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Of Father’s Day and Golf

Numerous times today the broadcasters at the US Open will discuss golf and Father’s Day.  In the collective national memory, we are supposed to have many fond memories of schlepping around the course with Dear Old Dad.  Of course, that’s not the case for all of us.  I only have one.

Pop has been gone for 20 years.  I came late in life to him.  He was truly the product of a different age.  As a young boy he went to the Train Depot to watch Uncle George and the Upper Marlboro contingent of the Doughboys come home from the Great War.  So he was there for the Depression, and the Second World War, and all the manifestations of the Cold War that followed.  Saturdays weren’t meant for golf.  They were meant for the farm.  I didn’t find golf until my Navy years.

Home on Leave from the submarine one day I was headed to the course.  The Old Man looked up and asked where I was going.  When I told him he asked if he could come.  “Sure.”  It was more shock than anything.  He never seemed to approve.  Men who lived through the Depression tended to take a dim view of leisure.  He was no exception.  But, he was interested.  So he walked the course with me.  Twin Shields was the name of the course.  It’s one of those courses that used to be fairly common; privately-owned, downscale, and a couple of notches above muni.  It’s still there, celebrating 40 years of business despite the annual rumor ritual that it will be sold for development.         http://www.twinshields.com/history.html

The wife and I were walking that course last week at twilight.  June 14′th was the anniversary of Pop’s passing.  Walking the course I found myself drifting back to that one day.  When we were on the back, away from everyone he asked for a club.  I tossed a ball on the ground.  He took a swing with that old 7-iron and hit it fairly straight for about 100 yards.  He handed back the club with a big, toothy grin:  “I could see where this would be fun.”  There wasn’t a lot of chatter.  But, walking up Eighteen he unexpectedly put his hand on my shoulder: “You need to stay with golf, Son.  It looks good on you.”

Of course, I didn’t listen.  The new bride was not a fan.  Golf went on the shelf for a number of years until SHE got bit by the bug.  Life comes full circle sometimes through unforseen avenues.  Walking up Eighteen with her the other day towards sunset against broken sky it was impossible to forget that day with the Old Man long ago.  It was a golf memory; singular.  But, it was one to remember.

Happy Father’s Day to all of you out there.

 
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Reality Check…This is a tough one to post

This past weekend I slammed smack dead into that wall called reality. I played in the Virginia State Amateur qualifier at Kingsmill on their woods course (not the River that the LPGA plays on) and to be kind to myself it was not pretty. I have got my handicap index down to 7.3 from a 12 a year ago and have been consistently in the low 80′s high 70′s thus far and to be honest I did not expect to qualify but I did expect to post some decent scores.

Well I wish I could say that was the case but it was the exact opposite. I have to just get it out…97, 85. Ouch! But you know the one thing I can say is that I am in a good place mentally and to my credit after posting that 97 after round 1 I went back out there unlike every other person who posted in the 90′s….they all WD’d. I absolutely would not even consider that…never quit…it is NOT an option!

I just don’t know what happened but the only thing I can say is that I was Tiger on the range and Barkley on the course…at least that is how my swing felt. I know that tournament golf is very different than playing on the weekend and I have preparing for that for the last 2 months. I have immersed myself in books on the mental game and have even been working with a local coach with guided meditation techniques which I have to say honestly is probably the only reason I was able to press on.

I woke up early and took my dog for a walk to warm up and then spent about a half an hour stretching and loosening up and then drove to the course. Once at the course I took my driver, a hybrid, 8 iron and wedge to the practice tee to loosen up and as I said I felt like Tiger. My swing felt great…very relaxed with a great tempo and I was throwing darts and nailing every target with a great strike and a baby draw. I spent the final 30 minutes chipping and putting and after the great warm up I was excited about what lay ahead.

