should use it more often on the course. I feel so comfortable with my PW, that it is difficult to change my club for those shots, even if I think it is the better choice. I will work on it harder to have this shot in my bag. Now there is some admin work and some other things to do. My afternoon session starts at around 4 pm.

Full time golf practice starts today

Today is a great day. Today I will start full time to work on my game and on my task and mission. 6 hours of practice are on the agenda. Starting with short game. It is 6 30 am . Coffee first. I am a little tired. 45 is different then 25, that is for sure. But I am determined to get in the mode. My days will look different from here on. When I was thinking golf before. I am not thinking more golf! On the list this morning is shots around the green. Chipping, lob shots, pitching and some specialty shots from side hill lies. I might get to some bunker shots. We will see. I have 3 days to prepare for the City Championship in Sarasota. This will be the last tournament with my little old blades. We will go for new equipment there after. I am excited about the plan, the journey and life in general. That in itself should be of great help to get the job done. First, coffee and just getting awake and ready.

Monday, April 22, 2013

How to prepare for a City Championship in golf

It is the last day of my 3 day off stretch and I feel great. My muscles are more relaxed then in months, I sleep well and my mind is in total balance for my task. There is so many things which need to be thought of and which need to be taken care of. I have a clear vision of how our lives will look like until the end of the year and thereafter. But one step at a time. My task beginning today is to prepare for the Sarasota City Championship. Maybe not the greatest of this kind and maybe not on the best golf course, but sure a great opportunity to earn some reputation as a player. That is a big part of finding more support and accomplishing certain goals for our future. As there is no opportunity to practice today and it was actually not planned to do so. The question some of the readers ask is , What can you do?. There is plenty of things. My first step today is to go through my equipment and make sure I have what I need. In this case not talking about clubs. I have my set and all clubs seem to be in order for now. My driver shaft makes some strange noise yet again , but since I have to buy them myself , I will work with it for now as it is. It works and that is the key. I will not do any changes otherwise before this tournament. For that I set aside a time frame after May 6th. Despite the fact, that you should be able to hit any club, there is also the fact, that once you get new tools, you have to get used to them, learn them and grow with them. But in between those tournament days that would not be good. My putter is a different story. Always looking and open to a new gun for the green. I still do not have the bag I need and I will work on finding one beginning today. Not that I can not play with the bags I have, but , I would rather use a lighter bag with my logo on it. Thing is, this will have no impact on this tournament weekend. Next you check for accessories. I am good with tees, ball markers and divot repair tools. As a matter of fact, I get rid of some so I have more room to breath in my golfing area at home. Last I look at balls. I switched to Wilson Duo Staff and I have a few left. As a back up I have some Srixons. ( remember, that we do not play under the one ball rule ! So I am good). Shoes are good as well and my cart works great. Just need to put some air in and give some oil. There we go. First step is done. Next I usually take a yardage guide and develop a playing plan. This includes a list of clubs I plan to play , locations I am using as targets as well as taking a good look at the greens. Since there is no yardage guide for this course, I will spend an hour or 2 on Google Earth today and write myself a nice play book. Most important will be the pin placement. There is a few holes where I really need to pay attention to it, so I can preferably get uphill putts. Luckily the greens are not as difficult as some of the other prep courses I played, so I am sure I will be fine. Once I developed the plan , I will play the course one or two times in my head. Every shot envisioning myself hitting the ball and plaything the hole all the way into the cup. Last , there is some mental exercises I am working on to get better focus. That will be it for the day today and it will be a big step forward. I played this course many times. This will help to navigate the track and play it to the best ability as I can. This would be day one. Tomorrow I have rhythm practice at home. the focus being to hit wedge shots half swing shots with all kinds of irons. I am hitting into a net and the ball flight will be secondary. Primarily I am looking at making solid contact and good rhythm at that point. It will be about 400 balls beginning with my LW and going up to my 6 iron. Once through I switch for 1 hour putting and then hit another 200 or so backwards or mixed. this is about 4 hours I give to that session. All about feel , rhythm and head movement. Day three is Wednesday. first 6 hour practice day. This will be an interesting day. I will start out with fitness in the morning. Get about 30 minutes of stretching in. Different exercises. Followed by breakfast and then off to the range. 2 1/2 hours short game. Chipping, chipping and chipping. Second part pitching, pitching and pitching and last half hour , bunker shots. Short distance and middle of green. Back home for a short break including lunch and time with family. The afternoon I will be on the range for 2 1/2 hours. First a short warm up. Focus 1 6 iron. Various shots, full swing, half swing, left to right, right to left. Focus 2: 3 hybrid. Full shot, left to right, right to left and punch. Last half an hour is reserved for the driver. Still am not consistent. To relax my muscles I will go putting. 6 foot putts. As many as I can, Including routine. Sink them and sink them. After the last two rounds I need to get more confidence. The Founders Club easily had a chance for 78 or lower and Bobby Jones a couple weeks ago even more so. So I need to make more putts from this short distance. Thursday. Short game. Pitching and chipping from all kinds of distances. Then lob shots from behind the bunker to different pin locations. Followed by side hill wedges, down hill wedges and behind the tree wedges. That will keep me busy for 3 hours. Following up with about 80 range balls. Tournament warm up. Wedges, irons , hybrid and the driver ( I might play the course on the range one full round. Friday. Warm up in the morning. Just play wedge shots , some 6 irons and hybrids. Then off to skins game at Bobby Jones. Play blue tee boxes to make sure I get adjusted to the distance. At Bobby Jones there is only 3 holes which are significantly different from those tees. Number 4, number 12 and number 13. 4 is a par three of the water from that box. Not long, but plays with your mind. Number 12 is a long par three ( 212 or 215 I think ), number 13 plays as a true par 5 from the blue box although from the front white tees I play it as a par 4 at about 460. I think that will cover it. thing is , if you play forward tees, some of the par 5s are reachable in 2, which I did on a regular base. But if played as a par fife, even if you a little short , you are still in front of the green. Saturday: Tournament day! Get up, have breakfast, pack your clean and shiny clubs, sign in, warm up for 30 minutes on the range, 10 minutes on the putting green and off we go. This is the most exciting part. I love to practice for hours, but in the end. Tournament rounds are the most fun and important. So that is kind of my preparation for the week. You might think , there is not much time left for other things. You are right. Besides spending time with family, doing emails and some other things it is best to be in focus and keep your mind clear. Just as I like it. ( Of course I need time to write this blog, so you call can follow and be excited with me :) )

