Posts Tagged ‘course’

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First of all Happy 4th of July to all of my fellow American viewers! Yes….I realize that I’m posting this just after midnight here and it is technically the 5th, but I just couldn’t finish it in time!  Today is a day to celebrate and give thanks to all those who have sacrificed their lives to protect this nation for us over the past 237 years.  Us Americans are all so blessed to live in a nation where we have the right to pursue our own happiness and the freedom to go after the dreams in our heart.  I for one do not take that for granted, I know there are millions of people across the world that unfortunately do not have that luxury.

Played my 2nd round at Riverwalk today, completed back to back days of golf on the fantastic Riverwalk course, playing the exact 9 hole combination as yesterdays round of 78 (+6) Friars/Presidio.  A really fun round out there today, that included a crazy accident that we witnessed on the back 9.  Will probably never see that again in my life, check it out!

Riverwalk Friars/Presidio 6,627 Yards Par 72

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Front 9 Friars 3,230 Yards Par 36

Hole 1: 384 Par 4

Straight away par 4; today hit a great 1st tee drive down the right side of the fairway.  Hit my 2nd shot in almost the exact same spot as yesterday on the front right portion of the green.  Flag was on middle right today, so I did not have an extremely long putt.  About 20 ft up the hill, left my putt a good 6 ft short (continuing my trend from yesterday) and I missed the 6 ft par putt, for a bad opening hole 3 putt bogey. Bogey

Round (+1)

Hole 2: 509 Par 5

Dog leg left par 5, hit my drive down the left side and it took a nasty bounce left and found the hazard.  Got to drop at the spot and laced a 5 wood up just right of the green.  Even with the penalty I had a nice opportunity for an up and down par and I hit a good chip to about 8 ft.  Made the uphill slight right to left breaking par putt! Par

Round (+1)

Hole 3: 342 Par 4

Dog leg right hole, where a lake runs down the right side, from playing yesterday I knew that I could take a 3 wood or driver and cut off the hole yardage significantly by going over the lake.  Decided on a 3 wood and although I thinned it low, it had a perfect draw on it and ran out around the corner of the lake.  Only had 70 yards to green, but still struggling to put it close from this distance, 35 ft over the pin.  A quick tricky 2 putt, somehow left my lag putt short again a good 6 ft and lipped out my par putt for ANOTHER 3 putt…..ughhh! Bogey

Round (+2)

Hole 4: 171 Par 3

I started reading this great book my sisters got me called “Zen Golf” by Dr. Joseph Parent….only a few chapters in, but the ideas he has presented about letting go of bad shots, focusing and thinking of the bigger picture have really hit home to me.  I’ll talk more about the book when I’m finished reading it, but wanted to mention it because I used his techniques after the two 3 putts in my first opening 3 holes and it had amazing results.  Focused on this next difficult shot and hit a great 6 iron to about 15 ft.  Had the putt right online, but it stopped a few inches short, solid par on this #1 handicap hole. Par

Round (+2)

Hole 5: 395 Par 4

Straight away par 4 where you can let the driver fly.  Hit almost the same drive as yesterday, crushed down the middle, only 75 yards in.  Hit a solid wedge this time that played off a slope on the green and ran towards the cup, finished about 12.  Birdie putt burned the edge, tap in par.  Par

Round (+2)

Hole 6: 175 Par 3

Hit an 8 iron to center of green, about 25 ft away, good lag putt and made my 3 ft par putt. Par

Round (+2)

Hole 7: 507 Par 5

Out of bounds to the left, hit a great drive down middle of fairway.  Only had 200 to reach this par 5 in 2, but I blocked a 5 iron out to the left.  Hit a solid chip to about 6 ft, but missed my right to left breaking birdie putt on the low side, par. Par

Round (+2)

Hole 8: 403 Par 4

Slight dog leg right hole, blocked my tee shot out to the left, but it stayed in.  Had a fluffy lie in the rough 140 out, hard to get any spin, took a PW, hit center of green, but just ran off to the back.  Nice little bump and run and made the putt for a par. Par

Round (+2)

