Archive for June, 2013

Oak-North-Golf-Club-San-Diego

Oaks North Executive Course

Quick update about the last couple days for me….On Wednesday, my buddy and I decided not to go play a full regulation 18 hole course, but rather go to an nice executive course in my area called Oaks North to practice our iron and short game.  When I first started playing golf at 13 or 14, I used to go here almost every day after school.  My mom would drop my friends and I off and we’d play a 9 or just practice for a few hours, coming back here brought back a lot of good memories.  I haven’t been up here in probably 12 years and it’s funny how much smaller the holes feel.  I remember playing the junior tournaments here every week and have a lot of first and 2nd place trophy’s and ribbons from them still.  There are three 9 holes courses at Oaks North; (North, South and East) each contains three par 4’s and the rest par 3’s.  This is not a course where the par 3’s are only 100 yards, each is anywhere from 100-190, it really does test your wedge/mid iron game and the par 4’s are all about 250-300.  As a kid I remember playing these par 4’s and thinking they were so long, now I can reach them all with 3 and 5 woods or less.  Anyway, we walked the course and it was not too busy, so we hit multiple balls from different locations just to get some nice course practice in.  I putted horrible, missed 4 putts from inside of 6 ft, feels like my putting is starting to get away from me now, where as before, these past 4 weeks, I have been putting lights out from that distance.  I’ll get it back though, still getting the feel of the smaller, new putting grip I put on last week.  I’ll definitely be back to this executive course more often than I thought, because it really is a good test of your wedge/short iron and up and down  game, something that I need to perfect, as it is probably the most important factor in getting down to a scratch.  Later that night, I went to the range to work on a few things and hit the ball alright. I still feel like I’m not doing a great job of implementing the changes my coach wants me to make; I’m working really hard to get it however.

On Thursday, I did a lot of work in front a full length mirror in my house, working on getting into the positions my teacher wants me to get into.  It’s nice to be able to see yourself, like you would with a video and it gives you exponentially more feedback than just going off of feel.  I’m still struggling with what the correct flat, layed off position is supposed to look or feel like, and so I’m going to need to get another lesson to make sure I’m doing it correctly. Thursday night, after working in the mirror for a couple hours, I went to the range to see how the ball flight and contact would be.  I really worked on flattening my swing and it seemed to help a lot with the longer irons and woods.  Was hitting a lot of solid, straight shots.  Worked on the driver near the end and was hitting it a lot better than I have been in the past week.  My last ball, I really concentrated and focused as if I was on the first tee, going through my entire pre shot routine, and crushed it down my target line.  An older man, hitting next to me, who had been watching me for a bit, looked up and said “Well that’s about as perfect as you can hit it, you really took you’re time on that one, great looking swing.”  It’s always a good feeling when you get complements on your swing at the driving range, gives you a nice boost of confidence.

I’m hoping to be able to play this weekend, but if not then hopefully we will make it 3 weeks in a row on Monday with my buddy.  Will probably be playing on July 4th also, I did that a few years back and nobody was on the course.  For my international viewers who do not know, July 4th is the holiday here in the United States to celebrate the day of our nations independence from the British in 1776, basically Americas birthday. (Sorry my many U.K viewers) It’s a great day to play some golf, BBQ and enjoy fireworks!  Speaking of the U.K. I would love to go to the U.K. one day, the last name Tyson is English and I like watching the BBC and I think Karl Pilkington is a genius and one of the funniest men on earth, haha!  The rich history of the British intrigues me and it would be a great place to visit one day.

british-american_flag

Played a round at the Vineyard again today, was one of the toughest days I’ve had at the vineyard, the pin locations were all crazy tough.  They were either located on a slope, or a few paces on or from the back of the greens…really difficult locations.  You will be punished if you miss them green on the wrong sides today.

The Vineyard Golf Course 6,531 Yards Par 70

060513204404

Front 9

Hole 1: 420 Par 4

2nd time in a row on this opening hole, I’ve hit my opening tee shot down the middle over 300 yards, maybe that’s a good sign going forward when playing in tournaments and dealing with those first tee nerves, I don’t know.  Hit in the fairway, but on an uphill slope only 95yards in, pulled a wedge pin high, but short sided off the green to the right.  Had to hit a real delicate chip to get it to stop on this pin location and it rolled a good 15ft by, 2 putted for a bad opening hole bogey from less than 100 yards in the fairway….I can’t continue to do that if I expect to score low. Bogey

Round (+1)  

Hole 2: 351 Par 4

Short dogleg left with water surrounding the left side and green.  Tees were way back today and into the wind so I decided to take a hybrid instead of my normal 5iron, I hit a solid shot that started down the left side, but didn’t want to turn over back to the fairway.  It hugged the edge of the water, bounced a few times and then leaking into the hazard.  Had to drop and hit my next shot just over the pin into the back rough.  Impossible chip shot again as I left myself in the absolute worst spot.  Severe downhill chip with no green to work with and I couldn’t stop it, 15ft by again.  Hit my first putt about 4ft short, had an uphill straight putt, but I pulled it and missed the 4ft putt and made triple bogey!  Yikes, not the way I wanted to start out this round, need to do a lot of work to get this round back.  Triple Bogey

Round (+4)

Hole 3: 125 Par3

Short par 3, tees and pin were up today and only played about 85 yards, crazy short.  Hit a punch lob wedge that skipped on and stopped.  Had about 15ft left up the hill for birdie, had the perfect line, but I left it about 3inches short, tap in par. Par

Round (+4)

Hole 4: 404 Par 4

Hit a 3 wood off tee and pushed it left, but only had about 135 in with a clear shot. Hit a gap wedge, onto the center of green, pin high, but about 25ft left of flag.  2 putted for a par. Par

Round (+4)

