Posts Tagged ‘change’

5307917592_916b56c7d1_zI finally got to actually play a golf round!  Been battling a sore back for the past week, but this past Thursday, I met up with a couple friends and we played a round over at Riverwalk golf club.  Not having been able to actually play in 2 weeks, I didn’t come in with high expectations, but maybe that was a good thing because after the first tee shot, I knew it was going to be a good day.  I ended up shooting a 77(+5).  My long game was locked in and I hit a total of 11 out of 14 fairways!  I only hit 9 of 18 greens, but never missed a green by much and 5 of them missed just short either because of spinning off the front or a misjudging of the wind.  I account that to not playing much over the past couple months, as being able to accurately judge the wind is something that starts to get dialed in the more and more you play.

Nevertheless, I did hit a lot of close iron shots, but my putting continues to be my Achilles’ heel and I was not able to make many birdies.  Despite having multiple great looks from inside 10ft, the only birdie putt I did make on the day was from about 40ft.  Golf is a funny game and it always seems like the putts that have little chance of going in actually go in and the makeable ones slip by….at least for me lately.  I think that just comes down to the idea of having no expectations.  Dave Stockton calls it going “unconscious” when putting and it’s something that I’m working on getting better at doing.

I know I need to become less result oriented when it comes to my putting and just try to keep my same routine and put a solid roll on the ball.  If I can do that, then I’ll make my fair share of putts.  I’ve been trying to just pick a spot 1 inch in front of my ball on my line and roll the ball over that spot.  It’s hard to miss a spot 1 inch in front of the ball, so it allows me to put more emphasis on the speed of the putt.  I find my mind freed up with longer putts, but I still catch myself over thinking and steering closer putts or ones I feel I “should” be making, especially for birdie.  I’m getting better at it however and if I keep working hard on getting to a point where I can go “unconscious” on the greens, I know that’s going to give me the best chance to start going low.

Final stats for the round:

unnamedRiverwalk Presidio/Mission 6,550yards 71.7 126

Score: 77(+5) FW: 10/14 GIR: 9/18 Putts: 32 U/Down: 4/8 San Save: 0/1 Penalties: 0

{FB92BDB3-BAF4-4835-8600-54D48EF1F23A}mcilroy_abudhabi13_cameronputter_610_0Here is just a quick review of my latest golf rounds over the past 2 weeks.  Unfortunately, I didn’t play my best golf and my scores are a reflection of that…I had a lot of great shots over these 3 rounds, but couldn’t avoid sprinkling in some large numbers.  I had two triple bogey 6s on two different par 3s during these rounds, very uncharacteristic for how I’ve been playing lately, but I just left myself in some absolutely terrible spots on the holes and it cost me.

I’ve been working on the plane of my swing over the past couple weeks as I mentioned in my previous post and I’m still working on being able to repeat it consistently.  When I get it right, I hit the ball better than I ever have before, just perfect contact, height and ball flight, exactly what I’ve been searching for.  But in working on this change, I have a tendency to leave the face slightly open on impact, blocking shots to the left.  I’m not doing it too often, but often enough to seriously affect my scores right now.  My contact is a lot more consistent with this swing change, I’m just going to keep grinding and we’ll see how it goes in the next few weeks.

My putting continues to be a struggle however and it is the part of my game that is costing me the most strokes right now.  My short putting has been solid, but it is my lag putting that is just killing me.  I can’t get the long putt speed right with this heavier weight in my putter right now.  I had 3 3-putts at Riverwalk, 4 at Vineyard and 1 at Doubletree…this just can’t continue to happen.  31-35 putts a round is unacceptable in my opinion.  Shooting (+4) or (+5) with 35 putts is ridiculous…I’m hitting enough fairways and greens to be shooting under par consistently, if I could only get my putts to 27-30 a round.  I will get there eventually, it might feel impossible to me right now, but I know that it is possible to do it, so I’m just going to keep telling myself that it’s possible.  I’ll have to start spending more time on the putting green with longer putts…I can do this! 

So here are the round stats for these past 2 weeks, hopefully I’ll get out a few times this week.       