Hole 9: 344 Par 4

Decided to hit my driver today and hit a solid drive down the right side of fairway.  Hit a lob wedge, that I clipped perfectly and it finished just 5ft from cup, but unfortunately was above the hole and a real quick putt.  Had to play it off the toe to kill the speed, looked in, but hit a spike mark at the cup and darted right and missed….dang, great opportunity missed.  Par

Round (+2)

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Started off shaky with two 3 putts in my first 3 holes and an out of bounds tee shot on #2, but gathered my focus back and finished the 9 with 6 consecutive pars for a 38 (+2) on this Par 36 Friars Front 9. Fairways Hit (FW): 4/7 57% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 7/9 77% Up/Downs: 2/2 100% Sand Saves: 0/ 0% Penalties: 1 Putts: 18

Back 9 Presidio: 3,397 Yards Par 36

Hole 10: 398 Par 4

Bad drive out to the left that caught a fairway bunker.  Had about 160 into the wind, hit a knock down 7 iron through the winds, drew in perfectly and finished just 1 ft away from the cup!  Almost a hole out eagle, but after that tee shot, a tap in birdie feels about the same as if I had holed it. Birdie

Round (+1)

Hole 11: 178 Par 3

Crazy thing happened on this hole as we approached, a guy from the group in front of us tried to make a u-turn to the side of the lake, but instead of stopping to reverse, he drove right into the lake!!  I have never seen anything like that in my life, pretty funny actually, the guy was alright and they eventually finished the hole after the staff brought out another cart for him.  What an idiot, but we all had a nice laugh and my buddy took a picture.  After we waited for the situation to clear up we played this difficult par 3 over the lake and that had a steady cross wind left to right.  Hit a 6 iron today that over drew slightly and ended just in the back right.  Hit a great little bump and run chip to about 4 ft…..but horrible missed the putt, pulled it. Bogey

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Round (+2)

Hole 12: 511 Par 5

Dog leg right Par 5, reachable in 2 if you hit a deep drive, but I hit mine left again.  Hit a nice 5 wood up just right of the green.  Had to hit about a 30 yard flop that I flew a little too far and had about a 18 ft putt slightly downhill…..2 putted for par. Par

 Round (+2)

Hole 13: 440 Par 4

Hit another really good drive down the left side of the fairway.  Hit a solid gap wedge on to about 10 ft, but left the birdie putt a rotation short, par. Par

Round (+2)

Hole 14: 393 Par 4

Straightway par 4, but the fairway is separated by a river in the middle, so you are forced to lay up to about 220 from the tee.  Hit a 4 iron that just missed the fairway on the right side.  Had about 190 to flag, hit a 6 iron hoping to land it about 180 and run the rest…came off perfectly and ended about 8 ft below the hole.  Rolled in the putt for a great birdie on this #1 handicapped hole on the Presidio 9. Birdie

Round (+1)

Hole 15: 538 Par 5

A nice par 5 to try and get a shot back….hit my drive over to the left and then tried to hit a 5 iron up, but caught it really thin and it just squirted forward.  Bad shot, but made it up with a nice 8 iron that ended just short of green.  Little bump and run with my PW and tapped in for a par. Par

Round (+1)

Hole 16: 374 Par 4

Pushed my drive left into the fairway bunker.  Had about 145 into a cross wind, punched a 9 iron that drew just too much and spun right off the green.  Hit another great little chip to about 5 ft and made the par putt. Par

Round (+1) 

Hole 17: 148 Par 3

Heading into 17, I was sitting at only +1, my dream of shooting an under par round is a possibility if I can play the final 2 holes in -2.  Admittedly I was not even paying attention to my score, I knew I had a great round going, but did not know I was only +1.  Like I said earlier, I am reading the book Zen Golf and it talks about just clearing your mind and focusing on the next shot in front of you and not thinking about your score as a whole.  Double bogeyed this hole yesterday when I hit a PW short, so I took out my 9 iron today.  Would have been pin high if I did not leave it out way left where it took a horrible bounce off a cart path.  Had to hit an amazingly high flop over a few trees to a short sided pin location with a bunker in-between.  Impossible shot, but I did flop it over the trees, but too far and it landed in a bunker on the other side….where it plugged.  Bad break, but was able to knock it out to about 6 ft, but of course I missed the putt for back to back double bogeys on this hole, which I now will forever hate! Double Bogey.