Hole 5: 401 Par 4

Hit a 3wood off the tee, didn’t want to go left like I seem to always do on this hole, so I ended up pulling it right into a fairway bunker.  A 3 tier green, with the flag on the back tier today, had about 130 in, decided to smash a gap wedge.  Hit a good shot that landed on, but spun back and settled just off the green.  Took out my PW and had about a 15ft chip up the hill, so I could be aggressive.  Really confident in my chipping right now and I hit a perfect chip that broke left to right and fell into the cup, chip in birdie!  Needed that badly.  Birdie

Round (+3)

Hole 6: 152 Par 3

Pin was in the far right of hole, hit a PW, but pushed it way left onto the far left fringe.  Had about a 90ft chip, I played the same shot as last hole, but this time with a 9iron and it rolled down to about 5ft….made the next putt to save par. Par

Round (+3)

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.  Tee box today, seemed to be back farther than last round, so I decided to hit a 3wood.  I knew if I blocked it I would be ok, at least I thought, I blocked it and I thought it would be just 20yards left of the green.  When we got up there, we found it up against the fence line and I was forced to take an unplayable lie and drop it for a penalty.   So frustrating to have to take a drop on this hole, this is a very easy birdie hole; I guess I hit that 3wood over 270 in the air, looks like I can only hit 5wood on this hole from now on.  Had to hit a big flop for my 3rd that landed by the hole, but rolled 12 by.  Putt for par was perfect, but left it just short again and made a bogey.  Frustrated because I was starting to turn this round back around after the triple bogey on the 2nd, but it’s just not to be today. Bogey

Round (+4)

Hole 8: 419 Par 4

Hit a driver down the left side and it ended up on a side hill lie above a fairway bunker.  Just tried to punch a gap wedge up, but hit it fat because of the lie and it ended up in an ok spot, just short of green on fairway.  Pitched it up to another side hill pin location and it stopped about 6ft away.  6ft up the hill, left to right breaker for par, that I played a little too much out to the left and I missed on the high side, bogey.  Bogey

Round (+5)

Hole 9: 503 Par 5

Very reachable par 5, finally hit a good drive, bombed a 3wood down the middle, hit in the perfect spot and got some roll, only had 183 in, a 320 yard 3wood drive!  Pin was tucked only about 5 paces on from the left and in the front of the green.  So you couldn’t miss left…..which of course I did!  Hit a 6iron that I pushed and was pin high, but short sided left.  Had to hit a big flop and wasn’t able to stop it very close, 12ft for birdie.  Missed the putt and 2 putted for par.  I’ll take pars all day, but after that drive, I had a prime opportunity for a birdie or better and I need to start taking advantage of those. Par

Round (+5)

062513153913

After the triple bogey on 2, I was only 1 over the final 7 holes.  However, still extremely disappointed with having 2 penalties and shooting a 40 (+5) on this Par 35 Front 9.  Fairways Hit (FW): 2/7 28.5% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 3/9 33% Up/Downs: 2/5 40% Sand Saves: 0/0 0% Penalties: 2

Back 9

Hole 10: 389 Par 4

Pushed a 3-wood down the left side, but it again got caught up in the fence line, couldn’t play it from there, had to take another unplayable.  Hit a 9iron and short sided myself again.  Had to land the ball in the fringe and let it feed down a slope to the hole, got too cute with it and left my chip short.  Dead now, pin was at the bottom of a down slope, no way to get it close, had to just get it on and 2putted for another triple bogey.  Disgusted, can’t remember the last time I had a triple bogey, yet alone two in the same round….felt like this round was slipping away from me now. Triple Bogey

Round (+8)

Hole 11: 457 Par 4

A very tight driving hole, that I’ve found you can go right over some trees and play it from the opposite fairway.  It’s a bigger target that even runs down a hill so you gain distance and is a great angle to the green.  Hit a driver on purpose over there today and it worked out very well, had only 140 into the green.  Hit a PW that ended about 10ft for birdie, let the putt few inches short and made par on this difficult hole. Par

Round (+8)

Hole 12: 154 Par 3

Another par 3 over water.  Hit a gap wedge just onto the fringe short of green.  Chipped a PW up to about 5ft and made my par save. Par

Round (+8)

Hole 13: 477 Par 4

Downhill long par 4.  Hit one of my best drives in a long time, high, solid and straight ended in the fairway only had 125 out, a 352 yard drive!  Pin was in front, hit a 56 degree sand wedge to about 10ft, but missed the birdie, 2 putt par. Par

Round (+8)

Hole 14: 412 Par 4

Water on the left and out of bounds on the right; hit a 4 iron down the middle to 130 out.  Another tough pin location on the down slope in the back of the green, tried to hit a PW, but pushed it out left into a trap.  Really tough bunker shot to get close; I ran it a good 15ft by.  Left my first putt short about 5ft and missed another straight in par putt because I pulled it.  A bad double bogey, from the middle of the fairway with a wedge in my hand. Double Bogey

(Round +10)

Hole 15: 551 Par 5

Hit a drive that missed left again on an uphill slope.  Hit a 7iron to lay it up, and then hit a wedge on the green, but about 25ft short of hole.  Had a great line, but left it just short again and made a par.  Par

(Round +10)

Hole 16: 453 Par 4

The most difficult hole on the course according to the handicap on the scorecard.  Took my driver out today, rather than my normal 3 wood play and hit it down the left side.  Ended up in an ok spot where I hit a 9iron to the back left pin location.  Couldn’t get much spin out of the rough, it ended up landing perfectly in the center of green, but rolled to the back just in the 2nd cut.  I chipped it out to about 3ft and made a par. Par

Round (+10)

Hole 17: 157 Par 3

Hit a 9iron pin high, but 25ft left of the flag, a quick 2 putt for a par. Par

Round (+10)