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Playing at Bobby Jones preparing for City Championship

Yesterday it was yet another good round of golf. Played at Bobby Jones in Sarasota. The course is not in good shape. That is a draw back. However, it is playable and that is the key . The City Championship starts next weekend I am getting ready for it. Yesterdays round was good. The driver is progressing and my average is moving up . Currently at 260. Longest drive yesterday on a 490 par 5. I had 180 yards to the pin. Unfortunately right of the cart path and sitting in a little divot like setting. My goal was to get it out and towards the green. Landed pin high to chip and finish. Missed my birdie putt though. However, back to the driver. I am setting up differently and according to the hole. Makes a huge difference and I am hitting fairways again. Very satisfying. Just need a little more distance. My shaft seems to be fine. I am not 100 % sure if I should not go with a stiff again. Right now I am playing a regular shaft, but measured in the shop it is more stiff then regular. We will work on it. My driver I love. My 3 wood worked great in the fairway. Used it 2 times and had very good shots there. Almost reached another par 5. but with all the wind we had that was pretty much impossible. So no problem there. Just need to stay on it. Wedges are all good and I am getting more and more accurate with it. The chipping set up starts paying off and I have more control, good spin and can work the ball in all kinds of different ways. Everything from 100 yards in is very good and gets better the more I play and am on the range. Had two bunker shots, which I made bogeys out of it. Could not get a good feel for those bunkers. They are so hard and mostly wet. But that will work out. Just use the LW next week maybe. Putting was ok. Made some good putts and have a good feel. Still not sure if I should go back to my old putter though. After all the main reason I play mine was because I worked for the company. Talking to the pro and reading, I am think I will have to get new clubs. Make it easier on myself. I am still playing the very little blades from McGregor. They look great, feel good, but have no forgiveness and I lose distance with them. So we will work on that after the big tournament. Suggestions are welcome. I am a 7 handicap going lower. By the end of summer I will be 2 for sure. So according to that , open for suggestions on clubs. I am open to learn. In todays world, the best equipment is not what sounds best, but what works best. So bring it on. The next 3 days are relaxing, reflecting, planning. Back on the range Tuesday. But I am sure I have some thoughts to share.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sunny day in Bradenton

