Wednesday, October 12, 2011

3Jack's Thoughts After the Mid-Am

First, I would like to thank the FSGA ( along with Shingle Creek Golf Club ( and Old Marsh Golf Club (

I though the preparation for the Mid-Am was impeccable and very user friendly. Everything from the sign in to the tee times to the practice round to the actual tournament was very easy for me to set up and do.

I highly recommend Shingle Creek to anybody staying in Orlando and looking to play some golf. The course is a great design and in fantastic condition.

Old Marsh is my favorite course I've played in the state of Florida. I would like to get onto Sawgrass, Doral and Seminole sometime, but they'll have their work cut out for them in order to pry that title from Old Marsh.

What was even better was how friendly the staffs at both Shingle Creek and Old Marsh Golf Club were. I've played my fair share of tournaments like this where the staff at the host course is not too thrilled to have a tournament, but that could not be further from the truth with Old Marsh and Shingle Creek. Once again, I applaud them for everything they did.

Unfortunately, the outcome was disappointing as I shot my worst round of the year in the first round. In the 2nd round, I played 10 holes and was +3 and it started to rain, so I called it quits and headed home.

The golfing goal for me is to make the match play of the US Amateur. While it's a lofty goal, I actually don't view the FSGA Mid-Am as a setback because I was good enough to make it to the Mid-Am and I learned a lot of invaluable things about what I believe it takes to make match play of the US Amateur.


Here, I'm talking about score wise because there are so many different ways to do it.

The Orlando US Am qualifier also took place at Shingle Creek where a 2-day total of 140 advanced to the actual US Amateur Championship.

My feeling is that in order to qualify for the match play portion, I would need to not only be able to shoot in the 60's at a course like Shingle Creek, but also at a tougher course like Old Marsh. In the qualifying rounds of the Mid-Am, only 3 players shot 140 or less...and one of them was Gary Nicklaus (Jack's son), who used to play on the PGA Tour.

From a handicap perspective, I think it means that I need to play to a consistent +4. Currently, I'm at +1.7.


Unfortunately, I was ill-prepared for the actual Mid-Am which I take complete blame for. Things like making the trip down after work, getting the hotel setup, finding a place for breakfast, etc.

Little things.

But, they added up. Even the small aspect of having to get up at the crack of dawn to play competitive golf is something I must get better at.


I believe that the physical conditioning aspect of the game has been overblown over the years. Personally, I think physical conditioning is mainly good for endurance. When you're playing in Florida heat and you need to hit 3 good shots to finish your round, it helps to be doing it with a slower pulse and blood pressure.

I also think stretching helps with...longevity.

I actually have plenty of flexibility, but I think I could use a little more. So, my goal is to lose 30 pounds in the next 6 months. I also have some other type of conditioning I want to get into, but it's a secret for now until I see how it works out.


I'm quite satisfied with my equipment. I was thinking about getting an Edel Vari-Weight putter, but after putting on Old Marsh's slick greens, I realized that it's not an issue. I may do some tweaking to the driver and 3-wood as my swing mechanics improve.

The Lob Wedge (Ping Tour-S Rustique) might get changed out and I'm interested in trying a Talamonti hybrid shaft into a Mizuno Fli-Hi CLK 20* hybrid.

I also plan to get into doing MOI Matching which I will go into in a future post. I will make this service available for a fee in 2012 as well.


One of the great things about Trackman is that it can give the golfer numbers and data to strive towards to improve their ballstriking.

I plan on getting back on Trackman again and this time, I will probably use it about once a month until I feel my swing and the numbers I can produce are where I want them.

Last time I went on Trackman, my driver clubhead speed was about 109 mph, but I had to strive to work my attack angle to -2. My goal here is to get to 112-113 mph with a consistent attack angle around 0*. I'd like to be able to generate a smash factor of 1.48 with a spin rate right around 2,800 rpm's.


I think one of the things I must develop is a consistent type of curvature with my shots.

I think if my stock shot is a fade, I basically need to hit it dead straight or with a fade. And if I miss, it's an 'over-fade.' Same with the draw...draw it, hit it straight or over-draw it. But whatever I do, I can't be mixing up fade shows with draw shots.

I feel my course management is actually quite strong, but the last step is to develop a 1-way miss. Particularly in the environment I will be playing in because I feel the best way to cure tournament jitters and the uncertainty of playing a new course is to have a 1-way miss.

If you watch the PGA Tour pros out on the range, you'll often see some guys struggly badly out on the range and still manage to put in a good score. I believe it's because while they may not be hitting it like they want, they are able to go onto the course with a 1-way miss and make it around pretty well.


I will continue to work on my swing with my swing instructor, George Hunt ( I've enjoyed the success I've had with him and I honestly feel that I'm not that far off from swinging it and hitting it extremely well.

However, I need to be more diligent and disciplined with my practice. While I put in a lot of practice, I need to start practicing more like George prescribes in the lessons. I would often start out practicing like that and then go to hitting balls. Part of that was due to wanting to make big changes, but the other part was due to enjoying hitting it better.

George prescribes more of a slower and deliberate practice to ingrain the mechanics. And it's something I have to be committed to.


The good news is that I was very happy with my putting at the Mid-Am. I thought I did a pretty good job of making reads and I thought my speed/touch was superb.

I did notice that if I have a 3-footer that cannot be aimed at the middle of the cup, I will miss it because I don't read the break. So that's something I have to look out for.

I will be getting lessons on AimPoint thru Faldo Golf Institute teacher David Graham ( in the future.

I'm looking to improve my precision with my reads and then advance it to being able to make the more advanced reads. For instance, if I have a putt on a planar slope...I can usually read it, figure out where to aim using the AimChart. I'm also becoming adept at reading the putt based on where the ball is with relation to the low anchor (all AimPoint lingo, which readers should learn).

But, if I have a 40 foot putt that goes into a saddle slope and one side of the saddle is steeper than the other and the putt sorta runs diagonally into the saddle slope...those are types of putts that I'm still a novice at figuring out.

I think if I want to reach my goal, I need to be adept enough where I could be a certified instructor if I wanted to be.



flameball said...

So which will you choose for your stock shot - the draw or the fade? And what factors will go into that decision?

Rich H. said...

Probably the shot I feel most comfortable with. That being said, if I start hitting draws and one day I start hitting fades on the range...the goal is to not fix it it then, but to play the fade for the round. Then try to fix it afterwards.