Posts Tagged ‘course’

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.

images (3)Hello everyone, been a few months I know, but I have still been on the grind playing/practicing golf and I think it is time I give you all a recap of how I’ve been playing.  Over the past 2 months, I have made an effort to focus on my putting and chipping to try and raise my Up and Down stats. After playing with different ball positions and seeing how it affected the strike, height and spin of the wedges, I found that playing the ball off my back ankle when chipping gave me a consistent solid strike with solid spin.  I was able to control the height of the shot with my hand positions and club face angle.  For my putting, I started to create a consistent and repeatable putting routine….check the break from behind the ball, line up my mark to that spot, practice strokes while looking at hole to get distance feel, club face down feet together, look at hole while separating feet, one last look at hole, forward press and go.  My lag putting has gotten a lot better; I have only 3 putted twice in the last 3 rounds, made a ton of putts from 5ft and in and a solid amount from that 8-20 range.

My focus now is to try and raise my stats to PGA Tour averages, if I can do that or get close to those numbers than the scores will take care of themselves.  That under par round that I have been chasing is only going to come when my score is almost an afterthought.  The current PGA Tour Stat Averages are FW: 60% GIR: 67% Up and Down%: 57%.  Obviously they are playing much longer, narrower and more difficult courses, so I should aim to get much higher than those, but if I just reach these stats, with solid putting, I should be shooting under par.  I have been inputting scores into a website since about 2010 and currently I have 90 rounds in there and my stats are as follows.  FW: 39% GIR: 50% Up and Down%: 29%.  Because I have 90 rounds already logged, even with me playing at my best level ever right now, it is going to take a lot of consistently solid rounds to move these numbers significantly.  Just to give you a barometer of how I’m playing currently over my last 3 rounds my stats are as follows: FW:  23/43 53% GIR: 27/54 50% Up and Down% 11/18 61%.  I am playing well off the tee right now, been a big point of emphasis for me and my driver and woods have been solid, that number could be a lot higher as a lot of the fairways I missed where not by much at all.  The GIR of 50% is disappointing, especially since I am hitting more fairways, my wedge game has been off lately and I’m missing greens that I should easily hit.  My up and down % has gone from 29% to 61% since making the change to my putting and chipping so I’m excited to keep tine tuning that and get those numbers even higher.

My last two scores have been a +2 (74) at Double Tree and +5 (77) at Carmel Mountain from the tip Black Tees.  It was my first time ever playing from the blacks there as I have always wanted to, Carmel Mountain is a very challenging course, 6599 yards 73.2/133 slope from the tips with lots of out of bounds and tight fairways.  I’m really proud of the way I played there, should have been a lot better than +5, but could only make 1 birdie.

I’ll update again soon, doesn’t look like I’ll be able to play another round until next week sometime, so I’ll be hitting up the range over the next few days, hopefully I can continue my solid play.

Like I updated in my previous post, was unable to play on Saturday when my plans fell through, but was able to go out and play today over at Carmel Highlands and I shot an 80 (+8).  I struck the ball very well, but short game again killed me and I had six 3-putts….that’s right SIX!!  I know where I will be all next week and that is on the putting and chipping greens, I am hitting the ball well enough to shoot low to mid 70’s every time right now.  Getting my short game  tightened up is going to help me lower my scores quickly.

I went to the Farmers Insurance Open here at Torrey Pines in San Diego yesterday and had a blast.  I went to the Wednesday Pro Am, it’s the only day you can take video of the players and I got some great footage.  If you have never had a chance to see the PGA Tour live and in person, you can’t really grasp how good they are.  These guys truly are on a different level, it’s a joy to watch and  it sure gives me motivation to try and hit it as well as they do one day.  I edited my videos together into a nice 1080p compilation for you guys, got a lot of the best players in the world, so here is the video, enjoy!

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