Yesterday was the official 4 week mark since starting this journey. I figured this would be a good spot to review how it has been going so far, and to look at what I need to focus on in the coming months.
I am proud to say that I have remained diligent about getting practice in every day. At the start of this journey I had 9 months to prepare for local qualifying. On the surface that seems like a lot of time, but for a player trying to get the game back to a level to compete at a national level, that really isn't much time at all. I have to maximize the time I do have if I am going to have any hope. I am trying to work to get better every day, even it is just small pieces of the game. I've only taken a couple days off from any practice due to soreness.
Speaking of soreness, the fitness routine is the foundation that I need to build everything in my game off of. Its also an area that I never really pursued during my playing days, and an area that I have never enjoyed. I have only been in the full routine for a couple weeks, but I have stayed with it even though my body does not recover very well (welcome to being an athlete in your 40's I guess). Since I've started, I can tell a difference already in my flexibility and a little in my strength. The biggest difference so far is I'm down 9 pounds. Losing weight was never the goal, but its nice to see differences being made through the fitness routine.
Looking back on the rounds I've played (especially the evaluation round), it is clear that my lack of distance throughout the bag (but the driver mostly) is going to be a major issue if I want to compete. I started the speed training a few weeks back to try to help in that area, but have recently put that on hold because of the fitness routine was conflicting with the schedule. I've made some small gains in this department but not enough to be very happy. I recently have been looking into possible equipment changes that can help. I haven't found anything that helps with the driver to this point (its just a lack of club head speed with the driver), but I have found some irons that seem help a lot. My irons are a set of Miura Blades and my stock numbers for a 7 iron with this set is 120 MPH ball speed, 92 MPH club head speed, and a carry distance of 170 yards. Now with the set of Mizuno JPX 900 Forged clubs I just picked up, my 7 iron jumped to 126 MPH ball speed, 94 MPH club head speed and carry of 185 yards. Picking up a club and half with the irons can be a great way to make up for the some lack of distance off the tee. I will play the JPX 900 irons a few times and see if this increase in distance makes any major differences to how I score and/or strategy on the course, so stay tuned for those updates...
The biggest jump I've seen in my games since starting this process is in my wedge game. I've spent a lot time focusing on distance control and trajectory control during this first 4 weeks. I've hit more great wedges in my rounds since putting the focus on it, and will need to continue that trend. At 41 years old I'm never going to be a "bomber" off the tee, but I can become an elite wedge player. I'm going to continue spending a ton of time working wedges, short game and putting despite analytics showing distance is a bigger factor in shooting lower scores than short game/putting.
I'm taking tomorrow off to recover from the intense work out I had today, and I was planning to have the store closed on Labor Day. Hopefully this storm bypasses us here in Florida (Floridians keep your fingers crossed, but also pray it doesn't GA/SC/NC as a Cat 4) so I can be open again on Tuesday, but only time will tell. So until Tuesday stay safe and KEEP IT IN THE SHORT GRASS!