Posts Tagged ‘course’

Golf-Photo-19f881bQuick update since it has been about a week…I played a couple rounds since last post with some mixed results.  Played on the 8th at Vineyard and shot a solid 77 (+7) with three 3-putts.  My last round on the 15th, I played at Vineyard again, but I shot my highest round in a long time with a very bad 86 (+16).  Funny thing is I actually feel really positive about my game right now and I feel like the score of 86 is just an outlier.  My short game is costing me so many strokes I can’t even count, Four 3-putts in this round and only 4/14 on up and downs attempts as I only hit 2 GIR’s all day.  That was mostly due to the high winds and semi erratic driving that left me with basically no chance to hit a lot of greens.

I’m playing tomorrow and I’ll probably update on Sunday about how I played, but I’m actually super confident going into tomorrow even after coming off my worst scoring round in a long time.  The stats might look terrible, but I actually hit a lot of solid shots and my work at the range since has been real solid.  It’s hard to explain I guess, but I really feel like my game is improving.  I’m starting to ingrain a consistent pre shot routine and now that I’m playing more often, I’m starting to understand my golf swing and the feelings associated with good and bad strikes.  I’m honestly not too concerned with scores right now, just as long as I’m continuing to improve certain aspects of my game, the low scores will come and take care of themselves.  I’ve dedicated a lot more time to practicing my short game the past few days and will continue going forward as that will be what lowers my scores the quickest.  I’ll update again on Sunday and let you know how I played tomorrow.

UPDATE 1/20/14: Unfortunately my plans to play Saturday fell through late Friday night and was unable to get out and play.  Will be going to the PGA Tour Farmers Insurance Open here at Torrey Pines this week and I’ll take some pictures and video from Wednesdays practice rounds for you all to enjoy, so stay tuned!

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Over the past couple months I haven’t been able to play as many rounds as I want.  Heading to the course alone and walking on to play as a single has always been something I would try to avoid.  I much prefer going out to play with friends, but as a result I’ve only been able to play only once every week and a half, 2 weeks and if I’m serious about getting to scratch I need to get out and play.  I can go to the range all I want, but nothing beats on course experience/practice.  My usual playing partner has been busy lately and with the time changes it now getting dark at 5, so our usual rounds at 2 or 3 o’clock are just not going to work.  I’ve made a decision this week to start putting in a serious amount of rounds and that will mean going out often by myself.  We all know how expensive golf is and we know that twilight rates are the way to go for anybody trying to save a little money.  With the time change, getting in a full 18 holes at a regulation course at twilight times are just not going to happen right now, so for the time being I’m going to take full advantage of my local executive course.  Tuesday and Wednesday this week I headed over to my local executive course Oaks North and got in some great on course time.  The great thing is that right at about 1o’clock, the start of the twilight rate, there is almost nobody there and I’m able to just get on the course and play solo.  Was all alone out there, just me, my clubs and my iPod.  Got in a lot of great work these past 2 days, was able to play 2 balls on just about every hole and played really well.

20131119_151555On Tuesday, I was only able to complete 13 holes before I had to head back because of darkness, but after 13 I was at even par.  Shot +2 on the front 9 and then on #11 a 235 yard par 4, I hit an amazing 5-wood to just over a foot.  The tees were all the way in the back, so I had calculated to the hole it was playing about 260 yards and just crushed a perfect 5-wood that landed amazingly softly and stopped about 2 ft from its pitch mark.  It’s always a great feeling to have a tap in eagle on a par 4 and that shot I’ll remember for a long time; of course I had to take a picture for evidence!  So that eagle got me back to even par for the day and I had pars on the last 2 and called it a day due to darkness.

On Wednesday, I sort of accomplished one of my big goals and that was to shoot an under par round of golf.  I was able to play 2 balls and kept stats for both.  However, my score with the first ball after all 18 holes was 4-under par!!  I say “sort of” accomplished my goal because obviously it was only on a Par 60 executive course and my main goal is to shoot under par on a regulation 18 holes course, but still under par is under par and 4 under anywhere is solid, I mean come on!  Unfortunately, with my 2nd ball I was only able to complete 16 holes because at holes #2 and #3, a person was behind me so I just played my 1st ball to speed up play and then allowed him to pass on hole #4.  After he passed, I went back to playing 2 balls.  For the 16 holes completed with ball #2, I was +3 w/ two 3-putts that cost me. I’ll post a picture of the scorecard from today, but I’ll write out the stats for my 4-under round because it might be hard to see.

