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Putting at Riverview today with Louie

Louie has what it takes for me to play golf with. He’s competitive in general and a very good putter at Riverview Golf Course where they have had an 18 hole “Master’s” type putting green for as long as I can remember. I used to practice there all the time during the 1980’s when I played the California Mini Tour and it’s a real test.

All of the holes are over 20 feet, some as long as 40 but I would say the average is about 27 feet to 30 feet, most with 6 inches to 6 feet of break, many with two levels and a few where it’s impossible to stop the ball short when the greens are cut well, just impossible. Louie makes almost everything on his 2nd putt.

I give him everything 3 feet and under and he rarely misses a 6 footer. I typically lose by 1-2 strokes per round. We’ve been putting now for almost a year and I’m starting to get used to the grain and the break again but coming close does no good against Louie, one has to take it away from him and he will usually be 3-7 under PAR with two balls and 2-4 under with one ball so he is quite challenging.

Today we played 4 rounds. My best chances for a “win” is the second round so I’ll try and mix it up and play one ball but mostly we play two ball.

Up until today my “win” ratio on the third round is zero or close to it as after a couple of hours I tend to lose my focus but he doesn’t.

Today was different. I took the third round with 2 holes where I nailed both putts into the hole, both holes had over 4 feet of break and I made several aces and still finished just one stroke ahead as he nailed and “ace” on the 18th hole. We don’t keep a score but I must have been 7 or 8 under or more with one bogey and he was right there.

After relaxing in the clubhouse and the day was cooling down so I said let’s go out again and I started off 2 down after the first hole and could have easily been 3, he aced and I had 6 footers for par. I missed the first, made the second.

The next 17 holes the lead changed more times than ever before. I had a lot of holes where I would make back to back “aces” and by this time I was feeling the break, the speed and just playing the stroke.

Just bring the club back 4 inches and hit through and hold 4 inches and just add more speed to the stroke and I was making just about every 3-7 footer today anyway. My best stroke is the 3-7 foot putt, the feel of the square blade to the spot is like putting to a “dime” instead of a 4 inch hole.

I was up by two going into 18 and this time Louie had no “ace” up his sleeve. We split our tournament. The putting course is vacant after 5, not too many players on it anyway, if you can’t putt then 4 and 5 putts per hole are the consequences of a poor putting game. One day we may just play into the evening but it is difficult to keep up such intensity for such a long time. I/We played a total of 162 holes with a total score close to 20 under Par for such a tough putting course.

We’re playing Los Lagos again soon. My arthritis is healing, I am exercising in a heated pool with my wife 3 days a week and I can walk again without pain. My heel is almost healed and I’m wearing inserts in my walking shoes.

Dakota came over this weekend and we spent 3 hours together gardening and trimming the patio plants and she has “kick started” me into resurrecting the patio and putting my practice tee back in place. I am also working on new video for the swing and doing many golf-o-metrics and I can feel my swing getting stronger every day even though I don’t hit a ball.

I’ve learned to swing the club without a club. After years of performing the moves a club is no longer necessary for me to use although I still do because one needs to hit balls to get the feel of timing and motion and impact from the swing to the ball.

I’m in Orange County (Southern California) where it was 90 degrees today. The days are shorter but the air will still be warm for another 2 months and I want to get some play in. One can play all year round in Southern California.

Louie plays better when other golfers are playing better. I’m just too serious, I’ll admit it. I won’t just go out and play a round of golf just to play.

I need competition, yes even at 62 and I won’t give strokes.

Louie is younger than I and brings a decent game with him and can score in the low 80’s or better. I play 4 times a year and can still manage a bit better than that.

I’m wearing too many hats right now and need to devote my time to making this swing available and explainable to everyone along with my other business endeavors and family life. Hopefully I’ll stay healthy, play more but I doubt if I will play more than 15 rounds next year, it just doesn’t seem to be in the cards for me. The extra time I have must be dedicated to promoting the Joe Norwood Golf Swing.

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