7/14/14

The Vineyard Golf Course 6,531 Yards Par 70 (Blue: 71.0/126)

Score: 70(E) FW: 12/14 GIR: 13/18 Putts: 33 Up/Down: 3/6 Sand Save: 0/1 Penalties: 0

One of my best ball striking rounds of my life today and it should have been my 2nd under par round, but I blew it by 3 putting the par 5 15th for par after sticking it about 15 ft for eagle…ridiculous!!!  I drove it great all day, 12 out of 14 fairways is the most I’ve ever had.  Gave me some great opportunities to hit it close, finished with 13GIR, should have been a bit better, but missed a couple wedges.  Was only 3 of 6 on up and downs because I missed a bunch of putts again.  Hit two of my best shots ever on the 551 yard Par 5 15th…I’ve never gotten to that green in two before as it always plays into the wind and it’s slightly uphill, but today I absolutely bombed a drive down the middle, 316.  Had 235 uphill and into the wind, took a 5 wood and hit a perfect shot, landed high and soft right at the flag and stopped 15ft for eagle!  A pretty straight putt also, little left to the right slightly uphill, I don’t know what happened mentally, but I botched it and left it a good 5ft short! Obviously I lipped out my next putt to 3 putt for par after having hit back to back great shots.  I was proud of myself for what I did on the next hole however, hardest hole on the course and I hit a 300 yard 3 wood down the middle and then an 8iron to about 6 inches!  A great bounce back tap-in birdie, but I still finished at Even for the round.  Should have been at least 1-under, but because I 3 putted the par 5, I have to live with my sadness.     

7/15/14

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

Score: 60(E) FW: 4/6 GIR: 13/18 Putts: 32 Up/Down: 2/5 Sand Saves: 0/1 Penalties: 0

They were having the Junior Worlds over at Oaks North today for the 7-8 age group.  Saw some very talented youngsters, but I decided to play a little too so I didn’t watch much.  Ended up shooting an even par 60, ball striking continued to be very solid, but my putting continues to be a struggle.  I missed so many 6-12 foot birdie putts, just having zero confidence in my stroke right now…I need to fix this, I’m letting so many opportunities go to waste.  On a good note, I hit another awesome 5 wood to about 12ft for eagle on one of the par 4s, but lipped out the eagle.  At least I didn’t 3 putt it like the day before!  I’ll figure out this putting soon, I’m going to keep working on it.

7/16/14

The Vineyard Golf Course 6,531 Yards Par 70 (Blue: 71.0/126)

Score: 75(+5) FW: 9/14 GIR: 11/18 Putts: 31 Up/Down: 2/5 Sand Save: 0/1 Penalties: 1

A putting struggle on the front 9 missed three consecutive 4ft or less putts on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th holes…not a fun way to start out.  Hit it into the hazard on the par 3 6th and took a double bogey.  Was (+5) after 6 holes today, but played well the rest of the way to finish at only +5 for the round.  Not my best ball striking round, but still had overall solid numbers.  Started to figure out my putting near the end, so I decided to keep going and play another 9 holes before dark.

9 Holes

Score: 33(-2) FW: 5/7 GIR: 9/9 Putts: 16 Up/Down: 0/0 Sand Save: 0/0 Penalties: 0

A great way to end the night, was playing quick and maybe that actually helped me, shot a (-2) over this quick front 9 holes!  Was hitting driver actually on most holes and drove it real well and hit all 9 greens.  Found a little something in my putting setup that seemed to work and I made a couple nice birdie putts and some good par putts.  Feels good to get this under par score in to end the day, feeling good going into tomorrow.

golf-course11I’ve been playing alright in the few weeks following my first under par round…not as great as I would like, but still solid golf.  My ball striking has been close to the same, but my putting and chipping has been spotty.  If I’m making the 3-6 footers that day then I will score low, but even when I’m not, I’m still breaking 80.  I had a close call for another under par round the other day, but finished with a +1 total round. (-1) on the front, (+2) on the back.  Had another 9 holes under par at the carmel highlands shooting a back 9 of (-1), but a front 9 of (+5)!  So yea, I’ve still got the game to shoot another under par round, maybe I’m putting a little bit of added pressure on myself to do it again to prove to myself that it wasn’t a fluke.  I want to get at least one more under par round before the palm springs tournament in 6 weeks, just going to keep trying to get a little better each day and the scores will take care of themselves.

