• Mike Hammond, CSCS, TPI

Golf Quest 2021

Greetings from a 34-handicap. As of last Saturday, I’ve finally accumulated enough holes to track my unofficial handicap. The results aren’t pretty, but come with no surprise. I’ve never claimed to be a good golfer. I’ve always been more of a “let’s go hack it up and drink a beer player.” I’ve never broken 100 and I haven’t even birdied a hole in my golfing career. But that changes this year and I’ve got a plan to do it.

My goal for the summer is to cut that 34-handicap in half. That puts me at a 17 by the end of the season. That sounds like a lot for someone who’s played more out of the adjacent fairway, but I’m completely confident I can do it. I’ve identified three goals that should help me cut my handicap in half: 1) average 2 or less putts per hole, 2) average 1 or less chips per hole, and 3) get my golf fitness handicap score as close to zero as possible.

If there’s one thing I’ve been able to do well on a golf course, it’s putting. If I sit at two putts per hole, that means I’m hitting it close and hopefully tapping-in from inside 5-feet. As for chipping and other shots around the green, duffing shots has been a huge problem for me. If I can keep my chipping average under one, that means my approach shots are hitting the green or I’m not having those frustrating miss-hits that can quickly add up on the scorecard. So far this year, I’ve been tracking both chips and putts and the trends are looking good after 36 holes. My putting average is right where I want it to be at 1.97 per hole and chipping is at 1.22 per hole, but has improved every time out on the course.

A sub-goal on the golf-skill side of things is to cut down on the amount of drops I have to take from hitting the ball out-of-bounds off the tee. I can reach club head speeds of 120 mph, but more often than not I’m sitting OB or playing from the fairway to the right of the hole I’m on (I’ve actually saved par in this situation before), so the final thing I’m tracking on my scorecard is drops. With some practice (and potentially some lessons) I think I can start controlling my speed and square up the ball.

Golf fitness-wise, my handicap currently sits at a 13. For your reference, the golf fitness handicap number works just like a normal handicap. If you are scratch from a

fitness standpoint, you can move your body like the PGA Tour average. I’ll be screening myself every seventh week this summer and adjust my strength program accordingly

to nail down the way my body moves. Along with the TPI screen, I’ll be testing my Power Index (currently 26.03) which is the average of a seated chest pass, sit-up and throw, and vertical jump. The higher the number, the farther I can theoretically hit a drive. It also identifies any weakness or energy links in my body which will be prioritized during my strength training.

The golf is what it’s all about. We all play because we enjoy the sport and at some level for everyone, we want to play well. I’ll update my numbers on the blog as the summer rolls along. If you want any type of help whatsoever with your golf game reach out. I can help you with the fitness aspect of your golf game, but I also want to help put you in the right hands if it’s a golf coach you need to find or the correct medical professional to get you to stop hurting.

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