Well I get to my first hole (#10) and yes I had some butterflies but I have trained myself to channel that into positive energy. They weren’t “oh please don’t shank” butterflies but they were more like “Thank you God for giving me this opportunity…this is what golf is all about” excitement butterflies. Well…I stood over my ball and executed my routine flawlessly and proceed to hit a snap hook through the trees on the left which I couldn’t see but there was the 18th green on the other side and a lake there so I hit a provisional and did the exact same thing only this time the snapper went farther up the treeline and I knew that one would be in play. Anyway long story short a few chunks and chili-dips later I put the ball in the hole for a quad. And that is pretty much the way the rest of my day went. I can honestly say that I felt like I was able to stay in the present on each shot (and there were many) and I didn’t feel as though I dwelled on the bad ones (and there were many) so I am not sure what went wrong. I do know that my swing felt tight and rushed the whole day and it was no where near the smooth rhythmic swing I had on the range.

So here I am left to wonder what had happened and why things went the way they did. I have received a lot of great input from my brother, who is an excellent golfer and athlete, and other good golfers that I know and I am very excited to get together with my pro and discuss what happened so that I can learn why things went the way they did so that at the next one (yes there will be a next one…and soon) I will be better prepared. I feel that the only way this can be a failure is if I do not learn from it and believe me when I say that I will take the time to digest every stroke of the 182 that I took this weekend to understand what happened and why. And although this bull really tossed me off pretty hard I have already dusted myself off and am ready to get back on for another ride.

 
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Why Hank Haney Failed with Charles Barkley on The Golf Channel

First off, allow me to say that I have a great deal of respect for Hank Haney’s ideas around swing plane. The idea of parallel planes is an original idea in my opinion that I had not heard before Haney, so I give him credit with the idea. That being said, his idea that he doesn’t care what the body does and he only cares about the club should now be shown for what it is – the complete wrong way to train an amateur golfer.

When working with tour pros the job is quite easy. They all already move their bodies so well, that you can focus more on the movements of the club. Amateurs on the other hand, move their body like Barkley. Barkley is SO club focused and focused on hitting the ball that he’ll NEVER get past his hitch with the way Haney is training him.

Honestly, we’ve dealt with swings like this a lot, Barkley’s steepening of the shaft move is far from uncommon in amateur golf. Charles’ is more severe than most, but it’s all related to the same thing. He needs to put his mind in rotating his left oblique to clear his hips on the downswing. That’s it. He needs to go through the exact same drills that we use during our lessons each day and during our clinics.

Take a quick look at his old swings and guess what he does – ROTATE. Now, his hips stop turning and he’s focused on hitting the ball. Haney has actually made his problem WORSE by only focusing on the club. Six months later and he’s still in the exact same boat with a problem that we could fix in a week.

Learn to move the muscles correctly, rotate the body and stop worrying about the club (for now) and Barkley would be fixed in 6 days, not 6 months – guaranteed.

 
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Great Swing! Lesson Learned – Mushin Still The Way

I hear “Great looking swing!” quite a lot. I’ve worked hard on it and know all the hours it’s taken and the literal sweat and grime it’s taken to build what I have. I’m proud of that work, it’s sort of a badge of honor. My swing has never been in better positions nor have I had this much control over my ball with so little effort. So, when I was invited to play the Bear’s Club in Jupiter, FL this weekend, I was ready to go out there and throw down a low number.

I’ve always stuggled a lot on courses I play for the first time, especially ones that are visually intimidating. As Jack Nicklaus’ home course, to say this is visually intimidating would be an understatement. Worse yet, it actually IS very hard. The greens are nuts really and rock hard. Want to know how hard? On a par 3 I hit a 7 iron cut into the wind that landed 3 inches from the pin – and ended up 30 feet away. The slope, speed and firmness of these things is something I’ve not seen in a while playing Sugarloaf Mountain this winter.

So, without seeing and know my landing areas, I was immediately intimidated and noticed myself start to tense up. The fairways looked like bowling alleys and all of a sudden, I literally felt like I didn’t know how to swing the club anymore. Sound familiar to anyone yet? It was like I was starting to play golf all over again, I had no idea what to do. Luckily, I recognized this pressure and tried to regain my focus, which worked only about 1/3 the time because what my eyes saw over ruled what my brain was thinking.

Frustrated at the end of the day, I thought about the round on the long, shamed drive back to Orlando. When I got back, I decided to go and hit balls on the range and see what had gone wrong with my swing. My first shot missed the flag by a foot, the second by 4 feet. Grabbed a 6 iron, missed by 2 yards. Grabbed the driver, striped down the middle. Every shot was perfect. My wife came with me to see what the heck was going on, her reply was simple and to the point, “It’s all in your head.” She’s been down this road with me WAY too many times.