Here are my stats for my last 6 rounds since my last post:

6/30/14

The Vineyard Golf Course 6,531 Yards Par 70 (Blue: 71.0/126)

Score: 77 (+7) FW: 7/14 GIR: 9/18 Putts: 32 Up/Down: 2/6 Sand Save: 0/3 Penalties: 1

My first round since my under par on this same course and I shot a disappointing +7.  I was just a little bit off from the tee on this day and I found a total of 5 fairway bunkers!  Never hit it in that many fairway bunkers before in a single round and I found 3 green side bunkers as well (0/3 in saves).  Still hit 50% of FW’s and Green’s, but it was a struggle of a day.

7/2/14

 The Vineyard Golf Course 6,531 Yards Par 70 (Blue: 71.0/126)

Score: 71 (+1) FW: 9/14 GIR: 10/18 Putts: 30 Up/Down: 5/7 Sand Save: 0/1 Penalties: 0

I thought that this might be my 2nd under par round, but it was not to be.  Shot a solid -1 on the front 9, but 2 over on the back.  Couldn’t convert a lot of makeable birdie opportunities down the stretch.  Had an eagle on the par 5 9th hole, which was cool, but actually had a bogey on the drivable par 4 7th, which I almost never do anymore.  I did throw a 3 putt in there as well, but either way, a very solid round that I was happy with.

7/3/14

The Crossings at Carlsbad 6,835 Yards Par 72 (Black: 72.6/132)

Score: 79 (+7) FW: 8/14 GIR: 11/18 Putts: 36 Up/Down: 1/5 Sand Save: 0/1 Penalties: 3

My friend had a couple free rounds at the Crossings in Carlsbad, a beautiful semi private club and gave me an invite.  It was so much fun, I’ve always wanted to play this course, but it is so expensive.  An extremely challenging track with multiple undulations on just about every green and with no course knowledge, it’s difficult to know where to hit it into a lot of blind greens.  I actually played much better than my score would indicate, was only +2 going into the final 5 holes, but then I fell apart.  Had 3 penalties, and a 3 putt, very disappointing ending to the round, as I played really well all day.  Played from the tips as I always do and at 6,835yards it’s one of the longest courses around this area.  Also couldn’t make any putts, I hit it really well, but 2 putted every hole except one 3 putt and one 1 putt…not good.

7/5/14

Carmel Highlands Golf Resort 6,428 Yards Par 72 (Blue: 71.4/129)

Score: 76 (+4) FW: 9/14 GIR: 9/18 Putts: 31 Up/Down: 3/9 Sand Save: 0/0 Penalties: 1

Honestly, I hit the ball well enough on this day, that I should have shot about +1 at the worst!  Missed two less than 3 footers on the first and 3rd holes, was green side in 2 on the par 5 6th, before sculling it out of a bunker that was basically concrete into a hazard and making bogey.  Had about 3 or 4 other putts that decided to lip out or die across the hole…a very frustrating round.  On a positive note after a horrible +5 41 on the front 9, I shot a (-1) on the back with a streak of birdies on 15, 16 and 17, before a bogey on 18 from only 70 yards out.

7/7/14

The Vineyard Golf Course 6,531 Yards Par 70 (Blue: 71.0/126)

Score: 75 (+5) FW: 8/14 GIR: 11/18 Putts: 33 Up/Down: 3/5 Sand Save: 0/1 Penalties: 0

Started off playing well, birding the difficult #1 hole and shooting even par 35 on the front 9, but the back 9 was a different story however.  Always difficult, the back 9 at Vineyard got the best of me…shot a disappointing +5 40, with a lot of not so good shots.  Sculled one out of the green side bunker at #13 and ended up taking a double bogey 6.  I’ve done that 2 rounds in a row because of tightly compacted sand, I keep trying to play it like a normal bunker shot, but the bounce of the club just skips off the hard dirt and sculls it.  I know now that I need to play it with a lot steeper angle of attack and a more square face…cost me the last 2 rounds.

