fotolia_2005754_XS3Was not able to play again since my last post, but I have been practicing each day.  Went putting and chipping before work for a couple hours each day and to the range at night, mostly working on driver to try and figure that out.  I am pleased with my progress and last night I hit the driver very well…my buddy and I found I was setting up with the club face slightly open at address.  I squared it up and it made a big difference, hopefully I can translate that to the course this next week, but I’m feeling better about that club now so we’ll see.

As for my putting, I’ve been practicing using a new grip, a slight split grip and really feeling like I’m lagging the putter head through impact.  I have putted great with that over these past few days and the ball is rolling off the face more like it should and as a result my distance control is much improved.  I was playing a 9 holes game with myself on the putting green where I hit 9 putts all from over 30ft and the goal was to not 3 putt.  I completed the 9 holes with no 3 putts and I actually drained one of the putts from long distance.

So those are the two areas I’ll be looking to improve this coming week; Driver and Putting (mainly lag putting).  Should be playing Monday and Wednesday next week so I’ll update after…below is the stat recap for this week 3, I guess I’ll just add in the executive course numbers into the running tally, so if the FW totals look off in comparisons to the total number of greens, that is why.

Hope everyone has a great Easter Sunday!

060513204404The Vineyard Escondido Par 70 Blue 71.0/126 6,531 Yards

Score: 79 (+9) FW: 2/14 GIR: 9/18 Putts: 34 Up/Down: 3/5 Sand Save: 0/2 Penalties: 2

 

 

20140420_145346Oaks North Executive Par 60 South/North 56.8/89 3,608 Yards

Score: 64 (+4) FW: 4/6 GIR: 13/18 Putts: 34 Up/Down: 3/6 Sand Saves: 0/0 Penalties: 0

 

 

 

Total Stats for Week of 4/14/14-4/20/14: (Red = Below PGA Tour Avg, Green = Above PGA Tour Avg)

Rounds: 2 (Regulation: 1/Executive: 1)

FW: 6/20: 30% GIR: 22/36: 61% Up/Down%: 6/11 55% Sand Saves: 0/2 0% Total Putts/18: 34

Overall Stats, Weeks: 3

Total Rounds: 5 (Regulation: 4/Executive: 1)

FW: 22/62: 35% GIR: 53/90: 58% Up/Down%: 13/27 48% Sand Saves: 2/7 29% Total Putts/18: 32.8

Current PGA Tour Averages – FW: 60.82% GIR: 65.36% Up/Down: 57.34%

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A frustrating week so far, have really been playing great lately and hitting the ball well at the range too, but this week’s scores have been disappointing.  On Monday, I shot a 79 (+9) over at the par 70 Vineyard….started off +7 over the first 8 holes!  My iron game was solid, it was just my driving and putting that cost me.  Hit the first tee shot into the hazard on the right and started with a double bogey 6.  Hit two great shots on the difficult #2 and then 3 putted from about 10 ft total for another bogey.  On the drivable par 4 7th, I hooked my tee shot out of bounds and suffered a bogey on what is usually an easy par and prime birdie opportunity hole when you can hit a solid drive over the corner.  3 putted again on the 8th hole before birding the par 5 9th hole to finish the front 9, 6-over par.  3 over par 38 on the back 9, with 6 pars and 3 bogeys and one more 3 putt for bogey on #15 a par 5.

I had an amazing range session on Saturday night, hit every club well and drove the ball great.  I had so much confidence on that first tee Monday, but my driver disowned me.  All of a sudden I could not feel comfortable with it and it was spraying everywhere.  Hooked it on #1 and # 5, sliced it on #4 and #8….golf is such a cruel and frustrating game!!  I basically abandoned the driver on #9, only using it once the last 11 holes, but I did hit a good one with it when I hit it.  A tough day for me to swallow hitting only 2 FW’s all day…I have played so consistently well these past couple weeks, never shooting above +6 total in a month, but was +7 after only the first 8 holes on Monday!

My iron game was solid however, but back to the drawing board on my driver.  I need to get that on point consistently if I ever hope to reach scratch level.

Oak-North-Golf-Club-San-DiegoYesterday, Wednesday the 16th we played a quick round over at our local executive course Oaks North.  I really enjoy that course, it certainly tests your mid iron game.  Oaks is not one of those push over tiny exec courses, no par 3 is shorter than 134 at Oaks North.  My iron game continues to be solid, I started by sticking it to about 3 ft on #1 for a tap in birdie, but 3 putted the next two to go bogey, bogey.  Hit my tee shot under a tree on the par 4 5th and had no chance to reach the green, bogey 5.  Over drew the next tee shot into the water on the par 3 6th and made a bad double bogey 5.  So 4 over after the first 6 holes with a birdie on #1….was certainly frustrated again with my game and I could feel it affecting me negatively.  I forced myself to stay positive, forget about score and just try to execute each shot individually to the best of my ability.