So, we started working on some mental exercises and that helped for a while, and then I got so focused on the exercises that I lost focus on my swing and then started spraying the ball. Then, she gave me an imaginary fairway to hit my driver down that was between two flags about 12 yards apart. I looked at her and said to myself, “That’s impossible, it’s stupid, no fairway on the planet is that small, it’s too hard.” Hmmm, that’s interesting. All this internal dialgoue was something new for me, now we’re getting somewhere.

Before we started the exercises, I was striping my driver exactly where I was aiming, but, put this imaginary “gate” in front of me to hit through and I’m totally tensed up and have this “brain chatter” going on. I know I can hit the ball through there, but it was the idea of focusing on hitting it through there that made it impossible. Then I put two and two together and all my mental game work started coming back to me. Focusing so long on my swing mechanics had taken me out of remembering how to take it out the course. I’d become a solid range player, but they don’t count your strokes out there. It was focusing on the result rather than the process that was detrimental.

Many mental coaches advocate focusing on the target rather than the movement. I’ve done both and have sort of sat on the fence with this one. After today, I feel that it’s time to make the decision and go one way or the other. While I believe that both methodologies have validity and their place depending on the golfer, the golf shot is simply the result of me making the correct movements. The results completely take care of themselves when I move the way I want and I have no control over where the ball ends up. Instead, I want to be concerned with the PROCESS as that is in the moment, the result is in the future.

Focusing on the process of the swing is the only thing I truly have control over and it is the only thing that is happening at that very moment that I can exert influence over. It also pulls the mind “back inside” rather than focusing on the external and peripheral, which are all secondary; the movement is primary. So, after I’ve aimed myself to my target, the target is no longer going to be of consequence to me, I’m going to focus on the process and be “in the moment” and no longer will other people’s shots or the golf course dictate how I feel or think on each shot. If I’m not concerned with the result of the shot, what difference does it make if there is a bunker, or water or OB on that hole? It’s hard to be intimidated by an external influence when you are focused on the interal process. The results should take care of themselves. And that’s what Mushin Golf is all about.

 
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Another spring, another season

Spring has sprung in the Great White North!

I’ve managed to get a handful of rounds under my belt after a long winter of Rotary Swing Tour drills. Normally my round progression works from high 90′s/low 100′s for the first couple months of the Central Canadian season, followed by low 90′s and the odd dip into the 80′s for the next (last?) 4 months. However, this year, I’ve already started out in the mid/low 90′s (and would have broken 90 except for stupidity setting in on the 18th).

Is it swing drills? Of course. Apparently my rotary swing was OK, and the adaptation to the Tour stuff has gone along OK. No, I haven’t had it checked, but it sure feels OK, and I know I have stuff to work on still.

Part of the contributing factor for me is the gear. I revamped my sticks in light of the new RS Tour setup and motion, moving to shorter clubs. I also traded in my Wishon 770CFE irons for the new Wishon 870Ti irons. A little more sole width, a little more ball speed, and less offset. Talk about a head design that wants to go straight. I can feel like I’m releasing the snot out of the club, and end up with a 5 yard draw. Does this mean I’m in trouble if I have to hit a 15 yard screaming hook? Yes. But it also means that there’s not much curvature when it comes to my shots – it’s easier to hit targets. I’ve paired these heads up with the Apollo Hump S – the most tip-stiff iron shaft in existence to date. This, however, does not translate into harsh feel as it cycles a little softer than your DG S300 at the butt. So a somewhat lower trajectory, a little less spin, and feels good to boot.

I’ve got a few tournaments lined up – about one per month – and am excited to see how I fare. I am not affiliated with a club this year (but did manage to leave after escaping the 4th flight for the 1st flight last year), so I’m not sure how I’m going to define success for new tournaments (obviously better scores than previous years would be improvement for tournaments I’ve played in).

