Itchin' for Scratch: Week 1

In this series, I will be documenting my journey to become a scratch golfer and return to competitive golf. I will go over my physical training, practice, and play. 

Week 1 is now over and boy, oh boy, was it a rough but good stretch of golf. One part of my game has been cursed. 

My putter might as well be a mini golf putter and the hole might as well be an ant hill because I can't seem to make a single putt. But let's back up a minute. 

I dedicated significant time to getting on the course and playing rounds over the 4th of July and the week after. I had been spending some time on the range and on the putting green prior to this. However, for skills to transfer over, you NEED to get on the course and play

There is no comparison from the range to the course. Just because you can hit shots on the range doesn't mean that you can hit them on the course. So away I went to play. 

Over an 11-day stretch, I played 11 rounds of golf and posted some pretty good scores for myself. Here is a review of my rounds: 

Overall, I am very happy with how things played out for me during this intense stretch of golf. I was able to lower my handicap from 6.1 down to 4.4. That is quite an accomplishment. 

The biggest reason for this has to be my Driver and my iron striking. Ever since I took a couple of golf lessons and was able to correct some mechanics in my swing, my drives have been longer and straighter, and my iron striking, particularly long irons, has become remarkably good compared to where I was before. 

My distance off the tee has increased by about 20 yards on average and misses have been tolerable. My distance control and accuracy with irons have been astounding. I even hit a 6-iron from 198 yards to 10 feet. But this is where the problem begins. 

I missed that 10-foot putt. Then I missed a few putts from inside 3 feet. Then I couldn't make anything. 

Confidence with the putter was shattered. The middle stretch of scores could have been so much better (probably 3 to 4 strokes) had I been able to make a few more putts. 

What do you do in a situation like this? 

You listen to a bunch of podcasts on the mental part of the game and how to fix the yips. So there I was listening to The Sweet Spot and The Mental Golf Show podcasts trying to solve this problem. Then something clicked. 

Jon Sherman discussed how he had the yips with his putter and he changed everything about his setup. So I did the same. 

I took this to the course on July 9th and bam. Posted a 76. Not even my best round here, but I was rolling putts in! I drained a 30, 12, and 6-foot birdie and didn't miss a single putt inside 3 feet. 

Obviously, this was only one round but I have a feeling this is going to carry over. Especially with this next week being dedicated to short game practice

The last time I had a round that I pulled driving, iron play, and putting together I posted a 71. That was 2 years ago. 

I have a feeling a round in the 60s is attainable before the end of this year.