Hole 18: 411 Par 4

Very scenic 18th hole heading back down the hill to the clubhouse.  Normally I play a 3wood off this tee, but today the way the round was going, already at +10, I wanted to just see how far I could bomb a driver down this hill, didn’t care at that point.  Bomb it I did, over the bunkers on the right and it ended about 68yards from the green in the fairway, 343 yard drive! Hit a punch lob wedge that ended about 8ft below the cup, putting uphill.  Unfortunately I couldn’t end my round with a nice birdie as I missed the putt, but made par. Par

(Round +10)

062513153922

Another (+5) 40 on the Par 35 Back 9.  1 triple and 1 double bogey accounted for the entire +5…was even par on the other 7 holes.  Fairways Hit (FW) 3/7 42% Green in Regulation (GIR) 5/9 55% Up/Downs 2/2 100% Sand Saves 0/1 0% Penalties: 1

Final Score: 80 (+10) Fairways Hit (FW) 5/14 36% Green in Regulation (GIR) 8/18 44% Up/Downs 4/7 57%. Sand Saves 0/1 0% Penalties: 3 Putts: 33

Obviously I’m very disappointed in this round.  2 triple bogeys and a double are just not acceptable at this stage in my game.  I guess it’s going to happen from time to time, but I have to drive the ball in bounds, I can’t afford to make triples or doubles because I hit the ball into a hazard or out of bounds off the tee.  Other than those 3 holes (which accounted for +8 of the +10), I was only +2 on the other 15 holes.  My score was not so much a reflection of the difficult pin locations as much as it was just my poor ball striking, leaving myself short sided. Did not putt as well as I’d like today either with the new grip, it felt good, but was leaving a lot of putts short.  I had 3 goals going into this round, but I failed in 2 out of the 3:

1) To have zero penalties (Failed, 3 penalties today)

2) Have a 50% or better up and down percentage (Completed, 57% today, 4/7)

3) Shoot a round in the 70’s (Failed, 80).

So I still have a lot of work to do, felt like I took a small step back in my ball striking today, but I’m not going to let this round get me down or discouraged, I know that I’m heading in the right direction and that with constant practice, patience and positivity, I will reach my goals!

“If you lose today, win tomorrow.  In this never-ending spirit of challenge is the heart of a victor.” –Daisaku Ikeda

Went to get a lesson today, decided to keep working on my long game and try and gain more confidence in the things I’m doing.  Lesson went well, overall my teacher thinks that I’m improving and I can feel that as well.  I’m still struggling with shifting my hips forward instead of around and it’s causing me to get too steep and open.  In those positions my timing has to be perfect to make it work, so it breeds inconsistency.  Was also setting up a little open with my shoulders and hips, so we worked on that for a bit getting the feeling down of what it feels like to be set up square.  After the lesson I finished off my basket of range balls and by the end I was really started to get it.  Hit about my last 8 drivers, pretty straight and with solid distance.  Hit a few 6irons and wedges also to make sure that it translated over to those clubs also and it did.  I really needed to get my confidence back after my terrible range session on Friday when I felt like I lost it, so today was a good day for that.

I’m playing on Monday this week after work and then hopefully again on Wednesday, so at least 2 rounds this next week, I look to keep improving my ball striking and lowering my scores.  I’m at the point right now that I should not be shooting anything in the 80’s, it should be all 70’s from here on out or I will be extremely disappointed.  As long as my short game keeps improving, I don’t think this should be a problem.  My goals for tomorrows round are to keep the ball in play off the tee, have an up and down percentage of no worse than 50% and make 2 or more birdies.  If I do those things, the score will take care of itself.  Will be my 3rd round over at the Vineyard course since starting this blog….have scores of 74 (+4) and 76 (+6) on the books, 75 or lower would be ideal.

Here is a video recap of my lesson today, the audio is a little tough because of the wind and his video froze near the end, but he basically was just showing me using my left hand in the downswing more than my right.

68ws-rwb.png.normal

Spent the past few days at the range working on my game, Thursday I hit the ball well, continuing my solid play as of late, but Friday was kind of a struggle.  On Thursday, worked a lot with my driver trying to figure out how to hit it more solid and found that I was getting too steep again.  Went flatter and hit about 10 drives in a row in the true center of the club face to end my night.  Hearing that sound that a flush driver makes, is just music to my ears, one of my favorite sounds on earth is the sound of a pure flush golf shot!  After the great ending to my range session on Thursday night, I decided to head back again on Friday night to keep working on it.  This is why golf is so frustrating!! I felt like I was doing the exact same thing I did the night before, but could not find a flush golf shot.  I hate feeling like you just took a few steps back after taking so many steps forward over these past few weeks, but I’m just going to forget about that range session and chalk it up to the difficulty of golf.  I felt myself getting frustrated again near the end of the practice session as I could tell I was hitting the ball below what I’m capable of.  I was just getting too mechanical again instead of just letting it flow and swinging with a target in mind.  So I’m throwing away this range session away in my mind, moving past it and keeping positive and focused on my end goal.

Been about 2 weeks since my last lesson from my instructor, was going to wait until Tuesday this week to go see him because I thought I would be playing a round this weekend, but plans fell through, so I might try and book one for tomorrow, Sunday.  Wanted to get a short game lesson in, but after last night’s range session, I think I need a tune up with the longer clubs.  Really confident in my short game right now, what I’m doing right now is working, so I’ll hold off on that until next lesson, need to figure out this long swing and get more consistent.