It is a sunny day here in Bradenton. Perfect day to play golf. But today there is first some other things on the agenda. Car needs to get a check up. Hopefully nothing to big. But I think it will be fine. Then we have some family time before we are back to being just the two of us. In the evening I will do 2 hours of practice ,maybe 3. Depending. Rest of the evening I do work online. Set up tournaments, schedule first lesson, find a place for fitting my irons, find a golf bag, talk to more potential partners who showed interest in joining up my mission and business model. But I will keep it down to about 2 or 3 hours online. So it is a good plan for today. Pretty simple. My biggest advancement in the past weeks, is the fact, that I am back to where I was many years ago. Elaborating on that will have to wait. For now, I enjoy some good breakfast and family time. One more week and the full force practice and playing plan comes into place. 6 hours a day. Full power towards the goal. I am so excited about it.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Founders Club in Sarasota , Florida - a favorite golf course of mine

Stop worrying about what you have to lose and start focusing on what you have to gain. by unknown This is what I was supposed to have mad part of my mental game yesterday, but was not able too. When playing my last round , I harvested many fruits of my better practice during the past 3 weeks. The work paid off. Finally. Although far behind of what I need to do, I am getting closer with my work. Meaning, I am playing more balls, have a better plan, work more targeted as well. Really like the team effort. Going to practice with 2 people has many advantages, but most important to me is the fact of being able to talk and discuss things. Talk about moves, about ideas and so on. Develop goals and then work on those goals. Being 45 some might think it is too late to reach a certain level of play. I have to disagree. There is absolutely no limit if the work is put in, if there is a group of people believing and being part of it and most important, if the person reaching out to the goal and dream is 100 % committed in action and though. I am getting more and more closer to exactly that point. I think golf, I play golf, I sleep golf, I love golf and everything about it. The result yesterday was great. I missed only 1 fairway! Having a shot at the green every single time. I controlled my driver so good, that I hit between 220 and 280, taking my 3 wood out of the game. I like it. My approach shots were great. Reaching many greens in regulation from 100 to 200 yards with various golf clubs. A huge step forward and a confidence gainer. It is so satisfying to be able to get this ball on the green. Really did not matter where. I need to work on distance and aim a little more. The shaping of shots went well, but there is many practice shots to be done to get it fine tuned. I had two fairway shots with my hybrid, which both were perfect and one with my 3 wood, which I caught high and lost distance but good line. Most exciting was my wedge game. 2 very difficult bunker shots I was able to pull of and make par. Then there was the bunker shot at 17. I left it short and my ball was embedded right under the edge of the bunker, being in the sand 3/4 quarters. I worked for almost 3 minutes to make a decision on what to do and then decided to play it to the left. Trying to get the ball into the fairway in front of the green for a chip. I took a good swing at it and it came out. But not only that, it actually had so much side spin, that it landed forward on the green. Unbelievable. I was putting for par and saved bogey . I was happy. Which brings the following quote to mind “No one has as much luck around the greens as one who practices a lot.” Chi Chi Rodriguez quote My chips and pitches were not only on target, but I actually put them exactly where I wanted them, getting great results and opportunities. I will continue my short game work as I do. This will be great. I set myself up for great opportunities for birdies and pars. However, here comes the first sentence into play, I literally sucked in execution. I missed about 10 putts within 7 feet!!! a few of them within 4 feet!!! Can you imagine? I mean. I agree, that a 7 food putt is not the easiest. But 4 foot putts? Please. We played on a stemp meter of 11 to 12 and I left downhill putts short. How is that for touch LOL. I just did not get it done. Instead of shooting 75 I shot 88 and greatly because of my putting. Not good. On 18 I topped it. I actually lost my ball after a good drive to the right. True, there is 8 eyes watching, but I guess not at that hole at that time LOL. So I drove back and hit another drive, which was a good one. Right in the center of the fairway on 18. played a nice lay up shot, put my ball right to the green, chipped it on and putted it out from 30 feet. Figure that putt. I am happy to report , that I kept my cool throughout the round. I am an verbal player, but I stayed focused and went about my game and my shots. This round represents a big step forward in my plan and my development. It was a hot golf day on top of it and it was good for my conditioning. Next big steps will find the right irons, a bag and some other items. Today was resting and family day. Well deserved. Tomorrow we do some short game practice and Thursday I am bag working on it for Friday. Followed up with 3 days off for planning, organizing, editing and talking with team , friends. I am excited. That is a fact and soon it gets better. Nothing is impossible. Period. Still looking for partners and people with a vision for something great we can do together.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Comment on Tiger Woods penalty