I ended up shooting par over the remaining 12 holes, with 10 pars, 1 bogey and 1 birdie.  I Started to stand up a bit more at address with my putter and that seemed to help me with contact as I have been 3 putting a lot lately because of poor lag putting.  Lagged it pretty well, zero 3 putts and made some testy 2-3 footers for par on a few holes.

Overall a frustrating week so far, but that is golf!  I did hit a lot of good shots, so I’ll look to take the positives out of a bad scoring week and continue to work hard to improve my game.  Hopefully I can play one more time this week and I’ll update the stats later on this week.  Hope everyone has a Happy Easter on Sunday and shoot low if you play!

fotolia_2005754_XS3Weekly stat recap for Week 2 of my challenge to reach PGA Tour averages.  Only got to play one round this week and that was back last Monday over at Riverwalk.  I’m playing another round here today in a few hours and most likely on Wednesday as well.  Hopefully I can sneak another one in on the weekend too, so this week should be packed full of golf.  Below I posted my stats for the one round this week and also the running total for the overall 2 weeks.

4/7/14

unnamedRiverwalk Presidio/Mission  6,550 yards 71.9/126

Score: 75 (+3) FW: 6/14 GIR: 11/18 Putts: 32 Up/Down: 3/6 Sand Saves: 0/1

 

 

Total Stats for Week of 4/7/14-4/13/14 (Red = Below PGA Tour Avg, Green = Above PGA Tour Avg)

Number of Rounds: 1

FW: 6/14 43% GIR:  11/18 61% Up/Down %: 3/6 50% Sand Saves: 0/1 0% Total Putts/18: 32

Overall Stats, Weeks: 2

Total Rounds: 3

FW: 16/42: 38% GIR: 31/54: 57% Up/Down%: 7/16 44% Sand Saves: 2/5 40% Total Putts/18: 32

Current PGA Tour Averages – FW: 60.82% GIR: 65.36% Up/Down: 57.34%

As you can see my FW numbers need to come up, but in all honestly I’m not missing the fairways by much, nothing you can do if the ball is just a yard or two off the short stuff.  I think that can be seen by still having solid GIR numbers, just 3% off the PGA Tour average.  Although I’m not hitting many fairways, I still have shots to hit greens in regulation.  What I’m really excited about however are my up and down % numbers.  I’ve been working hard to get those numbers up significantly and they were somewhere around 25-30% not too long ago.  It feels good to see those numbers rising and I hope to keep them increasing.  I’ll post a round recap tomorrow after my round today, keep posted.

unnamedPlayed a round on Monday, April 7th at the Riverwalk golf club…shot a solid round of 75 (+3).  Unfortunately, the greens were in terrible shape, they had just punched half of the greens what looked like just the day before and the other half, where the flags were located, were still punched from about a week earlier and not very smooth.  It was frustrating having putts hop and bounce around all day and it certainly cost me a few strokes.

I hit the ball very well all day long, probably my best iron play day I’ve had in a while. Hit a couple great 6 iron shots that were all over the flag sticks and stuck about 5 wedges from inside 100 yards all within 8 ft.  The wedge part of my game is something I have been working on a lot to get my yardages down so that I can start sticking it close as that has been costing me key makeable birdie opportunities lately.  Well on this day, I was hitting it just like I had hoped too, but the conditions of the greens and my lack of putting skills cost me taking advantage of every opportunity.

I started off the 1st with a solid birdie after a close wedge shot and nice putt.  Hit a great 7 iron to the par 3 2nd, but it landed on the wrong tier of the green and stopped in a freshly aerated spot.  An unlucky break and the long putt just hopped everywhere and I 3 putted that for a bogey.  Next hole, a par 5, I stuck it close again with a wedge (6ft) from about 80 yards out, but I missed the birdie putt.  It was a straight in putt, but was not able to convert.  Missed an easy up and down on the next from about 5 ft off the green…almost chipped it in, but it ran a good 8 ft by and I missed the par putt.

