Posts Tagged ‘goals’

rancho-bernardo1If you look back at my post about my 2014 Golfing Goals, one of them was to win our annual work golf tournament.  My team had shot (-10) both the last 2 years and we had finished in 2nd and 4th place respectively.  I’ve wanted to win this tournament so badly, not only for the bragging rights, but to actually have the championship go to a team of employees as this tourney is in honor of our late owner who loved golf.  I have been working so hard on my game over this past year, as you all know and this moment has been on my mind the whole time.

Our goal was just to improve on our consecutive (-10) 62’s and hopefully break into the 50’s and with any luck a shot to win.  Well I’m happy to announce that we accomplished our goal and then some!  We absolutely destroyed the course, scored an unreal (-17) 55, set a new tournament record and won the tournament by 3 strokes!!  It was an unbelievable day, our whole team stepped up clutch in every situation we found ourselves in, I’m really proud of my team.

I started off pretty wild, slicing both my first tee shots out of bounds, but thankfully one of my teammates hit solid drives on both.  We started on hole #7 which is the #1 handicapped hole, we had a pretty long 2nd shot of about 220 from the rough, but one of my teammates hit a beautiful hybrid to about 30ft above the flag.  All 3 of my teammates putted, missing the birdie, but giving me a great read, I stepped up and drained the long birdie putt…a Tiger Woods fist pump ensued and that gave us big momentum and started us off on a crazy streak of 15 straight birdies!!  We were sticking it close on almost every hole, inside 10 ft and we made basically every putt.  We made 3 putts from over 25ft, a couple when it was our final putt, just clutch to keep the birdie streak going.  I don’t think any of us expected to play this well overall, as I’m the only one on the team that breaks 80 and one of our players hadn’t even touched a club since last year’s tourney, but those guys played so well, it was truly a team effort and I’m so happy  to be able to cross another item off my golf bucket list!  We were kind of disappointed we couldn’t complete the perfect round and birdie all 18 holes, but we just couldn’t convert the birdie opportunity from off the green on the difficult par 3 4th (Our 16th hole).

Rancho_Bernardo_Inn_in_San_Diego_California_58783We won some pretty cool prizes as well, one of which was 4 complimentary rounds to the host course, Rancho Bernardo Inn ($85 each).  Pretty awesome as this semi private course is just in perfect condition right now.  It’s a very fun and challenging course and it has hosted both PGA and LPGA events in the past so I look forward to being able to play it for free soon!

I’ll post some pictures from the event when they get posted from the photographer here in a few days, but for now here is the picture of our almost perfect scorecard, what a round!

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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

 

fotolia_2005754_XS3060513204404The Vineyard Escondido Par 70 71.0/126 6,531 Yards

Score: 75 (+5) FW: 7/14 GIR: 11/18 Putts: 32 Up/Down: 4/7 Sand Save: 0/0 Penalties: 2

 

 

20130808_204719Carmel Mountain Ranch Par 73 Tees: Black 73.2/133 6599 Yards

Score: 78 (+5) FW: 9/14 GIR: 11/18 Putts: 36 Up/Down: 2/6 Sand Save: 0/1 Penalties: 1

 

 

Total Stats for Week of 5/5/14-5/13/14: (Red = Below PGA Tour Avg, Green = Above PGA Tour Avg)

Rounds: 2 (Regulation: 2)

FW: 16/28 57% GIR: 22/36: 61% Up/Down%: 6/13 46% Sand Saves: 0/1 0% Total Putts/18: 34

Overall Stats, Weeks: 6

Total Rounds: 11 (Regulation: 9/Executive: 2)

FW: 64/139: 46% GIR: 112/198: 56.5% Up/Down%: 29/68 42.6% Sand Saves: 2/9 22% Total Putts/18: 32.45

Current PGA Tour Averages – FW: 61.11% GIR: 65.10% Up/Down: 57.61%

carmel-mountain-ranch-golf-00973 friends and I headed out to the very difficult Carmel Mountain Ranch golf course today and played a game of 2 vs 2 match play.  We had a blast, a fun and close match, my friend and I ended up winning the match 2&1 after a back and forth battle.  The team we played against actually works at a golf shop and do some teaching as well, so it feels good to compete against and beat some experienced players.

I hit the ball well and putted pretty good, I did have three 3-putts which is a disappointment, but every putt was either going in or burning the edges.  I missed an eagle on the 2nd hole by an inch, was dead center, but somehow it decided to stop going downhill!  No matter, I ended up getting an eagle after all on the Par 5 8th hole!  We were playing best ball style so it was hit your own ball for score and lowest score on each team counts for the match.