Wanting to play on the pro tours, part of it is knowing the rules. While I do know the rules very well, it is at times hard to understand when they need to be enforced and how. The Tiger Woods drop will be a good example on how a rule could be implied by a ruling body. I think most important to understand is here, that the ruling body evaluated the drop before tiger even was done with 18. Meaning, that they would have had time to tell him that he did something wrong. But, after looking at the video, they decided he did nothing room. The same counts for his pear players in the group, his caddie, the other caddies, millions of viewers, officials and so on and so on. That tells me, that he played by the rules and did not sign a wrong score card. Only in his interview it became clear, that he was playing a different set of rules mistakenly. If Tiger would have not said anything about the 2 yards. Nobody would talk about it. That is exactly where the protection comes in. In his mind, he did everything right and all people around him confirmed that fact. The 2 shot penalty is to a point justified, but only to a point. Even that could be discussed. Opinions are different in that matter. But fact is, that decisions like that were made before other players being involved. Remember Ernie Else with the camera tower, a movable obstacle, which then was ruled a not moveable obstacle. Clearly a rules violation and yet he won and nobody ever talks about it. This decision was one of the best made in golf for years. Showing the ability to make a decision based on humanity. I do not believe, that the name Woods helped her, even though some of the people and players indicate so. It is funny, that the leading players agree with the decision and the lower tier players, like David Duval, Lowery and maybe others do not. It clearly shows their mindset towards the game. Not healthy. Not knowing it, Tiger could make history and probably already did just by being the first one to be penalized by this new rule. Incredible. There always be people like Chambele ( hope I spelled it right), a guy who literally has no clue. Over the years who showed his ignorance of the actual game. Or like Rosaforte ( did I spell this one right?), who loves to talk but again seems to forget what we are talking about. Freddy Couples gave a good statement and if Tiger has any sense for the game of golf, he will play and move on to win big. I play by the rules and I believe everybody should play by the same set of rules. That brings in the anchored putter. An illegal golf club widely used on the tour and around the World. Yet nobody seems to care about that, until the R and A and the USGA begin to think about getting the ruling right. All of a sudden there is all kinds of comments. Fact is, it is an illegal club. Period. No fuzz here though. If I would be a player on the tour right now. I would focus on playing. Tiger might have gained an advantage, but of what kind? He could have holed it out, but he did not and he could have used two strokes, which he did and lost them both, falling back. So in reality, the hole did not help him at all. So if I am a player , I do the one thing which is important at that time: Focus on my game, play the best I can and do the best I can do play by the rules. Only difference, now I know that being human is ok! If Tier withdraws now, he will put the entire club and Masters in question. Questioning a board and ruling body which for sure knows what they are doing. If he does that, it will literally take away the trust in and tournament ruling body. So I hope he understands that his popularity is important, but the game golf much more so.

