Playing Until The Sun Goes Down
I played a late round at Washtenaw Golf Club yesterday, finishing up in near darkness. I was rewarded with a swing fix and a spectacular sunset.
The bookends of the day are my favorite times to play: First off the tee in the morning, or last in for the day.
Yesterday was a particularly amazing round. The sky was strikingly blue, the air cool and the humidity low. Washtenaw was in as good a shape as I have ever seen it. Walking on the fairways is like walking on a carpet.
One of the nice things about playing in the evening is the unhurried pace. Most reasonable people are eating dinner and watching television, so that leaves the course to fanatics like myself. Not facing pressure to keep pace affords the opportunity to work on some swing issues.
I have been striking the ball rather poorly of late, spraying weak shots that left me feeling completely unsatisfied. I have felt as though I was swiping at the ball, rather than striking it.
Because I believe that most swing faults are the result of the non-moving parts — grip, stance, alignment and ball position — I decided to take a look at my ball position and stance.
Experimenting with those two variables, I found better swings when I stood a little taller, while paying close attention to the width of my stance. Doing both of those resulted in the ball moving a little closer.
Once I made those adjustments I was once again striking the ball well.
Btyron Nelson said “You can’t stand too close to the ball. Well. I suppose you could. But I don’t think you will.”
In this case, I think Nelson was right.
What I think I found is that I was reaching for the ball on the downswing, forcing me to swipe, rather than strike. A little taller, a little more narrow and a little closer to the ball fixed that.
I was hitting the ball so well that I decided to play three extra holes before finishing for the day — which is how I ended up being at Washtenaw late enough to take those terrific sunset shots.