There’s something to be said for accepting certain truths about one’s self, in golf as in life. One of the essential components of developing my golf game, in addition to the lessons that have produced and honed the physical fundamentals of my swing, is realizing what works and what doesn’t before a shot is even attempted or a round is begun.
I hit a low to mid-trajectory draw (for the non-golfers out there, a “draw” for a right-handed player like me is a shot that moves from right to left). It’s my base shot.
Every once in a while, if I really concentrate, I can flush a slightly higher, slightly straighter shot with most clubs besides my driver or 3 wood. I’m even learning to control the little baby cut with my wedges and short irons on occasion. But for shots with the driver, it’s really my only predictable and repeating golf shot.
These slight and hard draws are the shots on which I’ve made a good swing that produced great contact.
Now that summer weather has settled into central Kentucky in earnest, my swing is starting to pay dividends. (Meteorological Nerd Note: we are 12.45 inches above normal rainfall for 2015 through August 1, though it might not rain in August. At all.).
Our recent drying out means that we are starting to get some roll in the fairways, rather than plugging in the soupy bogs of our once and future short grass.
As a result, the golf game I’ve constructed for myself finally matches the conditions of the courses that I’ve been playing, and it’s made the game a lot more fun, even if my scoring is slowly starting to come along a few steps behind.
There is a certain joy and pride in being able to have a drive run out to 270, 280, even 300 yards (as I did yesterday on a sun-baked Kearney Hill Golf Links yesterday), even if I still only flew the ball 240 yards or so and the fairway is almost rock hard.
As illogical as it is, nothing erases the bad taste in the mouth of a lousy putt or blown chip on the previous green like hitting a pure driver on the next tee shot and watching it run down the fairway toward the green.
Fortunately, though our fairways are getting firmer and faster, our greens and approaches continue to receive plenty of water and remain receptive to my more penetrating ball flight.
A tight driving course, especially one that is narrowly tree-lined or favors a fade off the tee, is still a challenge because it makes for some unnerving aiming points for a draw. But I’m getting used to my results, and my confidence grows with each successive shot executed.
Ben Hogan always said if you hit a straight ball, it was an accident. – Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book
In years past, my idea of “course management” simply meant “don’t hit it in the lake” or “don’t hit it in the long stuff.” Of course, at the time, my golf swing was wildly inconsistent, so there really wasn’t anything to manage.
But now that my game is (somewhat) predictable, I’m really enjoying thinking my way through each shot, each hole, and each course. A dependable golf swing has made a huge difference in my enjoyment of the game of golf, even if my preferred ball flight is only “in-season” three or four months of the year.
Long live summer. Remember, Brown really IS beautiful.