How time flies when you chase a small ball into a hole. It is almost a year since I set off to get and half my handicap. So a decent time to reflect and plot the rest of the journey.
Looking back on the journey since last April – a lot has changed. New kit, bits of coaching, new partners, new mental game etc. I was lucky to be able to invest a lot of time and money into the game last summer. It has yielded a few results. Won twice at the monthly competitions. Got my first handicap of 36, but over a 5 month period, have been able to bring it down to 26. The quantum leap came partially by moving to Taylormade Burner 2.0s. Nifty clubs, i say. Having started last summer at 112, this year, I have had 3 full games, and finished in the 90s every time. So I guess, things have improved.
Looking ahead, the immediate goal is to break 90. As I look forward to the season, I think I can break 90 this year, provided I improve my Consistency. I can have great par 4 and par 5s, but then crumble on a par 3 or vice versa. So the big question is how to gain consistency. With my consulting hat on, I have broken it down into 3 Ts – Technique, Tools and Temperament.
- Technique: I would say, the main bit here is about unlearning rather than learning. When I had my old Sports Direct – Dunlop set, I made amends by having a technique that would compensate for the tool. Unfortunately, this and years of cricket has resulted in a bit of residual muscle memory that I need to overcome. Some classes have helped, but more are needed. I am looking forward to working with Leighton on this – esp around my swing plane and bunker play. Technique also include game strategy on playing the hole backward or breaking the putt into multiple bits to achieve the goal. I guess I watch too my Youtube videos and read too many mags.
- Tools: My current kit of mostly TaylorMade and Titelist is pretty decent. However, these have not been customised. I chose to play with stock clubs. My rationale was that customising would only reinforce my bad habits. If I could do it again, I want the works – lie, loft, shaft, grip etc. Also, my research (and bank) has led me to Srixion AD333. If there is a better ball (Bridgestone E6?) at the price point, I would not mind checking it out. I have my Leupold GX2, which comes out of the bag on strange courses. I am also looking at my stats esp GIR to see how it can improve my game.
- Temperament: I put mental and physical game in this box. This Sunday was a bit of an epiphany for me. Usually, I am worried about how I am doing against the rest of the crew and where it will end up etc. On Sunday, with PG taking care of the scoring, I just played and worried about the hole rather than anything else. Almost had my best game on Shey. I think I might have found my ‘go to calm space’. Golf is also a pretty physical game. Of the crew, I guess Ritesh and I are the least gym friendly blokes, who have yet to give up their weekend tipple. However, to get to the next level, I will have to sacrifice a few more calories and pounds.
Now that I have broken it down, I can start addressing some of these, based on time, work and money constraints. Thoughts??
PS: A bit disappointed that I came up with a 3 pointer triangle rather than a typical 4-box model. But then I came up with this while on the throne, so I can be excused.