Round (+3)

Hole 18: 417 Par 4

Straight away par 4 that has out of bounds on the right side.  Sliced my tee shot over to the left around some trees, but was able to advance it up just in front of the green.  Little too strong on my chip and was left with about 8 ft for par.  Looked good, but died left at the very end….finished this round double bogey, bogey….disappointing end to an otherwise great round.  Bogey

Round (+4)

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Was -1 on this 9 heading into the final 2 holes, but blew up to finish with a 38 (+2).  At least no 3 putts today on this 9, compared to the 3 I had yesterday and I saw a cart in the middle of a lake so that’s a plus.  Fairways Hit (FW): 1/7 14% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 4/9 44% Up/Downs: 2/5 40% Sand Saves: 0/0 0% Penalties: 0 Putts: 14

Final Stats: Fairways Hit (FW): 5/14 36% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 11/18 61% Up/Downs: 4/7 57% Sand Saves: 0/0 0% Penalties: 1 Putts: 32

4th round recap at the Vineyard, this is starting to look like my home course if I had any because it’s so cheap at twilight and in good condition.  This pin positions, just like last round, were in really tough spot today, many on slopes, making two putting not a guarantee by any stretch.  A disappointing round of 81 today, but when you read the recap, you’ll find out why.

The Vineyard Golf Course 6,531 Yards Par 70

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Front 9

Hole 1: 420 Par 4

Snap hooked my opening tee shot into the hazard on the right, not a good way to start my round.  Hit my drop onto the green and two putted for an opening hole bogey. Bogey

Round (+1)  

Hole 2: 351 Par 4

Short dogleg left with water surrounding the left side and green.  Took a 5iron and hit a solid shot down the middle of the fairway.  Had about 112 into the green, slightly into the wind. Hit a sand wedge that landed on green, but spun back off.  Hit a real nice bump and run with my PW to a tap in par. Par

Round (+1)

Hole 3: 125 Par3

Pin was way up again like it was 2 rounds ago, only playing around 75yards today.  Just tried to punch a half lob wedge up there, but hit it too good and it flew over into the back rough.  Hit another great chip to about 3ft and made another par save. Par

Round (+1)

Hole 4: 404 Par 4

Hit my usual 3wood off this tee, but for once I didn’t shove it way left and this one drew back toward the fairway…unfortunately it just got caught up in the lip of a bunker.  Only had 100 yards to the front of the green, really awkward lie for me being a lefty as I was basically standing on the down slope of the lip. Just punched a pw out and hit a great shot that ran up pin high about 15ft right of flag.  The pin location was positioned on the ridge in the middle of the green and being pin high, I was faced with an almost impossible putt to stop close as it was a big breaking right to left putt down the slope. I was just trying to get it to finish about 6-8ft below the hole so I would be putting uphill for par and I did just that.  Really struggling with my confidence from this distances right now however and I pulled the pretty much straight 6ft putt and 3 putted for a bogey.  Really hard pin location and even though I was center of the green in two, you needed to keep it below the hole today and that cost me. Bogey

Round (+2)

Hole 5: 401 Par 4

Decided to go with my driver today to keep working on the changes I found and hit a great drive down the middle and only had about 80 yards in.  Pin was located on the back of this 3 tier green on another slope!  I hit a poor wedge as I pushed it to the left, was pin high, but had another big sloping putt at about 25ft.  Left my first putt well short and missed my par again, for back to back 3 putts.  I need to stop making bogeys from 80yards in the fairway, no excuse, just need to practice more.  Should be making birdies and pars, bogeys from there are just unacceptable. Bogey

Round (+3)

Hole 6: 152 Par 3

Took one club too many on this shot and killed a 9iron over the green….should have factored in the heat as it makes the ball travel slightly farther.  Hit another excellent chip to a tap in and made par. Par

Round (+3)

