Ten Years Ago – “My Epic Drive Of The Day”

This is a post I wrote on October 29th, 2009, which was just before I began my Mike Austin years, so it’s shortly before many of you even knew about the Smash Golf Blog.

I am feeling nostalgic and I went back to my Smash Golf postings (the blog still exists, just now on a privacy setting) to see what I could re-live from 10 years ago (when I was only at the tender age of 39!!!), and found this gem.

I have only edited some typos that I have found re-reading it, it’s straight from what I wrote back then… I also inserted a clip of a drive I hit on the same course about two weeks later that went 345 yards, for mechanics-reference (Pardon the language, someone in our group was a little surprised when I let it fly).

hope you enjoy!

My Epic Drive Of The Day – Oct 29 2009

I hit a drive today that I can only describe as one of the best drives I’ve hit at my golf course. I hit a drive over the 285 yard 17th hole which is a par-4, but the yardage is deceiving, to say the least.

I had just hit my drive from the tee on the 300 yard par-4 sixteenth hole, into the green front bunker, while Sean Kim and his group were putting out. I saw Sean turn around and look at my ball in the bunker, and we waved to each other.

When I got to the 17th tee, Sean and his group were still waiting to hit. Sean wanted me to go for the green on the 17th, to impress his playing partners who didn’t know me. I was skeptical, because the wind was against and it was only about 10 C (50 F) and the air was heavy and moist. Fall rain weather. Driving that green was a near impossible mission, and I told him.

He wasn’t having it, so I told him to wave me on from the fairway after the group ahead of him had left the green, and I’d take a shot at it, just for him.

Now, this is a hole where you hit your tee shot from the box down about a 5 to 10 foot drop in elevation into the river valley, with the fairway running into the river itself just beyond the 100 yard marker. So a simple shot of 185 yards or so will leave you 100 yards to the green.

Problem is, the green is at the top of the ravine that runs down to the river valley, so you’re hitting your shot up to an elevated green that calls for two extra clubs according to the scorecard.


Looking at the picture, you can see people on the tee box in the distance behind my head. To give an idea of how elevated the green is, the tree bare of leaves in the left background is taller than the golden-leafed tree in the center background.

The green sits on the edge of the ravine, so if you’re short by even a yard, you’re rolling back down to the bottom at the river’s edge, and you have a flop shot of roughly thirty feet up to a green, and you can’t see the flag.

If you miss left or right, there are ravine trees that will gobble you up and you won’t find the ball in the muck and foliage. If you go for this green, you’d better hit it straight, high and long.

So, a 285 yard hole that you will not reach unless you can fly a ball that is still 30-40 feet above you at 285 yards, making it easily a shot you need to fly 320 on a level fairway, conservatively. I’m serious- if you know you can’t fly a ball at least 320 yards, you’re not going for this hole, even on a warm summer day with a helping breeze. On a cold, damp day, and into the wind. Do the math, and I didn’t think there was any chance I’d reach it.

But when Sean waved me on from the fairway and I saw the group ahead clearing the green, I took a few practice swings, stepped up to the ball and let fly with a massive blast.


Sample Drive – November 9, 2009

*** Not part of the original post, but this is a drive of mine about two weeks later, for mechanics-reference


Bill said he knew it was long enough from contact, but I watched it nervously, and the grey skies were such that I couldn’t see if it had cleared the green’s front edge. It was slightly left, and I thought I might have come up just short of the green in the left ravine.

But Bill was emphatic, he said I was over, and when Sean hit his approach from the valley fairway and made his way over the river, across the bridge and up the ravine to the green, he found my ball five yards over the back left. He gave the thumbs-up and I was amazed.

I found my ball’s pitch-mark hole-high in the center-left portion of the green.

Considering the hurting wind and the conditions, that was easily one of my best drives on that hole. It was truly my Epic Drive of the Day.


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6 thoughts on “Ten Years Ago – “My Epic Drive Of The Day”

  1. Ralph Hagelbarger

    How does it feel today 10 years older and wiser and striving for even
    longer and more consistent driving not only for yourself but helping
    others?

    1. D Watts Post author

      Hello RH! It’s always been a source of pride and pleasure that anyone else would benefit from my personal journey and research. Sometimes the satisfaction derived from others’ success using any of my research findings exceeds anything I’ve done for myself 🙂

  2. peterallenby2013

    One might say you “Dunawayed” that drive DJ! It was shortly after this post was created that I discovered your blog and investigation of the Austin swing method. It has been a fabulous journey ever since! THANK YOU for your generosity, insight, and analysis fo the golf swing DJ!! Let the journey continue…

    1. D Watts Post author

      Thanks for the kind words, PA. Sometimes I feel that it can’t have been just ten years since ’09, other times it seems a blur. The past few weeks especially – I think I’ve clarified and uncovered more about the MA model in that time than in all of the years I spent on it prior to 2013.

      When I set about breaking it down, I believe many long-time MA/MD followers who are still trying to solve the riddle will be astounded by the simplicity of it.

      Will all due respect to the man who built the model, it does not take a rocket science degree nor medical anatomical knowledge to understand and execute.

      I’m working right now to prove it! 😀

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