Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

Here is a short video I made from some clips I captured at the 2015 PGA Tours Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.  I like going down to the practice round on Wednesday because the crowds are small, parking is free and it’s the only day they allow video.  It’s always a treat to watch the best players in the world play golf live.  Hope you enjoy this little montage and make sure to click the HD button on the top of the video for best quality! 

It was sad to see Tiger Woods continue to struggle and ultimately withdraw from the tournament due to injury.  He has always played well at Torrey and I was there just two years ago when he won for the 8th time on this course.  It baffles me to see him struggle so badly right now, especially with chipping.  That just shows you how difficult this game of golf is both physically and mentally.  If it can make the best and most dominate player in the history of the game fall this far and look this bad, nobody is safe!  

In all honesty though,  I am rooting for Tiger to get back to form.  He is the reason the game has grown into what it is today and he has drawn millions of people into the game of golf over the past 2 decades.  I know I personally probably would never had picked up the game had it not been for Tiger Woods.  Before he won the Masters in 1997, I hadn’t even given a single thought to golf.  I had never even picked up a club or knew anything about the game.  He sparked my interest in this wonderfully cruel game and for that I will always root for him.  It’s hard to watch where he is now, but if anybody can come back and rise once again to the top from where he’s currently at, it’s Tiger Woods.  It might take him longer than the last couple times and he might have a steeper mountain to climb this time, but I believe he’ll be back.  His work ethic and drive to be the best just burns too deep for him to just sink away.  

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the video!  As far as my own game, I had a couple really good range sessions this past week, both short and long game and I’m looking forward to trying to get out to play sometime this next week.  I’ll keep you’ll updated.   

5307917592_916b56c7d1_zI finally got to actually play a golf round!  Been battling a sore back for the past week, but this past Thursday, I met up with a couple friends and we played a round over at Riverwalk golf club.  Not having been able to actually play in 2 weeks, I didn’t come in with high expectations, but maybe that was a good thing because after the first tee shot, I knew it was going to be a good day.  I ended up shooting a 77(+5).  My long game was locked in and I hit a total of 11 out of 14 fairways!  I only hit 9 of 18 greens, but never missed a green by much and 5 of them missed just short either because of spinning off the front or a misjudging of the wind.  I account that to not playing much over the past couple months, as being able to accurately judge the wind is something that starts to get dialed in the more and more you play.

Nevertheless, I did hit a lot of close iron shots, but my putting continues to be my Achilles’ heel and I was not able to make many birdies.  Despite having multiple great looks from inside 10ft, the only birdie putt I did make on the day was from about 40ft.  Golf is a funny game and it always seems like the putts that have little chance of going in actually go in and the makeable ones slip by….at least for me lately.  I think that just comes down to the idea of having no expectations.  Dave Stockton calls it going “unconscious” when putting and it’s something that I’m working on getting better at doing.

I know I need to become less result oriented when it comes to my putting and just try to keep my same routine and put a solid roll on the ball.  If I can do that, then I’ll make my fair share of putts.  I’ve been trying to just pick a spot 1 inch in front of my ball on my line and roll the ball over that spot.  It’s hard to miss a spot 1 inch in front of the ball, so it allows me to put more emphasis on the speed of the putt.  I find my mind freed up with longer putts, but I still catch myself over thinking and steering closer putts or ones I feel I “should” be making, especially for birdie.  I’m getting better at it however and if I keep working hard on getting to a point where I can go “unconscious” on the greens, I know that’s going to give me the best chance to start going low.

Final stats for the round:

unnamedRiverwalk Presidio/Mission 6,550yards 71.7 126

Score: 77(+5) FW: 10/14 GIR: 9/18 Putts: 32 U/Down: 4/8 San Save: 0/1 Penalties: 0

{FB92BDB3-BAF4-4835-8600-54D48EF1F23A}mcilroy_abudhabi13_cameronputter_610_0Here is just a quick review of my latest golf rounds over the past 2 weeks.  Unfortunately, I didn’t play my best golf and my scores are a reflection of that…I had a lot of great shots over these 3 rounds, but couldn’t avoid sprinkling in some large numbers.  I had two triple bogey 6s on two different par 3s during these rounds, very uncharacteristic for how I’ve been playing lately, but I just left myself in some absolutely terrible spots on the holes and it cost me.

