Do I take lessons to actively improve my golf game thus bettering my enjoyment of said golf? Not since the 90s. That is the sad truth of the matter, I know the mechanics of the swing and have an eye for helping other people but I actually haven't done anything to sharpen my own swing in a little less than two decades.
After a couple horrible rounds of golf recently, I thought I would get my act together and take some lessons. Luckily Angeles National (one of the best courses in SoCal) was offering a month of lessons at a real reasonable rate; so for the month of March, I am taking lessons and reporting to you, dear readers on the results.
Week One: Short Game
A big green bucket of balls greeted me and my instructor John Ray Leary at Angeles National. John is a very personable fellow and his demeanor reminded me of my favorite teacher of all time back in the days when I was young and good.
John's theory is that the mechanics you put into place when you are chipping and pitching hold true through the rest of the golf shot so we spent some time lofting up balls to a practice pitching green.
The short game has always been one of my strong points (I get into trouble off the tee a lot and have to scramble for pars, something I was adept at earlier but now, not so much). John is great in imparting visualizations about the swing and I took to his instruction like a duck to water.
Most of us aren't pros so we don't spend a lot of time hitting balls every day but at least for me, hitting many balls over the course of an hour was really great just to groove things together and see where the inconsistencies pop up. I bet if I spent 1-3 hours a day on the range, I would be much better playing on the weekends but unless someone steps up to the old endorsement plate for a 15 handicapper, I don't think that is happening any time soon.
The course itself is gorgeous and reminded of pictures I have read in a book one time in line at the airport on my way somewhere of Palm Springs and while I was concentrating hard on practicing, I also had one eye on actually playing this track. One day soon, for sure.
I am already feeling better about my game after one lesson (confidence gained through repetition and patient instruction) and can't wait to see what next week's lesson holds!