Since last season one weekend has been circled on my calendar and that is my return to Blackwolf Run. I have played the GCAT major tournament there for the past two years and my performance has been a disappointment. I love the courses and they are tough tracks. The problem has been my swing. I played those tournaments at a time that my swing didn’t feel right and it showed in my score. One year I was battling the shanks. One year my driver was a mystery.
I vowed last year that I would be prepared for the 2016 Blackwolf Run major and I would beat my previous scores. Considering my previous scores, I’m not setting the bar too high. My benchmark is below 95 in both rounds, which is very attainable. My handicap ballooned to a 21 last season and I have dropped it by a stroke so far this spring. If I can play anywhere near my index, I should be able to beat 95 in both rounds.
I’m not concerned about how I fare in my flight. This year there are 24 players in the flight including last year’s winner and a guy who just won another major in Fla last month. My sole focus is on my game.
With this focus in my mind, I have been preparing for this tournament. I have spent extra time with my instructor, working on my swing. I had a session last weekend and it was great. He tweaked my driver swing and I was hitting beautiful straight drives. On the Monday after the lesson, I took it to my home course, Heritage Park. Driver was very good, though not as good as in the lesson. I nearly broke my personal best on that course, having a putt for a 79 lip out on 18. Still, I was happy to get an 80 and my game seemed solid.
Cut to Thursday and I head to the range to keep working on the driver swing. Everything that worked in the lesson and my round at Heritage was gone. My drivers were pushes with plenty of distance or weak snap hooks with no distance. I focused on the changes my instructor gave me, but it didn’t matter. Maybe one drive out of five would be acceptable.
I spend some time in my garage doing practice swings, paying attention to my balance and tempo. My swing feels great, but when I take it to the range on Saturday the result is still bad. The next day I have a tournament at Falcon Ridge, a course where it pays to be able to control your driver. I can’t say my confidence is high.