So I've had less time to practice and to play this year (a good thing if you look at the big picture). I had a couple of really awful rounds and bad practice sessions. Including our camping/golf trip to the Raven up in Silverthorne (totally rad course, with par 3's that were taller than they were long, and blistering 600 yard downhill par 5).
So I made up my mind that I'm going to work on one thing this year - tempo. It seems to be working. By making sure all my parts are moving in the right order, and working together, I can swing with more power, while feeling like I'm swinging easier. It's similar to my working on the torso strength, but goes beyond it. I can't worry about swing plane and things like that right now - I'm not even worrying about aim. I'm just making sure my shoulders stay "connected" and that my body is moving easily in the right sequence.
I'm actually a little shocked at how well its working, especially with the woods. Taking back the club, my body rotates in the following order:
Hands - Arms - Shoulders - Hips, Feet (feet is switching weight to the left foot) and it's all very slow
Then coming down, it's feet (firing the back forward and shifting the weight), which pulls the hips into the turn, then pulling the shoulders and hands through the ball.
The sensation is weird - it's like my feet are yanking my torso to twist through the ball, and feels like a body power I hadn't hd before. because I'm not holding the club and swinging with my arms so hard, I'm releasing the club head, not losing my balance at all, and finishing with a great "trophy" pose, which I had to force before.
Using this, my sloppy drives were about 210, and a good crank was about 260. And the slice was more of a controlled fade. Hopefully I can groove this new approach to make a more long term improvement to my game, rather than the momentary spike.
In other news, I think I've got sand shots down now. By try to spank the bottom of the club head against the sand behind the club, consistency is much improved. Chipping is still strong - I think it's the one area where I exceed my buds/playing partners. Now I just need to get everything else together, and drop that handicap down to 14, still my goal for the summer, but I am getting a little nervous about reaching it.
And I continued my putter collecting - I've buying one nice putter a year, in hopes of having a decent collection by the time the rest of my gray hair comes in. Joining the Scotty Cameron Newport and Bettinardi Mizuno putters, is a Scotty Cameron Circa 62 putter. I like Ping Anser style blade putters, and the Circa is no exception. It has a rounded bottom, and very nice dark satin finish. I love my newport and it is my playing putter, but I am going to swap it out for a bit, and try the Circa 62 for a while. I'm sure I'll go back, but for now, the circa is pretty nice.