Thursday, March 5, 2015
I played great in the first round. The wind absolutely howled in the afternoon after being relatively calm in the morning. Scores reflected that. In the morning wave of tee times, 40 of 72 golfers broke par and many went fairly low. In the afternoon wave of tee times, six of 72 golfers broke par. I teed off at 1:00 and played beautifully. I bogeyed my second hole of the day but otherwise made very few mistakes and posted a two-birdie, one-bogey round of 71. I hit the ball very solidy, chipped well, and putted nicely in the blustery conditions. I'll give you one small example of how strongly the wind was blowing. My two birdies both came from eight-iron approach shots. On the par-5 second hole (my 11th), I hit an eight iron from 113 yards. Three holes later at the par-3 fifth hole, I hit the same eight iron from 179 yards. Those were my two birdies. I am very pleased with all aspects of my game, and I am ready to go play again! I start at 8:00 a.m. Friday morning, and I am going to follow the same plan: have fun and play one shot at a time. Come back for a great report in the evening. Thank you for following me!
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
I am ready to go! I have had a great week of preparation and am excited to get this week's Web.com Tour event started.
Cartagena is a coastal town, and the back nine of the golf course is literally ocean-front property. I think it must be the windy season because the wind has howled at 25-35 miles per hour every day. That kind of wind always makes golf shots difficult, but I feel great about the three days of work that I have had in the conditions. I am hitting the ball very solidly, and though I have struggled to get my putting drills done, I have rolled the ball beautifully in my practice rounds. I tee it up at 1:00 on Thursday, and I am ready to play well. I am going to have fun and play one shot at a time. Keep it here for reports after each round! Thank you for following!
Sunday, March 1, 2015
It was cold in my beautiful East Tennessee home this week. After a narrow miss in the Monday Qualifier for the PGA Tour's Honda Classic, I wanted to get home to regroup and repack for a four-week stretch of Web.com Tour events, so I flew home Monday night. I woke up to three pretty inches of snow Tuesday morning. That was nothing compared to the beauty of the additional six and a half inches that fell overnight on Wednesday! I decided (or was forced, more accurately) to call this my week off from practice requirements. I did complete a Light Fitness Routine, though, and I am feeling rested and ready to go. Despite not having my usual goal-oriented practice, I had a productive day indoors on Wednesday in Knoxville before having two great days of work in Jacksonville and Orlando on Friday and Saturday. I am starting to understand my golf swing, and the changes that I have made are starting to click. I am excited to be some place warm where I can continue to work on my game, and, as my performance last Monday showed, I am ready to compete as well!
After a smooth day of travel on Sunday, Alicia and I are in Cartagena, Colombia, where we will begin preparations tomorrow for the Web.com Tour's Karibana Championship. It is really pretty here. Here are some before and after pictures:
I am excited to have a great week. I have shaken off a little bit of the mental rust that plagued me in the first two Web.com Tour events of the year, and I am ready to play Peter Malnati golf. In fact, I am ready to play an improved version of Peter Malnati golf because I am better physically than I have ever been. I will have a great week here in Cartagena. Stay tuned for pre-tournament updates and, of course, great tournament reports Thursday through Sunday.
Thank you for following and believing in me!
Monday, February 23, 2015
The last week has been an adventurous search for some warm conditions, but I am happy to say that I have had some great practice and played some very good golf as well. After showing some positive signs but missing in the Monday Qualifier last week in Los Angeles, I stayed in Southern California through midday on Saturday and had some great practice at a course called the TPC Valencia. In addition to solid practice, I also spent an afternoon at the Titleist equipment test site and got confirmation that both my equipment and golf swing are working well. It was strange being so for from home and not actually being in a golf tournament, but I am thrilled to have been so productive during a week when I could not have gotten much done at home.
I was so productive, in fact, that I was able to complete my Full Fitness Routine and Full Practice Schedule last week. It was a challenging week of practice, but I am very proud of my stick-to-it-tiveness. I struggled with my putting drills but finished them by Sunday morning and it took an extra hour of bunker practice Sunday evening to hole my sand shot for the week, but I got it all done. My ball-striking is starting to click and my wedge practice has been very very good. I feel great about the work that I am doing, and it is definitely starting to show.
I got some strong validation that my work is working today. On Saturday, I flew from Los Angeles to Palm Beach, Florida, to attempt another Monday Qualifier--this time for the PGA Tour's Honda Classic. I struggled off the tee a little bit and cost myself a couple shots with that, but otherwise, I played beautifully. I never missed a green from the fairway or on a par three and I posted a five-under-par round of 66. It wasn't quite good enough to qualify, but it sure was nice to play well and post a good score.
Now, I am heading home to regroup and re-pack for the next stretch of Web.com Tour events. It's still awfully winter-like in Tennessee, so I don't think I'll stay there long. Alicia and I are flying out of Florida to head back to South America on Sunday, so we will probably head that way a day or two (or three) early. Whatever we decide to do, I am going to have productive work again this week, and I will be ready to get it going when I tee it up again on the Web.com Tour next Thursday.
I feel like my game is starting to come together and, more importantly, I feel like my mind has been fairly sharp on the course the last two Mondays. I am excited and I believe as strongly as ever that great things are coming. Thank you for following and keep it here for another report this week!