Ball #1: Score: 56 (-4) FW: 4/6 GIR: 14/18 Putts: 30 Up and Down: 4/4

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Ball #2: (16 holes) Score: +3 FW: 3/4 GIR: 11/16 Putts: 30 Up and Down: 3/6

My iron play these past 2 days has been really solid; in total I hit 36 of 54 greens in regulation, a solid 66%.  Changed a few things in my putting setup this week and I’m gaining more and more confidence.  I can tell the ball is rolling off the club face a lot better and maintaining its line.  I hope to keep that momentum rolling going forward.

Unfortunately it is going to rain here for the next few days, so looks like any practice will most likely have to be indoors.  My hope is that it clears up by Saturday and that my friend and I can play a round, will update soon.

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I decided to take about a week and a half off from playing golf, clear my head and reset before getting back to the grind.  I played a lot of golf gearing up for my tournament in Palm Springs and the hard work certainly paid off with my victory, so I felt like I needed/earned a short break.  I have played 2 rounds now since my 10 days off and I think the reset has really helped me.  I shot a 74 (+4) last week and yesterday I shot a 72 (+2) round with a triple and double bogey!  Both rounds were at the Par 70 Vineyard course. I’m really playing some solid golf right now, but still making too many mistakes that are costing me that under par round of golf.

20130924_12401420130924_124003During my (+4) 74 round, I had 2 penalties and three 3 putts, easily could have been my under par round.  Yesterdays (+2) 72, had 4 penalties, a triple bogey 7 on #2 and a double bogey 5 of #3……the other 16 holes I played in (-3)!  It’s frustrating knowing just how close I am to shooting my first under par round of golf, it’s right there, I can taste it, I just need to eliminate the stupid mistakes.  Of course that’s much easier said than done, golf is one of the hardest sports on earth for a reason, it is so difficult to remain consistent.  However, I am determined to get my under par round of golf, it is crazy to think that according to the USGA less then ½ of 1% of golfers can shoot under par…I want in that elite group so badly and one day I will be.  I’m making a lot of birdies lately which is really encouraging, I have 7 birdies and an eagle over my last 2 rounds.  If I keep the ball in play off the tee, eliminate the occasional 3 putts and maintain my solid up and down game, I should be easily under par.  20130924_12404320130924_124120I’ll be playing a round on Wednesday at Eagle Crest, a very challenging course; have not played there in a while, so I’m hoping for another solid round.  I did shoot (-1) on the back 9 the last time I did play there, about 6 months ago and my game is much better than it was then, so you never know!

                                                               

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#18th Tee Mountain Course

**Here are some of the pictures taken at the tournament in Palm Springs few weeks ago.  The PGA West courses in Palm Springs are beautiful and it was a real treat to get to experience golf at some of the finest courses in the US.**

Spent most of my time this week at the range working on my long game to try and stop my shifting forward in my downswing.  It’s something that my coach identified as a problem months ago when I first started getting lessons again, but I could never fully grasp the correct “feeling.”  I dedicated myself this week to finding that feeling as I know that I have fallen back into my bad habit of shifting forward with my hips instead of turning through on the downswing…and it causes me to have real inconsistent contact with an either push or big draw ball flight.   I feel like now I have finally figured out the correct feeling and my swing feels a lot smoother and my contact is A LOT better.  Worked in front of a mirror, with swing analysis video on my phone and at the range and I’m seeing great positive results.

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Me putting on #18 Dunes Course

I played a round with my friend on Wednesday over at the Vineyard to try and take my practice to the course and see how it would hold up during a round.  I shot a disappointing 79, but my ball striking with my irons was really solid and my ball flight was a lot more accurate than it has been.  My only problem this round was off the tee with my driver.  I hit every single drive solid, with distance, it was just leaking left.  I found the out of bounds off the tee 4 times on Wednesday, causing me to have 3 double bogeys.  b1dfab579a60ec73ca8d4ebdbb0b10e9So I know what I need to work on again and it is straightening out my driver, the contact and distance is there, but I can feel I’m coming slightly over the top, now I just need to find the correct slot and that should straighten it out.  Worked last night at the range for a bit and my driver was getting a lot better, still slightly leaking left, but definitely straightening out.

