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7/21/14

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

Score: 69(-1) FW: 12/14 GIR: 12/18 Putts: 29 Up/Down: 7/8 Sand Save: 0/0 Penalties: 0

My 2nd under par round!! Feels great to validate my first under par round a few weeks ago and I’m happy about how mentally focused I stayed all day.  Golf is a funny game, even though I played really well last week too, my range sessions on Thursday and Sunday night this week were terrible in my opinion.  I just couldn’t feel comfortable and wasn’t hitting many shots out the center of the face.  I was getting really frustrated with myself, as I always seem to do on the range as of late.  I see how well I’m hitting it and scoring when I’m playing rounds, but for some reason I can’t stay consistent and repeat it on the range.  Don’t get me wrong, I would much rather have it be the way it is than the other way around, but it is slightly frustrating.

Anyway, needless to say, I didn’t have a lot of confidence in my ball striking going into my round today.  I just wanted to focus on the mental aspect of my game, making sure that I went through my pre shot routine on ever shot, visualized my target and how I wanted the shot to come off and try to play unconscious golf.  I tend to get extremely mechanical on the range a lot of the time, but when I’m on the course, I’m just trying to play without any conscious thought and it really does free up my swing.  I’ve been working a lot of my mental side lately and the idea of acceptance of outcomes.

I had it at 3 under with no bogeys through the first 13 holes, but bogeyed the 14th from the fairway with only a SW in hand and 3 putted 17 for a bogey after missed a 2ft par putt.  So Disappointing finish, but I played really great and I’m happy that I could keep it at under for the round!

7/22/14

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

Score: 58(-2) FW: 3/6 GIR: 10/18 Putts: 26 Up/Down: 7/10 Sand Saves: 1/1 Penalties: 0

Played Oaks North today, finished at 2 under 58 for the day.  I hit my irons well all day, but my putting and driving were way off.  Missed a bunch of great birdie opportunities, that’s nothing new, but I basically hooked every one of the 6 tee shots with 3 or 5 woods on the par 4s.  I seem to have lost it off the tee today where that has been a big bright spot for my game over the last 2 months consistently, so that is kind of scary.  I still ended up getting an eagle on one of the par 4s on the back, I pulled the drive, but chipped it in from right of the green!  Back to back rounds I have chipped one in, yesterday I chipped in for a birdie at the 5th and today for eagle.

I’m still missing way too many short putts, ones that are pretty straight too.  My ball is just not starting off on line and the troubling thing it is a 2 way miss, some I’ll push others I’ll pull…I need to fix this fast before my tournament in 3 weeks.

7/23/14

Woods Valley Golf Club Par 72 6,670 Yards 72.2/131

Score: 79(+7) FW: 7/14 GIR: 11/18 Putts: 36 Up/Down: 2/7 Sand Saves: 0/0 Penalties: 2

Got a couple friends together and we decided to go up to Woods Valley again and play this challenging course.  I played absolutely terrible, just did not feel comfortable all day with my stance, grip, alignment or putting.  Shot a (+7) 79 with 4 3-putts!! That’s right, FOUR 3-putts, all less than 3 ft misses.  I’ve been trying to work on my mental game and stay as positive as I can, but I just can’t when I’m missing seemingly every 3 ft putt I look at.  Despite poor shot making and putting, I was only 3 over after 9 holes, but then I promptly 3 putted the 10th from about 20ft and then 3 putted for par on the par 5 11th after hitting 2 quality shots and being only 15ft for eagle!!  That just broke me mentally and I was basically done for the rest of the round

Despite the real bad day, I’m going to keep believing in myself and working hard.  I’m focused on playing well and trying to shoot an under par round at the Palm Springs tournament in mid August.  I need to keep working to improve my mental and short game if I’m going to make that happen.  Probably won’t be able to play again until Monday, so I have 4 days to practice and improve from Wednesdays round.

7/14/14

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

Score: 70(E) FW: 12/14 GIR: 13/18 Putts: 33 Up/Down: 3/6 Sand Save: 0/1 Penalties: 0

One of my best ball striking rounds of my life today and it should have been my 2nd under par round, but I blew it by 3 putting the par 5 15th for par after sticking it about 15 ft for eagle…ridiculous!!!  I drove it great all day, 12 out of 14 fairways is the most I’ve ever had.  Gave me some great opportunities to hit it close, finished with 13GIR, should have been a bit better, but missed a couple wedges.  Was only 3 of 6 on up and downs because I missed a bunch of putts again.  Hit two of my best shots ever on the 551 yard Par 5 15th…I’ve never gotten to that green in two before as it always plays into the wind and it’s slightly uphill, but today I absolutely bombed a drive down the middle, 316.  Had 235 uphill and into the wind, took a 5 wood and hit a perfect shot, landed high and soft right at the flag and stopped 15ft for eagle!  A pretty straight putt also, little left to the right slightly uphill, I don’t know what happened mentally, but I botched it and left it a good 5ft short! Obviously I lipped out my next putt to 3 putt for par after having hit back to back great shots.  I was proud of myself for what I did on the next hole however, hardest hole on the course and I hit a 300 yard 3 wood down the middle and then an 8iron to about 6 inches!  A great bounce back tap-in birdie, but I still finished at Even for the round.  Should have been at least 1-under, but because I 3 putted the par 5, I have to live with my sadness.     