Hole 7: 295 Par 4

A sharp dog leg right hole, but gives you an angle to drive the green in 1.  Usually about 250-260 to carry the hazard and drive the green.  Since I hit a 3wood out of bounds last week after I blocked it left, I went with my 5wood today thinking that if I hit the same shot I’d be ok this time.  Hmmm….guess not, hit the same shot as last week, but crushed my 5wood through the fairway and into the street….so pissed at myself, this is a birdie hole, keep it in bounds and it’s an easy par, keep killing myself off this tee.  Hit a big flop after my drop that ended about 15ft from hole, missed my par putt and made another bogey on this 18th handicapped hole. Bogey

Round (+4)

Hole 8: 419 Par 4

Hit my best drive ever on this hole today, crushed it down the middle, hit the back of a hill in the fairway and got extra roll and only had 76yards in, 343 drive!  Pin was located in another impossible spot, on an extreme down slope.  I punched a wedge that landed about 3ft away, bit and spun back down the slope and about 15ft below the hole….this pin locations are brutal.  Had an uphill right to left breaking putt that I left short, but made the par putt. Par

Round (+4)

Hole 9: 503 Par 5

Very reachable par 5, finally hit a good drive, was feeling confident in my driver at this point so I went with it today instead of my normal 3 wood.  Hit a solid shot that was close to the fairway, but in the rough.  Had only 184 yards to reach this par 5 in two.  Wind was helping and I took an 8iron, but shoved it completed left.  Horrible shot and ball ended on a down slope that I had to flop to get into the green.  Hit a good shot to about 15ft, but missed the birdie.  Let a good opportunity for birdie go after a nice drive because I left myself short sided again. Par

Round (+4)

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Had two penalties off the tee and two three putts to shoot a 39 (+4) on this Par 35 Front 9.  Was 3 for 3 on up and downs though, so chipping is staying solid.  Fairways Hit (FW): 3/7 43% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 4/9 44% Up/Downs: 3/3 100% Sand Saves: 0/0 0% Penalties: 2

Back 9

Hole 10: 389 Par 4

Chose to hit my driver again instead of my normal 3wood, hit a great tee shot that went down the left side of the fairway, but just finished in the rough.  It ended up in a little divot hole, but was able to get solid contact with a lob wedge.  Had about 70yards to the uphill flag and stuck it to about 8ft.  Rolled in my putt to get my first birdie of the day and a good start to this tough back 9.  Funny how keeping the ball in play off the tee can do, triple bogey last week to a birdie this week.  Birdie

Round (+3)

Hole 11: 457 Par 4

A very tight driving hole, hit a good drive that ended in the rough just to the left of the fairway.  Had a bad angle into a back left hole location and I had to hit a small cut to avoid a tree.  Clipped the top of the tree and it ended in the greenside bunker.  There was little sand in this bunker and I hit it a little thin and it went out left.  Was pin high, but needed to chip it again to get it onto the green.  I was frustrated and should have gone to the back to switch clubs, but decided just to use the sand wedge.  Hit a poor chip and was still left with about 9ft for bogey, missed it and made a bad double bogey. Double Bogey

Round (+5)

Hole 12: 154 Par 3

Another par 3 over water.  Hit a great punch PW that hit left for pin and spun back to about 8ft for birdie.  A slight downhill putt that lipped out and I made a par.  Needed that birdie to fall badly.  Par

Round (+5)

Hole 13: 477 Par 4

Downhill long par 4.  Been feeling confident in my driver today, but I sliced this one way left.  It was ok however in an adjacent fairway, but a long way to the green at 184 yards.  Hit a 6iron, but caught it slightly fat and it came up short in the green side bunker.  This time I hit a great blind bunker shot that finished about 6ft from cup….putting is letting me down today as I pulled this putt slightly too and it lipped out again. Bogey

Round (+6)

Hole 14: 412 Par 4

Water on the left and out of bounds on the right; hit a 4 iron down the left side that took a hard hard bounce and kept rolling through the fairway and into the water hazard. A really unlucky break, I crushed that ball and didn’t think I’d hit a 4iron that far.  Dropped and hit a bad wedge that I quit on and it finished in another bunker.  Hit a great downhill bunker shot to about 3 ft and made the putt for a bogey…could have been worse, but another penalty leads to another dropped shot. Bogey

(Round +7)