7/9/14

The Vineyard Golf Course 6,531 Yards Par 70 (Blue: 71.0/126)

Score: 73(+3) FW: 9/14 GIR: 9/18 Putts: 28 Up/Down: 4/6 Sand Save: 0/3 Penalties: 1

A solid round of golf today, missed a few birdies coming down the stretch that I thought for sure were in when they were rolling toward the cup, but nothing wanted to drop.  I only had 28 putts today, was making a lot of putts for par, but continued to struggle out of the sand.  Had one that was buried in the lip, so I don’t expect to get that up and down, but I hit another one to about 2 and a half feet on #14 and missed the putt!  I hit a lot of solid golf shots over my last 6 holes today, so I’m feeling good for the rest of the week going forward.

I had my ups and downs over my last 6 rounds, but I feel overall I continued to strike the ball really well.  I’m now consistently hitting about 50% or more of the fairways each round now and that feels great because I have been working hard in that area of my game.  On these last 6 rounds, I was 50/84 in FW’s, just about 60%!  Just about 3 or 4 months ago, I was only hitting about 30-40% of FW’s on average, so it feels good to see this progress.  It’s giving me a lot more opportunities and my scores reflect that.  The one negative I take from these past 6 rounds is my sand game. I was 0 for 9 on sand saves, but I’d say about 5 of the 9 I hit within 10ft, but missed every putt.  It’s frustrating to not convert a couple saves from the sand and it’s getting to the point where I can’t remember the last time I did…so that’s not good!

PIC-GOLFI saw a stat once that said less than ½ of 1% of golfers have ever shot under par.  I decided just over a year ago now to really dedicate myself and go on a journey to try and join that elite group and accomplish that dream in my heart.  After a year of consistent practice, full of up and downs, close calls and near misses, I can now say I finally broke through and shot my first regulation under par round with a 68 (-2) at the Vineyard!!  I’m so ecstatic right now guys.  Hard work really does pay off and if you have any dream that you would like to accomplish, even if it seems impossible at times, just keep telling yourself everyday that “it’s possible.”  Even when things are down and times are tough, just that belief that it’s possible can push you through anything.  Thanks to all of you who have followed my blog over this past year and supported me in this pursuit of my dream.  You guys have kept me accountable to keep working hard and to not give up on myself or my dream. Whether you have been here since day one or are just joining my journey right now, thank you for your support.  This is just the first step however, there is so much more to accomplish.  Next step is to shoot under in a tournament and get to the point where I am doing it consistently and get that handicap to zero or better.  I look forward to pushing myself and excited for what’s to come because now I’ve seen it’s truly possible!   Here is a detailed round recap of my round, haven’t done one of these for a while and I just had to for my first under par round of golf…enjoy!

The Vineyard Golf Course 6,531 Yards Par 70

Front 9

Hole 1: 420 Par 4

A very difficult straight away par 4 that always plays into the wind.  #2 handicapped hole, with hazards on both sides.  Lately I’ve been playing an iron off the tee to keep it in and laying it back short of the 150 marker and hitting a mid iron in, but today I decided to hit my 21* Hybrid.   I hit a real solid shot that just ran through the fairway on the right.  Was left with just a PW into the green from about 133 out that finished 25ft above the hole.  Quick downhill putt, but judged the first putt perfect, tap in par. Par

Round (Even)  

Hole 2: 351 Par 4

Short dogleg left with water surrounding the left and right side of fairway and green.  Hit on a 5 iron off the tee, starting it down the left and drew it back into the fairway.  Had 126 left into a slight right to left cross wind.   Hit a solid gap wedge to about 18ft for birdie.  Big breaking putt, missed it and 2 putted for my 4. Par

Round (Even)

Hole 3: 125 Par3

Short par 3, was playing about 118 today, as pin was in the back middle.  Water is in front of green and out of bounds long, a very daunting shot.  Hit a solid sand wedge to center of green, ran my first putt up the hill about 3ft by, but made the comebacker for par. Par

Round (Even)

