Today I finished what was determined, by me, to be great tournament in Endicott, New York. Somehow I performed extremely well but finished 34th in the field. My stats were very good with many birdies, enough to tie second in the whole field, and my putting was in the top five. What is so very difficult at En-joy Golf Club is driving the ball for run down the fairways, then turning around and hitting a very soft shot into the green. I’ve always found this course very difficult to score on because
there is no routine to the patterns that are demanded of the player. What I means is that for some of the holes you need a strong draw off the tee to take advantage of the slope and roll of the fairway, but every couple of holes the trouble is on the left side, therefore, requiring you to avoid over drawing the ball, or staying out of the left side rough. I have always had trouble keeping my round together on En-Joy for the past thirty years, but somehow I’m determined to keep improving my record there. Seven birdies today with six bogies is fairly typical for my score, leaving me very frustrated and biting at the bit to get back, knowing full well there is a great score for me out there. The conditions of the course were the best I’ve ever seen. I don’t know if it was the floods of the past four years that deposited the fertile soil, along with the softening of the bounces around the course that make it so playable today. However, whatever the superintendent is doing, he is bringing all his knowledge to bare, making En-Joy as fine a course as we play on the Champion’s Tour. Endicott has always brought together the community to support our tournaments. All the way back to1972, the first BC Open was a great success which brought together everyone in Broome County. This past Thursday, I hosted the Johnny Hart Christian Breakfast for the community with Scott Simpson, Bernhard Langer, and Fred Funk, which turned out approximately 260 people where everyone stayed until the very last moment. Today with the Dicks Sporting Goods sponsorship, the tournament has continued to grow and improve every year. Tim McGraw performed this past Friday night to a complete sell out, covering the whole 18 hole and all the adjacent open areas. I don’t think you could pack in more people, and a good time was had by all. I was so happy and proud to receive a Sponsor’s Exemption which helped me get in some much needed play time, but also playing helped me groom my game for this coming week in Seattle, Washington. I love going out to Seattle at this time of year, due to the clear mountain vistas, therefore, I’m headed out to qualify on Tuesday to make my mark at Snoqualmie Ridge. For the tip of the week, one thing I’ve learned from watching my son’s play is that it’s very difficult to aim right and play this game with any precision. What happens with a right aim, it seems, is that you will always turn toward your target with your upper body first, making your hands travel out away from your body creating a steep angle of attack. What makes this so difficult to play well from is that you make what feels to be a good swing however one of three shots is produced of which, only one of them is seeking the target. So one shot starts left and moves left, the other one starts right and moves right, with the well timed one going at the target as pure as any you have ever seen. The problem is you don’t know which shot to play. That’s why Lee Trevino always aimed 45 degrees left, so he could always move into the shot with his lower body first, moving the ball in one direction, from left to right, giving him the ability to call on his shot time and time again. What a player really needs is a pattern where the path and club head are working together, which will allow you to miss right having the ball track back left toward the target, along with missing left where the ball will track back to the right toward the target.. A more circular swing plane that has a shallower approach is a much more functional way to play your best golf. So try as your drill, a lower approach into the ball with your hands traveling closer to your right thigh on the downswing to ensure a circular more functional path. Another drill might be to draw your right foot back, to keep you from turning too soon on the downswing. What happens is that people that experience inconsistency of this sort are turning too soon from the top, before the club has a chance to come down to realign itself to your body so you can swing through with your club, hands, and body together. I hope this makes sense, because it can really make a difference in building your confidence, which we all know is the most important aspect of playing your best golf. So until next time, keep the faith and drive your ball right down the middle.