A couple of weeks ago, Ben shared a self-analysis of his current golf skills. As we get ready to move into the off season for golf, I thought I should do something similar.
I’m a fairly good putter. I’m comfortable within 3 feet of the pin, and generally I can 2 putt inside of 10 feet. I continue to work on controlling the speed of long distance putts. Ben is definitely a better putter from outside 15 feet. In fact, he usually wins our putting competitions when we are practicing.
Since starting this project, most of our practice has been on the short game. For the first time in my life I am confident that I can keep the ball on the green within 2 putt distance. That’s really a huge improvement for me. Before we started this project, I could easily chip the ball back and forth from one end of the green to the other.
Short Irons (9i – 58 degree wedge)
Over the last few years I have usually been solid with my short irons. My struggles have usually been hitting to the right of my target. I’m not talking about slicing the ball; I struggle with my aim. With the swing mechanics that Ben and I have been developing, I have gotten better. I am usually hitting the ball within 10 feet, left or right, of my aim point.
I can still struggle with shots from 40-80 yards out. Typically, if I take a full swing with my 58 degree wedge I hit the ball round 100 yards. I will continue to work on accuracy when having to shorten my swing, but I also hope to improve my course management and leave myself more comfortable distances when hitting into the green.
Longer Irons (6i-8i)
I don’t regularly carry any irons under a 6i. Typically my favorite club to hit is my 7 iron. I can usually hit it about 165 yards with a comfortable swing. With the improved swing mechanics, my aim has gotten better and I am usually hitting in the direction I’m actually aiming. I have often thought that I would score better if the longest club that I played with was a 7 iron. But, the goal isn’t only scoring better, it’s also to be able to reach into my bag and feel confident with whatever club I chose to hit.
The rest of my clubs (Driver-3&4 hybrids)
Really, who the hell knows? Over the years, I've been really inconsistent. One day I might hit my driver relatively well, and the next it’s like I’ve never swung it before. Of my longer clubs, I’m most consistent with my 3 hybrid. Often I will use it instead of the driver off the tee, and sacrifice the distance for a more accurate shot.
My biggest challenge when playing a round is hitting the ball in the right direction. I usually hit the ball relatively straight, just off line 15-20 degrees. I also struggle with obstacles. I’m pretty good getting out of sand traps, which is good because I find myself in them quite often. In fact, if there is an obstacle between me and the flag, I usually find myself in it. It doesn’t matter if it’s sand, water, or trees, I seem to launch my shot as if hitting it was the goal. And god forbid if there is a person or cart in my vision. I have often said that they should make the distance markers and flags in the shape of people and carts. I seem to be able to hit them without too much trouble.
All things considered, I feel that I can be a solid golfer. I really need to improve my ability to think my way around the golf course while maintaining a centered swing. I look forward to starting fresh next spring and continuing to develop the ideas that Ben and I have put together so far.