I’m very pleased with how I played…a solid (+5) 78 on the tough Par 73 track (#2 can be played as either a par 4 or par 5, we chose par 5 because we played from the tips).  It’s a funny thing to try and explain that I putted really well today, even though I had multiple 3 putts and 2 missed from inside 6ft, but I did.  Every single putt was tracking at the hole and the ones that missed either lipped out or burned the edges, every putt was struck solid.  If I can get my putts down from a 32 average to say 27-29 area, the way I’m hitting it right now, I’ll get that under par round.  That day is coming soon, I can feel it, and things seem to be progressing nicely in all aspects of my game.

20130808_20471920140508_113046Carmel Mountain Ranch Par 73 Tees: Black 73.2/133 6599 Yards

Score: 78 (+5) FW: 9/14 GIR: 11/18 Putts: 36 Up/Down: 2/6 Sand Save: 0/1 Penalties: 1

20140505_182004My buddy wasn’t able to make it out today, so I decided to just head out to The Vineyard by myself and play a round.  My tee time was at 3, but when I got there at 2 they told me I could just go right away since nobody was there, so I promptly drew my 1st tee shot on the tight #1 driving hole into the hazard on the right.  This 1st tee shot at the vineyard is becoming a massive problem for me, I honestly have hit it into the hazard probably 8 of the last 10 rounds I’ve played there, there is just no room for error…I think I should just hit an iron off the tee from now on…might be a good idea!  Was able to save bogey with a solid 3rd shot and 2 putt.  On the difficult 2nd, I hit my tee shot in the fairway and had 123 in to the thin green.  I hit a solid gap wedge, right at the flag stick, but the wind picked up and knocked it down so much it actually came up short in the water!  I was shocked as I had struck it really well, I obviously misjudged the strength of the wind and it cost me on this hole, double bogey 6.

After penalties on both the first 2 holes, I hit a good shot and made a 2 putt par on the 3rd.  My driving on the first 8 holes was a little suspect, I was only hitting 3 and 5 woods and I didn’t hit them bad, but I was just slightly off and as a result, I was left in very tricky spots where I had terrible angles into the greens, having to cut it around trees (not my most comfortable shot).  I was able to birdie #7 and #9 to finish off the front 9 at +4, after a 5 over after 5 start, not bad.

Hit the ball great on the back 9, hit 5 of 7 FW’s and 6 of 9 GIR; 0 birdies, 1 bogey and 8 pars for a +1 36 on the back finishing at a very solid (+5) 75 for the day.  Missed two birdies that were right in the center, but stopped 2 inches short!

I putted very well today and the adjustment I made with my shoulder alignment after last week’s terrible putting seemed to really make a difference.  All my putts were starting on the correct line and tracking like they should be.  I also moved my elbows in closer to me and to the center of my chest and it helped to keep my arms in a more rhythmic stroke and my right hand doesn’t break down as much as it was before.  This is helping me make a much better stroke and my contact was extremely better this round and as a result my lag putting was great.

So overall, I’m very pleased with this round, not so much with the first 5 holes, but I got it together and shot Even over my last 13 holes.  I feel good about what I’m doing in every area of my game right now, my driving is so much better, it cost me earlier in the round, but I still hit 50% of fairways, my iron game remains solid and my 100 yard and in wedge and putting game is improving.  I do need to start hitting it closer on my chips, I’m still not converting a lot of what I would consider “easy” up and down attempts, so that is something I’ll continue to work on.  I’ll be playing tomorrow with a few friends, so I’ll update after.

06051320440420140506_122207The Vineyard Escondido Par 70 71.0/126 6,531 Yards

Score: 75 (+5) FW: 7/14 GIR: 11/18 Putts: 32 Up/Down: 4/7 Sand Save: 0/0 Penalties: 2

 

 

fotolia_2005754_XS320140502_121824

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

Score: (+7) FW: 9/14 GIR: 7/18 Putts: 32 Up/Down: 5/9 Sand Saves: 0/0 Penalties: 3

 

 

Total Stats for Week of 4/28/14-5/4/14: (Red = Below PGA Tour Avg, Green = Above PGA Tour Avg)

Rounds: 1 (Regulation: 1)

FW: 9/14 64% GIR: 7/18: 39% Up/Down%: 5/9 56% Sand Saves: 0/0 0% Total Putts/18: 32

Overall Stats, Weeks: 5

Total Rounds: 9 (Regulation: 7/Executive: 2)

FW: 48/111: 43% GIR: 90/162: 56% Up/Down%: 23/55 42% Sand Saves: 2/8 25% Total Putts/18: 32.111

