Posts Tagged ‘escondido’

collage_20140514192447713_20140514192553797_20140514192710052On Wednesday, most of the northern San Diego area was hit with multiple wildfires as temperatures soared to a dry and blistering 100 degrees with sustained winds up to 40mph.  My part of town was relatively safe, so I decided to get out of the house and go play a round to get my mind off the news.  I headed to the Vineyard and of course it was petty wide open as most people in the area were more concerned with the news than golf.  I didn’t keep my score as I just listened to my iPod and played 2-3 different balls on each hole just practicing different shots all day long.  We have our work tournament coming up here on Monday the 19th, so it was good to get in a lot of real course practice.  I hit the ball alright, not as great as I would like to right now or have been lately, but I’m still feeling good going into Monday in my ability to help my team score low.  I’m20140514_175824 going to have to drive the ball well and have solid iron play to give us makeable birdie chances.  Most of the work will fall on me if we want to shoot low, so I’m hoping to have some solid range sessions this next few days and hopefully be able to play at least one more time before Monday.

Going back to Monday this week, found some posted tee times on GolfNow from a private club in my local area.  I guess StoneRidge golf club only posts times on Monday afternoons on GolfNow, so it was a nice treat to be able to snag one of them.  I had played here a few times before many  years ago growing up as one of my friends dads was a member and took me along a few times.  If I’m being honest, the conditions were quite disappointing…the chipping areas around the greens and the greens themselves were in excellent conditions, but the fairways and rough were terrible.  The tee boxes were uneven and patchy, not something you typically see from a private club.  I’m sure this recent drought we are having is making it difficult for their maintenance, but I see public courses like Vineyard or Woods Valley which are in excellent condition and cheap and it makes you wonder.

StoneRidge is still a nice and challenging track however with a lot of elevation and dog-legged holes.  Since my course experience here was so long ago, it felt like I was playing the course for the first time and gauging distances on dog leg holes with no course experience is a difficult challenge.  It cost me on more than a few holes as I was left with absolutely terrible angles into greens.  Factor in the 20mph wind gusts and this made for a challenging driving day, in which I failed miserably…only hitting 3 out of the 13 FW’s on this Par 71 track.  I stuck it within 15 ft on every Par 3 however, hitting nice cut shots into each, but only walked away with 1 birdie.  I did avoid any big numbers however and finished the round at a solid 78 (+7).

20140515_11283320140515_115937StoneRidge Country Club Par 71 71.3/130 6,418 Yards

Score: 78 (+7) FW: 3/13 GIR: 9/18 Putts: 32 Up/Down: 1/7 Sand Save: 0/0 Penalties: 0

 

Golf-Out-of-BoundsThe Vineyard Escondido Par 70 Blue 71.0/126 6,531 Yards

Score: 82 (+12) FW: 7/14 GIR: 7/18 Putts: 31 Up/Down: 1/5 Sand Save: 0/1 Penalties: 4

Hmmm…frustrating day for sure, off the tee is what killed me today.  Funny thing is I still hit 7 of 14 FWs and had some great drives, but the ones that I missed were either out of bounds (of which there were 4!) or stuck behind trees with no legit shot to reach a GIR.  I actually felt in control of my swing all day, I hit a lot of really good shots, but as I noticed on the range, my miss has been a pull hook so I was fighting it all day.  I know that it is caused by coming too far from the inside on my down swing, which has always been my miss, so I just need some more time to groove in the correct path.  I can adjust it easily the next shot and hit a solid straight one, but it is just being able to repeat it each and every time that’s hurting me and ultimately that’s what makes golf so difficult. I’ve found a solid swing this past week at the range and I’m still confident in my game and what I’m doing.  It is close, I believe in myself and I feel it.  Two of my out of bounds of the tee came when I only was hitting a 4 iron off the tee for accuracy, but I pull hooked both and they took some nasty hops out of bounds.  I might need to make sure I just try to hit cuts with my longer irons and take out the right side, possibly just bad course management on my part.

I did have some positives in my game today, my putting and bunker play.  My putting was very good, that different grip I have been trying out this week seems to be helping a lot.  I confidently rolled in multiple 4-6 ft putts for par or bogey and even a couple 12ft plus.  So as bad as my score was, it could have been a lot worse if my putting wasn’t as good as it was today.  I hit 3 good bunker shots today, but they didn’t count as up and downs because the saving putts were for bogey.

I was able to save bogey on 2 of the 4 out of bounds tee shots, which was very nice and I did well to limit the damage caused by a poor driving day.  I am disappointed that I had 0 birdies , just wasn’t able to convert my only 2 legit opportunities from about 8-10ft.

So as disappointed as I am in my score today, my highest in awhile, I’ll take the positives out of the round and move on.  I will accomplish my dream of shooting an under par round of golf, no matter how long it takes, disappointments like these won’t stop me from believing my dream is possible.  I can see it happening in my mind and if you can see it and truly believe it, you can achieve it.

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.

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.