Hole 15: 551 Par 5

Hit a great drive just to the right of the fairway.  Had a bad lie as the ball ended in a depression, so I could only hit a 6iron instead of go for the green from 244out.  Left myself in the perfect spot, about 55 yards in the fairway, hit a wedge up to about 12ft.  A downhill putt, but looked almost straight.  I killed the putt, crushed it a good 6ft by and like I’ve been doing lately, missed the comeback putt.  An absolutely horrible 3 putt bogey, my 3rd of the day, and after being only 50yards from the green in two, my short game killing me now.  Bogey

(Round +8)

Hole 16: 453 Par 4

The most difficult hole on the course according to the handicap on the scorecard.  Took my driver out today and hit it into another hazard, 4th penalty of the day. Hit my drop short of the green and hit my PW chip a little too hard and left myself about 6ft for bogey.  Lipped out another putt and carded a double bogey 6.  Double Bogey.

Round (+10)

Hole 17: 157 Par 3

Blocked an 8iron left, hit a great chip to a tap in par. Par

Round (+10)

Hole 18: 411 Par 4

Very scenic 18th hole heading back down the hill to the clubhouse.  Hit a great drive to only 68yards and it settled just through the fairway.  Hit a bad 2nd shot, just trying a half lob wedge and it ended short of green.  Should have been an easy chip up, but left my chip short.  Missed my putt to end the round with a bogey. Bogey

(Round +11)

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Started this back 9 with a birdie, but finished 8over on my last 8holes to shoot a very disappointing 42 (+7) on the Par 35 Back 9.  0 fairways hit, but had about 4 that were just in the rough, pretty good drives, but technically weren’t fairways hit. Fairways Hit (FW) 0/7 0% Green in Regulation (GIR) 3/9 33% Up/Downs 1/2 50% Sand Saves 0/2 0% Penalties: 2

Final Score: 81 (+11) Fairways Hit (FW) 3/14 21% Green in Regulation (GIR) 7/18 38% Up/Downs 4/5 80%. Sand Saves 0/2 0% Penalties: 4 Putts: 33

Obviously a very disappointing round today at the Vineyard.  I felt like I drove the ball well with my driver, better than I have over the past month, but still just can’t avoid the mistakes.  I can’t keep having 2-4 penalties a round, absolutely killing me.  My wedge game needs to improve from 100yards and in along with my lag putting.  I’m starting to miss those 5-6 foot par putts as well over my last 3 rounds; my confidence from that distance has plummeted.  The short game is just going to take a lot more practice, I’ve been focusing on my long game a lot over the past few weeks and I’m not really putting in the hours on or around the greens that’s needed to improve in those areas.

I’m going to be playing again this week on Wednesday, Thursday for sure and then hopefully on Sunday too.  I was thinking about getting a lesson tomorrow, but I’m just going to put it off until next week.  I don’t want to cloud my mind with too many new swing thoughts for my next few rounds, I need to just go out and play and trust my swing.  My driver swing is improving, got all my distance back and I’m hitting it more solid.  I’m hitting it straighter as well, so I hope I can maintain that on Wednesday and Thursday.  This is going to be a long process getting to scratch and I’m starting to realize just how hard it is going to be, but these struggles will only make it more rewarding when I reach my goal.  My scores are rising since the first couple weeks, but I do feel like I’m improving at the same time, it’s weird, but I think you know what I mean by that.

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

The Vineyard Golf Course 6,531 Yards Par 70

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Front 9

Hole 1: 420 Par 4

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

Round (+1)  

Hole 2: 351 Par 4

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

Round (+4)

Hole 3: 125 Par3

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

Round (+4)

Hole 4: 404 Par 4

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

Round (+4)

Hole 5: 401 Par 4

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

Round (+3)

Hole 6: 152 Par 3

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

Round (+3)

Hole 7: 295 Par 4

A sharp dog leg right hole, but gives you an angle to drive the green in 1.  Usually about 250-260 to carry the hazard and drive the green.  Tee box today, seemed to be back farther than last round, so I decided to hit a 3wood.  I knew if I blocked it I would be ok, at least I thought, I blocked it and I thought it would be just 20yards left of the green.  When we got up there, we found it up against the fence line and I was forced to take an unplayable lie and drop it for a penalty.   So frustrating to have to take a drop on this hole, this is a very easy birdie hole; I guess I hit that 3wood over 270 in the air, looks like I can only hit 5wood on this hole from now on.  Had to hit a big flop for my 3rd that landed by the hole, but rolled 12 by.  Putt for par was perfect, but left it just short again and made a bogey.  Frustrated because I was starting to turn this round back around after the triple bogey on the 2nd, but it’s just not to be today. Bogey

