After that disaster on Sunday I decided I needed to work on some short game. The facility I like to practice at has a range and it also has a short game area. You can buy a bucket of balls,short game only, or both. After thinking back to Sunday I remembered to go with short game only. The last thing I needed to do is waste my practice time hitting a few drivers and ignoring the wedges.
Going into the practice time I had laid out a few shots I needed to practice. The priority tonight was 35 yrd pitch, a 10 yard pitch, and a 15 yard shot over a bunker. Walking out to the practice green I saw a tiered green and knew I wanted to work on trying to keeping it up on that tier. During my round I had a very hard time getting it to the correct tier. It cost me 2 or 3 shots on the back side. I went with a 25 yard pitch with a lot of green in front of the flag to work on that. One of the worst situations on the golf course in my opinion is hitting the green and ending up on the wrong tier of a two tier green. That is an automatic 3 putt. The range offers you a sleeve of 21 practice balls to take outside. This allowed me to take very good notes on my performance. All shots are within 10 feet. I figured at 10 ft I could have a shot at the putt. I know I am a terrible putter but I can at least give it a run.
35 yrd pitch:
54*-10/21 It got better as I could get the distance dialed in a little
58*- 4/21 with 5(!) chunks
10 yrd pitch
54*- 7/21 every shot went past the hole.
58*- 14/21 Everything was headed to hole. Really good performance.
15 yrd pitch over bunker- For this one I counted balls not in the bunker and still on the green. Distance didn’t matter too much. On the course my goal is to just not blade it over the green or throw it into the bunker.
54*- 3/21 I was scared of hitting it too far causing me to stop turning and chunk it most of the time.
58*- 15/21 I would open up the club just a little and be able to swing confidently and fully. As I said the big goal here for me is to not put it in that bunker.
25 yrd pitch to tiered green- Goal here was to get on the correct tier not to 10 ft
54*-12/21 nothing too exciting here. Decent performance. Wind was strong tonight causing a lot to drift slightly off course.
58*- 5/21 It was nothing but chunk city out here tonight.I think here I had the opposite problem as earlier. Instead of slowing down I kept thinking I didn’t have enough swing on it so I tried to really speed up the swing causing a chunk.
The putting green was next. One drill I had been taught before was to take 3 golf balls and put them 4 feet away from the cup. Your goal is to make all 3 then head over to another side and make all 3 and after that go to the 3rd side and repeat until you’ve gone through all 4 stations. If you can make it through that 4 footers aren’t so scary. It also teaches you to deal with pressure because as soon as you miss you start all over again. The challenge that was always presented to me was to not leave until you complete that. I picked a hole that had all four types of putts you can experience. The drill started out at a putt that broke left to right,the next stop was a down hiller with no movement, the 3rd station was opposite the first putt resulting in a right to left putt, and it finished with an uphill putt that seemed to be straight but played half a ball out the right side. After 30 minutes the most I had made in a row was 7. Did I mention I am a terrible putter? Hunger was starting to set in so I needed to modify my challenge or else I was going to be escorted off property for being hangry and also because they would be closing. The new challenge was going to be to make 9 of 12 putts. That meant I had to make 3/3 on one of the stations while going 2/3 on the others. 5 attempts and 15 minutes later I stood over my last ball sitting at 8/11. I take a step back and took the time to read the putt and take a deep breath. Anyone watching would have thought this putt was for some serious money. I lined up the putt,stepped up to the ball, took the putter shakier than usual. The ball left the putter and headed towards the hole. Honestly it looked like I had missed it. It hit the lip and twirled around the cup. It fell in and I let out a huge sigh. It was now time for dinner.
Basically what I learned is around the green I am pretty good but once I get outside of 15 yards I hit some trouble. Its very difficult to practice those shots out on the range. This short game facility will have to become a major player in my life. If you got any good drills for me to try out for pitching and putting I will always be willing to listen. My problem putting is the stroke. it really isn’t a confidence thing. That’s why drills like tonight’s don’t always work for me. It doesn’t fix the big issue which is my putting stroke.