Hole 4: 404 Par 4

Been hitting 5 wood off this tee lately because there is a big tree down the left side, if I block my tee shot my 5 wood usually keeps me far enough back that I would have enough room to go around or over.  Absolutely bombed a 5 wood today and only had 118 left into the green. 286yard 5 wood…pin was up in front so it was just 95 to front.  I tried to hit my open faced 60* that I’ve been working on, thought it was perfect,but it hit just in the front rough and stopped…2 more feet and it’s a tap in birdie.  Routine chip that I was trying to make, almost did, but ended with a tap in par…solid up and down. Par

Round (E)

Hole 5: 401 Par 4

This hole heads the same way as #1 so it also always plays into the wind, there is a bunker on the right side that I know I will be short of with my 3 wood if I slightly pull my drive.  Hit a solid shot, but pulled it to the right side of fairway…my course management paid off and it stays short of the bunker and in the fairway.  128 yards into the green, but blocked a gap wedge that finished pin high off to the left.  Had a delicate chip that I had to land on a slope and feed it to the hole, but just didn’t hit it hard enough and it came up 10ft short.  Missed the par putt for a disappointing bogey from the fairway and not too difficult of a chip. Bogey

Round (+1)

Hole 6: 152 Par 3

Pin was far right side, sets up perfectly for a nice draw into the hole.  Just hit a PW, I’m usually exactly where the pin is today, so I felt really confident, but hit it slightly off the toe and it just barely stayed out of the hazard short.  Tried to play a bump and run, but took a club less than needed and left it a good 10ft short, missed the putt for back to back bogeys. Bogey

Round (+2)

Hole 7: 295 Par 4

A sharp dog leg right hole, but gives you an angle to drive the green in 1.  Usually about 250-260 to carry the hazard and drive the green.  I know from experience that my 5 wood usually ends up just off the back and that is exactly where it finished today.  Was left with a very difficult chip however, short sided and had to play a short flop shot as the green was running away from me to the flag…just sliced it perfectly popped it up straight up right in front of me landed it in the fringe and it released down  to about 2 ft…made the birdie! Birdie

Round (+1)

Hole 8: 419 Par 4

Similar to #4, this is a narrow driving hole with a big tree to the left side that will block you out.  I’ve been hitting hybrid lately, but I found that if I block it left I’ll reach the bunker and have to play a huge cut out of a bunker, no fun.  So I just hit a 4iron today and actually did block it left, but stayed short of the bunker.  Unfortunately I was still blocked out and had to hit a big 7iron cut around the tree, but I caught the top branches.  It still got through and finished in the fairway about 40yards short of green.  Played a little 40 yard low pitch, hit it crisp, but it spun and stopped after its 2nd bounce instead of releasing a little.  Left with a fast 15ft par putt down the slope that I drained!  Huge save for me. Par

Round (+1)

Hole 9: 503 Par 5

Very reachable par 5, but there is water about 280 out…so just hit a 5 wood to stay short of it, hit a solid shot, but pulled it slightly.  Finished in the rough about 220 out on a downhill lie with a tree and water in front of me.  Played a low big draw 5iron that came off really well and finished just short of green to the right.  Pin was back left so I had a really long chip…debated what club to hit, but I chose a gap wedge, tried to land it about 1/3 onto the green and let it run out, came off perfectly and actually lipped out for eagle!!  Nice tap in birdie to get back to even.  Birdie

Round (E)

Even par 35 on the front 9.  Bad bogeys on 5 and 6, but finished 2 under over my last 3 to get it back to even.  Fairways Hit (FW): 4/7 57% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 5/9 55.5% Up/Downs: 4/6 66% Sand Saves: 0/0 Putts: 14

Back 9

Hole 10: 389 Par 4

Uphill par 4, blind 2nd shot and fairway that slopes right to left…I hit a 5 wood down the right side hoping the slope would take it left, but it had some draw on it and finished in the right rough.  Blind 2nd shot that I had to draw around another big tree about 118 yards, hit a great shot that landed just past the hole and finished about 15ft.  Hit a great putt that just didn’t turn as much left to right as I thought and it stopped inches away.  Solid par on this difficult hole. Par

Round (E)