Round (+4)

Hole 8: 419 Par 4

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

Round (+5)

Hole 9: 503 Par 5

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

Round (+5)

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

Back 9

Hole 10: 389 Par 4

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

Round (+8)

Hole 11: 457 Par 4

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

Round (+8)

Hole 12: 154 Par 3

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

Round (+8)

Hole 13: 477 Par 4

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

Round (+8)

Hole 14: 412 Par 4

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

(Round +10)

Hole 15: 551 Par 5

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

(Round +10)

Hole 16: 453 Par 4

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

Round (+10)

Hole 17: 157 Par 3

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

Round (+10)

Hole 18: 411 Par 4

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

(Round +10)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Vineyard Golf Course 6,531 Yards Par 70

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Front 9

Hole 1: 420 Par 4

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

Round (+1)  

Hole 2: 351 Par 4

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

Round (+2)

Hole 3: 125 Par3

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

Round (+4)

Hole 4: 404 Par 4

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

Round (+5)

Hole 5: 401 Par 4

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

Round (+5)

Hole 6: 152 Par 3

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

Round (+5)

Hole 7: 295 Par 4

A sharp dog leg right hole, but gives you an angle to drive the green in 1.  Usually about 250-260 to carry the hazard and drive the green.  I hit a 5wood today and hit it so pure.  We couldn’t see the flag stick, but I knew it was probably aimed at the center of the green.  When we got up there I was only 15 ft for eagle!  So happened I hit it exactly on line with the flag and had I hit it a few feet further it could have been a tap in eagle.  I missed the eagle putt, but I’ll take a birdie all day. Birdie

Round (+4)

Hole 8: 419 Par 4

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

Round (+4)

Hole 9: 503 Par 5

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

Round (+4)

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

Back 9

Hole 10: 389 Par 4

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

Round (+5)

Hole 11: 457 Par 4

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

Round (+5)

Hole 12: 154 Par 3

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

Round (+5)

Hole 13: 477 Par 4

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

Round (+5)

Hole 14: 412 Par 4

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

(Round +4)

Hole 15: 551 Par 5

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

(Round +4)

Hole 16: 453 Par 4

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

Round (+4)

Hole 17: 157 Par 3

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

Round (+4)

Hole 18: 411 Par 4

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

(Round +6)

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

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

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

On Tuesday I went to putt and chip for about 2 hours in preparation for my round on Wednesday.  My chipping and putting are really improving and where that used to be a weak area of my game, I have really been gaining confidence quickly in both.  If you want to shoot consistent low scores, you will gain the most strokes by being solid on and around the green.

On Wednesday I played my first round since starting this blog.  Maybe the blog motivated me more to shoot a real good open score and I did just that, carding a +4 round of 74 on the par 70 Vineyard Golf Course. From the back tee Vineyard plays at a rating of 73.1, my score of 74 gave me a handicap index of 0.9, which I believe is my lowest I have ever shot.  My other 74 I have shot was a +2 in Palm Springs (Which was the round that sparked this whole golf obsession again for me) but that was from the middle tees and it ended up being an index of 1.7 or something.  So overall I’m very pleased with my round today, showing a lot of improvement in my iron play and up and down ability.  The black eye of the round however, was the fact that I drove the ball from the tee absolutely horrid.  The positions that my coach wants me to get into with my woods are just not translating yet; I could not even hit a 3-wood in the fairway let alone my driver.  Hit only 3 of 14 fairways in the round, but like I said before, my iron, chipping and putting was great and despite only hitting 21% of fairways I was able to shoot only 4 over par.  I’m going to be going over my round hole by hole, so you can kind of picture how my round went.  I’m not sure if I’ll be able to do this for every round I play, when I start playing 3-4 times a week, but at least for the first I must do it.

