Been struggling with limited gains the last couple of years. Between my back and work, it's been less golf than I would have hoped.....frustrating, a struggle. Went to the range for a rare practice session a week or so ago, it was brutal.....a third of my shots were really bad....a third ok.....a third were solid. I had decided it was time to put up my Ben Hogan Ft Worth 15's and get some shovels......I had read the reviews and sold myself on the Mizuno JPX 900 Hot Metals, everyone seemed to like them. Additionally, I did a little rare reading, went back and read Freddy Couples "Total Shotmaking" - to hell with my draw, it was time for a fade. I literally looked at his setup, watched some Freddy youtube, and decided that I would set up with an open stance, swing along the target line, and hit 5 yard fades.
Saturday, went to the range with two objectives: try the 900's versus my Ben Hogans, and also start hitting fades. It wasn't all that warm, and we had a 20 mph wind, not the best conditions but typical for this time of year. The Hot Metals are are a great looking club, although a bit big, and put it side by side with the Hogans. To my surprise, hitting 5 balls with each club and switching back, I consistently hit the Hogans much better, better ball flight, and with more control. And, with a 5 yard fade......unreal. So, the good news......no dropping a bunch of cash on new irons. I hit the forgiving irons worse than the players irons, dispersion was much greater and ball flight too high. Great range session, headed home to enjoy date night.
Next day, noon.....get to the golf course in perfect time to hit a small bucket, pick up my 28 degree and start hitting 5 yard fades to warm up......hit about 20 balls, go hit about 20 pitches, and then putting green for about 20 putts. Getting close to my tee time with the regular foursome and some Wolf. Decided to just own it, stick with the game plan, and play fades all day - the distance loss was less than expected. I also took an extra club on each shot and was on or around the green often (see Erik's book/icacas, I was essentially running with the advice of Freddy and Eric all day). Threw ego out of the equation - even into the wind, stuck with that fade and played the percentages. Winter grass meant tight lies......I even putted twice from 30 yards off the green, playing the percentages. Tried to play smart on every shot, avoided sneaking back to my draw and also trying anything high risk......punched out a few times and took my medicine. On winter grass, on a windy day where the wind continued to blow and got colder/worse on the back 9, shot an 81.....and I am a poor wind player.
Long story short, recommendations:
Played a draw almost all of my life - just a few days with a fade, it was more consistent. An old friend of mine who was scratch used to always say, "you can talk to a fade, but a hook won't listen". He was right.
Books - Freddy's Total Shotmaking has some good info, but I would especially read Erik's/Iacas book......it talks simple concepts and playing the percentages.
Ego - leave it at home.....true, my drives were 20 yards shorter on average with a fade, but I didn't have the couple of duck hooks that always show up, hit more fairways, more GIR, and generally hit the ball in the general direction intended.
Hope this is a good read.......I went from buying new clubs, realized the problem was me, changed my strategy, and shot a legit 81 in strong winds....and I hate wind. Looking forward to 2018.
Anything is possible