There is a saying in sports that "winning cures everything". I don't know who said it, but I do know it's true!
After a few weeks of golfing misery, I had a great weekend. It served as a nice reminder of why I love the game and continue to commit so much of my time, energy & money to it!
Saturday was a busy day, but it went as well as I could have expected. My first round club championship match was at 7:30AM and then our club was participating in the state team inter-club playoffs, which began at 1:00pm at a club about 25 minutes away. This scheduling snafu caused a lot of grief for the 12 players trying to fit in their first round matches and still play for the team.
With that said, there's nothing wrong with having a good reason to play 36!
My morning round got off to an interesting start: After missing the green with my approach to the easy, par 4 first hole; I had to make a 12 footer to save par and halve the hole. From there, something clicked and I proceeded to hit all but two of the remaining greens in regulation. It was as pure a ball-striking day as I have had this season. Oddly enough, I made absolutely ZERO putts and even had a three-putt, but was pretty satisfied with a 73 and, more importantly, the 4&2 win over one of our clubs most notorious trash-talkers.
After finishing my morning round, I hopped in the car and headed out to Chestnut Ridge Country Club, where the afternoon's playoff was being held. The format is foursomes, with two points being awarded for winning the front, back & overall (for a total of six possible points). Six two-man teams from our club play two-man teams from each of the other five clubs involved, and the point total earned by all of the teams from each club is then added to the season total. The season total was accumulated during club vs. club matches held previously throughout the summer.
My partner and I came to the ninth hole after having won the 8th to pull the match back to square. With a miracle up-and-down by my partner, combined with a brutal three-putt by our opponent, we stole the hole and won the front nine.
From there, we cruised to victory on the back, collecting all six points. My solid play from the morning round continued and there is definitely an added element of joy when you win a match with a partner. The rest of our team also played well and we easily won the event. Unfortunately, as the points were added up for the season, we ended up a mere two points out of the two final spots that would play for the season ending championship (to be held at the immaculate Caves Valley Country Club).
Usually that would have left me feeling bummed out, but after 36 holes of really good golf, I settled into the couch and watched the Baltimore Ravens dominate the Panthers while the starters were in. This was a good day!
If you're curious as to what magical change helped bring me out of my funk, I'll share it with you: S-L-O-W
When you feel as though you're taking the club back really, really SLOW... go SLOWER.
I tend to get very quick either midway through my takeaway or in my transition, robbing myself of power at impact. You want the clubhead to be at maximum speed at impact, not before. When I focus on taking the club away slowly, it helps my timing and helps me accelerate through the ball.
Different swing thoughts work for different players and what works today can fail miserably tomorrow. However, this one can never hurt you and helped my balance, rhythm and timing all weekend long.