I did get a new putter grip installed and got my putter head re-glued as it was coming loose.  I forgot to take a picture of my original putter before I took it up, but I’ll show you a picture of how it looks now.  I put on a jumbo sized tiger shark grip probably about 6 months back, thinking it would help with my putter grip and be more comfortable.  I liked it and I putted well with it on, but I could just never really get into the feeling, it just did not fit my hands very well and was a little too big.  Been looking at midsize grips for the past few weeks and I love the feel, design and size of this white Winn midsize grip I found.  Has a very soft tacky feel, the midsize is a little bigger than standard, but not overly, just right for me.  I putted a little with it yesterday and absolutely love the way it looks and feels.  Here are some pictures of the new grip and the old grip I had for comparison (Yes I’m left handed!)

062213133408 ultra-tac-sj-67-club-grip062213133608

The Riverwalk course features 3 different 9 hole courses named Presidio, Mission and Friars.  I love this course, it is in great condition from tee to green and a really fun play.  Today we played the Presidio/Mission combination from the tips for a combined slope and rating of 71.9/126.  Enjoy!

Riverwalk Golf Club: Presidio/Mission 6,550 Yards Par 72

Riverwalk_01

Front 9 Presidio: 3,397 Yards Par 36

Hole 1: 398 Par 4

A short opening hole, slightly moves right to left, hit my tee shot left in the rough.  Had a great lie and angle to hole, knocked a wedge to about 25 ft above the hole.  Real quick putt and knocked it a good 10ft by….but made the comebacker par putt to save an opening hole 3 putt disaster. Par

Round (E)

Hole 2: 178 Par 3

Over a lake and into the wind to a back right pin location.  This type of shot sets up nice for my little draw and I tried to muscle a 7iron to flag.  Right at it, but about 15 ft short and it settled below the ridge in the middle of the green.  So an uphill right to left breaking putt for birdie.  Still not figuring out the greens yet as I left this a good 7ft short.  Clutched up again and made my 7ft par putt. Par

Round (E)

Hole 3: 511 Par 5

Dog leg right Par 5, reachable in 2 if you hit a deep drive, but I kind of hit mine off the heel and it squirted out low and left.  Still got good distance however, but had a bad lie in the rough.  Layed up with a 7iron to the middle of the fairway about 80yards away.  This part of my game, my 100 yards and in game would haunt me today and cost me an great score….hit this shot about 30ft over the flag and had a long putt for birdie.  Left this putt WAY short also, but made another 7-10ft putt for par (feeling really confident from that length right now). Par

 Round (E)

Hole 4: 440 Par 4

Crushed my drive and only had about 120 left in, ran slightly through the fairway into the rough.  Into the wind so I hit a gap wedge, stuck it to about 8ft.  Slight left to right breaker for birdie, felt confident and knocked it in for an early birdie! Birdie

Round (-1)

Hole 5: 393 Par 4

Straightway par 4, but the fairway is separated by a river in the middle, so you are forced to lay up to about 220 from the tee.  Just tried to hit a 5iron into the fairway, but blocked it WAY left.  Landed on the fringe of an adjacent green with a bridge right in front of my line to the green about 165yards away.  This is where I need to work on course management and take my medicine and just hit a Pw over the bridge and play for no worse than 5, but I thought I could get it over and went for it with a 7iron.  Hit a great shot, looked like it was going to make it through the bridge, but caught one of the top beams at the very last moment and it shot the ball who knows where.  Couldn’t find the ball and was forced to drop, hit my next on, but 2 putted for a double bogey 6.  Bad play by me. Double Bogey

Round (+1)

Hole 6: 538 Par 5

A nice par 5 to try and get a shot back….bombed my drive down the middle and only had about 220 in.  Took my 21 degree hybrid and hit a low shot just right of the hole…it landed just short and rolled up onto the green, but ended about 60ft away at the back of the green.  Hit another long putt extremely short and left myself another good 9-12ft putt….this one I missed however, letting a great opportunity to get another birdie slip away with this 3 putt for par.  Par

Round (+1)

Hole 7: 374 Par 4

Pushed my drive left into the other fairway, but had a great angle and lie about 116 to hole….left it horrible short as I didn’t play enough club for the wind.  Had to chip up to a pin in the middle of the green, anything short is flat and perfect, but past hole is a big slope….hit my chip too hard and left myself about 7 ft above the hole, big right to left breaking putt for par.  Really bad chip, no excuse to go above the hole at all and it cost me par as I hit a great putt that lipped out and I made a bad bogey on this hole. Bogey

Round (+2) 

Hole 8: 148 Par 3

Was playing about 158 today, with the wind into the face to a right pin location.  Over drew an 8iron a little too much and it landed short sided pin high.  Not much green to work with, but I made an excellent chip to about 3 ft and made a nice up and down par.  Par

Round (+2)

Hole 9: 417 Par 4

Straight away par 4 that has out of bounds on the right side.  Aimed it down the left side and hit a great drive, only left with 80 yards in.  Hit another horrible wedge, pin high left into the green side bunker.  Flag was only about 5 paces on from left so I had to try and get my shot up quickly and land it into the rough and let it just feed on….hit an perfect shot that rolled to about 4ft…..made a very difficult sand save to finish this 9 off with a par. Par

Round (+2)

Was able to get away with bad lag putting and that stupid double bogey on 5 to only shoot a (+2) 38 on this Par 36 Presidio Front 9.  Fairways Hit (FW): 1/7 14% (Wasn’t missing FW’s by much) Greens in Regulation (GIR): 5/9 55% Up/Downs: 1/2 50% Sand Saves: 1/1 100% Penalties: 1

 Back 9 Mission: 3,153 Yards Par 36

Hole 10: 388 Par 4

With a river running right in front of the tee box, I hit a 3 wood right into the center of the fairway. Had only about 90 yards in, but again missed the green, long left.  Made a nice chip to about 9ft, but lipped this one out for a bogey. Bogey

Round (+3)