Hole 11: 457 Par 4

This is a very difficult driving hole where the fairway bottle necks as it heads down a hill.  There is out of bounds left, but room to the right if I pull it.  I decided to hit my first driver of the day and absolutely bombed it over the hill straight and it stayed in the narrow fairway.  Only had 98 yards in, so it was a 359yard drive…hit a nice wedge to about 10ft and was left with a great uphill birdie look on this #3 handicapped hole.  I tugged the putt a hair and missed it just to the right…would have been nice to take advantage of that difficult hole, but par is fine.  Par

Round (E)

Hole 12: 154 Par 3

Another par 3 over water into the wind.  Pin was back right, hit a 9iron slightly off the toe and it finished about 35-40ft below the hole on the green.  Made a great lag putt to about a ft and tapped in for par. Par

Round (E)

Hole 13: 477 Par 4

Another long par 4 that plays downhill…took driver and hit it real solid, but blocked it left into the rough.  Downhill, downwind 2nd shot to a pin that was only 2 paces on over the bunker that guards the front of the green.  A really difficult shot, hit a gap wedge that landed just over the bunker in the rough and hopped up onto the fringe.  Short putt from the fringe about 7ft that started downhill and moved uphill at the end…drained it for a great birdie to move to -1 with 5 to play. Birdie

Round (-1)

Hole 14: 412 Par 4

Water on the left and out of bounds on the right, stuck to my normal plan of 4iron off the tee and hit a pure perfect shot.  Had only a sand wedge into the green, threw a dart in there that landed 2ft above flag, hopped and stopped about 8ft.  Another great look at birdie, slightly uphill right to left putt, but I missed it on the low side, just not enough speed and missed another great opportunity. Par

Round (-1)

Hole 15: 551 Par 5

A long uphill all the way par 5 that was also playing into the wind.  I almost never hit this fairway, but I stepped up and crushed a driver down the pipe.  Was left with 250 left and a rare chance to go for this par 5 in two.  Hit a 3 wood, but I cut it to the left just about pin high.  Had a tricky chip, had to flop it over a bunker from a downhill lie and keep it on the top shelf where the flag was located.  I pulled off a great shot and left it about 7ft away.  Stepped up and made the birdie putt to move to 2-under with just 3 to play!  Birdie

Round (-2)

Hole 16: 453 Par 4

The most difficult hole on the course according to the handicap on the scorecard….a tight uphill tee shot.  I was certainly starting to get a little nervous at this point at the thought of pulling this out, but I recognized it and made sure I only focused on the shot at hand.  Stepped up and crushed a 3 wood down the middle.  Hit a wedge pin high to the center of green.  20ft putt that actually was dead center, but I left it about 3 inches short…would of been nice, but tap in par.  Par

Round (-2)

Hole 17: 157 Par 3

On my even par round last week,  I was 1 under heading into this par 3 17th before blocking it left into the bunker and bogeying.  Pin was in the back today, but was playing as an 8iron again.  I focused, saw myself hitting the shot I wanted to hit, trusted myself and hit the best 8iron I have ever hit under that much pressure.  Just a smooth pure shot right at the flag…I asked the golfing gods for it to “be right” and it stuck right over the flag and stopped 6ft!  A straight in birdie putt to seal it…but I babied it and pushed it slightly.  Come on!! A great chance to be 3 under heading into 18th and seal my first under par round, but I guess par never hurts. Par

Round (-2)

Hole 18: 411 Par 4

Now the real drama begins…the 18th is a beautifully scenic hole heading back down the hill to the clubhouse.  At this time of day, it was also right into the sun and you really couldn’t see your tee shot at all without somebody in your groups help. The group in front was having a lot of trouble and we never really waited all day until #18.  We had to wait what literally felt like forever and I was trying to block out all the thoughts, both positive and negative, that I was on the verge of actually accomplishing my dream.  Tried to stay in the moment and finally it was our time to go.  I hit a 3wood that felt really solid, but my playing partners were saying they saw it slightly right at the fairway bunker, but it should be great.  We got up there and I couldn’t find my ball…we looked all around the bunker, nowhere to be found, I obviously couldn’t see the tee shot because you look directly into the sun so I had to rely on their eyes.  Not going to lie, I started to panic a bit inside, not wanting to have to take a penalty on 18 and risk a 6 to finish at even!  I eventually located my ball that somehow must have taken a crazy kick to the right because it finished way over the hill and only about 5yards from an out of bounds stake separating the 18th from the driving range.  Thank the golfing gods that it stayed in bounds and I was actually left with a wide open wedge to the green…knocked a 60* to about 20ft and 2 putting to sweet victory!!  Par

