Today I went to practice and play nine at North Texas Golf. The day was beautiful, sunny skies, with a slight breeze from the south. I planned to practice everything: full swing, wedges, chips, putts. It has been more than a week since I last practice, due to the cold, rainy weather we’ve had lately.
I started off hitting the practice 6-iron blade I made a few weeks ago. The first shot was hit a bit thin, but the next few shots were pretty well struck, going a bit farther than usual. Once I warmed up, I pulled out the 3-, 6- and 9-irons, and proceeded to alternate shots with each. I was concentrating on an inside-to-square path and keeping the start of my downswing slow. I’ve found over the last few weeks, that if I do those two things well, I have a slight draw or straight shot with good (for me) distance.
Today, things were a bit weird. My usual problem, as with most beginning golfers, is the slice. Today, the slice was gone (with the exception of 2 or 3 shots with the hybrid or 3-metal) to be replaced with pulls (on short irons) and hard hooks with the longer irons. The better shots were straight or slight draws, with poorer shots tending to hook or pull. Occasionally, I would hit a push with no side spin at all. Distance was pretty good for me, as long as I kept the downswing slow and smooth. As soon as the downswing got quick, I tended to hit the ball a bit fat, which reduced distance.
Bad luck: after I had hit about 1/3 of a medium bucket, 60 junior golfers descended onto the range, covering it from one end to the other. I decided to finish practice with a few full wedges (about 5 balls each of the pitching, sand and lob wedges) and then hit the course, hoping to get going before the juniors got going.
No luck. I played the first hole (badly) and then made par (with an outstanding chip to 3 ft) on the second when the junior golfers fanned out all over the course. I’d (stupidly) assumed they would start off from the first tee, but instead send a group of 4 juniors (with accompanying adults) to each hole on the course. I gave up at that point and went home, bummed out.
Oh, well, everyone has to learn. Usually, the juniors play on Saturday, but the rainy or cold weather of the last two weekends must have pushed them to Sunday. Live and learn.