It is bgreat when you worked hard and finally get results

Yesterday we played the skins group at Bobby Jones golf course. For weeks now I am working on my new chips, pitches and drives. Hundreds of balls, hours and hours and my game went the other way constantly. A tough test for your mindset. But yesterday I finally was able to get some of it done. With , in my mind a dozen really bad shots and putts, I was able to get a 80 out of it. But let us review the round. My drives were great. As a matter of fact. I was putting it out there 250 to 280 yards. Only one bad drive I can account for. This one hurt and cost me 2 strokes. I hit it in the water. On top, after my shot after the drop I had the feeling that I cleared it, but , there was a big gator exactly where I went with my ball. I opted to stay away and move on. After all, that was not a round for 1 million $. I went to finish with par and bogey, so I was able to just forget it. My new stands and my should set up works great and I make much better contact with the ball. It feels better, looks better and my margin of error is much lower. So I keep working on this one. My chipping was great. With my new set up, per STeve Stricker, I am able to get much more spin into the shot and it is easier to judge distance. Had some great spin shots, stopping the ball close to the pin, giving myself a chance to hole it out, which I did. Only 1 really bad shot I had with that chip, after a situation we had on a par 5 were a player in the group moved behind the flag while I was chipping for eagle, after hitting two great shots into a par 5. I was not able to settle down for 2 holes , which cost me another 3 strokes. Because of the bad ship I ended up with bogey on a par 5 and missed a birdie putt on 15 after a huge drive and a wedge in. But it is my fault. I simple could not block the situation fast enough. I was able to do so after 16. Hitting another great chip to the pin for inches and a par and finishing with a huge drive on 18, a 7 iron into the wind close to the pin and getting a birdie. So I am able to block and reset and move on. That is exciting. I am just sad about the stretch in between. The great news is, that it did not result in a double bogey or worse. That is the key. Greatest shot of the day was on par 3 number 12. I hit my hybrid into a hazard ditch, sitting in and under about 4 inch grass, my stands being the left food in the ditch and the right food above me to the right. I opted for a sand wedge thinking if I can punch it out towards the green I have a good chance to save bogey. With plenty of focus I was able to put it on the green , giving myself a chance for par, which I missed by little and got my bogey. That was a great shot and I felt that the short game practice paid off. I have 2 days to get prepared for Monday at The Founders Club. My main focus will be short game and a few drivers. I feel very comfortable with all other clubs to move the ball. All I need to do is get within 130 yards of every hole to get close to the pin. So there is a game plan for all holes. I am excited and my mind is 100 % on golf.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Day trip with practice in Ft. Myers

There is always a time where you need to get away. Even when you live in Florida, time away from home and office is crucial to stay relaxed and in focus. The good news is, we only need to go a few miles and be in a different World. While spending a day in Ft. Myers, I went out to Daniels Driving Range ( see reviews about it on Google + and our website Goal yesterday was to work on my head position. Many of my miss hits , if you an call them that, are a direct result of being out of sequence. When I am at the top of my back swing and start my swing, my head is slightly ahead of the club head actually getting to the ball and turning towards target. This makes me hit fat shots and not working the ball as I actually can work it. We started with a 45 yard approach shot using a SW to warm up. Working on this shot is a crucial element, as I am short on long par 4s at times and the distance 45 and lower comes into play. It looked all good but inconsistent. I had a practice partner with me , so we could evaluate it and again it is my head moving to early and out of my sequence. We did an old drill. While I was setting up my partner held a club on my head with the goal to not get detached of the club when executing the shot. Did that a couple times and had good shots. Then without and we were back in rhythm. I will continue working on that with all clubs. Next we did LW shots for the high lob approach on fast greens over bunkers etc. They all looked good and solid. Second part was reserved for the driver yet again. Short warm up with target shooting 100 yards and 35 yards as well as some irons for 150. Few hybrids, which worked out good and then to the driver. I had one single miss hit and that would have been in the FW for sure. Widening my stance, right shoulder a little more down, hands a little more forward. Very different from my original set up. But it works well. I am gaining distance and am hitting straighter then before. Exactly what I am working on. So we continue working on that. Tomorrow we are back to Bobby Jones Golf and I am very much looking forward to that. I am ready, have good feel and the driver seems to come along. Looks like the down time is coming to an end and the transition into a new game will work out great. Next Monday we will be playing my favorite course, The Founders Club and I am ready for it. If in rhythm, confident in my swing and a good mindset, I think I will be moving towards golf which I played long time ago. Not that I expect miracles, but improvement. It is not pretty to shoot in high 80s :) , but when working on progress, set backs are expected.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Laurel Oak Country Club with West Florida Golf Tour