Current PGA Tour Averages – FW: 61.11% GIR: 65.10% Up/Down: 57.61%

Unfortunately didn’t get out and play as much as I would have liked this week, but I did play well.  I hit the ball great off the tee this week, 9 of 14 FW’s and a few were barely in the rough, that is the first time I have gotten a stat for the week ABOVE a PGA Tour Average so that feels nice.  I know that driving the ball well is essential to getting down to scratch, driving it well gives you so many more opportunities to score and take advantage of holes rather than playing defensive after a poor tee shot.  I hope I can keep up the driving, been hitting it well on the range this week too,so I’m confident I can carry it into next weeks rounds.

My putting really hurt me this week and I think I’m going to test out a few different set ups and grips this next week and see if anything helps.  From looking in the mirror, I’ve noticed that I set up pretty open with my shoulders, so I’ve been experimenting with ways to square them up and get that feeling down, that might help me with a more consistent and correct stroke, so we’ll see this coming week if that helps at all with the shorter putts.

20140502_121824Woods Valley Golf Club Par 72 6,670 Yards 72.2/131

On Wednesday a couple of friends and I headed up to Woods Valley Golf Club up in Valley Center, CA to try out a new place.  None of us had ever played there before and we were pleasantly surprised to say the least!  This has become one of my new favorite places to play due to the amazing conditions and pricing.  It was only $27 to play at 12:30, the course was in excellent condition, nobody was on the course and the staff even let all 3 of us get our own cart!  So we were loving it, just cruising all day and I’d highly recommend this course if you’re in or around the San Diego area and want to play a challenging, well conditioned course for cheap…and don’t we all!

Ok now back to the round, basically here in San Diego we have been experiencing really high wind speeds this week, it was 20mph steady for most of the day as well as gusts into the 30’s so this made for a challenging day.  I actually hit the ball awesome even with the wind, was gauging my distances well and ended up starting 1 under after 3 and I missed an 8 ft straight makeable birdie on the par 3 3rd.  I drove the ball well all day, I did have 3 into hazards, 2 on par 5’s off the tee, but this course has very tight fairways and all of those penalty drives just barely skipped in, so I don’t fault my driving.  I know I hit it well off the tee especially since I hit 9/14 FW’s overall, most I’ve had in a long time.  My putting is what cost me in this round, three 3-putts and about 4 putts missed from 6ft or less, it was disheartening.  Like I said, I had started off 1 under after 3, and then on 5 I 3 putted from about 15 feet, 3 putted the 6th too from about 20ft after hitting a great shot from a fairway bunker onto the green.  Then hit the tee shot on 7 to the right, I don’t know how I couldn’t find the ball, I would have thought it would have leaked onto some fairway on the back 9 that runs adjacent, so I was stunned I couldn’t find it.  It must have gotten unlucky and got caught up in the thin strip of bush the lined the hole between the two fairways.  So I had to drop and I hit a gap wedge to about 4 ft and had a great shot to still save par, but I missed the putt!!  Ended up paring the 8th, but 3 putting the par 5 9th for bogey after basically driving it in 2, just to the left of the green.  Zero confidence in my putting stroke and I don’t know what to do, it is killing me from getting to scratch as I’m hitting the ball so well right now, I just can’t convert anything and it is seriously costing my 5-8 strokes per round.

So even with all those short game errors and 3 penalties, I still shot a 79 (+7) at a very challenging course from the very back black tees in 20-30 mph winds.  Not sure I’ll be able to play again either Saturday or Sunday, so I’ll hit up the practice putting green over the next few days and try to get some confidence back in the short stick going into next week’s rounds.

20140502_121904

fotolia_2005754_XS3060513204404The Vineyard Escondido Par 70 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

 

 

20140420_145346Oaks North Executive Par 60 East/South 56.4/89 3,527 Yards

Score: 59 (-1) FW: 3/6 GIR: 11/18 Putts: 29 Up/Down: 3/7 Sand Saves: 0/0 Penalties: 0

 

 

061513152655Carmel Highlands Golf Resort Par 72 71.4/129 6,428 Yards

Score: (+3) FW: 7/15 GIR: 12/18 Putts: 33 Up/Down: 1/7 Sand Saves: 0/0 Penalties: 0

 

 

Total Stats for Week of 4/21/14-4/27/14: (Red = Below PGA Tour Avg, Green = Above PGA Tour Avg)

Rounds: 3 (Regulation: 2 / Executive: 1)

FW: 17/35 49% GIR: 30/54: 56% Up/Down%: 5/19 26% Sand Saves: 0/1 0% Total Putts/18: 31