On the technology front, the new technology is evidenced in the new TaylorMade R9 and the Nike DyMo STR8. But let’s not be fooled – those of us that have worked with Chuck have already witnessed this old technology – in the Nakashima HTEC drivers. It’s all the same tool – a hosel drilled offset so that as you rotate the shaft around, the face angle is effectively opened and closed again. No, the actual driver loft doesn’t change when you do this (contrary to what the ads would have you believe) but the dynamic loft does. Now the actual ratio of Face Angle (FA) to loft isn’t quite 1:1, but it works well for the purposes of guesswork and also illustration. So, for example, a 10 degree driver with a 2 degree closed FA will play like a 12 degree driver with a square FA. Conversely, that same driver with a 2 degree open FA will play like an 8 with a square FA. Again, it’s not quite this exact, but close enough. And this, friends, is all you’re doing with your HTECs, R9′s, and STR8′s. It works, though – effectively increasing and decreasing launch angles, although the driver may look a little ‘off’ at setup as you clock your way through the hosel. If you’ve had your driver properly fit, I say there’s no logical reason to run out and try to better your clubmaker with an off-the rack R9 or STR8. If you simply need the latest and greatest, then by all means – to Edwin Watts with you!

As always, may the course be with you.

 
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First Tournament of the year….

Well the tournament season started for this Rotary swinger on Tuesday the 21st and unfortunately it didn’t go as well as planned. Not too bad but not the results me and my partner were hoping for, we carded an 81 in the VA state 4 ball qualifier, I am an 8 handicap and my partner is about a 2. I shot 82 (39 and 43) on a 7000 yard track with woods and water all over and my partner was just off his game but we did have fun because we love the game.

 Overall I was not terribly disappointed. My swing is coming along and on this day it was ok…not great but ok. What killed me was short game and I realized what sets me apart from most scratch amateurs is the short game. From 100 yards and in I am absolutely horrific. I can bang the ball down with the best of them but I don’t come close to the pin with my scoring clubs and am not consistent with getting it up and down.  So… lesson learned and this is where I my journey takes a little turn…a little redirection if you will.

 I read recently in a book, and I believe it, that if you spend 90% of your time on your swing you will never become a scratch golfer and also that you NEED to find a pro and stick with him no matter what YOU think.  So CQ…like it or not is the pro that is stuck with me but I have  also searched and found  a local pro here in VA who works a lot with and has a relationship with Hank Haney (This is important b/c  CQ is the pro I believe in and I believe in CQ’s swing so the pro had to as well!) For me I need to have someone around since I can’t jet set to Florida or Colorado :-)  Anyway we have mapped out a program that I AM going to stick to and man you should have seen this guys eyes light up when the first thing I said to him was that I wanted to focus on the short game! I can’t wait to learn the short game…to flag my wedges, use my imagination, learn new shots…and to know that I can get up and down from anywhere!

Well I have my weekly tournaments with my golf club association and a trip to Myrtle Beach (as long as it doesn’t burn down) next week so lots of golf coming up! Good luck this season Rotary Swingers and keep us posted!

 

 
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6 Months and Counting…

It’s been a little over 6 months since I embarked on changing my golf swing to the Rotary Swing Tour model based on Anatomical Absolutes. It’s been an incredibly exciting, challenging, fun and frustrating experience all rolled into one. The exciting part has been seeing my swing in positions that I’ve never seen before and understanding the exact muscles and feelings that create these movements. It’s been challenging as I’ve learned there are no shortcuts to your brain learning to do something new, 3-5k reps is mandatory. That’s the most frustrating part, having to drill something over and over and over because the brain learns no other way.

At this point, I’m well on my way and am glad I’ve made the journey. I still continue to work on things and put in my reps daily and wanted to put together a little list of my drills I’m doing at the moment.

  1. Right arm in front of my chest to the top.
    This has been a challenging one for me. I have to feel that my left arm never leaves my chest by moving the correct muscles in my back to rotate my torso. My humerus has to rotate clockwise as it I go back to keep my elbow from flying away from my body.I do this 100 times each day so it will take me a minimum of 1 month to master the movement.
  2. Weight Shift – stabilizing left side.
    Because of the hip injuries I’ve had from two car accidents, this one is a multi-faceted approach. I still require therapy on my hip which I’m going to twice a week right now to loosen up the connective tissue that’s been bound up for years. The work yesterday was so great I felt an inch taller! My left hip pops in my backswing a lot (it’s gross, you can hear it) and it’s because the femur is pulled up against the hip socket and has no room. I’m doing some specific yoga poses and stretches twice a day to help remove these restrictions as part of working on my weight transfer and stabilizing as I come down into impact.Yoga and stretches 2X per day and weight transfer drills (see Weight Shift Part 3 Video here) 100 times per day.

