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Taking my practice more seriously



There is a course here locally in Northwest Arkansas called The Blessings. I dearly want to be "blessed".

Super exclusive club that only has 100 or so members, but is where the University of Arkansas golf teams practice. I saw on the ASGA website that the 2016 US Mid Am qualifying is being held at The Blessings. I instantly thought, "I'm in! I can finally play that awesome but super, super hard golf course" 7500 from the tips 77.7/148 rating/slope.

Unfortunately I am an 8 index, and in order to even be eligible to qualify for the US Mid Am you have to have a max handicap of 3.7.

I've been between a 7-9 index that last 2 years and quite frankly, have been complacent. I'm better than most guys I play against, but I want to play in more serious state and regional tournaments. Win my club championship. Excel at the game I love. 

I signed back up for Evolvr (awesome) and have been working on getting better at practicing. If I practice correctly, I will eventually play better. I have a pretty good attitude when it comes to the ups and downs of golf. Triple? Oh well. Move on. Need to make 2 birdies so its only really a bogey. I've been with Evolvr about 4-6 weeks now and at first I was confused. My mind and body were not connected because my practice sucked. I thought I could make a swing change by simply doing a few drills and then getting right back to full swings. Shoot....how hard can it be to change a swing that has been engraved for 7 years and thousands of swings? Hard. Very damn hard.

I became very frustrated. I was spending 5-6 days a week with a club in my hands and making minimal progress. Then @iacas reminded me of the 5 S of practice. I wasn't doing the Slow part... This last week I put in time, worked hard. Even went to the range for 30 minutes only to hit 10-15 balls. It showed. Since the 5/1 revision my handicap shot up from a 7.3 to an 8.6. Then Wednesday I shot an 81 from the blended tees. (6.7 differential) Lower than my current handicap, so if I kept this pace up I would eventually have a lower index. Then Saturday I shot a 78 from the men's tees. Came out 41 on the front and a 2 over 37 on the back with a bogey bogey finish. Things are clicking. 5.9 differential. Handicap was estimated to come back down to an 8. Today, from the blended tees I shot 77 with a 40 on the front and another 2 over back 9. 3.4 differential. Index is projected to be a 7.5 if I dont play again before the 15th. Things are going in the right direction.

I dont care if I come out in the US Mid Am qualifier and shoot 90. The course, after all, is going to be extremely hard. My goal for 2016 is to be good enough to just get there. Play that awesome golf course by earning it, and compete. 

Lets see how this goes. 


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I found myself nodding yes to a lot of this. Newly revived drive to work on things seriously this year here too. Let's do this.

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Keep it up! I'm hoping to play in a few tournaments this year. It would be awesome to try out for something like the US Mid Am in the future. :beer:

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Seems like this year is the year for several of us to re-evaluate our practice. I am changing my mindset as well, I was much like you in doing a few drills and then jumping right back to full swings thinking I "had it". This year it's time to become focused and consistent. I don't expect miracles, but as long as I see actual and sustained improvement I will be happy. Look forward to hearing how it was for you to play that course.

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Admiral goal.  I hope you stick with it and get a chance to tee it up.

Some time ago one of my goals was to be able to play in a USGA Senior Amateur Qualifier. Requires a 7.4 index or lower, which I have had off and on over the past decade.  When it came time to sign up, I chickened out.  There is a very large difference between my 7.4 and the guys with an actual chance of qualifying.  I just could not accept the idea of my floundering around while the real qualifiers were posting 69's.

Show us the way!


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Went out and played today from the tips at my country club. 7000 yards, 74.4/142 rating/slope.

Shot an 86 with 5 doubles. Mainly on the par 3's. Either hit the ball unexpectedly long (all were 200 yards + with 5 iron) or just made a bad decision on the shot choice. I tried to flight a pitching wedge down a bit for a 125 yard shot to a front pin and I should have hit a full shot. Ended up spinning back into the lake. Or chipped too hard with an 8 iron and the ball ran 40ft past the flag. The good news is I know what I did wrong, and know how to correct it.

86 from those tees isn't great, but not terrible (9.3 diff). It knocked off a bad score so my handicap is trending back to a 7.3. 

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On May 9, 2016 at 11:49 AM, bkuehn1952 said:

When it came time to sign up, I chickened out.  There is a very large difference between my 7.4 and the guys with an actual chance of qualifying.  I just could not accept the idea of my floundering around while the real qualifiers were posting 69's.

You wouldn't have qualified, but you should have entered.

There's nothing like tournament golf.

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On 5/14/2016 at 4:03 PM, iacas said:

You wouldn't have qualified, but you should have entered.

There's nothing like tournament golf.

This is my exact feeling about this whole ordeal. 

If I get to the point where I'm good enough to qualify, and dont, then I reached my goal. If I qualify, well that would be icing on the cake and will probably have been a round in the low 70's on a super tough golf course. Since Arkansas had a small field of only about 25 guys, only one spot made it to the 2015 US Mid AM. The guy shot a 3 under 69. 

I've never shot even par, but who knows. Anything can happen. 

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This is a great post, @kpaulhus, thanks for making it.

I've never taken or done practice in a way I should.  It's why my improvement has been as slow as it has been.  I need to adopt the attitude that @Jeremie Boop expressed and change my mindset if I'm ever going to really reach my potential. 

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So a friend of mine that left my current country club was able to join The Blessings. Looks like I will get a first hand look at the course prior to the August qualifying round. Weather permitting I'll be putting in some putting practice and continuing to work on my swing this week. 

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I just wanted to provide an update on how things are going. Its been about a month since my last post, and I was able to play in the Member/Guest Tournament at The Blessings golf course.

Ive been playing the best golf of my life, and if the US Mid Am qualifier deadline was the 1st I would officially be low enough of a handicap to participate. My swing is in good shape and I'm making putts. 

Yard ideas.jpg

What started off as a joke and really unattainable, has become reality. I cant imagine walking The Blessings due to the elevation, so I am going to see if a friend will caddy for me during the qualifying round. My first real USGA tournament and I've put in a lot of work. Dropping from a 6.7 to a 3.4 index in a little over a month has just been mind boggling. The whole mental part of my game has changed. When I make a bogey or double, I battle back and make birdies (or even eagle) to get those strokes back. 

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