10/8/14 The Vineyard Golf Course 6,531 Yards Par 70 (Blue: 71.0/126)

Score: 75(+5) FW: 9/14 GIR: 13/18 Putts: 35 Up/Down: 1/2 Sand Save: 1/1 Penalties: 1

10/9/14 Carmel Highlands Doubletree: Par 72 71.4/129 6,428 Yards

Score: 81(+9) FW: 6/15 GIR: 8/19 Putts: 31 U/Down: 5/10 San Save: 0/1 Penalties: 1

10/1/14 Riverwalk Friars/Presidio 6,627yards 71.9 128

Score: 78 (+6) FW: 5/14 GIR: 12/18 Putts: 35 Up/Down: 3/5 Sand Saves: 0/2 Penalties: 1

0615131526559/19/14 – Played a round over at Carmel Highlands Doubletree and shot a 78(+6).  I was (+6) alone on the front 9 as I had a triple bogey on the 2nd and a double on the 7th.  I birdied the 9th hole par 3 after sticking it to ft and went on to shoot even on the back 9.  I had 4 birdies on the day, so it felt good to actually make some birdies for a change, but I just couldn’t avoid the big numbers on the front 9.  Shooting +6 with a triple and double isn’t terrible though.  Final stats for this round where:

Carmel Highlands Doubletree 6,428 Yards Par 72 (71.4/129)

Score: 78 (+6) FW: 7/15 GIR: 12/19 Putts: 33 U/Down: 3/5 San Save: 0/2 Penalties: 1

0605132044049/24/14 – Got to test out my new putter as I played a round with a few friends at the Vineyard.  I started off rough again, hitting my first two tee shots into hazards on the 1st and 2nd.  Also 3 putted the first after hitting my drop onto the green for a nice opening double bogey 6.  The new putter is and feels slightly heavier as it has 15 gram insert weights whereas my previous putter only had 10 gram insert weights.  It took me a few holes to adjust to the heavier weight on longer putts, but my only 3 putt of the day came on the first…so I did putt well overall on the day and I continued to confidently roll and make my 2-5 foot putts, which is a great sign.

My ball striking was solid on the day, I hit a ton of really good shots, but I still had too many bad shots mixed in.  I don’t mean bad as in shanks or fat or thin, but blocks.  I’ve been working a lot on the plane of my swing this past week really trying to stop getting so steep on my downswing.  I just want consistent contact and strikes and getting the club more on plane will certainly make that easier for me.  The only miss I see right now with that is leaving the club too open on the downswing, causing me to block a few shots badly.  The positive is when it does occur I can certainly feel it and that is the key.   The more I work on it the more consistent I’ll get with squaring it up.

So I shot a 75 (+5) overall on the round, (+1) 36 on the front and a (+4) 39 on the back.  Had 3 penalties that cost me from having a really solid score, but again I need to eliminate the bigger mistakes of penalties, I’m hitting plenty of FWs and Green in regulation to be shooting close to under par each round, but I must eliminate these penalties, 3 putts and maybe roll in a few more birdies while I’m at it…much more easily said than done I’m afraid.

One highlight of the round is I did drive the 296 yard Par 4 7th hole in one during the round to about 15ft.  I lipped out the eagle putt, but did get a much needed tap in birdie.

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

Score: 75(+5) FW: 7/14 GIR: 10/18 Putts: 32 Up/Down: 2/4 Sand Save: 0/1 Penalties: 3

Added a few new tools to my bag over the weekend as I got 2 new clubs… a Cleveland 64* wedge and a new Scotty Cameron Select Newport  2.0 putter!  I got all artsy yesterday took a few pictures of the new clubs and for someone who knows nothing of photography; I’d say I did a pretty good job!

64 wedgeThe 64* Cleveland wedge was actually free as I had both a $50 and $100 gift cards from golfnow.com as reward points.  They were set to expire and I figured I might as well get something while I still can.  The gift cards could be used at either Cleveland or Srixon online shops…I knew that Cleveland wedges are top notch, so I decided to go with a 64*.  I love my Titleist Vokey wedges I have now, especially my 60*, it’s my favorite club, so I’ll mess around with the 64* here and there and see how I could fit it into my game.  Getting a 64* also gives me just that many more options when I’m going to play tournaments.  If I feel the 64* would help me at a specific course, I’ll add it to the bag, but right now I don’t have any serious plans to add it to my bag regularly as I can hit all the shots I currently need with my 60*, but heck it was free right and you can’t beat free!

20140922_135735I decided also to get a new Scotty Cameron putter, I absolutely loved my old one, but I think it was time to retire and upgrade.  I remember always dreaming of owning a Scotty Cameron putter as a 15 year old when first discovered golf…I finally purchased one 6 years ago and it did not disappoint.  It was my baby, my oldest running club in the bag, but the shaft was starting to get bent, the face wasn’t sitting square and it20140922_134852 had a few scratches in it so it was time to put her to pasture and enjoy retirement.  One of my friends, who I play golf with regularly on Wednesdays now, is a manager of a golf shop and he was nice enough to give me a great deal.  I got the brand new Scotty Newport studio select 2.0 for only $150 instead of the normal price of $350…you just can’t pass up that type of deal.  I’ll go putt with it for a few today and then put it into action tomorrow when we play a round.  The only thing is that it has the standard scotty thin grip on it currently, but I’m used to a more midsize grip like I had on my old putter.  I’m so used to a bigger grip that this standard one feels unbelievably small and thin!  So I’m not sure how well I’ll putt tomorrow, but that’s ok, I’ll probably get it re-gripped to a midsize grip later in the week.

