Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Month Three -Topping off the bag...

Sometimes things are inevitable. You just know that an outcome is eminent. And I bet if you do the math you can guess what is coming next. No, not that math, I''ve done that math for you. I mean the math that says all the clubs in my bag are new except for my woods... and the putter.

I mean, it would be nice to have a new matching set of woods. My old driver and woods are current production but they are cheap! If you go to the sporting goods store and look in the clearance bin you will see these clubs, brand new and already discounted. You can buy them online by the dozen. Literally.

And my son was telling me about his new driver and fairway woods. He really likes them and he hit's them very well. I looked up the driver online and list price is $299 but I found a deal! ($113.95, total tally $617.95) I take the new driver to the range ($8, total tally $625.95) and I make better contact with it than I did with my old driver. I found out after 9 of the 10 dozen balls I hit that day that I hit it even more consistently when I remember to keep my left wrist flat. And all the shots I hit were sky balls. I don't really think it's a talent to hit sky balls, but I didn't see anyone else at the range that can hit a golf ball 150 yards straight up!

Now all I needed to make my clubs all new clubs, ready to be dirtied and dinged by me and me alone was a fairway wood or two. I am not one of these everything has to be Adams, or everything has to be Callaway or Nike types of golfers. I want my tools to be effective, not color coordinated. So sticking with any of the 4 or 5 major brands I thought was a good idea. I do however for consistency sake want my driver and fairway woods to match. Don't ask me why. It just seemed like a good idea. So back to the world wide web I go to my favorite online discount golf site. I order the matching hybrid 3 and 5 fairway woods. ($144 for both including shipping, total tally $769.92) And they arrive safe and sound in a few days.

Now I am the proud owner of a brand new set of golf clubs. (except for my putter) New irons, new woods and new wedges. Great! Now all I need is to learn how to hit them. Back to the driving range ($8, total tally $777.92) I hit the large bucket of balls starting with my wedges then moving on to my small irons (p-7) then to my mid irons and hybrids, then my fairway woods and lastly the driver. I focused on keeping my head still and keeping my grip consistent and making good contact with the ball. I learned that if you are a bouncing bobble-head your arms and hands tend to follow your head and upper body. This bouncing caused me to alternately whiff the balls and hit the dirt 5 inches behind the ball depending upon which direction I moved my head. I still struggle with that, but I know now how to recognize and correct it.

I also fixed my hitting sky balls with the woods problem. That was caused by having the ball tee'd to high and or to far forward in my stance. After a few trial and error adjustments, I found just the right spot in my stance and then started tweaking the tee height. Once done I was hitting the driver 225 yards with a slight draw or fade, again, I had no idea which. Then I found that by keeping my grip VERY consistent (modified Vardon grip) each time I touched the clubs that my shots became fairly close in direction. The draws and fades eventually drew and faded away.

Wow! This was coming together and fast. I was cautiously optimistic about this whole golf thing. Maybe there was hope for me, after all. True my balls were flying straight now but I still had a lefty-righty issue. My aim was off to the right it seemed... Hmmm, another problem to solve!

As fate would have it my son called the very next day. He was coming home in a few weeks for a week long leave period. He wanted us to play golf while he was home. Could it be? Maybe! Would I finally get to experience the game first hand? Maybe! Was I ready? No! But I was determined! I was going to play golf anyway. Sometimes you have to put away the books and the videos and the dvds and just whack the ball. Sometimes you have to just go out smell the fresh air and just whack it. I was not as prepared as I would have liked but my days as a range rat were numbered. I did not pine to be a driving range rat. I did all this to be a golfer!

By the way, as an aside, I am now down 2 inches in my waist and have lost a total of 20 pounds! This unexpected benefit is now an encouragement to continue this journey.

D-Day looms... Will he ever get to play a real game of golf? Will his side ever stop hurting? Will his wife, Big Red, ever speak to him again? Stayed tuned dear readers... High drama follows!