Hole 11: 293 Par 4

Short dog leg left hole, layed up with just a 5iron into the fairway.  Only 88yards in and AGAIN I failed to get it close, ran just pasted the hole into the fringe about 12ft above the hole.  Hit a great putt that looked in until the very last second and it turned left and made a par.  Par

Round (+3)

Hole 12: 304 Par 4

The signature hole here at Riverwalk, (The picture at top of post is of this green) a dog leg right with a giant lake down the right side and in front of this semi island green.  Crushed a hybrid straight, but it ran just through the fairway.  Hit 85 yards again and hit a horrible short shot that just barely stayed up from rolling back into the river.  Was almost standing in the water as I hit a great flop shot to 6ft, but lipped out again, would have been a great par save. Bogey

Round (+4)

Hole 13: 526 Par 5

Hit a solid drive to the right that hit above a bunker and ALMOST rolled into the water on the other side.  It was so close against the edge that I had to hit it right handed!  Decided against taking an unplayable and wanted to give it a try righty (always wanted to try this).  Took a PW and actually advanced it up about 25yards!  Took a 5wood from the rough about 235out and hit a great low shot that ran up onto the green, 2 putted for a par.  Par

Round (+4)

Hole 14: 178 Par 3

Tough long par 3, into the wind today, hit a 6iron solid, but missed the green right.  Had to hit a flop shot, that I over cooked slightly and it just rolled off the back, 2 putted from there for a bogey. Bogey

Round (+5)

Hole 15: 354 Par 4

Dogleg right, crushed a 5wood with a nice draw into the fairway, only 80yards in.  Same type of shot I’ve been struggling with all day and no different here, I hit it over and missed green….horrible!  Hit another great chip to 6ft, but lipped out again! Bogey

Round (+6)

Hole 16: 190 Par 3

Hit a 5iron pin high, but missed left.  Flopped it to about 2 ft and tapped in for a quick par.  Par

Round (+6)

Hole 17: 378 Par 4

Hit my driver and had another 80 yard shot to flag from middle of the fairway.  Came up way short of where I wanted and had a 50 ft putt for birdie.  Crushed my putt 10ft by, but again clutched up and made the long par save, wow. Par

Round (+6)

Hole 18: 542 Par 5

Hit my drive down the left side, but just finished in the rough. Had only about 230 to carry the river in front of the green, last hole, might as well go for it right??  Hit a hybrid, pushed it a little left which meant I needed to carry more river than I had factored in.  Looked like it got over from our view point, but when we got up there it had not, found it barely in the hazard.  Had to drop and chipped up to about 5ft and still had a par saving putt.  Been making these all day long, but just miss hit this one and it missed top side.  Bogey to finish my round out. Bogey

Round (+7)

Bad back 9 score of (+5) 41, just couldn’t get my 80-100yard shots on or close to flag. Wedge game cost me on this 9.  Fairways Hit (FW): 4/7 57% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 2/9 22% Up/Downs: 2/7 29% Sand Saves: 0/0 0% Penalties: 1

Final Stats:

 Fairways Hit (FW):  5/14 36% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 7/18 38% Up/Downs: 3/9 33% Sand Saves: 1/1 100% Putts: 32 Penalties: 2

Overall I’m disappointed in my score because I finally drove the ball well…even though my stats show only 5 fairways hit, probably had about 5 more that were barely off the fairway.  My weak point today was my wedge game; 6 times I had about 100 yards in or less from fairways and could not put it close or even on the green.  It’s disappointing because that has been strength of mine these past few weeks, so it’s just one of those off days.  I need to practice a lot on getting my exact distances down with those wedges.  For example I need to know how far a chock down lob wedge goes, compared to a full grip lob wedge, 3quarter choke down lob wedge and half shot lob wedge.  If I can find out the exact distances my 60, 56 and 52 degree wedges go when I’m at full, half or low grip and at full, 3quarter and half swing lengths that will help me score better.  Right now I’m going off of feel and I need exact distances so I don’t have to second guess what to do.  Overall though, I keep saying it, but I am definitely improving.  I feel really confident out there with my swing, from tee to green.  It’s starting to come together and I cannot wait until the day that it all just clicks!

Will probably be playing again on Saturday if everything goes according to plan.  I think today I’m going to go get my putter head re-glued and get a new grip put on. (Right now I have a slightly fatter grip)  I have been putting really well, but I think my putter head is sitting closed and the grip has bothered me every since I bought it, I need something slightly smaller.  It’s time for a change and if I get it done, I’ll post a before and after picture of my putter for reference.

Was able to go play today with a buddy right after work, but unfortunately had zero time to warm up.  I got to the course at about 2:45 and we teed off at 2:52, so we got in our cart and headed to the first tee.  The first 4 holes should prove that a good warm up and stretch before a golf round is a must.  Enjoy!

The Vineyard Golf Course 6,531 Yards Par 70

060513204404

Front 9

Hole 1: 420 Par 4

With no warm up, I was surprised when I hit my first drive right down the middle.  Had just under 100 yards in, so I hit that first drive about 320, good feeling.  Hit a wedge to about 20 ft short right of hole.  Ended up crushing my first putt about 10ft by, no putting practice to get a grasp on the speed killed me on this hole as I hit my next a few feet by also and 3 putted the first for a bogey. Bogey

Round (+1)  

Hole 2: 351 Par 4

Short dogleg left with water surrounding the left side and green.  Started a 5iron on the left side, but it hung on just in the rough and was only about 100 yards to the green over water.  My wedge distances were off in the beginning of the round as I hit a lob wedge way over into the back bunker.  Hit a solid bunker shot, but it was downhill to the flag so it ran just off the front.  Used a putter from the fringe, had the line, but left it short, tapped in for another bogey. Bogey

Round (+2)

Hole 3: 125 Par3

Short par 3, Playing about 115 today, hit another lob wedge over the green, don’t know what was going on and ball plugged in the back bunker.  No green to work with, plugged lie and water behind the green, I just had to play it out the side and not risk hitting it over into the water.  Hit it over safe in the rough and pitched up about 15ft short on my next shot, 2 putted for a bad double bogey on this short par 3. Double Bogey.

