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Posts Tagged ‘Hogan’

Log 11/22/10

I have had quite a year on the golf course.  I have changed irons more than most people do in a lifetime.  Since this spring I have shifted from my PING I3’s to I10’s (sold) to Hogan Radials to Hogan APEX FTX.  I still love the radials, but they are too pretty to hit routinely.  I found the APEX’s with GAT 95 shafts and I hit them better than any iron I have ever hit.  I also shifted from the PING I15 driver to the G15 with serrano shaft as well as the serrano shafted G15 3 wood.  I am not sure the serrano stiff is stiff enough…contemplating an all GAT set.  For the most part, I have settled into a bag of clubs I am comfortable with.  Now to find the consistency.

I was accepted to try out for the All Marine Golf team.  I tried out, but it was a difficult scenario.  I missed both practice rounds.  A family friend died suddenly that week so instead of driving to South Carolina leisurely, I ended up there via Kentucky arriving in the wee hours of the AM just prior to my first tee-time for the try out.  That coupled with the impossibly slow and grainy bermuda greens of MCAS Cherry Point made it a challenging try-out to say the least.  I did not make the team, but enjoyed the challenge.  I thought this might be my first and last chance to do this, but I have been given another year in the Corps, so next year I intend to try again. 

My handicap is creeping back up, it is 3.8 now (15 Nov).  I am really playing to about an 8 or so.  While I feel I am striking the ball as good as I ever have, my scoring isn’t there.  My short game is coming around, but I can’t seem to put all aspects of the game together often enough.  Still reading and using Hogan’s principles.  I can’t see how I will go wrong that way.  Practice.

Hogan Part Deux

I have read Hogan’s FIVE LESSONS twice now.  I still find brilliance in his analysis and descriptions and marvel at the drawings and their clarity.  I can visualize almost all of what he is saying, but it is so difficult to translate some of it to the golf course – or even the driving range.  After reading it the first time and writing about it here, I began applying his instruction.  I saw some immediate improvement.  In fact, two weeks into practicing I shot a round of 74 (with a double bogey – not a lot in the book about the short game).  Excited as I was about this, I knew it was but one round.  I have been here before…remember, I often rebound from brilliance to buffoonery.  My pattern has not changed.

I found particular help with his instruction on the grip, the elbows, shoulder to the chin, and the mindset that the hips are the engine and if set up correctly all else will follow.  I find particularly distracting the section on wrist supination.  If the idea is to “trap the ball” with the iron face on the way down, then I got it.  But the discussion is confusing – and obviously confusing to many others.  I googled this concept and found endless discussions on it.  My takeaway from this additional research is that if all else is as he describes, then supination will occur.  That part of the swing happens too fast to try and manipulate the wrists; doing so will only cause unspeakable anomalies that further confuse.  They did me.

Hogan mentions subtle adjustments to his foundational instruction based on physical makeup.  Of course, not all of us are the same and so, we may require a slightly or subtly different set up or position of fingers or…well you get the picture.  Dangerous area is this!  Offer me the opportunity to subtly adjust and I will!  Too much thinking!

So, I have begun to backslide into my pattern of overburdening myself with techniques and tips.  Let’s look at Golf Digest and Golf Magazine, review “The Little Red Book,” power point some professional swing sequences, etc… I need to focus.  FOCUS.  But, that’s not easy. 

All this seems to be, in the final analysis, an endeavor to control my swing.  So much so, as Hogan would tell you that I hope to create a repeatable swing that will serve me well under pressure.  But how do you “control” it?  Epiphany – as I write this – epiphany!  Perhaps, like much in golf, to control the swing is to let it go.  Perhaps it’s not really about control per se, but about setting the conditions in your swing habits that allow for consistency when you let it go.  Now that I think of it, Hogan seems to say that to us in his pages.   Build the basics so you can then TRUST the swing.  Perhaps control is born of fear.  Fear of hitting the ball in an unintended way.  When, in the end, if I use my brain to visualize and then just swing, I might like the result.  But, I have to have the basics first.  Reintroduction to Mr. Hogan…and my local pro?