The experiments are officially over! After months of working with various drivers and golf balls, I have decided to go back to the equipment that secured my card rather easily last year. Go ahead...you can say it...why would I change in the first place? Well, due to contract obligations I am required to give new equipment "my best effort" as it becomes available. I have always been a huge supporter of the equipment companies that I represent and their advancements in technology. However, I will be the first to admit that I need to do a better job of getting comfortable and trusting the new equipment before I put it in the bag. With that being said, over the last three tournaments I have used three different drivers which in my opinion, have been the culprit to three consecutive missed cuts. Missed fairways have been the norm lately and my time away from the short grass has lead to an increase in missed greens. Obviously when you add these two factors together a golfer's work week is cut short! I have also been experimenting with a different golf ball and the results have been less than satisfactory. The bad news is that I will eventually have to make a golf ball switch because Titleist has decided to stop manufacturing my ball of choice (2005 Pro V1x). However for now, I will continue to use the stock pile of balls that I have until they run out.
There is good news however. During Friday's round at the Honda Classic I truly believe that I made two major strides. First of all, I finally trusted my hip and I was able to turn without restriction or limitation. This was a huge development because during Thursday's opening round, my mind and body wouldn't quite allow my hip move freely. I had a pinch in my left hip during the first round and I basically played scared and protective. I eased into all my shots and as my first round score indicated, this was a recipe for disaster. After my round, I made my normal trip to the rehab trailer and spent over an hour on the table. The trainers worked tirelessly to help remove the pinch from my hip. They assured me that regardless of what I was feeling, the cortisone and "greaser" shot was definitely a success. I had an increased range of motion and on Friday, I was finally able to reap the benefits. I played pain free and my ball striking was much better. The second stride that I made on Friday was a reunion with my old TaylorMade R11 Driver. I took the club out of my bag following its lackluster performance in Phoenix. Even though I was fresh off a run of several made cuts in a row, I made the change following the Waste Management Phoenix Open because I felt my driver was the culprit for my mediocre finishes on the West Coast. This obviously wasn't the case. Since the change, my driving stats got worse and I missed three cuts in a row. On Friday, I put Ol' Faithful back in the bag and I only missed one fairway with it during the round. My score of 68 was a welcomed site and if a few putts had fallen, it would have been much, much lower. Regardless, I am glad that I made the switch and I certainly enjoyed being back in the short grass!
Last week during the Honda Classic, Beth and I rented a house in a neighborhood just down the road from PGA National. The homes inside the gated community were enormous and many celebrities such as Tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams lived just down the road from our rented house for the week. Our place was nice and we really enjoyed how close it was to my Tournament site. As I put Libby down one afternoon for her nap, I stumbled upon one of the coolest things that I have ever seen! In the office of our rented home, the owner had three baseballs proudly on display. All three were very impressive and as I made my way down the line, my jaw began to drop. The first name was Yankee Legend, Joe DiMaggio...very impressive! The second name was another Yankee Legend, Micky Mantle...also very impressive! And the third name? Another Yankee Legend but a signature that I have never seen in person in my entire life.....Babe Ruth! Seriously....the Babe, the Bambino, the Sultan of Swat??!! Yes, as you can tell....I was impressed.
This week I am Puerto Rico and I am excited about the week ahead. As I mentioned earlier, Ol' Faithful is back in the bag and my hip feels great. I have continued my trend of practicing hard every day and I cannot wait for Thursday's round to begin. I know that good things are on the horizon and my tireless work will shine through. Who knows...this week could be my week! We will see.