Golf Confessionals: Struggle, Struggle, Struggle

Throughout the past two years I have covered a few instructors, theories, and mechanical tips regarding the golf swing and how I attempt to incorporate these teachings into my game.  I have shared my ups and downs with the process, especially during the span when I had no formal lessons or training... which is approximately 16 years of my life.  In fact, it hasn't been until recently when a golf pro has taken a look at my swing from an analytical standpoint.  I have learned a great deal from both instructors -- Brant Kasbohm and Greg Baresel -- in regard to swing plane, takeaway, release, and posture.  However, perhaps the most important lessons I learned during these two short sessions is that improving my game will take a little time and a lot of hard work.  At least, to get my game to where I can score below 80 on a consistent basis.

As of today, my handicap index is an 8.8; approximately a full point higher than it was when 2011 began.  I know this is technically better-than-average, however I will also make the argument that seeing improvement at this level is incredibly difficult to achieve in comparison to higher handicaps.  For example, it is of my opinion that a drop in handicap can occur more dramatically for players with an index of over 15-20 than for players under an index of 10.  This is primarily due to what I will call the "adjustment factor"; the amount of strokes that can be saved by making a fundamental change in a golfer's swing or mechanics.  For players of a higher handicap index, this adjustment can be something as dramatic as a complete swing overhaul aimed at helping the golfer establish fundamentally-sound mechanics (to fix a slice, hook, topping the ball, etc.).  For players of a lower handicap, however, this factor will focus more on intricate "tweaks" to a swing that may not yield immediate results on the course.

Short game is always something that should be practiced on a regular basis as most strokes are saved or lost on or around the green.  That much is certain, and this is a belief that I have established into my own practice routine.  However, I have become somewhat obsessed with the proper movements and theories involved in the full swing... especially involving iron play.  Making a divot after the ball at impact.  Starting the club back on the proper plane.  Making the correct transitional move from the top of your backswing.  These are all aspects of my game that literally keep me up at night.

As I continue my journey to "sub-80 Land", I will continue to post my tranistions and lessons-learned in the Golf Confessionals section.  Perhaps we can both learn something along the way in the process.