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Golf Goals or Golf Resolutions?

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I am really not a fan of making resolutions for every new year.  I’d really rather make goals when I figure out something that I would like to do.  "Resolutions" always seem to go in the garbage by mid-February the way I see it.  I’ve had some particular golf-related goals that I want to accomplish for some time now.  For me, having goals work much better since you can track their progress.  Its a process that I’ve followed for most of the sports I’ve played throughout my life.

First – make your goal reasonable!  I am all for ambition, but if you are shooting a 150 and want to get into the 80s in a few months you are setting yourself up for failure.  I suppose that if you did nothing else but work at your game every day with a coach it could be possible.  Realistically though, how likely is that?  I’m sure there are exceptions to every rule but why not just first work on beaking 100? 

Next – make milestones: in the above example, if you really are at 150 and want to be breaking 100 by the end of a particular period, break it up into small chunks.  Give yourself an adequate amount of time to break it in half, then get to 100.  Of course, these time periods need to be assertvie so you don’t get lazy. 

Don’t forget to give yourself a break also.  It is very easy to get frustrated when you are watching the pros so effortlessly swing the club.  Be sure to compare your progress to your previous work and not to Annika Sorenstam or Tiger Woods.  Let’s face it, most of us will never be that good.

Finally, just follow though.  Keep to your goals but remember my previous bit of advice.  If you get sidetracked with a job, kids, family, or other unforeseen distractions don’t worry about it.  Golf will always be there.  I’m fairly certain the game isn’t going away any time too soon.  When you are ready to continue, golf will be ready for you.

My latest goal is to stop being what one instructor calls "handsy" with my swing.  I have a tendency to tense up at times and grip the club entirely too hard.  It is so true that less is more and I have really been working on that part of my game at the range.  I’m definitely making progress. 

What are your latest goals for your game?  Are you making goals or resolutions?

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  1. Watch

    Jan 15, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Good advice. For the previous poster, it is important when you do get that set of good clubs, you see a professional clubfitter (an independent business owner with his own shop) to have your irons adusted for loft and lie angles — suited to YOUR INDIVIDUAL swing. Better yet, make sure the shafts in your clubs are right for your individual game as well.

    I just had the irons I assembled and swingweighted for myself fitted by a true professional. Every single one of my irons needed adjustment. And they are high quality clubs to begin with. (The lie angles were flattened for me and the lots evenly spaced throughout the set.) The most immediate result was that my wedges now go straight all the time, not 75% of the time. What a relief that was. And with the long irons I am now drawing the ball 5-10 yards instead of 20-25.

    It’s been real cold here, so I haven’t had much of a chance to practice or play much since the adjustment, but I have spent some range time and did get in one round. The loft and lie adjustments are going to make an important difference in my game come this spring.

    Now if I could quit averaging this per round: one blown tee shot, 2-3 fat shots, 2 greenside wedge skulls, 2-3 three-putts.

  2. jmxs2410

    Jan 11, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    I’m one of those guys that’s about ready to take golf seriously. I’ve been saving up my money for about 7 months now to purchase a good set of clubs. Anytime I play, I usually shoot over 100. Like the author said, I immediately think about scoring in the 80’s…and comparing my game to a good friend of mine. That was great advice to just focus on breaking 100 and looking back on the progress I’m making in small strides and not to try and be someone else.

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DailyWRX (10/26/2020): From dumpster fire to greatness

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From dumpster fire to greatness…

 

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#TigerTuesdays A remarkable par that shook Sherwood.

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I love this guy….

Kind of agree with Poppa Spieth on this one…….I mean at this point maybe listening to Dad will get it done…

 

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Jordan’s dad Shawn is on the bag this week, and he’s already committed the cardinal sin of caddying ?

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Looks like Mel Gibsons crib from Lethal Weapon…..

 

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Caddie John Wood’s Airbnb accommodations for this week’s @zozochamp are, well, not terrible! Check out those views! ?

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DM @johnny_wunder

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Tour Rundown: Cantlay’s home cooking

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Sherwood Country Club lies one hour north and west of where Patrick Cantlay was raised. That proximity disposes his participation in the ZOZO Championship as home cooking. The California Kid lurks as a late returner, for the many established reasons (we’ll mention a pair below) and when on his game, is a bet for contention.

Ross McGowan is not those things. Prior to Sunday, he had won twice in his professional orbit. One came in Europe, on the big tour, while the other celebrated in South Africa, on the Sunshine circuit. As you can guess, he receives mention for a reason.

Finally, Ally McDonald was a head-scratcher of a USA Captain’s Pick in the 2019 Solheim Cup. Unfortunately for her, she played true to form, and didn’t help much as the USA went down in defeat. Fast forward to 2020, and McDonald faced off against the defacto number one, Danielle Kang, and…it’s time for Tour Rundown on my birthday!