Yesterday we played a stableford tournament at the above country club. One of the nicest courses around. After putting more work into my game using video and practicing on improving certain aspects, I was determined to accomplish certain goals. 1. No double bogey . 2. 5 birdies 3. If in the sand, save it 4. hit fairways 5. reach at least 1 par 5 in 2 6 Avoid penalties and if I get one , get a bogey out of it. Course management was pretty high on my list. Play the course. Get around save and set myself up with some opportunities. 1. I had 1 double bogey. Of all holes it was on 17 where I hit a good shot with my 6 iron, but simply was to much aiming towards the pin. A shot to the middle would have easily be ok. So I ended up in the bunker. My bunker shot was not bad. I hit it towards the upslope of the green and just was 3 yards to long. Which caused a problem. My back spin was good, but it got stuck in the rough. That called for a very tough downhill chip with not much room to work with. I tried to land that on the fringe and came up 4 feet short and the ball stopped. I two putted from there. I did a good job of avoiding those double, but that was a tough one to take. Really simple mistake and then lacking experience. 2. I was putting for more then those 5 birdies. 2 of them less then 8 feet. Yet, I was not able to convert them. Leaving the majority short !!! right on line to the center. I guess I should have checked the speed when I started. However, overall, I had plenty of opportunity to do it and that in itself was very positive. 3. I only had 1 bunker shot. It was a good shot, but I could not save par. 4. Certainly I hit fairways. As a matter of fact , I only missed 4 of them. Now that is what I call good driving. Had good distance and was pretty accurate. The par 5s were easy. I drove the ball nicely. Even on the short par 4s I took out my driver instead of the 3 wood and played a safety shot so I could get a shot at the green with a high lofted iron. 5. I reached number 9 with in 8 yards. Not that biggest shots, but I was right there and a little more left it would have run down the side hill on the green. A great second shot. It played at abou5 495 and I had 210 to the center of the green. so that was satisfying in my mind as it is a narrow fairway towards the green. All other par 5s I had a good drive, but actually did not go for it. There was one particular one where I had 230 to the middle of the green after a 290 yard drive. But it was all water in front of the green. Literally flying water. So I went back to my double bogey goal and set myself up for a birdie instead. Good decision. 6 I had 1 penalty. Strange one it was. Again I had water to my right hand side and about 158 to the pin, which was placed right back of the green close to the front bunker and water in front of the bunker. My goal was to hit a shot to the middle of the green and putt uphill , getting a par out of it. Unfortunately I set up to far right and my shot looked good, but landed on the down slope. We all thought it was in the bunker. But getting there I discovered, it was not. This confirmed, that the ball rolled in the water. Since I did not see it, I took a drop. Facing a very interesting shot. A deep bunker in front of me, pin about 5 yards beyond the bunker and fringe, up hill lie, deep rough and no stands. I figured , if I can get my LW under it and give it a shot, it will be safely on the green. Best if I can save another bogey. I hit a great shot and it rolled within 5 inches, giving me a bogey yet again out of nothing. Almost holed it LOL. Coming in on 18 I had yet another opportunity for a birdie which stopped 1 inch in front of the hole yet again. But I gladly took the par on it. I was very pleased. My score of 85 was not exactly the big winner. However, I accomplished my goals and played nicely . Nice course management. When you look back at the putts I missed plus some of the wrong club selections I made, you can easily see another 10 strokes going away. So we are back on track. Working on a better set up for my drive and iron shots starts paying off after a huge downfall. The video work we did certainly was a big winner. Glad that I have a trainings partner helping, this is something we need to do all the time. Only thing we will add will be the swing analyzer for the range. I still have no idea about my club head speed progress and my swing plane as well as attack angle. It is true I could go to a track man session and get the info, work and go back. But why pay 120 $ for one session every months if I can get accurate reading for 199 one time and keep getting them? But first, today back on the range and work on short game. Huge improvement and I need to work harder. Even more now then before I am determined. I am excited an can not wait to get the clubs in my hand.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Back in the game

