PRACTISING IS NOT FUN!
First week into it and I now realise why it's called the Grind.
Having been very excited about undertaking this challenge it didn't take long for the gloss to wear off.
Time constraints, shanks, sore muscles made for a tough start to the week. Oh and keeping an eye out on what I was eating and sticking to my macronutrients was a grind in itself. Which I failed this week!
So how did my week pan out?
How many days did I practice: 3
How many balls did I hit: 330
How many hours spent practising: 3.5
After Johnny analysed my swing (see previous blog post) and gave me a couple of things to work on I took to the range in either the mornings or evenings to work on what I had been told; wider takeaway and more rounded at the top to create a more inside to out path.
Practising has never been anything I've done or enjoyed and this was no exception.
Shanks, followed by pulls, slaps, thins and the very occasional good shot did not make it that satisfying.
I even developed a severe blister on my left hand which you can't class as an injury... More of a nuisance.
However like everything within golf, the few good shots I did hit kept me motivated to work harder.
By the end of the week, whilst I was a three day camel ride away from good, I had narrowed it down to either a draw or pull only, eliminating other types of golf shots which may not seem like progress but it's better to know the ball is more likely to go left then maybe left, right or straight!
My strikes were way more consistent which for me is a major plus as that is where I have struggled, which in turn effects my yardages and club selection.
I would say this was the big positive of the week, more consistent strikes.
I ended the week playing a round at Hampton Court Palace where I shot a gross 82 which is +12 and pretty much what i'd expect but it earned me 75 pin Seekerz pts round due to some great scrambling.
However it's worth noting as you can tell from my sweaty self in the video above that it was extremely hot and demanding conditions. Not used to that in the UK!
Anyone who's done it, playing a round with a new swing and swing thoughts knows it's never easy going but I struck the ball well with of course a few bad shots in there I was relatively pleased with how it played out.
It's only week one. I can't expect to have a reformed swing in one week.
Goals for next week:
a) Concentrating on my swing path coming from the inside when I impact the ball.
b) Ensuring I rotate my arms through impact to prevent the club face being open.
Number of sessions: 4
Time spent working out (mins): 215
GOLF ISN'T A SPORT - WHAT A LOAD OF S**T!
I thought I was in good shape but clearly not in good golf shape.
I was told recently by a Physio that I had 'pathetic' glutes which at the time seemed a little harsh but I think this proves he was right.
I followed my gym routine (which you can see in a previous blog post) focussing on technique and form rather than the weights I was lifting.
Here are the stats from one of my workouts from my FitBit.
As a comparison as to why you need to be fit for golf, here are the stats from my round of golf!
So what did I learn?
My legs are pathetic and nowhere near where they need to be to have a stable base for my golf swing.
For example, the dumbbell row exercise I am woeful at. I cannot complete three repetitions without wobbling and swinging all over the place.
I therefore ensured I concentrated on doing the reps slowly to build up a solid base before moving on to more reps and heavier weights.
My core is actually pretty good but definitely needs strengthening for rotation and dissociation.
But the good thing is that I enjoyed the workout. It was new and challenging and by the end of the week I was looking forward to going back to work on my chicken legs!
Even as someone that respects golf as a sport and golfers themselves as athletes, this has taken it to a higher level.
The exercises I had to do this week were completely new for me and my body and it showed. Whilst they do not seem on paper that taxing I was having to engage muscle groups I am not used to engaging.
To think I went to the gym first thing in the morning or at lunch and then carried on with my day at work whereas the professional golfers do this before they go on the range. Crazy!
Did I feel a difference in my golf this week?
Honestly - no.
I think though it's going to take more than four sessions before I start to feel/see a change.
This I think is where people give up and revert back to old ways as they don't see rewards quick enough!
I am under no delusions that it is going to take hard work, dedication and time to see any improvement both in the gym and on the course.
If it was quick and easy, everyone would do it!!
Goals for next week:
a) Nail my form and keep building my foundation.
b) Increase the number of repetitions on exercises I am comfortable with.
Distance covered km: 76.49
Active minutes: 1,025
Calories burned: 21,968
Average heart rate during round: 92
EAT SIX SMALL MEALS A DAY - GREAT - NOT QUITE.
Who would of thought eating was that hard!
This for me took the most time and adjustment. Having to keep track of what I was eating was in itself a task but what I really struggled with is the kinds of food I was eating and the impact they had on my daily allowance.
Using the MyFitnessPal app and FitBit made everything so much easier and is pretty much a necessity if you want to take nutrition seriously (which you should).
Protein - Firstly getting the amount of protein I needed was rough, both from a volume stand point and also on my body. You can Google the affects!
However after a few days I got the hang of it on both sides and now the consumption of protein has become a lot easier. Spreading it out over the day was the key!
Carbs - way harder than I thought. I love my carbs but obviously know I need to consume the right kind of carbs... not the white pasta!!
However, having vegetables, sweet potatoes and food like quinoa, I soon learned that these don't add up to much and therefore a lot of them need to be consumed.
Lucky for me I love them so was happy to smash them throughout the day.
Fats - This was a little harder. I know about the so called 'healthy fats' such as avocados and almonds but when you see how much they consume of my daily allowance I had to become more mindful of what I ate.
That being said, after a few days, I got the hang of it by making decisions such as, if I have an omelette for breakfast, I can't have an avocado at lunch! This is the one I am still working on though.
Goals for next week:
a) Spread my meals out more evenly throughout the day.
b) Prepare more for the week ahead.