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Chipping

My short game is the best it’s ever been right now, I’m really confident in what I’m doing with my putter.  I’m finally getting consistent solid contact in the center of the putter face and it has greatly improved my distance control.  The ball is rolling off the putter face as it should and my green reading is improving also.  I’m the most confident I have ever been on the greens right now and I hope to keep it going

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Our Group Day #2 at the Dunes Course

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get out and play this weekend, but hopefully next week I can get out 2-3 times and play some solid golf.  If I keep hitting the ball like I am and straighten out that driver, I feel like I can go real low, let’s make it happen!

Being Congratulated on the Victory

Being Congratulated on the Victory

Played a couple rounds so far this week and I’m pleased to say that I’ve been playing well.  With exactly 1 week left before I leave for my 3-day tournament in Palm Springs, I’m started to find my game.  Just been trying to trust my full swing and I changed my putting grip and it has given me more stability and the putts are coming off the face flush and straight down my target line.  I was pulling my shorter putts and I think it was because my left hand was shutting down the face… I have now regained my confidence from the 10ft and in range…and it’s starting to show, making a lot of them this week.

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Encinitas Ranch Golf Course 6,178 Par 70 Slope 129

Yesterday my buddy and I decided to head up north and play a different course than we normally do.  We both had played up here once before, but it had been like 10 years for me, so I only remembered 1 of the holes.  We played up at the Par 70 Encinitas Ranch Golf Course…a really nice track and we had a lot of fun.  They were doing some construction on the bunkers of #8 so they told us to skip that hole and that they had created a new short par 3 hole on the back.  So we skipped #8, but played a #11a and #11b….never seen this before, but it worked out well.   I shot even par on the front 9 and then we headed to the makeshift #11a, a short par 3 of 112 yards.  Hit a poor wedge that caught the bunker, lots of sand in the bunker and I couldn’t get it out on my first attempt.  Ended up making a horrible double bogey 5 on this short par 3.  For this round, I hit the ball relatively well except for about 3 or 4 shots that were really poor and cost me strokes, missed a few greens, with only wedges in my hand from the middle of the fairway….bogeyed both.  I finished the back 9 at +5, missed a great shot at birdie on 18, only about 7 ft, but all in all, I’m satisfied with this round…a solid 75 (+5).  Here is the scorecard….

Final Stats for round: Score: 75 (+5) Fairways Hit (FW) 6/13 46% Green in Regulation (GIR) 10/18 55% Up/Downs 2/6 33%. Sand Saves 0/2 0% Penalties: 0 Putts: 30

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Encinitas Ranch
Front 9 Scorecard

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Encinitas Ranch
Back 9 Scorecard

Carmel Mountain Ranch Country Club 6,252 Par 72 Slope 128

Carmel Mountain Ranch Country Club 6,252 Par 72 Slope 128

Today, I decided to get up early (6:00am) and try to get on Carmel Mountain for a quick round. I’m so glad that I did….was able to out by myself at 7:20 and played all alone until 15 when I linked up with a 3-some for our last 3 holes.  Played amazing today and tied my career low round of +1!  Carmel Mountain is a really difficult course, no doubt harder in my opinion than Vineyard, where I shot my other low round of +1 about a month ago.  Today was my best ball striking round ever and if it wasn’t for three 3-putts, I would have shot my under par round!!  I hit 9 fairways today and 2 were a foot away from the short stuff, my best driving performance.  I also and more importantly hit 15 greens in regulation and the three that I did miss were no more than 10 yards from the green.  I did however have three 3 putts and they cost me my lowest round ever, but overall I feel I putted well compared to how I have been and I’m certainly improving tremendously in that department.   My final two 3 putts were a result of rushing myself, the first because a group was waiting behind me and I rushed my 2nd putt.

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View From 10th Hole Par 5 Fairway at Carmel Mountain Ranch

The final was bad, it was on the Par 5 15th….I crushed my tee shot down the middle and the group in front was just hitting up to the green, they yelled at me to just join them, so I went for the green in 2.  Hit a perfect hybrid to just 15 ft for eagle!  When I went to putt for my eagle, I kind of started to think negative thoughts about how I didn’t want to mess it up with these new people watching me and after they just watched me hit a great shot….my putt burned the edge, but I gave it way too much juice and it ran about 6 ft by, where I promptly missed the comebacker to 3 putt the Par 5 for par…ouch.
So yea I let some opportunities slip by today, but I’m not going to dwell on those, I know now that I truly do have the ability to shoot under par, it’s just a matter of time.  If I keep giving myself these chances, it will happen.  I’m really excited that I was able to shoot my career low today and only a week before the tournament I’ve been thinking about for a year now.  I’m going to head to Palm Springs with a positive mindset, relaxed and looking to have a great time and play some great golf.  My goal is to break 80 each day, but I’m really hoping to score low and make a run at winning it.

