Through my swing struggles, I felt I could not be competitive at that level in the open division. Turning 45 in May, I will now be eligible for the senior division in 2012.
With my swing getting back on track, I also think I can still be competitive in the open division as well.
Next year will be the 20 year anniversary of my title and I fully intend on adding a senior title to my resume. I am looking at the names doing well in the senior division and it’s the same names I did well against before.
I am feeling very nostalgic and wish I were there, but I wouldn’t have been ready this year. I will be ready next year. I definitely want to get revenge on my old buddy Brian Pavlet. Good guy, but he cost me quite a lot of money by hitting the very last ball of the competition in the grid to keep me from winning back to back titles.
Here is what I expect to do in the next year. Right now I can generate about 130 mph of club speed and around 185-190 mph of ball speed. This is with a 45″ driver and a swing that is not close to 100%. Probably about 85%. It’s as hard as I can swing right now.
I am not capable of swinging 100% right now, because it is something you have to practice. Swing as hard as I can 30-40 times a day for 6-10 weeks and I will be able to achieve 100%. I have not done this in over ten years, so it will take me a month or two.
The age factor only affects what my max effort produces, but achieving that maximum effort takes practice.
In addition, I will be getting in better shape. Losing some weight and doing some flexibility exercises will allow me more range of motion.
Using the 48″ (max length driver) will also provide more speed and more resistance…which allows you to swing harder. The frame of reference I can give on this is it is easier to swing a driver hard, than it is a 5-iron. From a feel standpoint because of the extra resistance the longer and heavier feeling club gives you.
I believe these factors will allow me to get to 140 mph of club speed and over 200 mph of ball speed…which would put me in the top level of the senior division and well within the necessary range to be competitive in the open division.
It’s obviously not all about club and ball speed, but you have to have a minimum level of these things to be competitive.
I am hoping to get a sponsors exemption into the senior division and hope to use qualifying for the open division as practice to get back into the swing of things…so to speak. There are also other events during the year that offer prize money as lead up events to the World’s.
For those of you wondering how this will affect my attempt to still play tournament golf…people say you can’t do both, but I disagree. When I look back, a lot of my best golf was shortly after a long drive contest. The long club helps my rhythm, balance and ability to put the club on the ball. It also did wonders with my timing. All I needed to do was hit wedges for a day after a competition and I was all set.
I believe I am a world class instructor and swing theorist…just no one knows it yet. I am the proverbial tree falling in the forest with no one there to hear if it made a noise.
My credibility factors are 15-20 years old. I am another world long drive title or top 10 finish on the Nationwide Tour from jump starting myself as a more mainstream guy.
Physically, I am capable of both…whether I am mentally capable remains to be seen.
There is a really good reason my progress was slowed this year…and I will make that known soon enough.