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

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

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

Hope everyone has a great Easter Sunday!

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

Overall Stats, Weeks: 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NY2014blog1Well that certainly crept up on us fast huh? It is now the start of a brand new year, 2014 and I am happy to see it.  I’ll admit I’m the type of person who is a sucker for New Year’s resolutions.  The start of the New Year always fills my mind with so many possibilities, the chance to start fresh and refocus myself on my new goals.  I’d say I’m almost always at my most positive and creative state on December 31st, of course like most, that heightened state of mind slowly dissipates a few weeks later with the realization that truly reaching your goals is going to be a tough, harsh, mental and physical grind, but I’m ready.

Before I talk about my 2014 goals, I should probably do a quick recap of my 2013.  I started this blog at the end of May, so I’ve been at it for a full 7 months now, but in the past couple I have only been focusing on golf and not this blog.  In 2014, I will stay consistent in updating this blog because my hope when starting this blog was to entertain and possible help others who had similar dreams and interests, but also to feed off your viewership as a way to hold myself accountable to not only better my golf game, but better myself as a person as well.  In 2013, I accomplished one of my big goals and that was to win at the annual 3-day Palm Springs golf tournament.  Finishing 1st and beating a field of 85 players was an amazing feeling and I’m very proud of myself for staying focused and playing well under pressure.  My other main goal for the 2013 was to shoot an under par round of golf on a regulation course.  Unfortunately, I fell just short of that goal, posting a few +1 and +2 rounds, but had multiple 3-putts that cost me that under par round.  Had a round, at one of the most difficult courses I’ve ever played this year, where I shot +1 with three 3-putts…eliminate those and it’s a (-2) round.  Not all is lost however, I did manage to shoot a 4-under round at an executive course just about a month and a half ago and in some aspects, it can be considered tougher to shoot under on an executive because of the amount of par 3’s, where you must hit it close in order to score.  4-under par anywhere I feel like is a respectable score, so I actually consider this goal somewhat accomplished.  Those were my two big main goals this past year and I’m really pleased that I was pretty much able to accomplish both.

So now I head into 2014 and I’m ready to tackle it with full force.  This is going to be the most demanding year of my life; I will push myself harder and further out of my comfort zone than I have ever been before.  It will no doubt be uncomfortable and difficult, but I know that if I put in the effort and hard work, endure the struggles and sacrifices, that I will see myself accomplish the things that I can only dream about now and start to truly fulfill my potential.

I only have 3 main golf goals for this year of 2014 as of now and I’ll add more as my progress goes along, but for now here they are:

1)      Win our annual work tournament in April/May.  It is a scramble style tournament and my team and I have shot (-10) each of the past 2 years and come in 2nd and 3rd.  This will be our 3rd time playing and I want to win this tournament badly.  I will definitely have to improve my game over the next 4-5 months if we want to win as a lot of the shots will fall on my shoulders.  We will have to shoot in the 50’s to win and if I play my best, I feel we can for sure accomplish that.

2)      Improve on my scores from last year in Palm Springs and shoot an under par round at the tournament.  Even though I won this past year, my short game was abysmal and I could have easily shot a lot lower if that part of my game was sharp.  So my goal is to not only win again obviously, but to improve my total score and have one of the rounds be under par…that would be amazing.  The tournament isn’t until August 2014, so I have 8 months to practice and I think I will be able to sneak a couple under par round of golf into my game by then, hopefully!

3)      To play in and win a Golf Channel Amateur Tour Event.  I’ve wanted to play in these events for the past 2 years now, but have been hesitant to make this next step until I felt like my golf game was strong enough.  Truly it’s more just about nerves than anything else, so my goal is to step out of my comfort zone and play in a few tour events this year.  My plan is to focus on practice for a few months and then play some events starting in April.

So those are my top 3 golfing goals for the year 2014, besides the obvious one of trying to get down my handicap to scratch.  I will also aim to update this blog a lot more frequently, thinking at least 2 times a week going forward like I did when I first started.  I’m sorry I have not put the time and effort into this blog as I had intended, one post a month is just not right.464192

Thank you to all of my viewers for the wonderful encouraging comments you guys have provided in 2013, they really do help me in staying positive and focused on accomplishing my goals and dreams and I hope you all stick around, follow and enjoy my golf journey in 2014.

I’d like to end this post by asking what are your golfing goals for the year 2014? I’d like to hear them in the comments below and I wish you all the best with them.  I hope that this blog can possibly be a source of encouragement or help for you as we both head down that mysterious path together that accompanies that journey to accomplishing dreams, cheers!