Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Working the Range...

I've been having problems with a strong fade creeping into my swing. I prefer to hit the ball straight (am I a genius or what?), but a little fade is fine if I can do it consistently.

Last night I went down to the range at Green Caye Golf Course to work on ball control.

I warmed up with some iron shots, then hit some with my hybrid (which seems to be waaaaaayyy more inconsistent than it's on-course performance would suggest), and then proceeded to pound bucket after bucket with the big stick.

This is what I learned.

Reference: My normal ball placement is just inside my left heel for the driver.

1. Placing the ball farther forward (toward the target) seems to be a possible cause of the fade/slice.

2. Placing the ball farther back produces straighter ball flight, but left of the target line.

3. Placing the ball even farther back (say near the center of my stance) is ideal when trying to draw the ball.

One thing that seemed to produce the fade/slice was dropping my right shoulder. I call this my "baseball" swing because I feel like I'm trying to knock it out of the park.

One thing that seemed to promote straight ball flight was to keep my right elbow tucked tight to my torso which is the opposite of what I recently read on one of the golf sites.

Here are some things to try for next time.

1. Keep the aimpoint (clubface) the same and vary the ball placement. Note where in relation to the target line the balls flies. Adjust the aimpoint and hit the shots again to see if I can get the ball to land where I want it to. I suspect that a slight adjustment (an inch or so) toward the center of my stance may sync everything up. I'm looking for the ball position that produces ball flight where I expect based on the club face. Wow these are really jumbled notes :-/

Other practice notes...

I used to practice my short game at Clear Lake Golf Club (mainly because it was free) which recently closed. They had a nice chipping green which was separate from their large putting green. I need to find a new place to keep chipping onto a green part of my practice routine.

Note taking while playing...

I always seem to have a hard time taking good notes during a round. I would like to have enough information after a round so I can review what I did right and what I did wrong. There is only so much space on the scorecard and I'd like to record more than fairways hit, GIRs, and putts. I'm considering getting a digital voice recorder so I can record additional information as I walk. I recently saw this one at Amazon for what seems like a reasonable price. It even has a built in digital camera that could come in real handy when reviewing a round. So I browsed over to eBay and found them for about half of what they were going for on Amazon. I bid on one, we'll see if I get lucky.

That's all for now. I'm not sure if I'll get out to the range before I play The Battleground or not. I'd like to see if I can answer the questions I have with ball placement with more data, but at least I have a general idea. One of these times I'll try a draw with the driver... Will this be it???



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