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The Steve WenPetren Project, Part 6

For those who missed it, check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5 of my series on how to stop being a terrible golfer.

Before delving into last week’s lesson, let me enlighten you with a story.  Hours before my lesson, I left work early to play 18 holes of golf at Herndon Centennial with a co-worker.  It’s not the most challenging of courses, but when you’ve got a “work-in-progress” golf game, these courses are appreciated.  After opening with a devastating triple-bogey, I hit a nice 3-iron off the 2nd tee, a short par-4, right into the middle of the fairway, about 145 yards away.

At this point, there was a foursome ahead of us on the green, which consisted of a guy so old he might have been around when golf was invented, and a teenager who obviously had studied my original tapes on how to swing a golf club prior to my lessons.  They signaled for me and my buddy to play thru, so we took them up on that.  Knowing that all four of them were watching added a little extra pressure to the shot.  If I flubbed it, which I’m still prone to doing occasionally, will they re-think letting us play through?  Will the old man beat me over the head with his putter and call me a whippersnapper?  Long story short, I hit a perfect 7-iron to within four feet of the hole!  From there it was a matter of making a knee-knocker of a putt, which felt like it took forever to go from off my putter to the hole, but sure enough it made it then and into the cup for my first birdie in over three years!!!

It was my only birdie of the day (although I did lip out for birdie on the next hole, a par-5), but it didn’t matter, because I felt alive on the course the rest of the day and knew that Steve’s lessons were really doing the trick.  Thankfully I didn’t get too arrogant and think I was ready to turn pro and showed up for my lesson later that day with Steve.

LESSON #6 – ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT

I’m going to be honest, it was hot that day, I played 18 holes of golf in the middle of the afternoon, and then showed up an hour early for my lesson and decided to hit a bucket of balls while waiting.  So by the time Steve was ready to teach, I was ready for a nap, so I apologize in advance to everyone reading, as well as to Steve if I fail to cover the real purpose of the last lesson.

That being said, this lesson was all about tempo and how it relates to the golf swing.  Basically every golf swing should have the same tempo, whether you’re swinging with the driver, or trying to hit a sand wedge only 75 yards.  I believe if I understood it correctly, it was a 27/9 tempo, meaning if a high-speed camera was photographing my swing, it would be able to take 27 pictures on the backswing and then 9 from end of backswing to ball contact, so in essence, my swing is 3x faster than the backswing.  Again, I’d like to point out how tired I was, so hopefully this makes sense.  But if not, here’s an animated video to help.

Steve had this app for his download that wasn’t nearly as annoying as the video above, it was basically a metronome of sorts (for all my piano playing geeks out there). But it would beep three times, first beep was for me to begin my backswing, second beep was for me to begin forward swing and the third beep was for ball contact.  He played that for about 10 minutes straight while I hit nothing but a sand wedge, trying to get the tempo down.  Sort of unrelated note, I’ve never used my sand wedge outside of a bunker before, so it was refreshing to also learn how to hit this as a short wedge option instead of always relying on my pitching wedge or the dreaded 60-degree wedge which I think secretly mocks me at night while I’m asleep.

Other than that, we focused part of the lesson again on me turning my hands over which still is my #1 enemy.  I did get an interesting tip from my buddy Scott when I played golf with him on Sunday,  but before trying it out, I thought I’d get Steve’s blessing at the next lesson.  The real exciting thing is I’m hopefully going to be fitted for new irons this week, since my current set I believe I got in either 2004 or 2005.  I’d also like to wish my putter a happy 20th birthday.  I’ve had the same putter since I got my first set of clubs when I was 12 years old, and I still have no intention of replacing it.  Granted I did 3-putt on just about every hole this past weekend, but those greens were mean and I think they even had skull and cross-bone tattoos.

Oh yeah, so why did I call this lesson “arrested development?”  Not just because that’s still and probably always the greatest TV show of all-time, but because halfway during the lesson, the cops showed up to arrest someone in the parking lot, and then two guys in what appeared to be full SWAT gear came up to the driving range, and confiscated the guy’s clubs and other items he had with him.  Very strange moment indeed, this really is a weird game sometimes.

Finally, did I mention I got a birdie last week?  I’ll let Dave Hester from A&E’s Storage Wars answer that…



The Steve WenPetren Golf Academy is a great place for golfers of all ages and experience (or lack there of) to learn how to become a better golfer. For more information or to book a lesson, please check out www.stevewenpetren.com

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One Response

  1. First off you should never be using a 60 degree wedge, and second off, The Wire is the best show ever.

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