Sunday, January 20, 2013

Player Plan: JH

Goals Statement: 
To become the best.  Top player and team in college golf.

Scoring Average:  73.78     Ranking:   82     Low Round: 70

Strengths:  Jenny is a very steady player.  She is focused on scoring on the course and isn't easily distracted.  She has confidence in her abilities and her game.  Jenny understands that she needs to make small steps daily toward her goals and her work ethic and attitude support that understanding.

Needs to improve:  Jenny's ball striking wasn't where she wanted it to be this past fall.  She wants more flow and power in her golf swing.  All parts of Jenny's game are strong, yet all could improve.  Specifically, Jenny needs to improve her wedge play to better score on par 5's.  She also needs to be a better putter and that will show by converting more birdie putts and fewer 3 putts.  Jenny's ball striking can also improve, but it is steady now.  As it improves, she will see more shots closer to the hole and more fairway hits.

Jenny is ranked in the top 100 players in par 3 and par 4 scoring, but is #473 in par 5 scoring.  Improving that stat will be a big leap.  The 100th best in the country averages 4.88 vs. Jenny's 5.08.  That is a difference of about a shot per round, which would bring her average to 72.98 and place her in the top 50 in the country.  Jenny averages about 4 bogies per round and that is offset by her almost 3 birdies per round.  If Jenny can play bogey free golf, by becoming better around the greens, she will jump up in the rankings.  She averages 12 green hits per round, but is only at .500 in up and downs.  If you figure 3/6 in up and downs and an average of one 3-putt per round, you can easily dissect her scoring average.  Her goal of being the best in college golf is attainable, but only with a little bit better putting, chipping and wedge play.  As her ball striking improves, she will put less pressure on those areas, but if they are great, they can aid in scoring, not just protect against bogies.

Coach's take: I am still getting to know Jenny and her game and habits.  She had a rough semester with illness and adjustments and handled it with a lot of class and played like a champ whenever given the opportunity.  My first observation is that Jenny needs to learn to practice more as she plays.  She is very technical on the practice ground, but states that she wants flowing motion in her swing.  Those two things don't seem to be congruent.  She needs to bring a more "gamelike" focus to her practice and not depend entirely on mechanical thinking.  Jenny seems to know herself well and know what she wants.  I really like that she understands the importance of happiness, fitness and a balanced life as keys to her success in golf.  That alone will take her far.  I'm looking forward to getting to know Jenny better this semester and working together to be the best in college golf.

Drills to focus on this semester:
Putting -  Work on converting your birdies, learning speed control and playing short, breaking putts.
Annika Drill - (appropriate for a Swede!)  put 3 tees down around the hole in varying lengths of 10-20 feet.  Putt from all 3 tees using your routine.  When you make 2/3, you are finished.  To create a tougher challenge, find a hole with quite a bit of slope.  This drill is to simulate birdie putts.  Take notice if your speed is good (within 1-2 feet if not made) and whether or not you are reading and playing enough break.

Lag Drill - Put a club 2 feet behind the hole.  Put tees down at 25, 30, 40 and 60 feet. (you can change the four distances to whatever you like).   Putt twice from each tee using your routine.  You get 5 points for a make, 3 points if you are within the space created between the hole and the club, 1 point if you are within a foot of the hole short.   If you get 15 points in 8 putts, you are finished with the drill.  If not, do it again.

Around the World - Play from 3 distances between 3 and 10 feet.  Choose a hole with some slope to give yourself breaking putts.  Put 6 tees in the ground and make one a different color so you know your starting point.  Your goal is to make 6 in a row and move back to the second distance.  If you want to play it with a partner or add pressure, you can "chance" it after a miss.  If you miss again, you go back to the beginning distance and start over. 

Chipping -
Chip In! - Work with ONE ball and one club.  Drop the ball and chip to make it.  Continue to chip until you make it!

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.

Play one-ball up and down games with your teammates daily! 

Bunker -
Your bunker game is strong.  Continue to practice it to maintain your strength.
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 - 
Your pitching, much like your chipping, needs to be broken into your skill sets of 1) predicting the shot 2) choosing your shot 3) landing the ball on your intermediate target 4) controlling trajectory and spin 5) controlling roll.
When you practice, spend some concentrated time on each of these five skills.  Here are some ways to do it.
Options Game - Use 3 balls and 3 clubs.  Go at least 15 yards from the green and create a shot between 30 and 90 yards.  Drop a ball and use one of the clubs to hit the shot.  Use your routine.  Do the same with the other two.  Notice how your landing point changes with the different clubs.  Do you also change the spin or roll on the ball?  Which of the 3 shots seemed the easiest.  Do this until you get 20 shots up and down.  Putt them all out. 

Target Game - Put a towel on the green and pitch shots until you land 10 balls on the target.  You can make it tougher by folding the towel into smaller targets.

Trajectory Game - you need a partner for this.  Take turns standing about 10 yards in front of your partner.  Use an aiming stick and hold it at various heights.  The goal of the player is to hit a shot that hits the stick.  Simulate game like situations by standing near the edge of the green and matching the shot to the trajectory needed.

One Ball- Use one ball and get it up and down at least 10 times or play against a teammate.  Make sure you are at least 15 yards from the edge of the green and choose shots that are 30-90 yards in length. 

Wedges -
As you improve your ball striking and controlling where the handle is at impact, your wedges will improve greatly.  Its all about controlling angle of attack to control distance.  Practicing your wedges will help your overall ball striking.  Work daily on hitting wedge shots that match your vision for trajectory and landing spot.  The wedge is your key to being the best.

Ball Striking
Keep working to learn your swing and how to produce shots.  Understand what you want and how to do it.  Take complete ownership over your movements and motion.  Be natural, find flow and above all SWING the club.

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