The State of My Game

This week is the Long Beach Open. One of the biggest independent mini-tour events in the country. Many former winners have gone on to the PGA Tour.

It is a 4 day event Thursday-Sunday with a cut after two days and carries a first place cerca $30,000.

I thought this would be a good time to update my game. I have been working with my long time friend at his Golftec facility and the fresh pair of eyes have really helped find the core issues I am still having that are causing so much inconsistency and not allowing me to release it properly.

I was hitting balls this last Sunday and I was pissed. I just couldn’t get my hips to clear properly (a long time issue that hasn’t allowed me to release properly). I couldn’t get the club square coming into the ball. It was open and slightly under the plane, forcing me to flip at the bottom. That leads to 65 one day and 75 the next.

I spent the next 4 days searching for a feel that freed me up and was very up and down. I am still in that 65 or 75 mode and have no idea what is going to show up on any given day, but I see light at the end of the tunnel.

The problem is when I turn properly, I hit the ball a club longer and into the wind, sometimes two clubs longer because I am making a better swing and contact, so it’s all a crap shoot.

Some would say, “Just hit the ball, you know what to do.” That is actually true if I want to shoot 65 and hit 350 yard drives and impress friends, family, or the threesome I get paired with.

However, if I want to be good enough to at least play at the Nationwide Tour level again, or at the level to finish well at the Long Beach Open, I am going to have to fix this. At the speed I generate, I cannot rely on a hand manipulation at the bottom of the swing to hold up for 4 days…or even 18 holes…or 9 holes for that matter.

I can’t expect to have any kind of consistency when one knockdown 5-iron into the wind goes 190 and the next one goes 210.

I really like the way I am putting.

Make no mistake, I am perfectly capable of shooting double digit under par for 4 days and having a respectable finish. Being in limbo between my new and old swing makes me equally capable of lining up 4 hockey sticks, as well.

The important point is I am starting to have fun playing golf again (in spite of occasional frustrations when my feel gets confused).

I played last night and I couldn’t have beat Andrew Spagnolo. I hope it gets better today.

Golfers are so stupid…and yes, I am included.

PS-In case you didn’t know, lining up 4 hockey sticks would be shooting 77-77 and missing the cut.

If I play the way I played last night I will end up with double dog balls. That means 88 for those not childish or vulgar. I decided the play was so vulgar, the tasteless joke should match. Driver through LW was going left of Gloria Allred.

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10 Comments

  1. Brett

    Good luck, Monte!

    Reply
  2. Calvin

    Interesting. Every time you enter a tournament you write about how inconsistent your game is.

    Since I believe golf is at least 60% attitude I would say this: Your stories provide truth that you play great when you are challenged by some blowhard. Maybe you can use that at Long Beach. Projection can work really well. 🙂

    Good luck! Use the tools wisely.

    Reply
  3. cdnmike

    Monte,

    I find it curious that you critisize almost every golf instructor when it is quite apparent that you need a coach/instructor that you can trust and stick with for a long time. You CANNOT fix yourself. It just isn’t possible. And you need to check your ego at the door when working with a coach. You can’t listen and then think in your head that you know better.

    If you really want to give it one last shot at making the tour, get a coach you can trust and commit to it. Make the changes and buy in.

    Just my opinion though.

    Reply
    • cdnmike

      Monte,

      If this is one of the biggest events and there is no qualification to get into it… why haven’t you played in it before? I checked the results from 2007 – 2010 on the website and don’t see your name anywhere.

      Reply
  4. Calvin

    Clearing the hips. If you were skipping stones you wouldn’t even have to think about it. Golf is such a mental mess. 🙂

    Reply
  5. Dayo

    I could be wrong here… but, it sounds like you’re suffering from paralysis by analysis. Each time you mention the chance to enter a tournament and compete, you always find a reason (mostly with your golf swing) not to pursue the opportunity. Sometimes, you just have to say WTF? and just do it. Perhaps, you will find something during tourney play that will provide you with a different mindset and aid you in obtaining more confidence in your game/swing.

    Just a thought…

    Reply
  6. Christian

    It sounds like you are on the right track to me. Good luck this weekend.

    Reply
  7. Gary

    It’s tough to compete when you haven’t been competing. Even here at my men’s club level. Someone said it, maybe Hogan, the difference between tournament golf and leisure golf, is night and day, or something to that effect. I’ve been a lurker here but I can tell you know how to teach and you can get your point across. For example, your ultimate golf lesson video, about the natural body mechanics, is spot on. I think most golfers will try it for 30 minutes at the range and then give up when it doesn’t produce. But it’s usually one or two of the other 26 things that need to be right that aren’t being done in that instance. Better luck tomorrow on your round.

    Reply
  8. Doug B

    Good luck, Monte. Hope you go out there and get on a roll. I think that one good tournament would do wonders for you.

    Reply

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