3 December 2016 (Pasadena, CA) I was comfortable with my game. Generally a mid-eighties guy who knows his strengths and weaknesses. Not the biggest hitter but a good to very good short game. Yet, I came to the realization that I wanted to up my game. See if I could go lower. Mid-fifties in age I often wonder how many more years I have in the game and if I could actually improve without the benefits of youth. So I took the plunge and went to see a local professional considered by some to be the golf guru of this part of Southern California. Didn’t hurt that he was based at the course (par 3 course with mini-golf) where I held my first club. A place where I had spent so many memories with my dad and now with my own children. Had my first lesson on Wednesday. JS (the pro) asked me to hit about 20 balls with a seven iron. He filmed me from behind and straight on. Then we paused and watched. Then he asked me about my game and what I was trying to accomplish. Loved the conversation. This is a guy who has won on the PGA Tour and I had his ear and he had mine. I told him I wanted to get to single digits. He assured me that was a reasonable goal but that I had to “trust the process.” Yup, trust the process. He chuckled and said 3 steps backwards then 5 forward. Trust the process. We noted how my swing condensed and collapsed at the top. We worked that initial hour on length and turn. It felt like shite but it felt powerful (or at least stronger). Straight back, don’t get caught inside. 90 degree wrist cock at halfway point, full shoulder turn. Hit a few! I literally missed the ball my first five tries. The sixth ball almost killed the bloke in the stall next to. He looked at me with the “rookie” smirk. Kiss my arse! More balls, more miss hits. We went to the film. JS said, “this looks like a golf swing now, no collapse inside and enhanced extension–don’t worry about hitting the shots yet.” “TRUST THE PROCESS. WE ARE BUILDING A NEW ENGINE. GONNA TAKE SOME TIME.” I liked what I saw on film. It looked like a golf swing. We did the before and after. The before was a choppy, short swing, almost a slap. The developing swing looked like an actual golf swing. Good rotation, extended, but I could not hit the ball with any consistency. I was all over the club face from hosel to toe. Ego jumped in and said, “the hell with this three steps back shite, hit the ball you know.” Nope, I am going to trust the process. Went out with the Friday group yesterday. The bhoys! Now it had only been two days, shite wasn’t going to change overnight but I committed 75% to the process. Hit some nice drives. Definitely more distance while hitting fairways. Hit some decent fairway metals, when I hit them. The others were just pure ugly tops or fats. Almost missed a ball from a fairway bunker! Frustration. What really killed me was that the work had completely disarmed my short game. Nothing, nada, zippo, zilch. No scoring, no making up for fairway mistakes, no ups and downs. SHITE. I struggled to break 100. Shot a 99. WTF? I couldn’t even cheat and regress to the old swing to save my skin. 99 (lunch was tremendous though). What did I expect, JS to wave a wand and all would be good? Three steps backwards, man up, be patient. TRUST THE PROCESS! Theoretically, it is the golf off season, this is the perfect time to initiate golf swing changes. Be patient. So alright JS, you have my attention, this is not going to be easy but I am up for the ride. LET”S DO THIS and have fun while we are at it. I am committed to the process!
PS: Shout out to my buddy JG for playing the finest round I have been privileged to see him play yesterday. It was fun to watch and some damn good golf. Look forward to more good work from you.