I’ve been working on the plane of my swing over the past couple weeks as I mentioned in my previous post and I’m still working on being able to repeat it consistently.  When I get it right, I hit the ball better than I ever have before, just perfect contact, height and ball flight, exactly what I’ve been searching for.  But in working on this change, I have a tendency to leave the face slightly open on impact, blocking shots to the left.  I’m not doing it too often, but often enough to seriously affect my scores right now.  My contact is a lot more consistent with this swing change, I’m just going to keep grinding and we’ll see how it goes in the next few weeks.

My putting continues to be a struggle however and it is the part of my game that is costing me the most strokes right now.  My short putting has been solid, but it is my lag putting that is just killing me.  I can’t get the long putt speed right with this heavier weight in my putter right now.  I had 3 3-putts at Riverwalk, 4 at Vineyard and 1 at Doubletree…this just can’t continue to happen.  31-35 putts a round is unacceptable in my opinion.  Shooting (+4) or (+5) with 35 putts is ridiculous…I’m hitting enough fairways and greens to be shooting under par consistently, if I could only get my putts to 27-30 a round.  I will get there eventually, it might feel impossible to me right now, but I know that it is possible to do it, so I’m just going to keep telling myself that it’s possible.  I’ll have to start spending more time on the putting green with longer putts…I can do this! 

So here are the round stats for these past 2 weeks, hopefully I’ll get out a few times this week.       

10/8/14 The Vineyard Golf Course 6,531 Yards Par 70 (Blue: 71.0/126)

Score: 75(+5) FW: 9/14 GIR: 13/18 Putts: 35 Up/Down: 1/2 Sand Save: 1/1 Penalties: 1

10/9/14 Carmel Highlands Doubletree: Par 72 71.4/129 6,428 Yards

Score: 81(+9) FW: 6/15 GIR: 8/19 Putts: 31 U/Down: 5/10 San Save: 0/1 Penalties: 1

10/1/14 Riverwalk Friars/Presidio 6,627yards 71.9 128

Score: 78 (+6) FW: 5/14 GIR: 12/18 Putts: 35 Up/Down: 3/5 Sand Saves: 0/2 Penalties: 1

0615131526559/19/14 – Played a round over at Carmel Highlands Doubletree and shot a 78(+6).  I was (+6) alone on the front 9 as I had a triple bogey on the 2nd and a double on the 7th.  I birdied the 9th hole par 3 after sticking it to ft and went on to shoot even on the back 9.  I had 4 birdies on the day, so it felt good to actually make some birdies for a change, but I just couldn’t avoid the big numbers on the front 9.  Shooting +6 with a triple and double isn’t terrible though.  Final stats for this round where:

Carmel Highlands Doubletree 6,428 Yards Par 72 (71.4/129)

Score: 78 (+6) FW: 7/15 GIR: 12/19 Putts: 33 U/Down: 3/5 San Save: 0/2 Penalties: 1

0605132044049/24/14 – Got to test out my new putter as I played a round with a few friends at the Vineyard.  I started off rough again, hitting my first two tee shots into hazards on the 1st and 2nd.  Also 3 putted the first after hitting my drop onto the green for a nice opening double bogey 6.  The new putter is and feels slightly heavier as it has 15 gram insert weights whereas my previous putter only had 10 gram insert weights.  It took me a few holes to adjust to the heavier weight on longer putts, but my only 3 putt of the day came on the first…so I did putt well overall on the day and I continued to confidently roll and make my 2-5 foot putts, which is a great sign.

My ball striking was solid on the day, I hit a ton of really good shots, but I still had too many bad shots mixed in.  I don’t mean bad as in shanks or fat or thin, but blocks.  I’ve been working a lot on the plane of my swing this past week really trying to stop getting so steep on my downswing.  I just want consistent contact and strikes and getting the club more on plane will certainly make that easier for me.  The only miss I see right now with that is leaving the club too open on the downswing, causing me to block a few shots badly.  The positive is when it does occur I can certainly feel it and that is the key.   The more I work on it the more consistent I’ll get with squaring it up.

So I shot a 75 (+5) overall on the round, (+1) 36 on the front and a (+4) 39 on the back.  Had 3 penalties that cost me from having a really solid score, but again I need to eliminate the bigger mistakes of penalties, I’m hitting plenty of FWs and Green in regulation to be shooting close to under par each round, but I must eliminate these penalties, 3 putts and maybe roll in a few more birdies while I’m at it…much more easily said than done I’m afraid.

