Posts Tagged ‘carmel’

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.

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


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


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)


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!!!