The state of my game

There will be a lot of comments and judgements on today’s post, but it is an honest assessment of where I am. It is based on how I feel and what I am seeing.

My swing is great. Looks great, feels great and produces great shots. Except when I short circuit because I don’t like the feel of something or the look of the shot. My turn stalls, I steer the crap out of it and hit a shot a 32 handicap would break a club over.

As I said several weeks ago, my feel in my chipping has returned and although the touch isn’t perfect yet, it is improving every day.

Putting is hilarious. I bomb in 20 footers one after another, or spend the day two putting, even from 8-10 feet.

Starting today, I will be attempting to qualify for the next 3 PGA Events. The Farmer’s (Torrey Pines), Phoenix and The Northern Trust (Riviera).

For Tour events you have to play in a wild open qualifier on Thursday and if you make it, you advance to Monday with the other qualifiers and basically join PGA players who are not exempt…for 4 spots in the event. The “pre-qualifying” on Thursday is like 80 players for 6-8 spots to Monday…or something like that. There are 4 different qualifiers this week, so 300+ are trying.

My game is exciting and scary.

If you told me I was going to shoot 68 today, 66 Monday and make the cut at Torey Pines…I would absolutely believe it. As dumb and far fetched as it sounds, I am playing that well.

If you told me I would hit a poor shot (the 2nd and 3rd holes on this course always give me fits) that left the golf course early in the round, I never got on track and just spiraled down to struggle to break 80, I would believe that too.

Sounds like hyperbole at both ends, but it really isn’t. More than likely I will play solid and shoot 70-73. This course is pretty straight forward with the exception of #2 and #3, but the greens are really tough and if your distance control is a bit off, it’s hard to go low. You need to hit the ball on the correct side of the hole…and you can’t have the hooks off the tee. OB left of every fairway and less than 5 yards from the fairway on most holes.

I have spent so much time trying to re-find my swing and not a perfect swing, I am still a little schizo on the golf course.

My practice round on Tuesday is a perfect example. I spent 15 holes hitting 320 yard lasers, irons all over the flag and chips and putts that looked like a pro was hitting them…I spent the other 3 hitting the ball OB on a wide open driving hole, a 2-iron OB and a 4 putt when I hit the ball on the wrong side of the hole.

8-under on the good 15, 5-over on the bad three.

It’s not pressure or lack of focus, it just is. I have spent the last 6 months shooting 65 or less followed by 73 or 76.

I am almost like a reformed drug addict who sees a crack dealer (a shot that doesn’t fit my eye) and I fall off the wagon.

A lot of hand wringing, but it’s how I feel. What can I say? I believe a time were I won’t be such a schizo is not far off, but it is still here. The bad memory of so many bad rounds and bad shots has not left me yet. A good start probably leads to 60 something and a trip to Monday. A bad start…well, I have experience handling those…get mad and start swinging hard…LOL.

My approach to the swing and to golf works and it will work for me.

Before you rush to judge me, criticize me or rah rah me, just remember, a lot of players who had better resumes than I, have fallen to the depths and never tried to get it back.

I don’t want credit for trying, but I want some time to fail until I succeed…and I will.




  1. Ant Lockyer

    Good luck to you man, I hope you do well. Bob Rotella hints at the short circuit thing in most of his books. If the shot you are facing doesn’t fit with you then play a different shot. He is talking about guys trying to draw one round a dogleg rather than playing their stock fade with a shorter club but there might be something in there for you to think about.

    • Monte Scheinblum

      This is something different. OB on both sides and very claustrophobic. Through my swing struggles I have had a two way miss. Not fun to play holes with OB left and right with that issue.

      • Ant Lockyer

        Ah I see. He talks about that too, there is a club in your bag that will get you in play off of that tee. It might be a 2 iron or a 3 wood or whatever. You have to use what you can trust.

        Being a high handicap player I know all about the two way miss 🙂

  2. Wally

    Keep something in reserve, remember it’s not how far but how many.