Friday was an interesting golf round I played. Some incredible shots, some shots which are beyond me understanding how I can actually do them. Overall I took some good things from this round at Bobby Jones and some things which make me think I need to do some things different. I went right back to work yesterday. the primary goal was to shoot some videos to take a look at what I am doing. This does not supplement in anyway a swing analysis. The video shows you your set up position and your swing in fast mode, but it does not tell you how your club angle is at impact, your swing speed, your swing arc or anything like it. Just because you have a good back swing and a good set up it does not mean that you make good contact when arriving at impact. So what I really wanted to find out with shooting some videos is some general information about my set up and positioning as well as my weight shift. I could identify several issues right away. One of the biggest issues being my weight shift, secondly my set up and last my sequence and her especially my head. I can not identify my attack angle, smash point, swing speed and how my club head is at impact ( that being the most important). I also can not identify my swing arc. So for the time being I will go through them again and find a couple issues which I will be working on. That is a temporary solution. Before I start my daily regiment of practice and play I need work on the following: 1. Have the 100 % fitting equipment 2. Have a swing analysis 3. Have a refreshing lesson or lessons 4. Have a swing analyzer to use on the range for constant control of what we are working on So there is a month to get this done. Luckily I can play 3 more evens on the WFGT before playing the Sarasota City Championship. That event was good for me and I won the last flight. Does not sound to exciting, but it was. Played some good golf in the end and made some good price money ( which that is the key in the first place). Today we will need to see what I put on my list. Play a round of golf or drive out to Tatum Ridge for a concentrated session of practice in some areas like Driver set up and swing, bunker shots and maybe the mid iron approach. So we will see. I listened to the golf channel yesterday and they talked about different ways on how to improve and get ready for the masters. They mentioned two players. Tiger Woods and Rory. Saying that Tiger is the player who would go on the range, work on something, accomplish the task and then bring it to the golf course. Which is different to Rory, who is a player. Someone who goes out, plays and plays and takes hits on the course before accomplishing his feel and A game. Two different ways to get back in shape. I love the range and I think it is important to go and work on things, but in the end, improvement comes with play and play only. On the range you will be able to get to a certain level of play, but never to a professional level. That is only possible by playing. Playing a lot, best every day. A friend and mentor of mine who played about 7 years on the PGA tour many years ago once told me, that I have everything I need to play pro golf. I just need to go out and play and play and play. When working on my game , I was told to work on one task at a time and never work on one task for more then 1 hour. Then take a break and do something else. Although there is no one single blue print on how to accomplish the task and the practice plan, some of the pointers are , in my mind, universal. I need to improve in some of those matters. Practice more targeted, practice more efficient and more in the first place. Some of the dialogues I had recently included the discussion about all the technology what is available and how the guys did not have that many years ago. Although that might be true, there is not one single senior, who would have used it if available. Simply because it makes sense and helps. Jack Nicklaus always said, whatever helps you to play better, take advantage of it. Tee it up if you can, play it forward if possible, clean it if allowed. Put yourself in the best position with all possible options. I am far away from that and that will be the goal over the next 4 weeks. I might get some of it done before the City Championship, but I will put no pressure on myself because of that. I have to the end of the year to get into shape with my game. I am excited that I can do what I do and the situation has improved by far, which makes it much easier to get the task done. Still working on my team and on getting myself and everyone 100 % in focus for the goal. Next week we have more conversations with possible partners. It is a team effort. I am the quarter back. My job is to call the shots and play. But there is many positions which need to be filled. Now, let us start the day with a good Sunday breakfast :) .

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Rained out practice - Well the thunder and tornado is the bigger problem.

Looks like this day is totally rained out. We have tornado warning until 8 pm. So no range today and no play today. Maybe some putting and chipping at home. But there is plenty of work to do in other departments. So I will stick to that for today. After all as small operation, most of the task fall to the player himself LOL.

