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Friday, 16 June 2017

Broke Backs and Lofted Metals

Well, I have now put my broke-back swing into play. It is a swing loosely based on the one Moe Norman used. It isn't a swing, actually. It's really more a strike. After all, the ball couldn't care less about your swing. It only reacts to the way you strike it.

Using the broke-back swing/strike, I broke eighty for the first time in about three weeks yesterday. And, given that my putting was average at best, that perhaps bodes well. It wasn't good enough, however, to allow me to beat Spiro, Steve, and Ken. We played a match with me against their best ball. I had agreed, reluctantly I might add, to also give them three shots because I'd beaten them the last time out. Those three shots turned out to be the difference, as they easily beat me three and two. 

Today I went out and hit balls, working on grooving that "broke-back" action. I only hit shots using my nine iron and wedges, but I was really pleased with the results. My divots were nice "bacon strips," the way Moe liked them to be--no great slabs of turf removed, leaving holes you could bury a small mammal in. And I was able to drive my cart down the range and easily collect the evidence in the form of golf balls without having to walk very far. So, so far, so good.

After my range session we went out for the Thursday Night Men's league where I play on a team with Levi, Johnny Carson, and George Hobson. It's a scramble format where you play a nine-hole match against a different team every week. It's my first year playing in the league and I'm really enjoying the chance to meet and play with new guys in a fun format.

We started on number three, where I hit a rather crappy drive that at least found the fairway. However, using Levi's drive, I damned near holed my next shot from 155 yards using my 28 degree, eleven wood. I've removed all my longer irons from the bag because I refuse to use clubs I don't trust; and I don't trust any iron longer than a six at this point. I follow Greg Norman's rule of thumb when it comes to what's in your bag.

Greg said, "If you can't hit your driver; don't."

I think there's a great deal of merit in that advice. If I can't feel reasonably confident that I will hit a decent shot with a club eighty to ninety percent of the time, that club will find itself on the shelf. I'd love to be able to have a bag full of shiny long irons, so anyone looking in my bag might be impressed and think I'm a player. But my long iron game sucks, and people are usually more impressed when you hit good shots, even if it's with an eleven wood.

I followed that eleven wood on three with a pulled six iron on the par three fourth hole. Interestingly, Doc, who was playing on the opposing team, had a 36 degree hybrid that he used on this hole. And when we got talking about going to hybrids instead of irons, Johnny told me he has just acquired a new 31 degree PING hybrid. So, maybe it's time for me to go shopping for some more lofted hybrids. I must admit that that shiny six iron of mine is on notice that it's days could be numbered.

I also put a 13.5 degree wood in the bag today. It's an older, Snake Eyes model that I'd had made for my father and, when he stopped using it, had put a steel Rifle driver shaft in it. It's been collecting dust until my decision to go the the Broke-back swing. I hit it instead of a driver on five, six, and seven today, and everyone of them were quite good. So, it looks like I might just start using that as my go-to driving club. It's worked awfully well for Henrik Stenson, so I can say I'm copying Henrik, instead of admitting that I need more loft from the tee. Loft has definitely become my friend.

We ended up getting rained out on seven, so that's where my story ends for today. As for tomorrow, it's eighteen holes with Carl the Grinder in the AM. And, if I'm not totally crippled, it's eighteen with Steve and Spiro at 3:10. I can hardly wait.