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Invigoration – Frustration & Adoration of this great game & missing it “Straight”

Well, it’s been a while since I last posted. I’m settling in with the reality that I just cannot give to this game what I gave decades ago. I love golf, mostly just hitting balls at the range but I am getting out once a week and playing more than on my home course WillowWick Municipal. Recently I started playing Los Lagos in Costa Mesa and even though I ride in a cart, the terrain of the course is just playing havoc on my body. I’m the old man on the course these days. Louie and I teed it up this last Wednesday and some youngsters (I say youngsters – they were in their late 20’s) let us play through on the 1st tee. They had a five some and said they were going to shoot some video. I said, bring it out, I love to be video’d but they were just kidding. I must admit it is difficult seeing young golfers pick up their bags and walk like I used too but that just doesn’t seem to be in the cards. Once again we played 27 holes and by the time I got home my wife questioned me about the pain and scolded me for playing that course again since I had told her “No More”. It’s now Friday and my feet have recuperated and I’m feeling pretty good about things. Tonight I’ll work out with the seniors in a 93 degree pool doing Aqua Aerobics and stretching for and hour and a half then settle down with my wife to sleep under the stars in our tent in our backyard and enjoy a nice fire. Tomorrow we head up to Hesperia to see my Granddaughter Kota who will turn 7 and seems to be my best chance at passing this swing on to family. My son, daughter, and 3 other grandsons just have no desire to swing a club. Kota seems to enjoy it but she is one of those little girls who needs to do things well. I’ve been training her for over 6 months to swing a club without turning her hips and she is starting to get it. Well that brings us to Wednesday’s round. and the title of this post pretty much tells the story so let’s get right to it.

  1. Invigoration
    1. I’m starting to get the feel for the right forearm and elbow on the chip shots. I have been making at least one birdie from off the green during the past few rounds. It’s taken a while but I can now hold the club steady with my hands and just hit a soft swing. I’m using an 8 iron for shots where the ball is 1-3 feet off the green and there is room (at least 20 feet) for the ball to roll. It’s really a nice feeling to just use the forearm and elbow of the right side and make little short swings. It’s so similar to long putts and I’m just a lot more confident with the 8 iron than I am with the putter. I’m reading the greens so much better now and just like the movie “Baggar Vance” I can see the line of the break from the ball to the hole. What a feeling it is to see this. I try to envision a pathway on the break and it’s working out pretty well.
    2. For pitch shots I’m using my 52 degree wedge and just opening up the blade for more loft if needed. My 66 degree wedge is really only good for short pizza shots from 25-50 yards. Most of the time when I miss the green I’m only 1-15 feet away and lot more often than not much closer to the 1-5 feet distance.
    3. I’ll be shooting a video soon on the short game with the hopes of getting it up on Youtube but for those of you who follow the Joe Norwood Golf Swing then you know the stance, grip and everything else.
    4. I hit the flag stick on one of my approach shots Wednesday, something I haven’t done in a while. I almost hit the flag stick 3 times on the last 9 holes of the 27 even though my body was ready to go home.
    5. My 9,7 and 5 woods are screaming straight and with a lot of loft. My 9 wood feels like my 8 iron, it’s become part of me. I use it a lot because I can no longer hit a 7 iron 150 yards, it just a consequence of being a senior citizen.
    6. My putting technique is good and even the missed putts roll well.
    7. I’ll end this section with something my Grandfather said to me a long time ago. I teach you to swing and leave the scoring to you.
  2. Frustration
    1. The most frustrating thing is that I allowed myself to get older and can’t ever regain those years.
    2. I also just won’t devote the practice time needed to play scratch golf and I know I can as long as I tee off from the men’s tees. I won’t play the blue or black tees. There’s no reason to any more. I have nothing to prove but practicing 2 or 3 days a week is difficult because my life is full and it’s just not as easy as I had hoped to go to the range in the mornings during the week. I have 5 days I can practice and I don’t practice on the day I play. Why go out and hit a bucket of balls on the day you play?  As long as I’m doing my golf-o-metrics at home, putting in my office and stretching and  practicing the swing in the pool and at home then that’s enough. I’m confident I’ll be playing 5-7 strokes better by the end of October when daylight savings time hits. This means I’ll be in the very low 70’s at Willowwick and Los Lagos.
    3. I’ve never been frustrated and not being long off the tee. Louie routinely drives the ball 30 or more yards past me, that’s nothing new. It used to happen when I was younger. I make up with accuracy. As long as I’m 200 yards or less from the green I know I can put it on the green and when I’m 160 yards or less I know I can get it close. Sometimes I hit the ball 230, sometimes 245 but most of the time I drive the ball around 225 yards. When I was young I could hit the ball 275 yards and in my 30’s easily 250 yards and even now if I bought the best equipment and practiced more I could still get the 250 mark but I don’t play long holes. Most of the par 4’s I play are under 380 yards so 150 -170 yards to the pin is just fine because I can hit the ball straight.
    4. I guess the most frustrating thing I’m dealing with is being 63 and going on 64. Where has the time gone? Gramps was 60 when I was born. My twin Grandsons were born when I was 60 and I learned a golf swing from a man who never hit the ball more than 30 yards. Yes that’s right I never saw my Grandfather hit a golf ball like I’m able to show JNGS followers on YouTube but it is frustrating because what the mind wants, the body just does not deliver.
  3. Adoration
    1. What fun it is to play again. I love this game and am so grateful my Grandfather dedicated 80 years of his 98 years on this earth to teaching a golf swing.
    2. I’m grateful he was in a place at the right time when Alexander Findlay (www.alexanderfindlay.com) happened to go to work for Wright and Ditson Sporting Goods in Boston when Gramp’s was 13. Findlay was only at W&D for a short period but he taught Joe Norwood how to teach, Findlay, himself, was taught by a Scottish Professional, Mr. H Dow of Montrose Scotland back in the 1860’s. There are still 135 golf courses in America that were designed by Alexander H. Findlay.
    3. I love to write about this swing. I love to talk about this swing. I love this swing. When i hit the flag with my 9 iron I told Louie: “The swing works, I’m just too old to do it every hole but it works”. I don’t know how much longer I will play, hopefully for another 10-20 years but I have to beat this weight issue and I’m only holding my own. I do believe I’ll be teaching this swing well into my 90’s when holographic lessons will be part of the equation.
    4. In short I adore Golf and love the smile on my followers faces when they hit that perfect shot. I love the fact I can hit the ball perfectly straight when I swing it well and I love the fact that I miss the ball straight.
    5. When I would miss a shot it would always fall short and Louie, every time, said: “Yep, if you’re going to miss it miss it straight

Well, I’ll be practicing up for my round this coming week. I’ll probably play WillowWick and hope to start shooting some video on the course. I’m telling you chipping with an 8 iron is something you should all start to do. What a feel:):):):)

Till next Time

Dan

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