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Sunday, 28 August 2016

Cough Syrup

I've made a recent change with my swing, getting it more upright again like it was when I was a flat-belly.  The result has been a higher ball flight and the ability to hit the fade much easier.  I shot a nice even par round the other day using the more upright swing after having struggled for the past couple of weeks.  But today I found myself over-doing things. I seemed to get it in my head that if getting it more upright helped this much, then I'll get it really upright.  Eventually I started taking the club back way outside and was lifting it straight up, without properly turning my shoulders.  The result was, of course, a weak cut.

I got carried away, like a kid with a new toy, and started to try to hit everything high and left-to-right, even when the circumstances didn't call for it.  On one par three I tried to hit a high seven iron into the wind and finished twenty yards short and right of the green.  Annoyed, I then threw down another ball and hit a low draw, which was what the shot called for, and nearly holed it, ending up less than a foot from the hole.  The high fade is nice, but not into a headwind, or to a left pin.

I've also been working on my high, soft pitches, opening up my wedge and cutting across it.  I was doing really well with them and suddenly today I went crazy and wanted to hit a flop shot every time I missed the green.  I tried one on the last hole, leaving the ball woefully short of the pin.  I said to Levi, in disgust, "Why don't I just hit a regular shot?"  I threw down another ball, took one look, and knocked it in the hole with a normal pitch shot.  Levi just laughed.

Levi found himself doing the same thing.  He is working lately on hitting draws with his irons and twice today tried to draw the ball to a right pin guarded by a bunker.  Needless to say, he crashed and burned.  He was also like a kid with a new toy, wanting to draw everything; even when the shot called for his old fade.

We had fun today, but scored poorly because we were both getting just a little carried away.  It reminded me of what Bobby Jones had to say about making changes, or using swing thoughts, when we play.  He said, "One or two teaspoons of cough syrup will help you.  But the whole bottle might just kill you."  We all seem to have the tendency to eventually over-do a change until it goes from being a good thing to a problem.  Then the search begins again.

I know I've done a good thing lately by consciously swinging on a more upright plane.  I have had several people remark to me about how flat my swing had gotten.  And you do need input sometimes if you're not seeing your swing on video.  But now I need to remember not to go crazy.  It's good for me to get my swing back on a better plane.  I had really struggled getting the ball high, or hitting fades, and blamed it more on my back than the fact that I had somehow slipped into a making a very flat swing. It's great to hit the ball high and left-to-right again with ease.  But it's just as good to have that low draw when you need it as well.  I need to take one or two aspirins, not the whole damned bottle!  The same goes for Levi.  The draw is nice.  But it's sure nice to have the little fade as well.  

It's also nice to learn those little finesse shots around the green.  But the good, old bump and run often beats the Philly Mick flop shot.  Save the finesse shots for the times when a simple shot won't do.