  3. Doug Benner

    Best of luck to you, Monte. Your approach to golf instruction is an oasis in a desert of insanity. You’ve helped my game immensely. One thing came to mind as I read your post today that I’d like your opinion about. What do you think of the sports psychologists who purport to help athletes get their heads on straight in regard to their sports performance? You describe your inner demons in a refreshingly honest way, and that’s half the battle to overcoming them. Have you ever thought about teaming up with someone like Dr. Bob Rotella to help you get over the hump?

    • Monte Scheinblum

      Never had much success with his books or sports psychs. For me, it was always about swing problems driving me crazy, not being crazy causing me swing problems.

  4. Calvin

    You and Duval are my heroes. I love it when the good guy climbs out of the snake pit with dogged determination and wins the day. I see you as almost up the far wall reaching for a hand hold.

    Lesson request? I have two holes on my course where the tee shot “doesn’t fit my eye”. So what do you do to correct that?

    • Monte Scheinblum

      You have to commit. That is what I need to do too.

      • MSGolfer

        I struggle with the same thing, and being a low handicap player nothing is more frustrating than hitting foul ball with the driver on an easy hole (I know, I’m still miles from any tour caliber player, no delusions of grandeur here). I had an epiphany this winter and it was I don’t care how gross my ballflight looks I’m developing a fade and using that as a baseline for every drive. If the ballflight starts to get a little out of whack get it back to that fade I want to see.

        I realize trying to work the ball either way I never had a go-to shot and would make swing changes that could alter my ball direction 20-30 yards! Obviously that’s hard to baseline. I recently read Bubba said in all of 2011 he hit 1 draw with his driver, only one, the rest were fadest. Maybe it could help you, I know it’s helped me from the mental standpoint, less panic on the tee. Dogleg left, right, OB, whatever, just shimmy that little fade into the fairway.

        Either way, goodluck!

  5. Ron

    “My approach to the swing and to golf works and it will work for me,” said Monte as he accepted the shot just made and believed the next shot is in his bag,

    Good luck, Monte. Be ready for when lucks happens to take advantage it

  6. woody

    Keep ’em in the short grass.

    Seems that you are being tugged in two different directions. In long-drive, the grid looks a lot wider than a fairway. If you’re using an extra gear for long-drive, how easy would it be to throttle down for regular golf? Even more so if you have an arms/shoulders key for the swing.

    I have to admit that Mobley’s swing looks like it could hold up on a golf course (unlike Joe Miller’s)….although he showed about zilch on Big Break. (0:15)
    view from across the ball

  7. cdnmike

    Holy crap Monte! You’re need to relax. You sound like a buddy of mine who has super highs and super lows. Take your own advice to us the other day. When you hit a bad shot, just accept it and move on. Everytime you hit a bad shot you should think of some of the horrible golf shots Mickelson has hit on live TV with millions watching. If he can get through the embarassment when millions are watching you should be able to handle the embarassment of just the guys in your group watching.

    Just accept the outcome and play. Good luck!

    Oh, and keep playing…. not sure why you are trying to qualify for PGA Tour events. That sounds extremely hard. What about Nationwide?

    • Ant Lockyer

      “Everytime you hit a bad shot you should think of some of the horrible golf shots Mickelson has hit on live TV with millions watching”

      Or think about your wife/My wife/anyone’s wife in her underwear.

      • cdnmike

        Ant, my point was to get him to calm down not get all worked up. After all there may not be a porta potty near buy where he can… um… release the tension?


      • Calvin

        I don’t know Ant. There’s a guy in my group that we like to mess with by talking about sexy babes when he’s teeing up. Some hilarious results usually ensue. 🙂

      • cdnmike

        LOL!! I know a really hot cart girl can f*$& my game right up.

  8. Brian

    Best of luck Monte, especially on the greens. It is only fitting that after helping so many of us with our games that yours is also turning around.

    REMEMBER: play cocky; you’re better than you think you are and don’t be afraid to go stupid low!!

  9. Bob Saunders

    Best of luck to you Monte! Go get em!


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