The Vineyard Golf Course 6,531 Yards Par 70

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Front 9

Hole 1: 420 Par 4

A straight away par 4, played into the wind today.  Hit one of my only good drives of the day with my driver in the fairway.  Pushed a sand wedge for 2nd shot, hit the green, but had about 35-40ft birdie putt.  2 putted. Par

Round (Even)   

Hole 2: 351 Par 4

Short dogleg left with water surrounding the left side and green.  Put a nice draw on a 5 iron off the tee, starting it on corner of water and drew it back into the fairway.  Had about 118 left into the wind, hit a 3quarter gap wedge to about 8 feet for birdie.  Missed putt and 2 putted. Par

Round (Even)

Hole 3: 125 Par3

Short par 3, was only playing about 110 today, as pin was in the very front.  Water is in front of green and out of bounds long.  Hit a solid sand wedge to center of green, 2 putted for par.  Pars a very good score on this tricky little hole. Par

Round (Even)

Hole 4: 404 Par 4

Decided to hit a 3 wood off tee just to try and hit fairway, ended up pushing it to the left into a fairway bunker.  Was blocked out by a tree, so I just punched a club up, hoping to maybe run it onto the green. Hit a great shot and ran it up to the front of the green just in the fringe with plenty of green to work with.  Used a 9 iron to run it up to the hole which was positioned on the top of a slope.  Ran it about 7 ft by and lipped out the putt for par. Bogey

Round (+1)

Hole 5: 401 Par 4

This is where my driving started to take a turn for the worse.  Hit a 3 wood off the tee here, but pushed it so far left that it went through our fairway and through the 4th hole fairway and out!  Absolutely horrid shot luckily though it was a lateral hazard and not out of bounds, so I was able to drop for my 3rd instead of having to re-tee.  Hit my 3rd onto the green, but had a long sloping 40ft putt for par.  Left it 4ft short, but made the bogey putt. Bogey

Round (+2)

Hole 6: 152 Par 3

Pin was tucked on the far left side of the green, but I hit a 9 iron with lots of draw and it ended up on the far right side of the green.  Probably had about an 80ft putt for birdie, insane distance.  Left it a good 5 ft short and lipped out the par putt for a 3 putt bogey

Round (+3)

Hole 7: 295 Par 4

A sharp dog leg right hole, but gives you an angle to drive the green in 1.  Usually about 250-260 to carry the hazard and drive the green.  I aimed a 3 wood to the left half of the green, hoping that if I drew it, it would end up right center of green or if I blocked it, have only about 40-50 yards in.  Blocked it onto a hill in the rough, but only had about 45yards in.  Hit a lob wedge, landed it exactly where I wanted on the green, but had no spin from rough, ran about 18ft by.  2 putted for par. Par

Round (+3)

Hole 8: 419 Par 4

Hit a driver, knowing that I could push it left and be ok in the other fairway….exactly what I did.  Only had about 125 in, into the wind, tried to muscle a pitching wedge in, but it plugged into the sand.  Was not looking good, plugged lie with no green to work with, flag about 7 paces on.  Hit a great sand shot to about 6 ft and made a difficult right to left breaker.  Great sand save for me.  Par

Round (+3)

Hole 9: 503 Par 5

Very reachable par 5, but I pushed my drive again to the left and into the #8 fairway.  Only had about 210 in, but had trees in front of me.  Decided to hit a 6 iron, draw it around the trees and it ended up about 40 yards in front of green in the fairway.  Pin location in front only about 4 paces on, so a very awkward 40 yard pitch that I had to land in the fringe and let it feed on.  Hit a perfect shot to about 6inches and tapped it in for birdie.  Birdie

Round (+2)

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A very solid 37 (+2) on the par 35 front 9.  Fairways Hit (FW): 2/7 28.5% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 6/9 66.6% Up/Downs: 0/2 0% Sand Saves: 1/1 100%

Back 9

Hole 10: 389 Par 4

Pushed a 3-wood down the left side of the fairway, kicked hard left off a hill, but luckily stayed in bounds down the left side.  Punched a gap wedge onto the green about 15ft for birdie.  2 putted for par. Par

Round (+2)