Round (-2)

A great (-2)33 on the par 35 back 9.  All pars and 2 birdies.  Fairways Hit (FW) 4/7 57% Green in Regulation (GIR) 8/9 88% Up/Downs 1/1 100%. Putts: 15

Final Stats:

Score: 68 (-2) FW: 8/14 GIR: 13/18 Putts: 29 Up/Down: 5/7 Sand Save: 0/0 Penalties: 0

20140625_204222

1920551_10101077522044227_1894234395_n“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Reverse that and you basically summed up my golfing week.  Played a couple rounds this week at my current favorite course the Vineyard and had two completely different rounds.  On Monday the 16th, I shot a disappointing 79 (+9).  Just didn’t feel comfortable with my swing all day and could not hit it where I wanted.  Was missing greens badly even from when I managed to be in the fairways and short sided myself all day.  Stats overall actually weren’t terrible; 7 of 14 FWs and 10 of 18 greens, but was only 2 of 8 on up and downs because I was missing short side and had two 3 putts on 15 and 16.  After playing so well for the past month with consistent low scores, I was certainly frustrated with this round, but tried to keep a positive mindset and continued to believe in my abilities.

On Wednesday, I headed out to the Vineyard again for a redemption round and I found it…shooting a career low round of Even par 70!!  In practice before the round I had figured out that I had started to creep a little too close to the ball on my address, slightly adjusted it to standing a bit further from the ball and it made a huge difference.  Had it to (-1) heading into 17, but blocked an 8iron into the green side bunker on the par 3.  I dropped another ball just to practice and hit it to about 2 feet for a tap in birdie…ughh if I could have just done that when it counted I would have sealed my first regulation under par round!! Nonetheless, wasn’t able to get my first ball up and down from the bunker and bogeyed to drop back to even.

I missed so many great birdie opportunities and the two birdies that I did make on the day were long distance putts that obviously I wasn’t really expecting to go in. So it’s kind of funny, when I was actually playing the round I didn’t really feel like I had my best round ever going because I was missing so many makeable opportunities.  Missed about 3 or 4 8-12ft uphill birdie putts, only scored a par 4 on the drivable par 4 7th after I had drove it just off the back in 1 and didn’t birdie either of the par 5′s after being near the green in two on both.  So as excited as I am to shoot a new career low round of Even, it is frustrating knowing just how many shots I left out there, but I shouldn’t be focused on the negative, there will always be shots you know you should have made and that’s why golf is a mental grind.  I’m going to keep staying positive and believing in my abilities and hopefully the results will continue and I’ll squeeze that under par round in here soon.

My annual Palm Springs tournament is coming up here in less than 2 months, so I hope I can shoot an under par round before then.  One of my goals for 2014 has been to be able to shoot an under par round at the tournament this year, so I’m focused on making that happen.

Stats:

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

6/16/14:

Score: 79 (+9) FW: 7/14 GIR: 10/18 Putts: 32 Up/Down: 2/8 Sand Save: 0/1 Penalties: 1

6/18/14:

Score: 70 (E) FW: 8/14 GIR: 12/18 Putts: 29 Up/Down: 4/5 Sand Save: 1/2 Penalties: 1

5690229581_d96c5cf74bHey everyone, it’s been a couple weeks since I have updated, but I have been grinding on the course.  My game is currently in the best shape it has ever been and I have been consistently shooting low scores.  My iron game has been spot on as of late and I have been working a lot on my short game, my chipping and pitching game in particular and the results are starting to show.  My proximity to the hole with my wedges has greatly decreased, sticking it in close lately.  My putting is still not anywhere close to where I would like to see it, I’m continuously tinkering with my grip/set up and just have not felt comfortable with any style in these past few weeks.  I’m still 3 putting way too often and I am not taking advantage of my better wedge play by making many birdie putts.  I have missed a ton of great birdie opportunities from inside 15ft during the past few weeks and it has cost me my first under par round on more than one occasion.