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
I did not qualify, and I really wanted to, so that stinks. However, I had a feeling on the golf course that I haven't had in quite a while. I felt like I was in complete control of my golf ball. It was great. I didn't have that feeling in all areas of my game, but with my irons and wedges, I was as good I can remember since 2013. I hit a few squirrelly drivers that led to bogeys during the Monday portion of my round, and my putting was way off both days. I ended up shooting a one-under-par round of 70, and it took 65 to qualify, so by that measure, I wasn't close, but I can tell you that I am very close to playing great golf.
I am going to spend the rest of the week (until Saturday) here in Southern California working on my game, and I will fly from here to Southern Florida to attempt next week's qualifier for the PGA Tour's Honda Classic.
I know that I am kind of like the boy who cried wolf in terms of promising success, but the hard work that I have done is really starting to come together. I need to get all areas of my game clicking simultaneously, but I am very close to making that happen. Great stuff is coming! Thank you for following and keep it here for a practice report from Southern California.
Monday, February 16, 2015
I spent last Monday through Saturday in a very cold East Tennessee. We had a beautiful day on Wednesday, but apart from that, it was a hard week of work. I am very very pleased with my level of productivity given the situation. I did a lot of work on my swing mechanics indoors and maximized my outdoor practice time as well. I had every intention of completing a Full Fitness Routine and Full Practice Schedule last week, and a fought hard until the end. I had a great week of fitness work and easily completed my Full Fitness Routine. I had a lot of very good goal-oriented practice and completed a lot of the elements of my Full Practice Schedule, but I simply ran out of time with a couple of practice items remaining. I did complete a Light Practice Schedule, and I'm very pleased with the work I did. It was challenging weather-wise, but I enjoyed some great time at home and still got in some great work last week.
Instead of getting better, the ten-day forecast says that things are getting worse in the short-term in my beautiful Tennessee home. I decided on Friday morning that I needed to get out of there so that I could keep moving forward with my golf game. I booked a last minute flight to Southern California and signed up for the PGA Tour's Los Angeles Open Monday Qualifier. I took off early Sunday morning at landed in sunny Los Angeles just before noon Pacific Time. Poor weather is not typically the motivating factor to sign up for an event, but in an inverted way, it was this time. I am excited to be in some warm sunshine and to keep getting better.
Now that I am here, I am excited to tee off later this afternoon with a chance to qualify for a PGA Tour event. My practice has felt great, and I am ready to play well today. This is a popular Monday Qualifier, and it will definitely take a great round to get the job done, but I am ready to post one. I am going to have a smart plan on every shot, commit to it, and execute fearlessly. I felt that in my first two Web.com Tour events this year, my mental game was rusty more than my physical game. I'm ready to shake off that rust. I'm excited to compete. It's going to be a good day!
There was a fog delay out here this morning, and that almost ensures that I will not finish my 18 holes today, but I will get started well. I will update you on my progress tonight, and hopefully will have great news by Tuesday morning! Thank you for keeping up with me!
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
I know that if you follow and root for me, the fun stuff to hear about is good tournament results. I didn't exactly deliver those over the past two weeks, but I really am feeling better about things in my golf game than I have in a long time. After a frustrating year on the PGA Tour last year during which I struggled in a lot of areas, I committed myself to improving in two major ways. First of all, I committed to improving my swing mechanics. I sought out a new swing instructor to add to my team and dedicated myself to learning about and improving my golf swing. Secondly, I committed to getting back to my style of preparation--a planned, goal-oriented practice and conditioning regimen. I have done a great job of following through on both of these commitments, and I am confident that the fun stuff--namely, good tournament results--is on the way!
The work that I have done on my golf swing feels so good and makes so much sense that I expect it to all work right away. I do think it is very close to clicking, but I found that when things got a little bit out of sorts in my last tournament, I couldn't quite find the same feelings on the course that I am able to achieve in my practice... YET. I will get there, and it won't take me long. I am definitely moving in the correct direction, and that will begin to shine through in competition very soon.
My style of preparation is embodied in my Process Goals, which hold me accountable to weekly fitness routines and practice schedules. This year's version of my Process Goals breaks the year down into five-week segments and gives me a little bit of flexibility by allowing for a couple of light practice and light fitness weeks each segment. This past Sunday wrapped up the first five-week segment of the year, and I am very pleased to say that I completed all of my Process Goals. I know that following my plan and achieving my Process Goals puts me on the path to accomplish my Outcome Goals, so I am feeling great!
Here is a picture of my Process Goal journal from two weeks ago. This was a Full Fitness Routine and a Full Practice Schedule week.
My tournament results have not been what I expect or want yet this year, but I still feel like I am on the right path. I have lofty Outcome Goals, but I also have a great plan to achieve them. I'm going to continue to be committed to improving my swing mechanics and following my Process Goals, and I am condident that I will have success.
The Web.com Tour does not play again for three weeks. I'm not yet certain what all I will do in that three week period, but one safe bet is that I will work hard and get better. Thank you for following me and keep it here for practice reports and other updates. Great stuff is coming!