These are two of the biggest things in my golf swing to fix and I’m quite excited about the possibilities after these two changes are made. I have to work hard as I want to be in great playing shape by the time I get to Castle Pines at the end of May, so I’ve got some great motivation!

 
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Newest Addition to the Rotary Swing Golf Academy

To steal the words of the great Tiger Woods, “Hello world!” I can’t even begin to express my excitement and enthusiasm as I begin this journey down the path to the truth about the golf swing. I won’t bore everyone here with a second rendition of my biography, if you truly need to check my credentials there is a thread in the forum. I will say that I have spent most of my career working at private clubs in the northeastern United States. I would be lying if I said I knew very much about online activities, member forums, or even this thing called blogging. Fact is, whenever I was assigned a task involving the internet, my blood pressure was guaranteed to elevate to an alarming level. As I complete my first week as the newest member of the Rotary Swing Golf Academy, I must admit, while technologically challenged, this position is everything I had hoped it would be and more. I have observed and taught next to some of the finest teachers in the country, but Chuck Quinton is in a class of his own, and I’m not just saying that because he is my new boss. Scientific absolutes and physiologic facts are two elements I have been seeking since I began my teaching career. I was always told what was correct, but I wanted to know why it was correct or was it merely opinion. Chuck has built a methodology around absolutes instead of preferences. The Rotary Swing is not based on opinion, but its foundation is facts. The first week has seen me mix it up in the member forum, become familiar with Flight Scope, form a friendship with my Screen Recorder, and of course spend time with Chuck on the lesson tee. Yes, I have some work to do on my swing as well. All you out there with a poor weight transfer, I know your pain! I will be blogging every week about my initiation into the Rotary Swing fraternity, so I hope you enjoy reading because I sure will enjoy writing!

-Al Consoli

 
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Late Winter

I came home from night work late one day last week.  Daylight had broken.  It was cold.  Bitter.  A North wind was blowing down straight from the Arctic.  The bare trees moaned under the assault.  It was early March and winter was still in control.   Our little creek was still frozen as it had been since before Christmas.  There have been breaks and flaws.  There was even a complete melt.  But, it only lasted a day or so.

Something caught my eye off to the left.  It was a Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) standing on the ice up near the lee offered by some battered marsh grass.  The elegant bird was huddled, scrunched into a compact oblong statuette.  Facing straight into the wind he stared unfazed.  Somewhere out to the North was the tale end of this infernal, biting wind.  He stared as if he was intent to find it.  Always wary, he saw me.  His head barely turned, though.  The lee from the wind was too valuable to give up.  He went back to his important work of waiting and conserving energy.  He was going to look into that wind until some ice melted and he could go on with life.

There was something familiar in the bird.  I could relate.  Golf winter started with the unexpected closing of my Course.  I hadn’t played golf except at the Clinic since.  Golf itself was different.  RS 2.0 was a matter of conversion, learning, and “Neuromuscular Re-education.”  The Clinic was followed by a month of Alison’s exer-gyrations and medicine ball swings.  I didn’t hit a ball for a month before Florida.  I hadn’t hit one in the month after.  One thing was for sure: The golf year was going to be different in many respects.

I looked at the bird one last time before heading in for bed.  He and I were both staring North.  Looking for the end of the cold wind.  Both wondering what it would bring.

 
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Rotary Swing Backswing Enhancements

Continuing to work on the evolution of refining the swing into the simplest set of moving parts on the planet. Here is the swing from my book “The Rotary Swing” on the left and the swing on the right is after working on the changes with the new 2.0 model. 

