Okay, so it is time to start a new thread rather than continuing to hang out in that 2013 thread.
And a good time, because I had a bit of a review lesson yesterday with my coach. We talked about how I thought my golf was going and my goals etc. I told him that it has been pretty frustrating of late - I have felt like almost every area of my game has improved over the last year or two, but after reaching my best point playing off 17 earlier this year, I just haven't been able to score well enough to continue the improvement.
My round yesterday was a good example. We were playing par and the conditions were pretty heavy, as has been the case for a few months now. It was just the two of us in our group and I felt like for most of the day I was hitting the ball well, chipping reasonably and basically accomplishing what I wanted to. The putting was doing well - consistently picking a good line but just not quite making the putts that mattered. I walked off with a -8 which felt like a big waste. My playing partner hacked it around the course for most of the day and couldn't find her golf game with two hands and a flashlight but walked off with the same score as me. Ouch,
While this is frustrating, it does give me encourage to feel that most of my game seems to be on track to come good. I feel like if I continue the way that I am, and particularly if I continue to work on my game, it is only a matter of time before the improvement starts to show on the scoreboard.
With my coach, we discussed what our medium term plan is. Together we agreed that my long game was in pretty good shape and basically has never been the problem for me. I will continue to get some improvement in my consistency with those clubs (which might make me more comfortable taking on a long water carry for example) but isn't going to significantly improve my length and accuracy with those clubs so as to put downward pressure on my scores.
Even with some long game improvement, there are still probably 9 holes on any of our courses which will be out of range for me in regulation. So if I am going to get some real improvement in my scores, it will be from getting the ball closer to the hole from inside about 60m.
So for our lesson we worked on a new technique for bunker play with less moving parts that should enable more consistent results even on the weeks that I can't get a practice session in. And then he said "we can use the same technique with your pitching".
It was at that moment it occured to me that I never pitch the ball. I basically treat those shots which are less than a full wedge as long chips and try to run them up to the hole, and now that I think about it am terribly inconsistent with. He pointed out that in doing so, I bring into play all of the false fronts and mounds around the greens as well as any number of other irregularities that will mess with my results. So, looks like I have to learn how to pitch the ball. After a bit of practice I was getting the hang of a nice technique and optimistic about what we will do with this from now on.
In the short term, I will try to get some practice time in a bit more consistently to work on these weak spots in my game. I have the semi-finals of a 4BBB match-play event in two weeks. Once again I am going 1 on 2, this time against a team that features the current club champion. After that I have a month before club champs and mixed foursome champs. I want to try and have my game in good enough nick to be competitive in those competitions.