Cantlay wins relocated ZOZO championship

Doesn’t seem to matter where they play the ZOZO; a Californian comes out on top. Tiger Woods won the inaugural playing in 2019, some 5500 miles distant from this year’s venue. Pandemics compel that sort of rearrangement. For all the world, it looked like a Justin Thomas vs. Jon Rahm duel, a golfers who don’t win as often as they should sort of showdown. As if to prove a point, neither one won.

Instead, it was Patrick Cantlay, the Patrick-return-lately who suffered a back injury early in his pro career, then lost his caddie/best friend in a tragic, hit-and-run when he returned. Since 2017, when the Long Beach native was finally able to put the puzzle together, he has won thrice on the PGA Tour. This week, he never looked uncomfortable until an inexplicably-pulled wedge at the 70th hole led to a comedic bogey, reducing his margin of advantage to one stroke over Rahm.

The Basque had no more stroke-savers in his pocket, and ended on -22. At the 18th, his playing partner Thomas made a birdie of his own, to tie Rahm at -22. As for Cantlay, he found pars at the bottom of the cup on 17 and 18, and signed for 23-under par on the week, thanks to a 9-birdie round of 65 on day four.

McDonald makes Drive On her first title

Ally McDonald was not anyone’s favorite when the week began at Reynolds Plantation, in Georgia. The Mississippi native (and Mississippi State alum) certainly felt at home in the southeast, but prior to Sunday, had zero professional wins to her name. That’s not to say she hadn’t experienced success. The Tupelo Kid was a major-event lurker, with six, top-25 finishes in the past two years. What made things better for her, perhaps karmic, was the coinciding of her birthday with Sunday’s final round. Making it an anniversary to remember for all time, McDonald implausibly won.

Danielle Kang was on march toward another tour victory. The black belt in karate had gone deep into the golfing dans in 2020 with two wins and a number-one ranking. All that had eluded her thus far was major championship success. Coming down the stretch, she and McDonald were locked in a battle with wunderkind Bianca Pagdanganan, the current distance leader on tour. Here’s how it shook out:

  • Pagdanganan birdied the final two holes … and lost. She had Faldoed her way to 16 consecutive pars on the day, and the pair of birds brought her to -14, two back of the winner;
  • Kang birdied the final hole … and lost. She made six birdies on the day, but a pair of bogeys did her in.

McDonald’s birdie at 16 gave her a three-shot cushion. She gave one back at 17 with bogey, then dropped a par putt at 18 to keep Kang at bay. Nothing like celebrating your 28th birthday with champagne!

McGowan lays claim to victory in Italia

As happens with many professional athletes, injuries slowed Ross McGowan as he entered the prime of his 20s. His burgeoning career stalled, and he returned to Europe’s Challenge Tour, in an effort to stoke the embers of a promising future. His inaugural victory, at the 2009 Madrid Masters, lay in the distant past. With fortitude on his side, McGowan returned to the winner’s podium in 2020, halfway between Milan and Venice.

McGowan was the talk of Brescia over three days, reaching 19 strokes below par by Saturday evening. As might have been predicted, Sunday would be different, and the Englishman endured three bogies and a double in his fourth round. It’s important to have a short memory if you wish to compete successfully, and the man from Surrey followed that double with an eagle. He wasn’t out of the choppy waters just yet, but he did uncover three more birdies along the road to the final green. McGowan made birdie at the final hole for the fourth consecutive day, slipping past another resurgent golfer by one squeaky stroke.

Nicolas Colsaerts, the lean and long-hitting Belgian, was fast-tracked for success early in his career. The anticipated never arrived, and the title journeyman was affixed to his plot line. On Sunday, Colsaerts opened with bogey, but then produced five birdies over the next 17 holes. His 68 wasn’t low round of the day, but it was low round among those who mattered. Colsaerts might have caught McGowan if golf still adhered to the St. Andrean standard of 22 holes, but that’s a matter for another epoch.

