With any luck, the title of this article will not act in any way that would resemble a jinx. Dare I say it, with the immediate 7-day forecast, spring has sprung. The obligatory last blast of winter weather at the end of March and early April freezing rain storms notwithstanding. They’re quite customary here in The Great Lakes.
Today, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and as it turns out a local driving range and their batting cage facilities opened up for the 2021 season. I live in a weird place. If you were to draw a triangle you would see that I live in between three different driving ranges. A luxury in a way.
In a way it’s both a blessing and a curse I suppose, because, half of the battle is deciding where to go. But I digress. It doesn’t make a difference to me where I end up whether it’s Brock Golf Course (open today), Westport Driving Range (year-round), or Niagara Golf and Batting Cages. The latter being where I ended up yesterday.
For the last two weeks, I’ve been “jonesing” real badly to get to a driving range and make some swings. Our lockdown ended a couple of weeks ago (honestly, I’ve lost track) and as I’ve healed from recent vascular surgery, my hunger to play golf has spiralled out of control.
Sure, I took it upon myself to take my pup out for walks over to the nearby “city run” golf course. It gives him a chance to run and me, well, a chance to strike a few balls. Pitches and chips from the rough. The only strike that sucks in my opinion, is the one that you haven’t made. I know, you’re thinking to yourself what if you shank, top, thin, or fat a shot? For those wondering, my opinion is, it’s better to have made a swing than never to have made a swing at all. One way or another, we need to find ways to get reps in especially when practice facilities are closed or the snow covers the ground. Basically, if you want something bad enough, there’s always a solution. My wife got me a small pop-up chipping net and mat and that really helped me to get through the last two or three weeks.
So, after many failed attempts getting to a driving range (to be honest it was more post-op apprehension than anything else) I made it out there. My 2021 golf season has begun. At this point in time, I don’t feel like swinging the driver, metalwoods, or long irons is wise. Come next week ,barring any setbacks, I’ll be swinging them. So, today was about three clubs and a training tool.
Testing for the Edison Forged Wedges came to a grinding halt. They arrived just before Christmas (I think) and all I was able to do was hit little chips and pitches with the 57*. It wasn’t until today that the 49* and 53* respectively, met a golf ball. The plan was to only hit maybe a 3/4 wedge at the most but, feeling confident and not feeling any worse for wear, I lengthened out my swing. It felt good, really good. Not just because I was making swings, but, I was doing so with no pain. And! I was striking the ball really well. A great sign. Crisp strikes, majestic apexes, tiny draws, and consistency. My groupings to targets were very much eye-opening.
At the 75-yard sign I landed 5 straight shots either on top of or within a foot of each other. The ball just sort of jumps off of the face. These Terry Koehler-designed Edison Forged Wedges are the real deal. But, I’m going to reserve further judgement until I’ve had them in play.
The training tool that I warmed up with was the Rypstick from RYP Golf. While I’m waiting for medical clearance to resume strenuous exercise, I can’t get into the protocols designed for its use. This tool is designed with overspeed/overload training in mind for the development of clubhead speed gains. But, it’s much more than that. It’s great for stretching and even better for establishing your tempo. There’s an audible whistle that emits from ports on the bottom of the “head”. There’s also a counterbalance in the end of the grip. Prior to my session, I warmed up with it a little bit and my tempo came easy and I feel that it played a part in my successful first session.
Man, it feels great to be out there again. I can’t wait for the next time. Maybe today!!
Until The Next Tee!!