OK - need a place to share and document my comeback to this beautiful game, and who better than you bunch of muppets !!
Thought I'd have a bit of a trip down memory lane before I have a look forward.
Started playing as an early teen at Altona Lakes Golf course when it first opened in the mid 80's. I went to school next to the course, played soccer next door and remember chasing rabbits through the old briquette depot that used to be there.
My first job as a 15 year old was at the golf course driving the 4 wheeler picking up golf balls in the driving range after school. Clyde Boyer was my boss (who also ran Ivanhoe at the time) and the pro was Mike Cahill, who left to teach at Eagle Ridge when it first opened.
Basically spent my mid/late teens at the course hitting balls and putting.
Managed to get the handicap into the high 3's when I was 16/17, played some schoolboy comps (which I did OK at) and joined Kooringal GC about then too after doing my Year 10 work experience there. Work experience involved playing ALL day !! Stayed at Kooringal for about 5 years before giving up on membership and just traveling throughout the state with mates to play at different courses - even became a member at Woodend at some stage.
I went overseas for the 1998 World Cup, and that was it !!!
Returned to Oz in late 2000, sold my trusty Hogan Edge blades and pretty much didn't play until early 2017 (albeit a round or two in that time).
Since then, I've gone a bit nuts and the bug has well and truly bitten me on the a$$.
Got some hand-me-down Wilsons given to me, with my old Pro-Tec 1 iron, my original TM Burner Bubble and trusty Ping Zing 2 putter.
Hit a few shots at the driving range with 'updated' equipment, and that was it !!!
Clubs gone and replaced with a M1 Driver, a hybrid (which I can't/won't use), Titleist irons, TM wedges and putter. Could not believe the advances in technology, which I think is part of the reason for the re-invigoration (see stat keeping below)..
Now the fun part - the comeback !!
Have played Werribee and Sanctuary Lakes mainly since Feb, with a couple of OOM's and some SGA matches. The shotmaking is still there, but the gap between the good and the bad is HUGE !!
Golflink will show 'Played To' scores ranging between 76 (Gardiners Run OOM3) and 100 - scores that are 7 weeks apart !!!
Not knowing which game will rear it's head is the most frustrating part.
When I'm on, I know I can shoot low. -1 (24 points) on the front nine at Sanctuary on 21 Dec proves that. The unfortunate part is that a week later, I had 7 points on the same 9 holes in favorable conditions !!!!
The stats part of the game is also something I enjoy, and Arccos has well and truly filled that hole since XMas. It's shown me in no uncertain terms where my strengths and weaknesses lie.
Strokes gained stats from Arccos:
Approach: 20.7 (eeekkk)
The distances I'm seeing in the clubs is also fascinating. I recall feeling like I was cheating the first time I used my new driver on the course. As a late teen with my good old Burner Bubble, I remember being able to hit half way up the fence at the back of Altona Lakes driving range when there was a bit of a helping northerly. Set at 205 meters, I thought that was big then. These days, it's quite easily achieved into the southerly wind with a few more creaky joints to hinder.
Arccos gives me a 'smart' distance of 238 meters, with a range of 226-253, with my longest being 305M !!!
3 wood range of 195-228
3 iron 187-203
For me - these sort of numbers boggle my mind !!
Had a lesson with Stuart Leong a couple of months back to try and sort out the swing consistency issues I'm experiencing. He noticed a major flaw in my shoulder rotation where I'd dip the left shoulder at the beginning of the backswing rather than rotating, resulting in my knees buckling, head bobbing and core swaying. Been tough trying to rectify and I think compounds the inconsistent ball striking. The more I think about it on the course, the greater the variation in the shot.
I had an aim of getting the 'cap back into single digits by the end of 2017, which I managed by 0.4. Now, I'm looking to get below 5 by the end of 2018. Not sure if it'll take more course time or hard yards in the range (which I'm not too keen on), but I know I've got it in me - just need to tighten some screws.
I'm looking to use this as a place to share the journey over the next 12 months and to document what I hope to be a fun ride...