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Morning 9: JT: Hard to win without fans | Bryson hits it 400 yards | Cantlay spoils the party | Biggest YOY increase in rounds played

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1. Cantlay spoils the party
All due respect to one Patrick Cantlay, but both the scribes and the fans alike were expecting/rooting for a Jon Rahm or Justin Thomas victory. However, it was the surging Cantlay who seized the day.
  • “Patrick Cantlay rallied from four shots behind and got far enough ahead that Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas couldn’t quite catch him Sunday in the Zozo Championship at Sherwood.”
  • “Cantlay closed with a 7-under 65 for a one-shot victory, the third of his career, and first in his home state of California. All three required making up a deficit of three shots or more.”
  • “As much as Cantlay celebrated a victory he felt was overdue, Rahm and Thomas were left to rue their mistakes.”
2. An Englishman in Italy
Reuters report…”England’s Ross McGowan kept his cool to win the Italian Open by a single stroke on Sunday to clinch his second European Tour title — 11 years after his maiden win in Madrid.”
  • “McGowan started the day tied for the lead along with compatriot Laurie Canter, three shots clear and despite a topsy-turvy final round, a one-under-par 71 was enough to keep Canter and Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts at bay.”
  • The 38-year-old Englishman did not start well, playing the front nine over par for the first time at the tournament despite an eagle on the sixth.”
  • “However, he took the outright lead when he holed a perfect bunker shot at the 16th for a birdie and finished the tournament at 20-under-par.”
3. Happy Birthday! 
AP report… “Ally McDonald gave herself a big birthday present Sunday, winning the LPGA Drive On Championship-Lake Reynolds Oconee for her first tour title. The 28-year-old from Mississippi held off Danielle Kang by a stroke on the Great Waters Course, closing with a 3-under 69 for a 16-under 272 total. Kang birdied the par-5 18th for a 68.”
  • “I’ve never doubted my ability, but I’ve definitely questioned whether I would be able to win out here,” McDonald said. “It’s really hard to win out here. So, I’ve just really hung in there and tried to stick to my process since Day 1. That was able to get me in the winner’s circle today. I’m really thankful.”
  • “McDonald birdied the first three holes on the back nine, dropped a stroke on 14, birdied 16, bogeyed 17 and parred the par-5 18th. Kang birdied Nos. 12. 13 and 14 to pull within a stroke, but bogeyed the 15th.”
4. September 2020: Biggest YOY increase In rounds played at 25.5%
Golf Datatech as reported by Geoff Shackelford…“Entering October, play was up 8.7% nationally versus the same period a year ago. That reflects a year-to-date increase of about 29 million more rounds, even with the loss of about 20 million rounds during the spring due to Covid-related shutdowns.”
5. 400 yards…on the fly
Sound the alarms or shrug. Golf.com’s Nick Piastowski... “Bryson DeChambeau is practicing at his home in Dallas. The PGA Tour is playing the Zozo Championship in Thousand Oaks, Calif. They are about 1,500 miles apart.
  • “DeChambeau might hit a drive out to them.”
  • “While his fellow Tour pros were hitting shots at Sherwood Country Club on Friday, DeChambeau hit at least one driver. Far. Even for him, the Tour’s longest player…403.1 yards…On the fly.”
6. Thomas: Hard to ‘keep the killer instinct’ when it’s so quiet
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…“You could say a lot of things,” said Thomas, who closed with a 69 and tied for second at Sherwood. “Making one birdie my last 12 holes out here, shooting even par on the back nine, playing the par 5s 1 under, you can name a lot of things.”
  • “But there was one element of his finish that he will spend extra time focusing on before next month’s Masters. Many players have talked about life on the PGA Tour without fans and how difficult it is to stay mentally sharp and on Sunday Thomas struggled.”
  • “I’ve got to find a way to kind of just stay a little bit more focused out there,” he said. “It’s crazy, but sometimes it’s hard to just kind of keep the killer instinct and stay in the zone when it’s as quiet as it is out there. It’s tough, but we’re all dealing with it and I just have to find a little bit better way to cope with that.”
7. Stacy Lewis on the secrets to her success, motherhood and beating scoliosis
Matthew Gutierrez for The Athletic…“Lewis had spent the bulk of her teenage years wearing a back brace 18 hours a day. Following surgery, she wore the brace for three additional months then rehabbed for another six. But she dedicated that redshirt year to harnessing her short game, which helped transform her into one of the top amateur players. Shauna Taylor, her coach at Arkansas, remembers Lewis how used to stay at the course until dark, always seeking to improve.”
8. Gritty’s “monster” shot at TopGolf
Presented without comment (other than to say Gritty remains the GOAT of mascots)
9. Cantlay’s winning WITB
Driver: Titleist TS3 (9.5 @ 8.75 degrees, C1 Setting)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana ZF 70 TX
3-wood: Titleist 915F (15 degrees, B1 Setting)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana ZF 70 TX
Hybrid: Titleist 816 H2 (21 degrees, B1 Setting)
Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Black 9 X
 
Irons: Titleist 718 AP2 (4-9)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (46-10F, 52-08F, 56-08M) Titleist Vokey SM8 (61 Proto)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S300
Putter: Scotty Cameron GSS prototype
 
Golf ball: Titleist Pro V1x (2019)
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

Pics here.

 

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