With the exception of today, I have been regulated to going out and playing by myself over the past month as my friends have been unable to really get out and play recently.  As a result, I have mostly just been going to my favorite courses, the Vineyard a few times a week or the executive Oaks North.  The rates are extremely cheap, the conditions are amazing and I’ve figured out great times to go when it’s pretty wide open, so I know the pace will be quick.

I’ve been making a conscious effort to play with better course management and that means not hitting many drivers off the tee.  My driver has still been pretty inconsistent, I am hitting it pretty solid each time, but just can’t consistently trust that it will go straight and my miss has been both ways.  My 3 and 5 woods have been awesome however, I have just been crushing those and so for right now, unless I really need to hit driver, I’ll go back to those and it has helped my scores.  I have been hitting my 3-wood anywhere from 270-300 yards at the moment, it’s crazy to think it can go that far, but it is and with a ton more accuracy than the driver, so I’ll stick with it for now, until I figure out this driver.

Today, we played the difficult Eagle Crest golf course (Par 72 71.7/133 6,537 yards).  I’m very disappointed in my putting performance today, but overall I’m very happy with how I hit the ball, I continued to strike the ball well.  I shot a 77 (+5) with four 3-putts and 2 out of bounds off the tee on par 5’s.   To still shoot +5 total with those stats is impressive in my book.  My lag putting was just really bad, I didn’t have any 3 putts until the back 9, but my lag putting ability just disappeared and I was leaving it a good 8-10ft short…just not keeping my head down and striking solid putts.

I’ll be playing again tomorrow at The Vineyard with my buddy Andrew Le who is coming into town, his brother and another friend.  I’m excited to see them all again and it should be a really fun round.

Since it has been awhile, here are my scores and stats from my last 5 rounds, including today’s Eagle Crest round.

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

6/5/14: Score: 71 (+1) FW: 7/14 GIR: 10/18 Putts: 30 Up/Down: 3/6 Sand Save: 2/3 Penalties: 0

6/9/14: Score: 72 (+2) FW: 7/14 GIR: 13/18 Putts: 33 Up/Down: 3/5 Sand Save: 0/0 Penalties: 1

20140611_190330Oaks North Executive Par 60 East/South 56.4/89 3,527 Yards

6/3/14: Score: 58 (-2) FW: 2/6 GIR: 14/18 Putts: 30 Up/Down: 3/4 Sand Saves: 0/0 Penalties: 0

6/10/14: Score: 60 (E) FW: 4/6 GIR: 13/18 Putts: 30 Up/Down: 3/5 Sand Saves: 0/0 Penalties: 0

20140611_190427Eagle Crest Par 72 71.7/133 6,537 Yards

6/11/14: Score: 77 (+5) FW: 8/14 GIR: 10/18 Putts: 34 Up/Down: 2/4 Sand Saves: 1/1 Penalties: 2

rancho-bernardo1If you look back at my post about my 2014 Golfing Goals, one of them was to win our annual work golf tournament.  My team had shot (-10) both the last 2 years and we had finished in 2nd and 4th place respectively.  I’ve wanted to win this tournament so badly, not only for the bragging rights, but to actually have the championship go to a team of employees as this tourney is in honor of our late owner who loved golf.  I have been working so hard on my game over this past year, as you all know and this moment has been on my mind the whole time.

Our goal was just to improve on our consecutive (-10) 62’s and hopefully break into the 50’s and with any luck a shot to win.  Well I’m happy to announce that we accomplished our goal and then some!  We absolutely destroyed the course, scored an unreal (-17) 55, set a new tournament record and won the tournament by 3 strokes!!  It was an unbelievable day, our whole team stepped up clutch in every situation we found ourselves in, I’m really proud of my team.

