Challenge August 2020

Hit 200 golf balls per week (150 iron/wood shots, 25 chip shots, and 25 putts).

Prologue

Golf is great. The problem? I’m not that good. My Dad introduced it to me when I was young. It’s a great way to connect with him (he offers advice I’m willing to accept) and other people. I estimate I’m a 15 handicap. I want to pull that down to sub 5. I think that I’ll enjoy golf more if I get better at it. I believe I can get better by deliberate practice. I know it will take longer than one month.

About a year ago, I read this article about The Dan Plan and it’s been rattling around my head since. This monthly challenge is the start of My Dan Plan. I don’t think I’ll play on the PGA tour. I just hope I don’t throw my back out.

Result

Success. The practice helped reduce my error rate from about 30 misfires, flubs, slices, and worm-burners, to about 15 per session. I had to use some band aids and non-sticky athletic tape to keep a couple fingers from blistering. My left shoulder and ankle were a bit sore at every week’s end, but they would recover in time for the next week’s sessions. Over time, I will likely flip the ratio to 150 chip shots and putts, and 50 iron/wood shots. I want to keep these sessions up, even through the Vancouver winter. They only take about an hour or so and are oddly satisfying.

Two interesting things: 1) The professionals typically can draw, fade, hook, or slice deliberately, 2) Inhaling and then holding my breath (from Starting Strength) during my swing resulted in more consistent, higher and longer (good) shots.

Stats to revisit later (average estimated non-flubbed shot distance):
Wedge – Carry
60 – 90
56 – 110
A – 135
P – 145

Iron – Carry
9 – 155
8 – 165
7 – 175
6 – 185
5 – 195
4 – 205

Wood – Carry
Hybrid – 215
3 wood – 235
Driver – 250