Day 1 at the Pinehurst Golf Academy. Not only do the three of us being filmed have to deal with finding out about our golf swing. We also have mikes (sp) and are going to have cameras in our face the entire day. Little did I know how difficult it would be. We all meet up for a great breakfast buffet in the Carolina Room and then head over to the pro shop. They stage us in our carts and we head over to the other side of the driving range to the academy. Fill out a form asking about what we think the state of our game is. I put in average to weak in most categories -- I know I am an 11 handicap, but I also know that "I'm not that good." That's why I'm hear. They get Brad, Kris and I miked up and then off to the driving range to hit a few shots. The instructors go down the line -- I hear "that was pretty good though" as they have a check list to go down. I hear "shoulder" and "head." Don't really know. I thought I'd be wiffing balls on the range but they looked like my normal shots.
Then they steer all 12 of us into a bay to have one shot videotaped to analyze. This is tough because you're in a small room with everyone in the back, watching each of us take shots. I get to go last, with Barry, because as lefties, they have to move the cameras. All I can say was that I was happy that it went airborne and I didn't shank it. Then, back to the driving range where they rotated instructors showing us what we need to do. Find out that my head bobs down a whole lot. And my shoulder dips. And I over rotate (I definitely know that) and my backswing goes in, not out (I know that). But, I've managed to make it work for me. And then they bring us into an office to see our swings. Have to admit that I've seen my swing on video, but never had it taken apart quite like that. But, it's good to visualize and see what's going on. Something I can work on (and hope that come Sunday that there is a difference when they retape us).
The video and interviews is tough. You already have all of these new swing thoughts going on in your head -- and then Dan and Tim take you aside and want you to talk about it. Barely can say my name I have so much going through my head. Pretty much sucked at being on camera because I was thinking too much about golf that dialogue just didn't want to come out.
Then chipping. The cameras were off for this segment -- could have used them because we looked pretty good in this part. Then pitching. Trying to commit to new swing thoughts and carrying over the bunker -- sometimes it worked. Sometimes not.
After lunch, we get to have on-course instruction. Really looking forward to this portion. Or so I thought. Paul took us out for the first four holes. Basically taking us to different places on the course to try different shots. Of course, this is the first time I've used a wood since December, so not only am I dealing with new swing thoughts, I'm dealing with clubs that haven't been my friends for a while. Definitely not so good, but Paul was encouraging and I actually hit a few. I don't want to revert back to the 4 iron off the tee and want these clubs back. But, it is so frustrating. And with cameras on, it's all being recorded. Damn it sucked. But, that's why I'm here and it's easier to break this apart here than at home. My mind registers what they are telling me, but my body is saying "no, no, no." I wish there was a machine you could plug into that would step and repeat it until the body says "yes, yes, yes." Paul had us also try some other kinds of shots like using a hybrid from 40 yards, bunker shots (we looked pretty good in this segment). But, off the tee, I just didn't hit one good shot. After Paul, Jeff joins us for more on course instruction, trying to give me some drills to help get the body in line with what it's "supposed" to be doing -- but still doesn't. They then leave us to finish out the round. The weather, at least, is beautiful. And the company of Brad and Kris good too. Brad's from Scottsdale and Kris lives in Ashville. Nice to be off camera for a little while. We've also decided that it's been a long day and we've hit a whole lot of golf balls.
A couple of beers after our round, the academy cocktail party, then shower, change and dinner on the patio at the Tavern (we're staying in the Holly). While my game is pretty shaky and my mental state as well, the food and company is good. A beer at Dugans and then bed. Day 1 is over. Success? Well, it doesn't feel like it. Haven't had that "ah ha moment" and don't know when I will. I will, but this isn't going to be an overnight success story. I've been using this homemade swing for so long that it's pretty grooved in physically and mentally.
Ready for Day 2. More of the same, but hopefully better. And hopefully will be more comfortable with the camera on top of the instruction.