It’s clear to see that I’ve not “pushed” from the left on the right sided picture and my hands have stayed in front of my chest just as they did at address. This means that I’ll have to do less work on the downswing to get them back in front of my at impact. The next sequence of photos is at the top of the backswing, or the completion of “Move 2″.

These changes have limited the arm swing significantly making the overall swing much easier to repeat, stay tuned for more!

 
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Time to step up…This is what it’s all about

Today I am very nervous and very excited at the same time. The Viginia State Golf Association has posted it’s 2009 tournament schedule and now that there are actual dates for the tournaments that I want to play in I am both excited and nervous. I am excited b/c this is my very first step into competetive golf and I am nervous because I am going to put myself out there on display and compete with the best that the state of Virginia has to offer. That means if I hack up a 90 it will be on display for all to see. This is going to be such and awesome year! Regardless of what happens this, to me, is what it’s all about. I know in my heart I have the ability to compete with these guys and it is now time to step up and prove it. I really didn’t feel like it was real b/c there was no set schedule but now that the dates are posted it feels real if that makes sense and there is now a fire burning. Time to practice…I mean REALLY practice! Short game and putting must not be forsaken and I have one more trip to see CQ to get a driver fitting before my first tourney!!! God how awesome is this! I feel like a kid all over again!

 
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Aeschylus would have been proud

It’s been three weeks since the jolt came about my golf club closing.  Enough time for some of the film to develop.  Enough time for some prospecting for a new course.  Enough time to get really, really mad and then cool down.  And, enough time to realize I had witnessed a Greek tragedy up close and personal.

On Monday, December 1′st the course was open and running when the CPA for the course entered the Pro Shop at nine in the morning and declared that it was closing immediately.  The Assistant Pro looked up to see a locksmith changing the locks on the front door.  People on the course were allowed to finish their rounds.  Staff members not at the course were called at home and told not to report to work.  The Head Pro was told to e-mail the members that the course was closing and told to leave with two-weeks of severance.

By Friday, the course was stripped.  All the markers, driving range dividers, everything…gone.  There was a four-hour period to buy out the pro shop.  70% off of everything.  No special consideration for members.  There were 50 people there.  I recognized, maybe, five or six.  Seagulls swooping in for cheap gear.  It was a sad chore to stay there and witness it.  I waited in line for an hour and a half to buy a few things…mostly logo items.  The whole time, this gorgeous course, in pristine shape, and full of memories was right outside the window.  On the porch was the maintenance crew.  The Superintendent was being retained to mow the grass at turf height through June so that it didn’t turn back into a field.  He was hugging his folks one-by-one.  I remember the smile on the face of his Assistant.  They had done a great job over the years.  And, they had just finished a tough chore in stripping the course.  It was the last time I’d ever see the Assistant.  He passed away four days later from a heart attack.

Since then, they’ve sold off all the equipment, carts, tables…you name it.   A General Manager at one club told me that if I joined, I’d recognize the yardage plates.  He had bought them from my old course.  Nothing left behind.  Not even the lights in the parking lot.

The great Greek Tragedy playwrights would have nodded in appreciation.  Sophocles, Euripides, and Aeschylus would have been hard-pressed to do better.

Life moves on, however.  The search for a new course continues…

 
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Yesterday, it happened, the perfect golf shot…

Ok, I’ve hit a lot of “perfect” golf shots in my life, but this one was different. I’ve been working hard on making changes to my swing. I’ve changed my…. This is going to be a long list…

  1. My setup
  2. My grip
  3. My posture
  4. My knee flex
  5. My weight distribution
  6. My weight shift
  7. My takeaway
  8. My backswing
  9. My top of the swing
  10. My downswing
  11. My impact
  12. My release

This could go on for a while! As you can imagine, playing through this many changes in only 2 months is going to create some inconsistencies. I’ve shot between 68 and 78 and hit perfect shots that have been better than I’ve ever hit before and several slices that would have given Tiger Woods a run for his money. But yesterday, something clicked…

I recall the shot Tiger hit at Bayhill on Sunday on the 18th in 2008 to set up his winning putt. A 5 iron from only 164 yards that he called his best shot of the week. Mine was an 8 iron up the hill, slightly downwind and 154 yards to the flag. In that instant, everything that I have been working so hard on clicked. The backswing happened so fast that I was already transitioning back to the ball effortlessly with no conscious thought. The ball came off low and flew perfectly flat and lower than usual. My divot was perfectly on line with perfectly square edges from front to back and side to side.