Hole 11: 457 Par 4

This is a very difficult driving hole that you can’t go left on.  Knowing that I didn’t want to go left, I hooked a 3-wood that landed in the adjacent fairway, caught a ridge and ended up in a great spot only 130 yards out.  Hit a wedge into the center of the green, but it hit hard and bounced right and onto the fringe.  2 putted from there for a solid par on this difficult hole. Par

Round (+2)

Hole 12: 154 Par 3

Another par 3 over water into the wind.  Hit it over the flag stick and had a tricky downhill putt of about 20ft.  Actually left the putt about 5ft short, but knocked in the par putt.  Par

Round (+2)

Hole 13: 477 Par 4

Pushed another driver left into the opposite fairway, but had a real good angle and knocked it on about 12 ft for birdie.  Sloping putt that just missed and made a par. Par

Round (+2)

Hole 14: 412 Par 4

Water on the left and out of bounds on the right, hit a 4 iron and drew it off the water again just into the fringe of the fairway.  Hit a wedge right at the flag, but it hit a down slope in the center of the green and rolled off into the rough.  A tricky little downhill chip, with little green to work with.  Used a PW to chip it onto the fringe and trickle down to the hole about 3ft away.  Made the par save. Par

(Round +2)

Hole 15: 551 Par 5

Hit a solid drive, but it kicked into the right side fairway bunker.  Ripped a 7 iron out to about 85yards.  Hit a solid lob wedge to about 12 ft.  Had the right line, but left it about a foot short, tapped in for par. Par

(Round +2)

Hole 16: 453 Par 4

The most difficult hole on the course according to the handicap on the scorecard.  Hit a 3 wood into the fairway, but still had about 180 into the green.  You don’t want to go over the green here; I decided to hit a 5iron as it was into the wind.  I decelerated in my downswing worried about going over, hit a horrible shank to the left and it went out of bounds.  Really really bad swing after I had a great opportunity in the middle of the fairway.  Wasn’t able to get up and down from my drop and 2 putted for a double bogey 6.  Double bogey

Round (+4)

Hole 17: 157 Par 3

Had to refocus after the disaster on the previous hole and hit it just over the green to the back pin location.  Made a nice pitching wedge chip again landing it just onto the green and running it out the rest of the way to about 2 ft.  Made a nice up and down par

Round (+4)

Hole 18: 411 Par 4

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Our View from the 18th tee

Very scenic 18th hole heading back down the hill to the clubhouse.  Hit a 3 wood into the right side fairway bunker.  Hit a nice punch sand wedge out onto the green about 15ft away.  Downhill sloping right to left putt that just missed and I made another par.  Par

(Round +4)

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So another solid 37 +2 on the par 35 back 9.  All pars and 1 double bogey.  Fairways Hit (FW) 1/7 14% Green in Regulation (GIR) 5/9 55.5% Up/Downs 3/3 100%.

Final Score: 74 (+4)

Overall a very solid short game round for me….that area of my game is really improving nicely as I was 3/5 on up and downs and 1/1 in sand saves.  Had 31 putts total in the round, under 30 would be ideal, but 31 isn’t bad for me.  If I can maintain these numbers and improve on them, it will help my scoring tremendously.  The only negative for my round today was my driving, hit only 3 of 14 fairways and really only 1 of my last 13.  I MUST improve that part of my game, normally it has been pretty solid, but the new changes that I have made to my swing this week have really affected my driver and woods.  Want to try to get a lesson maybe on Friday to try and figure that out.  Might be playing on Saturday again with a buddy, so hopefully I can drive it a little better and build on my great scoring round today.  Making more birdies would be nice too, only 1 today, but I’ll take pars all day.  Except for that horrible double bogey on 16, I’m very pleased with this round.  I hope you enjoyed this post, I know it was extremely long, but I wanted to at least give a detailed recap of my first round on the blog.  Will probably do this for tournament rounds and definitely my under par round when it happens.  Most will be shorter recaps though.  On a side note this round lowered my handicap from 5.7 to 5.1, the lowest of my life!  A handicap in golf for those who may not know the terminology, is calculated with a specific formula that approximates how many strokes above or below par a player might be able to play, based on his ten best scores in a given period and the difficulty of the courses.