So now what? I called Dan Kubelik in Hilton Head, a former Treesdale great who's now out at Belfair, and left him a message that I might be headed that way. Then I received a text from my buddy Kenny in Chicago. He was going up to Milwaukee and playing 36 on Saturday and half jokingly said that since I'm now available, after missing the cut, that I should come up and play. Hmmm, a plan started forming in my head. It was about 2:30 on Thursday, and I started making some calls. New plan, fly to Chicago Thursday evening. Friday at 9:15 I'd go to the Bettinardi Studio and get a new putter and look at my stroke and what's going on with it. Drive up to Milwaukee with Kenny and play 36 with our buddy Tony and Brandybrook and Bristlecone Pines. Meet up with Tim Grogan Sunday morning for a quick lesson and then drive down to O'Hare and catch a flight back to Charlotte. My mom booked a flight using points and made it official. So I headed to the airport.
One problem though... I forgot my travel case! So I headed back over to the club at Irish Creek and started asking guys if they had one I could borrow. Surprisingly nobody had one in their car, and now I needed to get headed to the airport, but what to do. Fortunately my mom located a Dick's on the way and I stopped a bought a travel case. So I get to O'Hare and I'm waiting for my clubs at baggage claim, and after a while there's probably 3 people left. So I go to the US Airways area and they tell me my bags not on this flight and they'll be in the next one. Really!? Seriously though? It would work out OK though as they would successfully deliver them to me... at 2:45 in the morning.
My trip to the Bettinardi Studio was extraordinarily helpful. I got more of a mallet looking putter, but it's made with the same material as the one I'm currently using, so it feels exactly the same. But the most helpful thing was seeing my stroke on the V-1 system they newly installed. The guys who was fitting me and myself were able to pick up on a couple things that were just a little off. I wrote down what we found and have something to work on. Also, if you've never been there and are looking for a new putter, it's worth the trip. They make great putters, and the fitting process is really cool. You'll also learn something about your stroke while seeing it on the V-1 system.
My little lesson Sunday morning with Grogan was also pretty helpful. I figured that he might be able to pick up on something that looks different, since he watched me hit it great for 4 years. Within a few swings he already had a pretty good idea. He slightly adjusted me grip and had me trying to take it back lower and more one piece. Gosh did that feel solid!
So I flew back Sunday afternoon and drove down to Aiken, SC. I played a practice round with Peter Malnati yesterday and hit it great. He commented a couple times on some of my drives, saying, "This is the best I've seen you hit it since college." Let's hope so... but I agree! I'm super excited for the tourny this week as I return to Woodside Plantation for the first time since I was about 14 and playing in the Youth Sports Festival.