It was the first swing in two months that I allowed myself to make at full speed with no conscious thought. No guiding things going back and no time for thoughts coming down. It was a perfect shot and a perfect swing that created the perfect ball flight that I lay awake at night and dream about. The shot ended up 10 feet from the hole, far from being a perfect result, but I couldn’t have cared less. Two months of hard work seems like a small price to pay to hit shots like that. While I didn’t another “perfect” one like that the rest of the round, I did hit several great shots and that’s all the motivation I need to keep up the hard work.

 
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The proof of the pudding is in the eating!

The Rotary Swing and the instruction provided by Chuck Quinton is the way to go… period. I have taken lessons from professionals my whole life and have never really noticed any improvement after any of them. Always hitting the ball the same and shooting the same scores.

Every year I have the same goal in mind…to work my butt off to break into the single digits and this year was no different. I started this golf season with a handicap of 10.6 and worked on my own and got it down to a 9.0 around May. I then decided that I can get even better and went to a local pro for a couple of lessons and immediately the wheels began to fall off and before I knew it the handicap was a 10 again with the possibility of going higher because I was now a mess obsessed with tinkering and freaking out. Then I found RotarySwing.com and hooked up with one of the long time members who I found out lived not too far from me. 

Through the site and the help of Bob34 I was able to get a grip on myself and calm down and start to really understand the golf swing and my playing leveled off from the upward climb. Then the first week of October I had my first one on one lesson with Chuck Quinton and things have just been incredible ever since. I am much more consistent and can now go several rounds without losing a ball (that saves me a lot of money!)  

Well…The golf season is now officially over here in Virginia. As of December 1 I can no longer post scores into the handicap system until March 2009. And since my lesson with Chuck Quinton in October my handicap has dropped 2 full points to 8.0! So boys and girls this guy can say that the Rotary Swing revolution is without a doubt the best golf instruction I have ever experienced… the proof of the pudding is in the eating…and this pudding tastes damn good!

 

Handicap Index History:

12/2/08

 

11/17/08

 

11/6/08

 

10/16/08

 

10/1/08

 

9/17/08

 

9/1/08

 

8/15/08

8.0

 

8.9

 

8.9

 

8.8

 

9.9

 

9.9

 

9.7

 

9.7

 

8/1/08

 

7/16/08

 

7/2/08

 

6/16/08

 

6/3/08

 

5/22/08

 

5/2/08

 

4/16/08

9.7

 

9.3

 

9.1

 

9.2

 

9.0

 

9.5

 

10.6

 

10.4

 

 
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A Death in the Family (sort of)

I received an e-mail on Monday from the Head Pro at our home course.   The title was one word, “Closing.”   With all the suddenness of an accident our course had closed, effective immediately.    No warning.  Gone.

The principal owner died.  The partners said, “Close it.”

It’s a tough pill to swallow.  This was a course that fit.  It was a walker’s course, strictly golf, no houses or swimming pools, fabulous conditions, wonderful Staff, and the best greens in the area.   Over time it came to be a sort of home.  It spoiled us.  And we knew it.  We’d travel to some up-scale coure and critique it to death on the way home:  “It was good.  But, it ain’t Upland.”

Golf course ownership is a tough gig now according to An August piece in the WASHINGTON POST:  golf-course-communities We interact with the Pros and Staff without really seeing the financials and the real power behind that front.   A few years ago, a lot of courses were worth more as housing developments.  Today, new-construction housing is dead.  My course was a soybean field that received millions of dollars of infrastructure.  There’s simply no demand for it in its current state as a pristine golf course.  And, it won’t make for much a bean field anymore.  It’s caught in some Rod Serling-esque Twilight Zone.

Working through the mourning stages, Acceptance feels a ways away.  But, the world moves on and these are tough times.  The e-mail box is suddenly full of offers from courses in the area looking for new members.  We’ll find one and move on.  No doubt, it’ll be good.  But, it won’t be Upland.

www.uplandgolfclub.com

 
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