I started off pretty wild, slicing both my first tee shots out of bounds, but thankfully one of my teammates hit solid drives on both.  We started on hole #7 which is the #1 handicapped hole, we had a pretty long 2nd shot of about 220 from the rough, but one of my teammates hit a beautiful hybrid to about 30ft above the flag.  All 3 of my teammates putted, missing the birdie, but giving me a great read, I stepped up and drained the long birdie putt…a Tiger Woods fist pump ensued and that gave us big momentum and started us off on a crazy streak of 15 straight birdies!!  We were sticking it close on almost every hole, inside 10 ft and we made basically every putt.  We made 3 putts from over 25ft, a couple when it was our final putt, just clutch to keep the birdie streak going.  I don’t think any of us expected to play this well overall, as I’m the only one on the team that breaks 80 and one of our players hadn’t even touched a club since last year’s tourney, but those guys played so well, it was truly a team effort and I’m so happy  to be able to cross another item off my golf bucket list!  We were kind of disappointed we couldn’t complete the perfect round and birdie all 18 holes, but we just couldn’t convert the birdie opportunity from off the green on the difficult par 3 4th (Our 16th hole).

Rancho_Bernardo_Inn_in_San_Diego_California_58783We won some pretty cool prizes as well, one of which was 4 complimentary rounds to the host course, Rancho Bernardo Inn ($85 each).  Pretty awesome as this semi private course is just in perfect condition right now.  It’s a very fun and challenging course and it has hosted both PGA and LPGA events in the past so I look forward to being able to play it for free soon!

I’ll post some pictures from the event when they get posted from the photographer here in a few days, but for now here is the picture of our almost perfect scorecard, what a round!

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collage_20140514192447713_20140514192553797_20140514192710052On Wednesday, most of the northern San Diego area was hit with multiple wildfires as temperatures soared to a dry and blistering 100 degrees with sustained winds up to 40mph.  My part of town was relatively safe, so I decided to get out of the house and go play a round to get my mind off the news.  I headed to the Vineyard and of course it was petty wide open as most people in the area were more concerned with the news than golf.  I didn’t keep my score as I just listened to my iPod and played 2-3 different balls on each hole just practicing different shots all day long.  We have our work tournament coming up here on Monday the 19th, so it was good to get in a lot of real course practice.  I hit the ball alright, not as great as I would like to right now or have been lately, but I’m still feeling good going into Monday in my ability to help my team score low.  I’m20140514_175824 going to have to drive the ball well and have solid iron play to give us makeable birdie chances.  Most of the work will fall on me if we want to shoot low, so I’m hoping to have some solid range sessions this next few days and hopefully be able to play at least one more time before Monday.

Going back to Monday this week, found some posted tee times on GolfNow from a private club in my local area.  I guess StoneRidge golf club only posts times on Monday afternoons on GolfNow, so it was a nice treat to be able to snag one of them.  I had played here a few times before many  years ago growing up as one of my friends dads was a member and took me along a few times.  If I’m being honest, the conditions were quite disappointing…the chipping areas around the greens and the greens themselves were in excellent conditions, but the fairways and rough were terrible.  The tee boxes were uneven and patchy, not something you typically see from a private club.  I’m sure this recent drought we are having is making it difficult for their maintenance, but I see public courses like Vineyard or Woods Valley which are in excellent condition and cheap and it makes you wonder.

StoneRidge is still a nice and challenging track however with a lot of elevation and dog-legged holes.  Since my course experience here was so long ago, it felt like I was playing the course for the first time and gauging distances on dog leg holes with no course experience is a difficult challenge.  It cost me on more than a few holes as I was left with absolutely terrible angles into greens.  Factor in the 20mph wind gusts and this made for a challenging driving day, in which I failed miserably…only hitting 3 out of the 13 FW’s on this Par 71 track.  I stuck it within 15 ft on every Par 3 however, hitting nice cut shots into each, but only walked away with 1 birdie.  I did avoid any big numbers however and finished the round at a solid 78 (+7).

20140515_11283320140515_115937StoneRidge Country Club Par 71 71.3/130 6,418 Yards

Score: 78 (+7) FW: 3/13 GIR: 9/18 Putts: 32 Up/Down: 1/7 Sand Save: 0/0 Penalties: 0