Will hopefully be playing this weekend and Monday/Wednesday before leaving on Thursday….let’s keep this momentum rolling!

Final Stats for round: Score: 73 (+1) Fairways Hit (FW) 9/14 64% Green in Regulation (GIR) 15/18 83% Up/Downs 3/3 100%. Sand Saves 0/1 0% Penalties: 0 Putts: 35

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Front 9 Scorecard

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Back 9 Scorecard

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Played at Oaks North on Monday, the executive course that plays at a Par 6…shot a 63 (+3) with 2 penalties off the tee.  Like I stated in my previous post, I have been spending this week focusing on my swing plane and trying to get it into the correct position to help produce more consistent shots.  I really feel like I am starting to figure it out, I hit 13 of 18 greens.  On Wednesday, played over at the Vineyard and shot a disappointing 79 (+9).  I actually continued to strike the ball very well and accurate, I only hit 7 greens, but had about 5 that were just on the fringes.  I shot a 79 because of my short game, missed 4 putts from 3 feet and did not make a single birdie.  Putting continues to be my achilles heel, just don’t feel confident.  My lag putting is improving, but the shorter putts I’m just not hitting them with the confidence needed to make them right now.

Went to the range last night to keep working on my swing plane and I hit the ball great, I’m starting to get to that point that I have been working towards where I can just swing confidently and not have to think about my mechanics.  I finally found the correct feeling you need to have to get the club coming down on the correct plane and not too steep and I’m starting to groove the ball.  I hope to play again on Saturday or Sunday, trying to get that set up right now, but if not, then I’ll just keep practicing my short game for my upcoming rounds on Monday and Wednesday.  2 weeks until the Palm Springs Tournament, I’m so happy that I’m starting to get my game in order to compete there, if I can find my putting, watch out.

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This week has been a real struggle for my golf game….I played on Monday and Wednesday, at Vineyard (Mon) and Riverwalk (Wed)….both rounds were disappointing.  Shot a 78 (+8) at Vineyard and an 82 (+10) at Riverwalk, birdied just once for the two rounds total and struggled off the tee.  My putting was horrible at Vineyard, but improved by the end of my Riverwalk round.  Once I started to move the ball more toward the middle of my stance, I was able to get solid contact with each putt and over my last 13 holes at Riverwalk; I putted the best I had in months.  Now that I’m able to get consistent solid contact on my putts, my lag putting was spot on, no possibility of 3putts.

Golf is such a frustrating game and I keep questioning myself as to why I can’t stay consistent.   I seem to find my swing and then lose it almost on a weekly basis.  I know through coaching from my instructor that my tendency is to get too steep on the downswing….this leads to real inconsistent strikes.  So I have spent the past 2 days analyzing my swing for hours in front of a mirror and on video.  I got a new phone this week, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and it has given me the ability to download apps that can help improve my game.  I am now able to record my swing and use the golf apps to draw lines to analyze my swing. Seeing my swing on video proved that I was indeed getting too steep again on my downswing….I used trial and error over the course of a few hours trying to see if I could get my swing back on plane, but nothing was working.   I spent the next hour or so before work just thinking about what I could do to keep my club on plane on the downswing…..and then it clicked.  I already in my mind tried to get the butt of the grip on the backswing pointing toward the ball, this is what helps me get the club started on plane, but I was forgetting to make sure it’s pointing at it on the downswing.  I had just assumed that in my downswing I was basically on plane or that my arms were subconsciously just continuing to follow the plane from my backswing.  Once I figured out how to get my club back on plane on the downswing, I did a few pump drills to make sure that I was getting the feeling.  After work, I was able to head to the range and test out my theory…..it worked!!  I hit the ball better than I have in months, more solid contact than I can remember having ever and the ball flight was consistent.  Had a few misses to the left and right, but I realized that my tempo was causing that.  Once I slowed down my tempo and made sure my club was on plane, I hit the ball exactly how I have dreamed I could.

