Pre-curfew Curves

It’s quite the time to be alive. Just as we were starting to emerge from the shadow cast by coronavirus, we were driven back indoors by rioting and looting. In DC, we’re under a 7PM curfew. That meant that this Tuesday I had to go to the golf course a little earlier and experience more of that mid-afternoon heat. Still, I had a very nice Tuesday practice session.

As I did on Sunday, I started by practicing my 60-degree wedge from 15-50 yards at the short-game practice facility. I do this partly to develop feel, but primarily to hone the correct backswing for my wedges and irons at low speed, with very easy-to-judge feedback (You’re either close to the hole or you’re not). As I mentioned, it was hot, so I did two 10-15 minute sessions at the short-game area, split by a water break.

After warming up, I went over to the range. It was as packed as I’d ever seen it, and I had to wait a few minutes for a spot to open up. Once it did, I worked my way through my bag, 60-degree wedge to 8-iron, with periodic interspersal of driver and 3-wood. I hit the ball really well, with a lot of nice, high draws going consistent yardages with good-feeling contact. I also semi-figured-out a shot I’ve been trying to add to my repertoire, a high 150-yard popup with a 3-wood (designed for the 9th hole until I start using my full bag again). The trick was (duh), to swing nice and slowly. I do still need to figure how to pull this off and hit it straight, as the low-speed ones did tend to slice.

I hit about 160 balls pain-free, surpassing 7,000 tracked swings on my Flightscope Mevo launch monitor since I got it last summer (fall?). Most of the shots I hit would have been just fine, or even excellent on the course.

Afterward, I putted for 15 minutes from various lengths. My touch was pretty decent. The weather cooled down nicely and I would have like to putt for longer, but it got buggy out (I’m buying some bug spray), and I needed to leave to comply with the curfew, which will hopefully end today.

My longest drive of the day carried 223.9 and my highest recorded club-head speed was 104.2. My best 9-iron carried 125 yards on 75.8MPH of clubhead speed (Smash: 1.27) with an apex of 21.3 yards. That’s tour-quality contact, although my clubhead speed is (unsurprisingly) 10MPH slower than the average tour pro’s, so my carry distance is substantially slower.

My best 8-iron carried 135.4 with an apex of 17.9 yards. In February I was hitting swing speeds about 83MPH on 8-irons. With my new swing, I’m only getting into the mid-70s. My challenge is to keep ingraining the swing improvements I’ve made while finding non-destructive ways to add more speed.

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