Pared the next 4 holes and then on both #9 and #10, my tee shots left me under trees with no chance to reach the greens.  I had to punch them out in front of the greens.  On both I ended up with solid par putts of 10 ft, but missed both for bogeys.  Got one back with a birdie on #11 after a close wedge shot, but missed makeable birdie putts of 10 ft or less on #12 (signature hole pictured below) #15 and #16.  20140407_173220Bogeyed the par 5 18th after a terrible 3rd shot after having to lay up on my 2nd.  Only 108 yards in, in the fairway, but the ball was above my feet and I didn’t play the ball back enough in my stance and I hit it slightly fat and the ball came up short of the green…..bad chip and missed the par putt for a disappointing close to a real solid round.  I felt like I hit the ball well enough to shoot under par on this day, but my putting let me down.  A big part of it was the conditions of the greens, but my stroke and confidence in putting is also not the best right now.

Either way, I am very pleased with this round and I continued my solid play as of late.  My last 5 rounds have been scores of +2, +5, +6, +5, +3. My game is looking up and although I wasn’t able to play or practice the past couple days because I developed a little cold and my sisters birthdays, I’m ready to get back to it today and hopefully play sometime this weekend.

Stats for this round:

Riverwalk Presidio/Mission 6,550yards 71.9/126

Score: 75 (+3) Fw: 6/14 GIR: 11/18 Putts: 32 Up/Down: 3/6 Sand Saves: 0/1

20140410_13105720140410_131115

fotolia_2005754_XS3Something I’m going to start doing now is each week I’ll be posting my total weekly stats so we can start to gauge my progress and see how I’m playing in terms of the numbers.  I’ll update at the end of each week and continue to keep a running tally of my total overall stats starting this week (Week 1).  My goal is to be able to get my numbers up to the PGA Tour averages for the three stats of Fairways hit (FW), Greens in regulation (GIR) and Up and down percentage (U/D%)

3/31/14

Carmel Mountain Ranch Par 72 Tees: Black 73.2/133 6599 Yards

Score: 78 (+6) FW: 4/14 GIR: 9/18 Putts: 33 Up/Down: 2/7 Sand Save: 1/2 Penalties: 1

 

 

4/2/14

060513204404The Vineyard Escondido Par 70 Tees: Blue 71.0/126 6531 Yards

Score: 75 (+5) FW: 6/14 GIR: 11/18 Putts: 31 Up/Down: 2/3 Sand Save: 1/2 Penalties: 2

 

 

Total Stats for Week of 3/31/14 to 4/6/14  (Red = Below PGA Tour Avg, Green = Above PGA Tour Avg)

Number of Rounds: 2

FW: 10/28 35.7GIR:  20/36 55.5Up/Down %: 4/10 40% Sand Saves: 2/4 50% Total Putts/18: 32

Overall Stats, Weeks: 1

FW: 10/28 35.7% GIR:  20/36 55.5% Up/Down: 4/10 40% Sand Saves: 2/4 50% Total Putts/18: 32

Current PGA Tour Averages – FW: 60.56% GIR: 65.62% Up/Down: 57.65%

20-for-40-worth-of-driving-range-balls-at-robin-nigro-golf-academy-in-martin-city-sports-complex-1332221836_fixedheight_display_image1I’ve played two rounds so far this week, Monday and Wednesday and shot +6 and +5 respectively.  Monday we played over at Carmel Mountain Ranch again where we played from the tip black tees.  I did not drive the ball as well as I did the week before, but was still able to shoot a very solid score.  Only hitting 4 out of 14 FWs compared to the 9 of 14 the week before, my total score was only 1 shot worse, which means my short game continues to be solid.

Also, I almost had my first albatross on the Par 5 554 yard 10th hole!  Hit a great drive and had only 196 to the front of the green and the flag was only a few paces on at about 208.  The fairway slopes down toward the green so I had a pretty significant downhill lie, I took my 6iron and hit it flush…a nice little draw that worked back right at the flag.  It landed just on the front and started rolling like a putt right at the flag.  It looked like it was going in and my buddy and I were screaming “get in the hole” “one time please” as we watched the ball slowly creep toward the flag.  Although we were over 200 yards out, since we are elevated from the fairway you can see the green perfectly, (The picture below and to the right is a view from this Par 5 10th hole) and I’m telling you that ball missed the hole by an INCH and finished about 6 ft above the hole.  adm-114310159269806Unfortunately, the green slopes back to front so my eagle putt was a slick 6 ft downhill putt with some break.  Of course I botched the putt and missed the eagle!!  So I went from what looked like an amazing 3-under albatross to a tap in 1-under birdie…but hey, I’ll never be disappointed in a birdie!  I started and finished this round poorly, started off giving myself no shot to get GIR’s because of poor tee shots and I started 4 over after 4 holes.  I finished the round with 3 straight bogeys on 16, 17 and 18 and still only shot +6.  It was windy too, so I’m overall pleased with this round, I kept my focus even after I started off poor and strung together a lot of solid holes, shooting 1-under over the 11 holes stretch of #5 through #15.