Round (+4)

Hole 4: 404 Par 4

Hit a 3 wood off tee and pushed it left.  Still had a great angle into the green about 140 in.  Hit a solid PW that landed on green, but rolled through to rough.  Hit a good chip to about 5ft past cup, but missed the putt for another bogey. Bogey

Round (+5)

Hole 5: 401 Par 4

+5 over my first 4 holes was really starting to get me down, but it also caused me to bear down and focus.  I made a goal for myself to play the remaining 5 holes of this front 9 at even or better….this is where my great string of holes started.  Hit my drive to the left, but hit a great wedge to about 12 ft, 2 putted for a much needed par. Par

Round (+5)

Hole 6: 152 Par 3

Pin was in the far right of hole, hit a 9iron at the flag, but it landed over in the rough.  Hit a great chip to 6ft and made the putt for back to back pars to stop the bleeding. Par

Round (+5)

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 hit a 5wood today and hit it so pure.  We couldn’t see the flag stick, but I knew it was probably aimed at the center of the green.  When we got up there I was only 15 ft for eagle!  So happened I hit it exactly on line with the flag and had I hit it a few feet further it could have been a tap in eagle.  I missed the eagle putt, but I’ll take a birdie all day. Birdie

Round (+4)

Hole 8: 419 Par 4

Hit a driver and pushed it left into the opposite fairway.  Had another great angle into the green and hit a knock down wedge that spun back to only 8 ft.  A downhill putt that just burned the edge and I tapped in for par.  Par

Round (+4)

Hole 9: 503 Par 5

Very reachable par 5, but I pushed my drive again to the left.  No chance to go for the green in two today with trees blocking me out so I just punched a 7iron under the trees to about 120 yards in.  Hit another punch down wedge to about 12ft, 2 putted for par. Par

Round (+4)

061713221410

After starting +5 over the first 4 holes, I was able to turn it around and finished with a very solid 39 (+4) on the par 35 Front 9.  Fairways Hit (FW): 2/7 28.5% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 5/9 55% Up/Downs: 1/2 50% Sand Saves: 0/2 0%

Back 9

Hole 10: 389 Par 4

Pushed a 3-wood down the left side, but luckily stayed in bounds down the left side.  Side hill lie with ball below my feet, I hit a 9iron just short and to the right of the green.  Pitched it up, but it checked up more than I had anticipated and left me a good 10ft for par.  Missed and 2 putted for bogey. Bogey

Round (+5)

Hole 11: 457 Par 4

This is a very difficult driving hole and I pushed my drive to the left.  I pushed it so far left that I was on top of a ridge looking down on the hole and I actually had a straight shot to the green.  Hit a club less than I should have and it came up just short.  Had to hit a flop shot to stop it with little green I had to work with on the front pin location.  Hit it to about 7ft and made the left to right breaking putt for a real nice par save. Par

Round (+5)

Hole 12: 154 Par 3

Another par 3 over water.  Hit it to the center of the green and was about 20 ft left of the flag.  2 putted for par. Par

Round (+5)

Hole 13: 477 Par 4

Pushed another driver left into a trap.  Hit a great blind 9iron shot just onto the back of the green.  Chipped a pitching wedge to about 5 ft and made another par putt. Par

Round (+5)

Hole 14: 412 Par 4

Water on the left and out of bounds on the right; hit a 4 iron down the middle to 132 out.  Hit a punch gap wedge right at the flag, hit and spun to about 8ft.  A quick downhill putt off a slope and the putt looked like it could have broken either way.  I looked at it from both sides and came to the conclusion that the breaks might just cancel each other out and it would just be a straight putt….trusted it and rolled it into the back of the cup, birdie! Birdie

(Round +4)

Hole 15: 551 Par 5

Hit a drive that missed left again on an uphill slope.  Tried to just it a 6iron up the fairway, but the slope just killed my follow through and it squirted up the fairway with not much distance.  Had a lot father in that I wanted at about 170.  Hit a 6iron just short right of the green.  Plenty of green to work with and ran a PW up to a tap in par.  Par

(Round +4)

Hole 16: 453 Par 4

The most difficult hole on the course according to the handicap on the scorecard.  Hit a 3 wood up the right side that settled just in the rough on a little side hill lie.  Ball was below my feet, still about 165 out so I decided to hit a solid 7iron.  Hit it flush and it landed in the center of the green about 15 ft away.  My putt looked in all the way, but died left at the very end…so close to stealing a birdie on this #1 handicap hole, but I’ll take par here everytime. Par

Round (+4)

Hole 17: 157 Par 3

Pushed a 9iron pin high, but way left.  Tried to trap it and hit it low under the wind, but ended up blocking it.  Had to flop it over a bunker onto the green, hit a great shot to 6ft.  My 6ft and in putting has been really good lately and that part of my game is improving drastically….drained it for a nice par save. Par

Round (+4)

Hole 18: 411 Par 4

Very scenic 18th hole heading back down the hill to the clubhouse.  Was at even par for the back 9 and 1 under since the 5th hole.  Hit a horrible 3 wood to the left and found the out of bounds!  Had to re-tee and thankfully hit a perfect drive.  Laced a sand wedge to about 10 ft below the hole, but 2 putted for a disappointing final hole double bogey.  Had I not hit my tee shot out of bounds, I would have made a par, but the 2 stroke penalty cost me a nice +4 round. Double Bogey