I’m playing rounds again next week on Monday and Wednesday so I hope that I can get back to scoring well, after last night, I’m confident that I am going to improve.  Now that I have the ability to record my swing at home and analyze it, should help me stay consistent…now I just need to keep the ball in play off the tee and start rolling in those putts!  In a few weeks time, working on keeping my club on plane, I feel like I can get my scores back to the +1 and +2 I was shooting just a few weeks ago.

Also, I have signed up for a tournament coming up on August 16th-18th in Palm Springs.  I’ll post more about that in coming weeks, but it will be my 3rd year in a row attending this tournament.  Was in 2nd last year heading into the last day, until I blew up for an 83 on Sunday, so I’m hoping to improve from last year.

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This years British Open has been really fun to watch, there is the possibility of a 3 or even 4 putt on any given hole which makes for some exciting golf to watch….no lead is safe.  I love watching the US and British Opens because they are always the toughest tests in golf, where par is an amazing score.  Tiger is just 1 shot back going into the weekend and I must say that I am pulling for Tiger to win his 15th major and 1st since doing it here in my home town of San Diego at the US Open in ’08 at Torrey Pines.  It seems that every major over the past couple of years, Tiger has found himself at this exact same spot, in the lead or 1 or 2 shots off the lead heading into Saturday.  Saturday is “moving day” as Tiger likes to say, but lately he’s played his worst rounds on Saturday and instead of moving up, he’s moved way down and has dropped out of the competition heading into Sunday.  I’m hoping he can reverse his trend tomorrow, he’s hitting a ton of FW’s right now, if he can continue that and keeps making those clutch 10ft putts for par, I think he will easily be in or close to the lead by days end.  Honestly with how tough this course is playing, you could potentially be 6 or 7 shots back heading into the final round and still win…..can’t wait to watch the conclusion of this awesome weekend of golf!

I did end up playing a golf round on Wednesday, but we were not able to get onto Riverwalk.  We ended up having to emergency drive up to Vineyard and luckily we were able to get a golf round in.  I did not play very well and ended up shooting a very disappointing 80.  I’m not going to do a golf recap of my round, I’ve been obsessed with watching every second of the British Open and it’s on very early in the morning in the US.  I will give a quick over view of my round however, just could not get up and down all day long.  Ended my round 2 for 7 on up and down chances, not that I was hitting bad chips, just couldn’t make a putt.  Still getting used to not lining up my ball on putts inside 10feet and I’m just struggling with confidence right now.  My lag putting is improving nicely though, I did have two 3 putts, but they were not because I left my first putt 6-8ft short like I have been….this round they were just missing the short 2nd putt.  Frustrating, but I feel like it is just a confidence thing, I finally found a set up and stroke that is making consistent contact in the center of the putter face and thanks to my lesson last week, I now have a better ability to self diagnose and understand the feelings I have when I have a miss hit.  With more putting practice, my kinks should start to iron themselves out and help me gain more confidence.  My driving took a slight step backwards during this past round, just couldn’t find the center of the club face and as a result I hit a few very poor drives.  One of them cost me big time and I made a triple bogey after hitting a tree just in front of the tee box on #8.  The tees were extremely far back and tucked to the left, forcing me to try to hit a big cut shot as I’m lefty.  I’m not comfortable with that shot at all yet, and I pushed it left into the trees.  Also had a double on #3 as I hit my tee shot in the water on the par 3 and was unable to get up and down from the drop zone.  Back 9, I started off par, par, but then went on a bogey streak that lasted the next 5 holes, until paring 17 and 18 to end.  It’s tough to go from 71, 72 on the exact same course to 80 just a few days later……but that is golf, the true definition of a love/hate relationship.  I’m going to take the weekend off from golf and just relax, clear my head again and watch the British Open.  Will be playing again on Monday and Wednesday next week, so fully back to the grind on Monday….will continue to hit up the range if I can after the work for the next few days.

Final Stats for round:  Fairways Hit (FW) 7/14 50% Green in Regulation (GIR) 9/18 50% Up/Downs 2/7 28%. Sand Saves 0/2 0% Penalties: 2 Putts: 33

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My buddy had to cancel on me today a few hours before our round.  I debated not going up to play now that I did not have a partner, but you guys are keeping me motivated and accountable to keep putting out content, so I decided to just go up and try to play by myself.  I was hoping that this blog would help push me forward, that I would gain some accountability from my followers and it would give me that motivation to keep practicing and playing.  Over these past 7 weeks, I have gained more support from you guys than I could have ever imagined.  Your positively supportive letters and notes from all over the world have given me great motivation to see this journey out to the end….I will accomplish my dreams and when I do, a big part of that success  is going to be because of you guys, thanks!

