Monday, January 21, 2013

Player Plan: AR

Goals Statement: First and foremost, I want to be able to maintain a focused, present mindset out on the golf course. I want to be a fighter, and I want to be mentally prepared for anything.  I want to win.  I want to win more tournaments, and I want to win NCAA's.  I want to have the confidence that I am a great player, and the belief that my score does not define who I am as a person.  I want to be the best collegiate short game player, and be able to get up and down from absolutely anywhere.  I want to have the ability to forget what has happened in the past and always stay in the present when I am playing.  I want to push myself and see how much I can achieve.  I also want to be able to help the team and my teammates to achieve their dreams, too!

Scoring Average:  75.67     Ranking:   294     Low Round:  68

Strengths:  Ability to go deep.  Makes a lot of birdies!  Very good ball striking stats.  Hits a lot of fairways and greens.  Intangibles: Tremendous focus and Competitor!

Needs to improve:  Par 3 and Par 5 scoring.  Hit it closer more often.  Iron play and putting.  Short game.

Alex hard at work on her game.

Based on her stats, a typical round for Alex would mean that she hits 11 or 12 greens.  She one putts 2 or 3 times for birdies and three putts once or twice also.  On the greens that she misses, she gets the ball up and down about half the time.  She rarely makes big mistakes.  As her short game continues to develop, the number of bogeys she makes will decrease and the birdies she makes will shine brighter.

Coach's take: Alex has the skills to be a great player day in and day out.  She is like many players who gets her confidence from her ball striking and when that feels off to her, she presses.  This shows in the stats through the number of putts in a round.  By continuing to work on her ball striking to keep her confidence high, she will help her mindset.  By working hard on her short game and putting, she will keep her scoring low and consistent.  A combination of hitting a few more shots close to the hole, learning to keep a consistent scoring mindset and improving her chipping and putting will all combine to lower the scoring average and be among the best in the country.  I absolutely love Alex's goal statement.  I put the whole thing on the blog, because it tells you all you need to know about her desire, her competitiveness and the fact that she knows what she needs to take the next step.

Drills to focus on this semester:
Putting -  Alex is one of the best putters inside 15' I've ever seen.  She hits the ball where she is aimed.  She needs to continue to work on speed control, green reading, and the mindset that every putt is worth one shot.

Compete with your teammates daily in games such as drawback, around the world and match play.  Tap into those competitive skills and be completely present in your putting practice.

1. Wanda Drill:
Use one ball and play 18 holes.  You must putt out each attempt, but not because we are keeping score.  Instead, we want to evaluate how many of your putts you gave a chance to go in.  If your putt ends in the hole, or past the front edge within 20" (two grip lengths) on the high side, you gave your putt a chance.  You get a point.  If you putt 36 times and 18 of those are makes, you are already at 50% for giving your ball a chance. 

If your ball ends in the hole or within the pink region, you get a point.  

Here is what Dave Pelz has to say about reading greens; "The following are facts:  1.  Most golfers still consistently under-read how much their putts will break.  2.  Most golfers allow for too little break in their putting setup and aim.  3.  Most (approximately 90%) missed putts are below the hole.  Pelz goes on to talk about compensation for not playing enough break playing on the minds of golfers.  (from Putting Games by Dave Pelz)  Instead of worrying about what we can't control, compensation, we will instead focus on learning to judge break by actually keeping track of our results.  Good players learn to adjust when given proper feedback.  This drill should aid them in compiling that feedback.

Keep track of your score.  25/36 in yes zone = 69% had a chance.  In simple numbers, that means you gave 7 of your first putts a chance and didn't give 11 first putts a chance.
Chipping -
Begin with technique in this progression:  Can you hit is solidly 100% of the time with any ball position?  Can you land the ball on your intermediate target with any club?  Can you control your trajectory?  Can you control your spin and roll?  Are you seeing and producing the right shot?
1.  Chip with one club to one hole until you chip it in.  You are not allowed to move any balls in this drill.  If you leave one short in your path, you must hit it to get it out of the way.
2.  Learn to hit your intermediate target.  First, choose the right intermediate target.  Put tees in the ground where you want to land the ball and practice hitting the tee.  When you do so, does it react as you predicted.  When you get good at that skill, you will be better at visualizing the shots needed on the golf course.  You can change your club choice, swing length, or ball position to adjust to hitting tees.
3.  Compete with your teammates using one ball.  Drop it, chip it, putt it.  Challenge each other with tough shots.

Bunker -Lots of reps!  You need to throw some balls in the bunker every day you are practicing.
1.  Hit until you get 10 balls within a clublength of the hole.  When you are successful, pick a new hole and do the same.
2.  10 Shots Drill - Hit the following 10 bunker shots:
2 from good lies
1 from an upslope
1 from a downslope
1 with the ball above your feet
1 with the ball below your feet
1 in a fried egg lie
1 buried
2 from good lies
First goal:  Get all 10 out of the bunker.  Second goal:  Get all 10 on the green.  Third goal:  Get all 10 within 10 feet of the hole.  You may finish the shots out to see what your up and down % is for the 10 shots.

Pitching -
Approach this the same as your chipping.

Wedges -
1.  Choose two yardages per day and do the 20 Ball Drill.  Hit 20 balls to a target of a specified distance.  If you miss the green, add five balls.  If you are outside 15 yards, add two balls.  If you hit it within 15 feet, take off 1 ball, within a flagstick, take off 2 balls, within a club length, take off 3 balls.  How many balls did you hit?  Keep track.
2.  Put 10 balls down at 5 yardages of your choice.  For example, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70 yards.  Hit the first 2 balls as you see the shot.  Hit the next 2 low, then 2 medium, then 2 high.  Finish with the shot that was easiest to control for the last 2 and stick it tight.
3.  When you are playing, drop an extra ball at a yardage.  25 yards on par 5's, 50 yards on par 4's and ladies tees on par 3's.  Can you shoot under par on those balls?

Ball Striking -
1.  Keep working on accuracy at practice.  Choose a small target on the range for both distance and direction and work to hit it.  Use your routine.
2.  Decide when you will work on mechanics and when you will work on gamelike practice on the range.  Don't go back and forth.  Be disciplined and either focus on target and outward things or choose to work on your movements and think of motion.  

Course Management -
Until your bunker stats improve, you don't have green lights to holes tucked behind bunkers.  Continue to improve your ability to choose conservative targets and go at them aggressively.  

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