(Round +6)

061713221426

A good 37 +2 on the Par 35 Back 9.  Was at even on the back until the 18th.  Would have been nice to shoot even, but I’m not complaining about +2, especially with the few amount of FW’s and Green’s hit that back 9.  Fairways Hit (FW) 1/7 14% Green in Regulation (GIR) 3/9 33% Up/Downs 4/5 80%. Sand Saves 0/0 Penalties: 1

I’m really proud of myself for not letting my horrible +5 start over the first 4 holes affect the rest of my round.  I was able to refocus and shoot -1 over the next 13 holes, until the double bogey at 18.  My iron, wedge and short game are improving nicely and my driving has gotten better, but not anywhere close to where I need it to be to shoot under par.  I’ll keep grinding my driver and woods and get this figured out soon enough, I’m improving, just got to take it to the course and prove it.  Will hopefully be playing again this week on Wednesday and possibly Saturday too, so stay tuned for more round recaps.  Might get in a lesson sometime this week as well.  Final stats for today’s round are as follows:

Final Score: 76 (+6) Fairways Hit (FW) 3/14 21% Green in Regulation (GIR) 8/18 44% Up/Downs 5/7 71%. Sand Saves 0/2 0% Putts: 30 Penalties: 1

I hit up the driving range on Wednesday night like usual to work on my long game, really hitting the ball well and am excited about the progress I am making.  Thursday was the start of the US Open, probably my favorite golf tournament to watch other than the Masters so I decided to take the day off and watch the first round.  I had set up a golf round on Friday, so I just enjoyed a nice quiet day off from practice and watched some spectacular golf from my countries open championship.

Friday I played my 3rd golf round since starting this blog.  We played at Carmel Highlands Golf Course, a course that we seem to play quite often because of the cheap rates we can find online.  It is in fair condition, some of the rough and fairways are in terrible condition right now, but the greens are in fine shape.  This is a course you will probably see me playing at a lot, as it is really close to home, cheap rate, good condition and challenging.  Although it isn’t too long, it is a really good test of driving skills as it has many tree lined fairways that require an accurate tee shot or you will have no shot at the greens.  It plays at a rating and slope of 71.4/129 from the Blue tips.

Carmel Highland Golf Course 6,428 Yards Par 72

061513152655

Hole 1: 340 Par 4

A blind tee shot up a hill, but a straight away hole.  Took my usual 5 wood off this tee and hit a great shot down the middle, only about 90yards left.  Hit a lob wedge that landed about a foot away from flag, but skipped and stopped about 10 ft above the cup.  Had a makeable birdie, but just can’t seem to drop them right now, 2 putted for par. Par

Round (E)

Hole 2: 442 Par 4

A long straight away par 4, I consider this and the 12th to be the hardest holes on the course.  The 2nd is a tight tee shot, out of bounds left and lined with trees on the right.  Hooked my driver into the trees on the right.  Tried to make a hero shot and play a big hook and try to run it up in front of the green.  Was about 150 out and took the wrong club.  I decided to hit an 8 and hook it, but it just went straight and landed out of bounds.  Really poor decision and shot, I’m really confident hitting the big hooks, but this time it went straight somehow and the 8iron was way too much club, wasn’t thinking it would go straight.  Ended up dropping and knocking my 4th on the green, then 2 putting for double bogey. Double Bogey

Round (+2)

Hole 3: 316 Par 4

A short par 4 with out of bounds left.  I normally hit my 21 degree hybrid here and draw it off the left side into the right side.  Hit a solid shot, but it stayed down the left side about 5 ft too far left and stayed out of bounds.  Back to back bad shots gives me 2 penalties in the first 3 holes.  Hit my drop onto the green and 2 putted for a bogey. Bogey

Round (+3)

Hole 4: 217 Par 3

Slight uphill par 3, the tees were way up today and only played about 155.  Hit a 9iron to about 12 ft left of the flag, nice uphill look at birdie, but left another good birdie look slip by. Par

Round (+3)

Hole 5: 502 Par 5

A reachable par 5 if you hit a good tee shot, but I hooked mine to the right and could only layup.  Hit my 2nd over some trees to about 100yards in the fairway.  Hit a poor wedge that I blocked and it was pin high, but just left of the green.  Hit a nice chip to about 4 ft and made the par save. Par

Round (+3)

Hole 6: 522 Par 5

Another par 5, hit a good driver to the right side that just ran off the fairway.  Had about 215 in, but my ball was in a depression, with a small hill right in front of the ball.  No way could I have gotten a hybrid up enough to carry the water in front of the green.  Just tried to lay it up to a wedge shot, but the lie caused me to pull it slightly in between some trees.  Had about 120 from the rough, but had a good angle between two small trees, knocked it about 30 ft.  I was never able to really get the speed of these greens today and I left my birdie putt about 10ft short.  Lipped out the par putt for a bad 3 putt bogey on a par 5. Bogey

Round (+4)

Hole 7: 428 Par 4

Frustrated with myself for this horrible start, I pulled another drive to the right.  Had a blind shot to the green that I pulled again.  Had a quick chip that almost hit flag stick, but rolled through green just on fringe.  Made another good chip and tapped it in for another bogey.  Bogey

Round (+5)

Hole 8: 420 Par 4

I had to start to stop the bleeding somehow, but was facing this difficult uphill par 4. I realized that I was setting my club down closed off the tee in the set up.  This was why I was hooking my tee shots up to that point.  Fixed it and crushed a 3 wood down the center and then hit a wedge just underneath the hole about a 12 ft putt uphill.  Another great birdie look that I missed (Birdies are just NOT falling for me right now, frustrating) Par

Round (+5)