When I got up to the course, it worked out exactly how I imagined and I was able to head out immediately upon arriving and got to play by myself the entire round!  No warm up probably cost me the first hole, but it’s no big deal.  Because I was by myself with nobody in front or behind for most of the round, I played my first ball for score and hit a 2nd ball occasionally for practice.  Love being able to have the time for some true course practice, it is almost impossible to replicate it on a practice chipping green at a driving range.  Had a lot of fun out there and even though I did not feel like my ball striking was as great as last week, was still able to put together my 2nd +2 round of my life.  So I tied my 2nd lowest round ever, so happy I decided to come out and play today, enjoy!

The Vineyard Golf Course 6,531 Yards Par 70

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Front 9

Hole 1: 420 Par 4

No warm up and I kind of rushed my first swing, hooked it pretty badly, really lucky that it stayed inbounds just outside the hazard.  Was able to advance it to just in front of the green, where I had a pretty simple chip, but I over cooked it and had about a 12 footer left for par.  Missed the putt to start my round with a bogey.  Bogey

Round (+1)  

Hole 2: 351 Par 4

Short dogleg left with water surrounding the left side and green.  Hit a 4iron today and drew it perfectly back into the middle of the fairway.  Only had 112 to the center and just 123 to the back, a very thin green where the pin was located on the far right side.  Took a SW that I hit solid, but blocked it out left and it finished middle of the green about 20+ feet away.  Made a real solid lag putt to a tap in par.  Par

Round (+1)

Hole 3: 125 Par3

Pin was middle back today, but tees were up and was playing a total of about 108 and downwind.  I took a lob wedge and hit a very solid shot just right of the flag about 10ft.  Had a slight right to left breaking putt, that I thought I had made, but it burned the edge. Par

Round (+1)

Hole 4: 404 Par 4

Took driver today, but blocked it left and it was heading right for a water hazard on the left side.  I thought it was probably in from the tee, but when I got up there it was still inbounds.  Had about 80 yards to a front pin location, blind shot, but hit it just past the hole about 8ft!  Unfortunately ball finished on top of a ridge just above the hole, so I had a VERY quick birdie putt.  Played it off the toe to kill the speed and left it just inches from the cup, tap in par. Par

Round (+1)

Hole 5: 401 Par 4

Went with driver again today and bombed it down the middle to the end of the fairway.  Just a short pitch left with my 60 degree lob wedge, hit it over the flag about 15ft.  Should have been better from there, but I’ll take it. 2 putted for a quick par. Par

Round (+1)

Hole 6: 152 Par 3

Was playing about 138 today, hit a PW to this back right pin location, thought it was perfect, but it took a hard bounce and it got caught up in the rough before it could spin back.  Was left with little green to work with and a slight downhill slope.  Landed my chip a little further than I had pictured and as a result it ran past and was left with an 8ft par saving putt….failed to make the save. 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.  Last week I hit a 5 wood to just 15 or so feet for eagle, but today I even beat that!  Hit a great 5 wood, exactly how I pictured it and when I got to the green, saw the ball just 7ft for eagle!  Couldn’t see the flag on my tee shot, so got lucky that it was right at it, a perfect shot….but my putting is still a struggle to get comfortable and I pulled the pretty much straight putt.  A great opportunity for eagle missed, but I’ll keep taking birdies all day long. Birdie

Round (+1)

Hole 8: 419 Par 4

Tees were way back today and the hole was playing into the wind, good thing too because I hit a great drive that was hitting toward the fairway bunkers, but the wind stopped it just short.  I was in the fairway about 145 out, took a 9 iron and hit it just to the back of the green.  A 25 ft downhill, right to left breaking putt that I lagged perfectly and made a nice par. Par

Round (+1)

Hole 9: 503 Par 5

Very reachable par 5, hit a weak 3 wood down the left side.  It stayed just short of a bunker, but I had an awkward stance where my right foot was just on the lip.  249 left to green, was feeling good so I tried to hit a 5 wood from the lie.  Probably not the smartest idea and I didn’t really get good contact because of my stance and it just squibbed forward.  Had 180 in now with the wind, took an 8 iron that landed on the left side of green.  A 20 ft putt for birdie, just burned the edge of the cup and made the 3 ft comebacker for par. Par

Round (+1)