Day 83 - practice in rain

Woke up to lots of rain. That is always a little difficult, but I will see to it, that I can get out and practice. We play in sun and in wet conditions. Yesterday I had a great putting session. 2 hours working on my set up. I used to set up like Jack Nicklaus. That is how I learned it and it made a lot of sense to do so. Not sure why I ever changed it, but yesterday I went back to my original set up. Open stance, right shoulder lowered and my feet apart a little wider. Worked over 2 hours on distance control and feel. It is a little odd with the NickelPutter, because of its shape and weight, but in the end it felt good and I found my distance control again. I am satisfied with the result and will continue to put extra time in for the putting stroke. It is crucial that this will work. Biggest challenge I have is the putting greens I am working on. The speed of the greens I am playing in tournaments is above 10 at all times. Mostly 11, 12 and even 13. Further they are absolutely true greens in great condition. The greens I am practicing on are for the most part not even close to that. This makes it difficult to adjust all the time. I am struggling to get the speed right and find my distance. I am looking into a putting green for my back yard. There is great options, but they all cost plenty money. So we will keep working on that issue and see how we can proceed with that. Indoors I have a green which is running will , but no space yet to make it happen. Today I will work on mid irons and finish with the driver. Still not sure how to proceed with the driver. It is ok and I am in play, but I am way to short. Need to gain 30 to 40 yards. Which is no problem with my speed and strength. I just need to make contact at the right time and in the right spot. My mid irons are crucial and I am excellent one day and like a beginner the next I think I just need to hit more balls in more focus and make sure I open my body and make room for my club to get through. Tomorrow we play Bobby Jones again. It will be fun. Fast greens for the tournament and hopefully sun. This will then be a good test for Monday at Laurel Oaks Country Club. I feel good, pretty much rested and my mind is free of any side tracking thought for the first time in weeks.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sarabay Country Club - Toughest greens in Florida?

Wow, another interesting round to say the least. While I do not believe, that those greens are the toughest greens, some actually think so. I agree, that they are fast and shaped in a way which can cost you some nerves. I again won the battle against myself. It is so sad, that you can do all the shots, shape them as you like and yet are not able to do it when it counts. It took me 15 holes to hit a good drive. A little late in the end. Not that the others were impossible, but my average was up to 250, which would be enough to give myself chances on this coursed and yet, today I was not able to hold it in the fairway. When I did, I was out to long for a good shot at the green. Give me up to a 4 iron, I am getting there and can do it, give me longer , it is getting harder. If I would go through my shots hole by hole, you might think, fine. Does not sound that bad and you are right. There is always some good shots and some amazing recoveries. But that all does not count. In the end, on this tournaments I need to make points and more important birdies. This is where the money is. It really does not matter if you shoot 99 or 78. If you have 2 birdies in your 99, you can make some money and without a birdie in your 78, you might get the win and a 200 $ certificate. That is nice too, but certainly does not supplement two skins. Naturally I want to play well and ideally a 72. At the same time. What is important is, that you play better then the person before you and that you should birdies for cash. I did not accomplish that. It was a good practice week and even when warming up , I did well. My short game improved and my drive is getting better. There was nothing to see of all of it today. Bad chips, horrible bunker shots and a game without confidence. It is a mental error, not missing ability. I think the best news today was, that after having a hard time to get the ball in this hole in time, I came back on 13 with a nice approach, getting through 14 and 15 in decent fashion, playing a good par at 16, a bogey safe on 17 and a good par on 18. That shows, that even after playing below my ability I was able to get my head together and play all the way to the end of the round. Btw, my putting was good today. Without it, this would have been much harder. The sun got to me yet again and yet not as much as the rounds before. Tomorrow I will be in shape again. Which will lead to 3 hours practice. I am so excited, another few weeks and I am back in full time practice and play. It is time. Until then we need to get the clubs changed, a new bag and probably a couple lessons. But we will get it done. Next on the agenda is Laurel Oaks. One of my favorite courses and I will get ready for it.

Day 88 - Saraby Country Club, Sarasota

Tournament day. I am ready to go. Had some good practice session. Did about 2 to 3 hours the last 4 days including one round of play and it shows. 6 hours a day is mandatory and soon we will get there. I will publish some interesting info about all that soon on our website. So keep in touch and keep reading. Today we will play at Sarabay Country Club. Always a tough challenge, but a fun course. The key here is to get and keep it on the green. The greens are fast, small and going in all kinds of directions. Being short of the green is most likely better then going long. My game plan is simple. Hit fairways and then get it to the green. Score on par 5s and short par 3s and pick up a couple birdies on par 4s. Got up early after an ok night sleep, so I am rested and ready. They do not have a driving range there, which explains me being up that early to go warm up at Terra Ceia. Playing in the last group again. That is not my favorite. However, it is a good test for my mental strength, which I have to work on. Have new plans, new ideas and new things coming up. All of them exciting. But I will write about that later. Now I is coffee time, then get ready and drive to warm up. I am excited and look forward to have some fun.