Overall Stats, Weeks: 4

Total Rounds: 8 (Regulation: 6/Executive: 2)

FW: 39/97: 40% GIR: 83/144: 58% Up/Down%: 18/46 39% Sand Saves: 2/8 25% Total Putts/18: 32.125

Current PGA Tour Averages – FW: 61.11% GIR: 65.10% Up/Down: 57.61%

What a difference a day makes huh?!?  Following my disappointing( +12) round, the next day I went over to my local executive course Oaks North and shot a (-1) 59!  Followed that up yesterday with a solid (+3) 75 at Carmel Highlands.   I’m proud of myself over these past few days and how I kept a positive attitude and belief in myself even after my previous rounds were so disappointing.  It would have been so easy for the old me to slump into a negative fog, get discouraged and question myself and my abilities.  Like I had said in the last post, I knew that I had hit the ball fairly well on Wednesday, despite the (+12) score and that I knew I was getting better and moving in the right direction.  I could see it on the range, I can feel myself improving in all aspects of my game and that is an exciting feeling, so it is nice to finally see the hard work pay off in terms of score.

So Tuesday I headed out to Oaks North by myself to get in a quick executive round and work on my mid iron/short game.  My iron, wedge and putting game were on fire, hitting it close with all variety of shots; cuts, draws, low, high, shot a career low of (-4) on the front 9!  Hit the prettiest 5-wood shot of my life on the 242yard Par 4 6th to about 10 ft.  Missed the eagle putt of course, but still made a solid birdie.  I hit the ball well on the back 9 too, but wasn’t able to take advantage of some birdie opportunities and shot +3.  Just wasn’t able to get up and down on the back, 3 bogeys, 2 of which should have been fairly routine saves, but didn’t chip it as close as I should have.  So overall, I finished the day (-1) and recorded my 2nd ever under par round of golf!!  Albeit they both have come on the Par 60 Oaks North Executive course, so I’m still chasing the regulation under par score, but negative anywhere is still an accomplishment.

20140426_112634Oaks North Executive Par 60 East/South 56.4/89 3,527 Yards

Score: 59 (-1) FW: 3/6 GIR: 11/18 Putts: 29 Up/Down: 3/7 Sand Saves: 0/0 Penalties: 0

Wednesday a few friends and I headed over to the Par 72 Carmel Highlands golf course and played a round.  Started off a bit rocky, bogeying the first 2, but ended up shooting (+1) the remaining 16 holes for a (+3) round of 75.  The first two holes, I hit tee shots where I left myself really no shot to reach the green, pulled both drives to the right and at Carmel Highland every hole is tree lined so if you are not accurate off the tee you’ll find yourself a lot of the time with no chance to get a GIR.  Made good recovery 2nd shots and solid chips, but wasn’t able to convert either par putt.  Hit a 5 iron to the 217 yard par 3 4th hole to about 10 ft, but couldn’t convert the birdie…missed another 10 ft birdie putt on the par 5 5th, but converted one on the 6th for my first birdie of the day.  Ended up making 3 birdies total on the day, missed a few makeable ones and also 3 putted the par 5 15th to make a par after hitting the green in 2. It was about a 70 ft eagle putt downhill so it wasn’t some routine 2 putt.

I drove the ball great all day and after hitting 4 balls out of bounds off the tee on Wednesday it felt nice to be in the short stuff for most of the day.  The one negative I would say about the past few days is my inability to really get up and down from what I would consider pretty routine spots.  I was 1/7 on up and down attempts on Wed even though I was leaving my misses in pretty good spots.  I’m surprised I couldn’t convert the save more often than not as that has been a strong part of my game over the past month.  This could have been that under par round if I could have been just 5 for 7 on up and downs, but  I’ll keep working on it, I was making good contact it was just either spinning or releasing more than I had anticipated so I need to grind that practice chipping green to really get a sense of distance control.

20140426_105728Carmel Highlands Golf Resort Par 72 71.4/129 6,428 Yards

Score: (+3) FW: 7/15 GIR: 12/18 Putts: 33 Up/Down: 1/7 Sand Saves: 0/0 Penalties: 0

 

 

I feel great about my game right now, I was saying that even when I shot (+9) and (+12) last week, so hopefully I can keep this level of game up in coming weeks.  I have my annual work tournament coming up here on May 19th, we shot (-10) both last year and the year before, so we want to improve and possibly win.  A lot of it is going to fall on my shoulder to hit it close and that motivates me to bring my A game on that day and to get on the grind with practice over the next coming weeks.

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.