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A solid opening 9 of 36 (+1) on this Par 35 Front 9…2 putted every green and unfortunately missed a 7 ft eagle putt, but I’m really pleased with my score, lots of greens in regulation and kept the ball in play.  Fairways Hit (FW): 4/7 44% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 7/9 77% Up/Downs: 0/2 0% Sand Saves: 0/0 0% Putts: 18 Penalties: 0

Back 9

Hole 10: 389 Par 4

Hit a bad drive that sliced left and found the hazard out.  Was able to hit my next shot just to the back of the green about 30 ft from flag, almost drained the long par, but it just missed for a bogey caused by a penalty.  Bogey

Round (+2)

Hole 11: 457 Par 4

A very tight driving hole, hit one of my best drives ever on this hole, fed the small fairway gap and finished just 124 out, 333 yard drive.  Was on a slight down slope on the fairway, clipped a SW a little thin and got barely any spin on it, it ran by about 25ft.  A slight right to left breaker…..drained it! Huge putt for me, stole a birdie on this very difficult hole.  After that bogie on 10, I needed this!  Birdie

Round (+1)

Hole 12: 154 Par 3

Another par 3 over water.  Hit a solid 9iron that drew and finished about 15 ft right of pin.  Quick 2 putt for par.  Par

Round (+1)

Hole 13: 477 Par 4

Downhill long par 4.  Blocked my driver to the left and I was left with a blind 2nd shot.  Was about 150 to the front, hole is downhill so I took a PW and tried to smash it, started it on my intended line so I was hoping it was close to green.  Ended up just short, but was on a perfect line to the pin.  Made a nice chip with my lob wedge to about a ft and tapped in for par. Par

Round (+1)

Hole 14: 412 Par 4

Water on the left and out of bounds on the right; hit a 5 iron today that I hooked.  Luckily it caught the fairway bunker or it would have hit off the hill hard and most likely out of bounds.  Had a real awkward stance, ball severely below my feet and my whole body outside of the bunker as my ball was just on the right edge.  Actually made pretty good contact and was able to advance a 9 iron up just short of the green in the fairway.  Decided to putt the ball as I was probably about 40 ft away from hole….hit another great lag putt through the fringe to about 3 ft and made the par save. Par

(Round +1)

Hole 15: 551 Par 5

Hit a weak drive down the left side and it finished in the rough on a side hill, uphill lie.  Tried to advance a 6 iron up, but hooked it badly into the rough.  Still 145 out for my 3rd into the wind….went with my 9, right at it, but wind knocked it down and it finished in the front portion of green.  Pin was in the very back on a little ridge, so I had about a 45ft putt for birdie.  Hit another great lag putt to about 3 ft and made my par putt.  Par

(Round +1)

Hole 16: 453 Par 4

The most difficult hole on the course according to the handicap on the scorecard.  Decided on 3 wood today and found the fairway.  Flag was in the very front of the green, hit a PW right at the flag, begged for it to be the right club, but it came up just short.  Should have been a fairly easy chip, but was debating whether to chip it low or high.  Choose to play it back in my stance and go low….mistake…. I ran it a good 9 ft by.  High was the way to go on that shot, missed the par putt for a disappointing bogey from what should have been a quite easy up and down spot.  Bogey.

Round (+2)

Hole 17: 157 Par 3

Hit a 9 iron off the toe and it just missed the green on the left side on the fringe.  Took out my trusty PW and played a great bump and run that took the slope left to right and finished just inches from the hole, tap in par. Par

Round (+2)

Hole 18: 411 Par 4

Very scenic 18th hole heading back down the hill to the clubhouse.  Went with driver again today, crushed it over the sand traps and it finished perfectly in the fairway just 70 yards out.  Ball on a down slope in the fairway, pin was on the back of this back to front sloping green.  Hit a great punch lob wedge, that flew all the way to the flag and stopped about 8 ft right of the hole.  A pretty straight putt, couldn’t have asked for a better spot to putt from, but I pulled it and missed right. Par

(Round +2)

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Another solid 9 of 36 (+1) on the Par 35 Back 9….had a great birdie look on 18 for back to back career low rounds of +1, but slightly pulled it.  Fairways Hit (FW) 3/7 43% Green in Regulation (GIR) 4/9 44% Up/Downs 3/4 75% Sand Saves 0/0 0% Putts: 14 Penalties: 1

Final Score: 72 (+2) Fairways Hit (FW) 7/14 50% Green in Regulation (GIR) 11/18 61% Up/Downs 3/6 50%. Sand Saves 0/0 0% Penalties: 1 Putts: 32

