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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Watching the Board and Buying Shoes?...

In last week’s entry, I answered a question from one of my followers about whether or not I looked at the leaderboard during my round.  I answered with a “definitely yes” and ironically I found myself watching the board during last week’s John Deere Classic.  After shooting a disappointing round of even par 71 on Thursday, I found myself well behind the leaders and on the wrong side of the dreaded cut line.  To add to the drama, in my two previous trips to Moline, Illinois, and the John Deere Classic, I failed to make the weekend by ONE lousy shot each time.  Unfortunately, Friday’s second round was shaping up to end exactly the same way!  After overcoming continuous and constant adversity throughout the round, I found myself needing to make a birdie on my final hole to make the cut.  To make matters worse, my round was finishing on the HARDEST hole on the course…#9.  After finding the fairway from off the tee, my ball was sitting197 yards away from a difficult pin which was located on top of a  steep ridge and only three yards from the edge of the green!  I took the “all or nothing” approach as I grabbed my 7-iron from the bag.  A slight miss-hit would definitely not cover the ridge and the result would ultimately lead to a disappointing par and ANOTHER weekend off at the Deere.  I was determined to change my fate as I dug down deep and hit a high, towering 7-iron toward the pin.  My ball easily covered the ridge and rolled within 5 feet of the hole.  As I approached the green and marked my ball, Mr. Adversity showed his ugly face one more time.  Huge spike marks stood between my ball and the hole and unfortunately I had only one option…roll right over them.  Divots in the middle of the fairway, plugged bunker lies, strange and sudden shifts in wind directions, and a timely car alarm in my backswing on my 17th hole were just a few of the hurdles I faced during Friday’s round.  I smiled when I saw the spike marks and figured…WHY NOT!  The day and comeback wouldn’t be complete without one last test, right?  Well, thankfully…I passed the test.  My ball found the bottom of the cup and I earned one of the coveted weekend tee times.  Sure, I wasn’t and will never be pleased with “just making the cut” but this week was different.  I fought through the adversity and played some pretty good golf along the way.  Putts frustratingly rolled over the lip and I just couldn’t get any momentum going.  My second round score of 67 moved me inside the cut line and guaranteed me a paycheck for the week.  However, I wanted and expected more.  I played solid on the weekend with rounds of 68 – 67 but unfortunately, the putts just didn’t fall.  I finished the 2012 John Deere Classic in a tie for 25th but once again, I walked away disappointed.  A top 25 in a PGA Tour event is certainly nothing to frown about but I feel that my game is better right now than I am showing.  Good things are on the horizon and I am excited to see what lies around the corner.

Two of the highlights during the week included our Annual family adventure at the John Deere Big Dig and an evening at one of the best restaurants I have ever eaten at, Duck City.  The Big Dig is located at the John Deere Test Site and for one day, the families of the PGA Tour are allowed to climb aboard heavy equipment and make a mess of the property.  Holes are dug with excavators while dozers move a ton of dirt and rocks.  The fun family atmosphere is full of games, fireworks, and smaller equipment for the kids.   We had a blast and it is certainly a mandatory event for the Adams family each year.  Duck City is located just across the river from Moline in Davenport, Iowa.  My caddy, Barry Williams, is friends with the owners and has been talking about the restaurant for months!  On Friday night, I took Beth and my two wild monkeys there for one of the best meals I have ever had.  Sea Bass, stuffed Pork Chops, and a Cajun Ribeye were brought and devoured at our table.  I highly recommend a trip to Duck City if you are ever in the area…you won’t be disappointed!

This week’s question comes from Mark in Alabama.  He writes:  Blake, what is the best tip on buying the right golf clubs and equipment?

Mark, Thank you for the email and question.  In my profession, I am very fortunate and lucky to have access to all the “latest and greatest” technology and equipment.  However, all because something is new doesn’t mean it is better!  I cannot tell you how many times I have heard the following statement…”I went out and bought this new Driver and I cannot hit it any better than my old one!”  My response is always the same…”Was the Driver fit for you or did you just walk in the store and buy it?”  The answer is ALWAYS the same…”I just bought it.”  Well, there is your problem!  The MOST IMPORTANT part of buying new equipment is being FIT PROPERLY for that equipment.  I always use this analogy when I explain its importance…Would you ever walk into a shoe store and grab a random box of shoes off the shelf, pay for them, and then try them on once you got home?  NO! You have no idea if that box of shoes is a size 6, 12, or your perfect size.  Buying golf clubs is the same way. Technology has improved so much that every Golf Club Company now produces a head that is playable and very good (although, I highly recommend TaylorMade clubs!!).  However, regardless of what Club Company you choose, you MUST find the right Golf shaft for YOU!  Shafts are built for every swing speed imaginable and unless you match the two together…you are just buying a random pair of shoes! 

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