Hole 9: 162 Par 3

Short downhill par 3, where the green slops hard back to front with out of bounds long.  Hit a 9iron on the front, but it spun back off the slope just onto the fringe.  Felt like I killed my putt uphill, but it still ended up about 6 ft short.  Made the tough par putt though to save my 3. Par

061513152722

A disappointing score of 41 (+5) on the Par 36 Front 9. Fairways Hit (FW): 2/7 29% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 4/9 44% Up/Downs: 2/3 66% Sand Saves: 0/0 0% Penalties: 2

Hole 10: 304 Par 4

A short par 4 with a large bunker in front of the green.  I have driven this hole before as I hoisted a driver that went about 300 in the air and stopped on the green.  Today though, I wasn’t feeling confident enough to go for that, so I just crushed a 3 wood to about 40yards in front of green.  Made a solid chip to about 8 ft and had a nice look to get a shot back, but missed AGAIN a great birdie look and made par.  Par

Round (+5)

Hole 11: 309 Par 4

Hard sloping hole right to left, did my usual and tried to hit a 5 wood down the left side and let the slope take it down in front of green, but hit a block to the left that went into a hazard.  My 3rd penalty of the day, 2 on short easy par 4s.  Hit my 3rd right at flag, but clipped a green side tree on its way down and settled in a bunker.  Hit a great bunker shot to about 5 ft, but lipped it out for another 6. Double bogey

Round (+7)

Hole 12: 460 Par 4

Crushed a drive that had some draw on it.  It took a big hop in the fairway and hopped down the slop on the right side in the rough.  Had only about 145 in, but had to hook it drastically to get it on green.  A very similar shot to the one I had on 2, but this time I did what I pictured and hit a nice high hook that landed just over the green.  Looked like a perfect shot when I hit it, but just too much club.  Made a great chip to 2ft and tapped it in for a nice solid par on this #2 handicap hole. Par

Round (+7)

Hole 13: 388 Par 4

Straight tee shot, and then the hole turns to the left with a back to front sloping difficult green.  Hit a great 3 wood down the center, but hit a wedge just on the front of the green.  Hit a great 20ft uphill putt that stayed on the LIP of the hole….I really can’t find a birdie!  Waited for a few seconds to see if it would drop in, but it wasn’t so tapped in for a par. Par

Round (+7)

Hole 14: 315 Par 4

Straight par 4, hit another solid 3 wood down the middle to about 40 yards.  Pin was in the front and to an uphill green where you can’t see the putting surface.  Landed it a little too far and it ran about 15ft by.  2 putted for par. Par

Round (+7)

Hole 15: 495 Par 5

Straight par 5 that has a sharp uphill for the 2nd.  Boomed my driver down the middle and had about 170 left in.  Hit a nice 5iron just to the left of the green.  Took my bread and butter PW and just tried to run it up onto the green.  I love that shot and it’s one of my most confident I have, but on this particular shot I chunked it.  I can’t even remember the last time I chucked that type of shot; in fact it’s the reason I play that shot to avoid that type of thing.  Frustrated, I left the 40ft birdie putt 12ft short and missed again to 3 putt again on the par 5 for a bogey.  Horrible bogey when I was just about pin high in 2 with a great lie….disappointing. Bogey

Round (+8)

Hole 16: 123 Par 3

Uphill par 3 that always plays a club more.  Played here enough to know my perfect club for this hole is a solid PW, pulled it a bit though and it was pin high just off the green.  Used my PW again to hit the chip and run, (this time I didn’t chunk it) and it ran about 5 ft past.  Missed the straight putt comebacker for another bad bogey. Bogey

Round (+9)

Hole 17: 314 Par 4

Straight par 4 that is narrow by the green so difficult to try and drive it.  Just hit a 3 wood that I pushed down to the left side.  Had to hit a big fop shot about 40 yards over some trees.  Hit a great shot, but it was just a little right and stayed on the fringe.  Hit a nice chip to about a ft and made a par. Par

Round (+9)

 

Hole 18: 361 Par 4

Yet another straight par 4, that you can make birdie at if you hit a good drive.  Crushed my drive down the middle for about 40yards in.  Pitched it just to the back of the green about 10 ft from pin that was in the back.  FINALLY made a putt and ended the round on a solid note, making my only birdie of the day. Birdie

Round (+8)

061513152737

A 39 (+3) on the Par 36 Back 9. A good ball striking back 9, lots of fairways and greens hit.  Fairways Hit (FW): 5/8 63% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 5/9 55% Up/Downs: 2/3 66% Sand Saves: 0/0 0% Penalties: 1

Overall score 80 (+8) Fairways Hit (FW): 7/15 47% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 9/18 50% Putts: 33 Up/Downs: 4/6 67% Sand Saves: 0/0 0% Penalties: 3

This is my 3rd round since starting the blog and it’s weird because although my scores have increased each time, (+4 to +6 to +8) I have hit the ball progressively better each round.  Today I hit the ball better than my previous two rounds, but made some silly mistakes.  I had 3 penalty from shots that just went out of bounds, had two 3 putts on par 5’s that I was on the green in regulation, and missed countless makeable birdies.  If you just take away the 3 penalties and the 3 putts that’s 5 strokes for a 75, not even counting if I had made a few birdies.  So overall I’m pleased with my progress, I hit the ball well enough today to shoot mid to low 70’s and I’m happy with that, just one of those days.  My driving is improving, my up and down game is improving and those are the things I have really been working hard on.  My putting within 6 ft has really been solid over my last 6 rounds, making most of those must need par saves.  I have the correct lines on my longer putts, but am just leaving too many birdie putts short.  Once I start rolling those birdies in, watch out.  I can smell that under par round cooking, I’m starting to gather all the ingredients needed to make it happen and one day soon they are all going to come together to create that under par round….I can taste it!!!