I found a putting routine on the back 9 that really helped me to get consistent solid strikes in the center of the club face.  Still getting used to not lining up the lines on my ball with where I want to start my putts, it’s a little weird right now, but I putted fairly well all day.  Had zero 3 putts today so I’m really proud of that, something I’ve been working hard to correct.  I started to set up with my feet slightly open on the back 9 and it was allowing me to strike the putts in the center and start rolling more down my intended line.  I’m really excited that I was able to continue my low scoring and I’m hoping that if I continue to play confidently and believe in myself that these low 70 rounds are going to occur consistently.  Will be playing on Wednesday again, most likely at Riverwalk.

 

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Tuesday

Decided to schedule a putting lesson today with my instructor, we worked for an hour on different putting drills, designed for me to better feel what I’m doing and be able to self correct.  We worked on drills that helped with range of vision and really taking in your entire surroundings, not just the distance of  you to the hole.  This includes everything behind the hole, from the edge of the green to the houses or street in the distance.  When you start to just focus on the distance from you to the hole, you start to get tunnel vision, to play the best golf we must start to expand our vision.  Tunnel vision can also have the effect of making the distance between two spaces look considerably closer because you are focused on a fixed point.    One of the drills you can do to test this is to set up to a straight putt of say 15-30 ft distance (don’t pace it off before) and then stand up, turn your club so that the grip is pointing to the ground.  Now close your eyes and start walking toward the cup.  When you feel like you are close to where you believe the hole is, set the putter grip down.  This might tell you something interesting about the way you perceive the distance between putts.

My coach wants me to learn how to better feel and understand the strokes I’m making.  I would hit a putt and then based on if it started left, right or down my intended line, I would describe to him the feelings of that particular swing, in as great detail as possible.  This is a great way to learn how to self correct.  Eventually we did a variation of this drill where I would putt with my eyes closed and then tell him what I felt and whether I thought the putt started left, right or down my target line.  My coach doesn’t want to start messing with my grip and set up for right now, maybe later down the line we might tweak a few things, but he believes that putting is more about feeling than mechanics.

We also talked about the idea of not lining up the lines on my ball toward my intended line.  I’m sure you guys have seen some pros do this, most famously Tiger Woods has done it before, where he lines up a line on his ball where we wants his putt to start.  I always do this when I’m playing a round, but ironically as we were chatting about this, I realized that when I practice on a putting green, I don’t.  So I’m going to work on playing with no line up and focus on just seeing my putts rather than get locked in to a particular line and narrowing my focus.

Wednesday

Went over to Oaks North again, a local executive course with three different 9 hole courses.  Last time we played the North/East combination, but this time we played the South/East (Par 60).  Each 9 contains 6 par 3’s and 3 par 4s.  It is a great test for your irons and short game and I played very well, shooting an even par round of 60!  I’m not going to do a round recap, but I will give you a few high and low lights.   Chipped in twice, once for eagle and once for birdie!  I hit 10 of the 18 greens, but missed about 4 that were on the fringe, really close.  I managed to only 3 putt once utilizing my new putting method and that was on the 3rd hole where I only had about a 12 ft putt for birdie.  A bad 3 putt, but it was early in my round and I was trying to get used to not lining up my putts with the arrows on the ball and forgot to think about speed on the downhill putt.  So a mistake that was quickly canceled out when I made eagle on the next hole, but other than that I lag putted fairly well.  Still did not make as many putts as I would have liked from 12 ft and in, missed a few par and birdie chances from inside 10 ft, but I was more aware of why I missed them.  My chipping game is continuing to be a strength of mine and I’m just so eager to keep playing and see what I can do.

Ended up heading down to the driving range later on in the night, hit the ball well, worked a lot of my wedges trying to better understand the exact distances of each wedge.  Hit my driver and woods at the end, found myself getting a little bit too quick and as a result I was hitting them off the toe or shifting extremely forward.  Realized that it could be my tempo and once I fixed that, I was back to hitting my driver in the middle of the club face and sending it deep down range toward my intended target.  I need to remember to keep my tempo, I tend to get quick a lot and it causes me to be an inconsistent ball striker.  Hopefully going to be playing a round this weekend on either Saturday or Sunday if it does not rain.  But if not, I’ll still be playing on Monday again at Vineyard and Wednesday for sure somewhere.