Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Getting ready for the Venice Open this upcoming weekend

I am so excited that the weather is changing. It is not as humid anymore and also the rain is gone. It was difficult at times to play on courses which mostly were mud and water. Greens not rolling, balls plugged and lost in the middle of the fairway, no roll after good drives and so on. Now things will get back to normal. Dry courses, nice weather. Only thing not good will be the green fees, which will go up in season. However, I have a good set up for practice and will play on several tours, which enables me to play practice rounds and good tournaments. Also I am part of several skins game groups, which also is competition and the opportunity to earn some $ , which is a huge factor when playing on this level. I had an enjoyable practice yesterday. Worked for the most part on chipping and putting. To many strokes got lost missing putts or not getting close with chips and shots around the green. So I will focus big time on this matter. My drives keep being straight. I think I gained some distance. Carry distance that is. But I will only know how good they are once I play on a dry and well maintained golf course. Currently my second shot on long par 4s ( 420 to 465) is still a little long. 180 to 220. Not that I can not reach the green from this distance, but my accuracy suffers, the ball is hard to stop and if I have traps in front of the green or even a water body, I have to think twice. On long shots I often play links golf. Meaning, I land in front of the green and let it roll on. All depending on the hole though. So I keep working on that. But fact is, that my drives are in the fairway at a rate of 80 to 90 % in average and that is a good statistic, period. My next goal will be bunker play. That is not easy, for several reasons. There is a ton of different kinds of sand and all are acting different. There is wet, dry, lots of sand, no sand, shells and flat and steep. But I only have one bunker to practice in. So I will do what I did over the past 2 months, avoid bunkers. I am not exactly sure , but when going through the last 10 rounds , I did not find more then 8 sand traps. Fairway traps are no problem at all. I can hit out of them at any time and get something out of it. Most green side bunkers are ok. It is those special lies I am struggling with. But I have a feeling, I have to simply play and learn. Long time ago I was told by a playing pro, that the key is to get it out. Getting it out and on the green is half the money. Getting it close is a bonus. So we work on that. Overall , I was happy with my practice. My game improved and more important my mental state improved big time. Learning things form a mental coach might not always be new information, but certainly helpful. There is at least two key points, which I am practicing to become good at in terms of focus. This upcoming weekend is a good golfing weekend yet again. I start with a practice round at Bobby Jones ( hoping it is nice and dry) in which I mainly will work on my driver and hitting it as hard as possible. Saturday is flight day for the Venice Open. I like the course. I play there every Saturday for a big game and so I know it pretty good. Saturday is about playing as well as possible and getting into a good position for the final day. The last 3 city championship I had tough starts, but finished strong with a good win and some money in my pocket. However, this time I go about it different. I will try to be in focus right from day one. This is a mental thing with me, but I do not see any reason why I should not be able to play as good on the first day as I do on the last day. The course is long and tight. So there is hurdle to take. I need to hit it long but yet I need to be in the fairway at all times to get a shot at anything. Also I am preparing specifically for the par 3s on that course. There is two of them over 200 yards, 215 and 236. Those are tough and long par 3s, which I played par and some times birdie on for the most part, but always had tough second shots. I really need to be on the green there. This shot is for my utility club and I am hitting it as much as possible. A 3 wood would be a good club to have for those holes. So I am working on getting one of those. Not sure if I can accomplish that before this weekend. Another club I put a lot of work in is my 3 hybrid. The long par 4s are all perfect for this club and there is 1 par 3 which I will use it on. 18 is about 190 and has the perfect shape for my hybrid. I was on this green every time but once and finished at least with par on this hole. So I have a good history with that tough little thing and tough it is with water, traps, ditch and so on. My physical condition is great. 20 days of no alcohol, special food plan and even going to the gym helped me to loose over 10 lbs, but more important, I feel better over all. I will not get much more done before the tournament, but for the future I will work on another 35 lbs loss and better conditioning. The non alcohol policy right now is not a long term one. I like my beer and wine. However, I will have to wait until I reached some goals and then I can enjoy any of this again. But I did find, that I am in much better shape in a tournament, if I do not consume large amounts of beer the days before the event. So we will change our behavior in that matter as well. Further I developed a better meal and snack plan on the course. I found during the past rounds, that I play close to par or better on the front 9, but run out of fuel on the back which leads to scores in the high 70s and sometimes even low 80s instead of close to par or even better ( there was several rounds where I was under par through 4 or 5 which is a great start for any round). I think there is a direct connection. In any case I am excited about my golf and look forward to todays practice at Sun Coast Golf Center. Also I am happy to hear that friend of mine will be back soon and we decided to practice together and work on our games. It is always good to have a partner to work with. So that could be of great benefit. Now, getting ready and off to the range for a few hours. After that, planning and mapping the tournament this weekend and work on websites and blogs.

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