7/15/14

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

Score: 60(E) FW: 4/6 GIR: 13/18 Putts: 32 Up/Down: 2/5 Sand Saves: 0/1 Penalties: 0

They were having the Junior Worlds over at Oaks North today for the 7-8 age group.  Saw some very talented youngsters, but I decided to play a little too so I didn’t watch much.  Ended up shooting an even par 60, ball striking continued to be very solid, but my putting continues to be a struggle.  I missed so many 6-12 foot birdie putts, just having zero confidence in my stroke right now…I need to fix this, I’m letting so many opportunities go to waste.  On a good note, I hit another awesome 5 wood to about 12ft for eagle on one of the par 4s, but lipped out the eagle.  At least I didn’t 3 putt it like the day before!  I’ll figure out this putting soon, I’m going to keep working on it.

7/16/14

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

Score: 75(+5) FW: 9/14 GIR: 11/18 Putts: 31 Up/Down: 2/5 Sand Save: 0/1 Penalties: 1

A putting struggle on the front 9 missed three consecutive 4ft or less putts on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th holes…not a fun way to start out.  Hit it into the hazard on the par 3 6th and took a double bogey.  Was (+5) after 6 holes today, but played well the rest of the way to finish at only +5 for the round.  Not my best ball striking round, but still had overall solid numbers.  Started to figure out my putting near the end, so I decided to keep going and play another 9 holes before dark.

9 Holes

Score: 33(-2) FW: 5/7 GIR: 9/9 Putts: 16 Up/Down: 0/0 Sand Save: 0/0 Penalties: 0

A great way to end the night, was playing quick and maybe that actually helped me, shot a (-2) over this quick front 9 holes!  Was hitting driver actually on most holes and drove it real well and hit all 9 greens.  Found a little something in my putting setup that seemed to work and I made a couple nice birdie putts and some good par putts.  Feels good to get this under par score in to end the day, feeling good going into tomorrow.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Did not end up playing a golf round between Wednesday and tomorrow, but I did get in some practice.  Went to a little 18 holes putting course at a local driving range with my buddy Kyle on Friday.  The course was in horrible condition, the new ownership there has really let it get bad.  I remember playing the course a year and a half ago and it was in great condition, but we still had a really fun time and my buddy took some pictures of me to share on the blog.  Ended up being able to get to the range on Friday night as well after work, hit my driver very well, but was struggling a bit to feel comfortable with my irons.  I really don’t know what it was that I was doing differently that night compared to these past few weeks when I have played really well.  Did feel like my tempo was getting a little quick on the range, compared to how I have been swinging it, but I still hit the ball around my target line.  Nothing was too crazy, a little more of a draw than I have been playing and yeah that could have been the result of getting a little too quick.  I still feel very confident in the way I’m playing and look forward to my golf rounds this week, hoping to continue my solid play as of late.

 

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Playing at the Vineyard again on Monday where last week I shot my career low round of (+1) 71.  I’m trying to go in with no expectations, just the goal of focusing on every shot and playing them all with complete confidence, accepting of whatever happens.  My focus is to keep my emotions neutral and not to get down on myself if I hit a bad shot, just to accept any and all outcomes before I hit a shot and swing with true confidence.  I’m hoping for that under par round of golf tomorrow, I believe that I can do it, but realistically I will be truly satisfied with anything +5 or less.   After shooting a career low, especially one that is so close to par, it can be very easy for me to fall into the trap of expecting to shoot +1 or better every time from here on out.  I know my personality lends itself to this type of thinking, once I see how well I’m capable of playing, I start to expect to play like that all the time and I get frustrated if I drop back a little bit.  I think in a way it is healthy because it allows me to truly believe in my ability, I mean if I did not believe in my abilities and that I was capable of shooting an under par round of golf, no way I could have shot +1 only a week after shooting 81 (+11) on the same course.  I won’t let myself get trapped into that cycle of frustration, if I keep working hard and believing in myself, the low scores will continue to come and start to pile up and before I know it, those will be my reality.