Yesterday, Wednesday April 2nd, we played a round over at the par 70 Vineyard, one of my favorite courses and it had been a while since I played this track.  Another cold, windy day, with gusts of 15 or more for most of the round, but I played solid and finished at 75 (+5).  Started off +4 after 5 with 2 double bogeys that were a result of poor tee shots that found the out of bounds.  One was just a 4 iron that I nicely hit off the hosel and watched as the shank flew out of bounds.  On that shot I was trying to hit a punch off the short 2nd hole tee box.  I have been experimenting on the range with my long irons setting up for a cut with my feet wide open, but my club square to the target and cutting across it.  I’m not trying to hit a cut though because if I time it just right, I have found it actually results in a dead straight solid shot that can pierce the wind.  That’s what I was going with on that shot, I still need to put more time into it to be able to use it confidently on the course, but when I’m hitting that shot well, it opens me up to a lot more options on the course and I’m able to confidently use my long irons without the fear of it over drawing to the right.

So again another poor start, followed by a long string of solid holes, +1 over my last 13 holes.  This seems to be the theme for my golf game at the moment.  Over my last 4 or 5 rounds, I have either started or ended badly and had a solid streak or 8-15 holes where I’m shooting around scratch level.  I am still not making a lot of birdies, only 1 in this round, but could have easily had a few more if I just would have put a few more revolutions on the ball.  My putting has been solid lately, zero 3-putts in my last 2 rounds and just two 3-putts over my last 5 rounds.  The birdies will come soon; my reads have been really good it is just my speed and my proximity to the hole with my wedges.  I’m not giving myself very high percentage looks at birdie, so I need to start sticking it in closer to the flag when I have a wedge in my hand.

At the end of the week now I think I’ll posts my total stats for the week, so we can gauge my progress and how my numbers compare to those PGA Tour averages we talked about last week.

images (3)Hello everyone, been a few months I know, but I have still been on the grind playing/practicing golf and I think it is time I give you all a recap of how I’ve been playing.  Over the past 2 months, I have made an effort to focus on my putting and chipping to try and raise my Up and Down stats. After playing with different ball positions and seeing how it affected the strike, height and spin of the wedges, I found that playing the ball off my back ankle when chipping gave me a consistent solid strike with solid spin.  I was able to control the height of the shot with my hand positions and club face angle.  For my putting, I started to create a consistent and repeatable putting routine….check the break from behind the ball, line up my mark to that spot, practice strokes while looking at hole to get distance feel, club face down feet together, look at hole while separating feet, one last look at hole, forward press and go.  My lag putting has gotten a lot better; I have only 3 putted twice in the last 3 rounds, made a ton of putts from 5ft and in and a solid amount from that 8-20 range.

My focus now is to try and raise my stats to PGA Tour averages, if I can do that or get close to those numbers than the scores will take care of themselves.  That under par round that I have been chasing is only going to come when my score is almost an afterthought.  The current PGA Tour Stat Averages are FW: 60% GIR: 67% Up and Down%: 57%.  Obviously they are playing much longer, narrower and more difficult courses, so I should aim to get much higher than those, but if I just reach these stats, with solid putting, I should be shooting under par.  I have been inputting scores into a website since about 2010 and currently I have 90 rounds in there and my stats are as follows.  FW: 39% GIR: 50% Up and Down%: 29%.  Because I have 90 rounds already logged, even with me playing at my best level ever right now, it is going to take a lot of consistently solid rounds to move these numbers significantly.  Just to give you a barometer of how I’m playing currently over my last 3 rounds my stats are as follows: FW:  23/43 53% GIR: 27/54 50% Up and Down% 11/18 61%.  I am playing well off the tee right now, been a big point of emphasis for me and my driver and woods have been solid, that number could be a lot higher as a lot of the fairways I missed where not by much at all.  The GIR of 50% is disappointing, especially since I am hitting more fairways, my wedge game has been off lately and I’m missing greens that I should easily hit.  My up and down % has gone from 29% to 61% since making the change to my putting and chipping so I’m excited to keep tine tuning that and get those numbers even higher.

My last two scores have been a +2 (74) at Double Tree and +5 (77) at Carmel Mountain from the tip Black Tees.  It was my first time ever playing from the blacks there as I have always wanted to, Carmel Mountain is a very challenging course, 6599 yards 73.2/133 slope from the tips with lots of out of bounds and tight fairways.  I’m really proud of the way I played there, should have been a lot better than +5, but could only make 1 birdie.

I’ll update again soon, doesn’t look like I’ll be able to play another round until next week sometime, so I’ll be hitting up the range over the next few days, hopefully I can continue my solid play.