Winter Golf Lessons – Part II – muscle memory

This has been the scene of some of the best work on my golf game.

This has been the scene of some of the best work on my golf game.

Two months ago, when I started my Winter Golf Lessons package at Man O’ War Golf, I had modest expectations.  I had just wrapped my up my most successful and fulfilling golf season to date, on the strength of a handful lessons spread throughout the year.

I hoped maybe my pro could take some of the rough edges out of my golf swing.  I wished that maybe I could hit the ground running in 2015 without giving ground and reverting back to old habits (and results).  And I desperately wanted my golf swing to get more consistent.

I thought these were reasonable enough goals.  It’s not like I was going to try to qualify for the U.S. Open.

The order of the season is heated stalls, rubber mats, and all the finger tape I can acquire.

The order of the season is heated stalls, rubber mats, and all the finger tape I can acquire.

As much as I wanted to use my winter lessons with my pro to improve my golf game, I knew that the birth of my son in December was going to interrupt any momentum in my improvement.  I just hoped enough instruction would stick in my brain and my muscles that I wouldn’t have to restart the process completely.

However, I completely underestimated how much my pro and I could accomplish in a relatively short period of time.  In the course of the first four weeks, I had gone from trying to keep the ball in play to being able to really compress the golf ball.

With everything but the driver and three wood, I could hit a draw or a fade on demand.  I had finally learned my best golf swing.  With two hours a week of professional instruction and an hour a day of practice I had accomplished what I had been unable to do in the 15 years prior.

Here is our little man, The Bearded Baby, or Beebo, for short. The Wife reads him Shel Silverstein, I read him Harvey Penick.

Here is our little man, The Bearded Baby, or Beebo, for short. The Wife reads him Shel Silverstein, I read him Harvey Penick.

Then it all had to stop. Once my son was born (mom and baby are healthy and happy), I took about a two week break from golf, because, well, my whole world had changed.

Eventually, The Wife shooed me out of the house, so I returned to the rubber mats and heated stalls of the practice range.  I had no idea what to expect.  If I could get through a bucket of balls without breaking a finger, I was going to be happy.

But a funny thing happened during that first session back at the range: everything came back to me like I’d never left.

The principles my pro had drilled into me (tilt away from the ball, flat left wrist, hold the angle of the club through the swing, etc.) all remained right where I left them.

More so than watching a gentle fade drop from the clouds toward a target or hearing a shot boom off the driver face, that I could recall from muscle memory what a good shot felt like after being as divorced from golf as one could be for what felt like an eternity gave me great hope for the future of my golf passion.

Sure, there will continue to be things I can do better.  There will be tweaks and corrections.  But, if nothing else, this winter I have finally found my swing.  And for that, as well as the other blessings I’ve received this holiday season, I am very grateful.

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3 thoughts on “Winter Golf Lessons – Part II – muscle memory

  1. Sometimes taking a break from it all helps you come back with a clear mind. A clear mind can only lead to fearless/fundamentally sound swings!! Seeing this now with my team after break! Stay warm out there!

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