One highlight of the round is I did drive the 296 yard Par 4 7th hole in one during the round to about 15ft.  I lipped out the eagle putt, but did get a much needed tap in birdie.

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

Score: 75(+5) FW: 7/14 GIR: 10/18 Putts: 32 Up/Down: 2/4 Sand Save: 0/1 Penalties: 3

Added a few new tools to my bag over the weekend as I got 2 new clubs… a Cleveland 64* wedge and a new Scotty Cameron Select Newport  2.0 putter!  I got all artsy yesterday took a few pictures of the new clubs and for someone who knows nothing of photography; I’d say I did a pretty good job!

64 wedgeThe 64* Cleveland wedge was actually free as I had both a $50 and $100 gift cards from golfnow.com as reward points.  They were set to expire and I figured I might as well get something while I still can.  The gift cards could be used at either Cleveland or Srixon online shops…I knew that Cleveland wedges are top notch, so I decided to go with a 64*.  I love my Titleist Vokey wedges I have now, especially my 60*, it’s my favorite club, so I’ll mess around with the 64* here and there and see how I could fit it into my game.  Getting a 64* also gives me just that many more options when I’m going to play tournaments.  If I feel the 64* would help me at a specific course, I’ll add it to the bag, but right now I don’t have any serious plans to add it to my bag regularly as I can hit all the shots I currently need with my 60*, but heck it was free right and you can’t beat free!

20140922_135735I decided also to get a new Scotty Cameron putter, I absolutely loved my old one, but I think it was time to retire and upgrade.  I remember always dreaming of owning a Scotty Cameron putter as a 15 year old when first discovered golf…I finally purchased one 6 years ago and it did not disappoint.  It was my baby, my oldest running club in the bag, but the shaft was starting to get bent, the face wasn’t sitting square and it20140922_134852 had a few scratches in it so it was time to put her to pasture and enjoy retirement.  One of my friends, who I play golf with regularly on Wednesdays now, is a manager of a golf shop and he was nice enough to give me a great deal.  I got the brand new Scotty Newport studio select 2.0 for only $150 instead of the normal price of $350…you just can’t pass up that type of deal.  I’ll go putt with it for a few today and then put it into action tomorrow when we play a round.  The only thing is that it has the standard scotty thin grip on it currently, but I’m used to a more midsize grip like I had on my old putter.  I’m so used to a bigger grip that this standard one feels unbelievably small and thin!  So I’m not sure how well I’ll putt tomorrow, but that’s ok, I’ll probably get it re-gripped to a midsize grip later in the week.

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news-golf_tournament_bannerGot back into the swing of things this week with a range practice session on Tuesday night and then a round with some friends on Wednesday at the Vineyard.  Didn’t touch a club since last Wednesday, so I came back feeling fresh, but with an understanding that I’d be a little rusty so I had low expectation.  I shouldn’t keep doubting myself as I hit the ball well at the range on Tuesday and actually felt really confident in my ball striking heading into the round the following day.  I was most concerned about how the couple week layoff would affect my short game, chipping in particular, as that depends mostly on feel and takes constant practice to keep it sharp. 

The round yesterday went great and I shot a solid round of 74(+4).  I made a couple of really bad course management mistakes that cost me in what coulda, woulda, shoulda been my 3rd under par round! I made 2 double bogeys on the day, both on short par 3’s and both because I tried to play a cut into flags that really didn’t even call for it.  My go to natural shot is a slight draw, but I’ve also been working hard on developing a cut, to give me options, which I can use to take out the right side when needed.  I can hit it well a lot of the time, but it’s not as consistent as my normal shots yet.  Anyway, both of the par 3’s have hazards in front of the greens and I tried to hit cut shots into both and hit them both heavy and they came up short in the hazards.  I ended up taking double bogey 5’s on both the par 3’s.  So some bad course management on my part, followed by poor execution and if I had just parred those 2 holes I shoot even on the day…bogeyed the par 5 9th also after being only 65 yards out for my 3rd shot.  It’s these little mistakes that I need to work on eliminating. 

I’m proud of the way that I bounced back though mentally after my two mistakes on the par 3’s, I had a birdie the next hole after the first par 3 double and then on the back after the second, I rattled off 6 straight pars to end the round.  I feel like I’ve made some great strides in the mental aspect of my game, I’ve been able to move on quickly from disappointing shots and stay focus on the next shot at hand.  I lost track of my score again during the round and didn’t know my final score till after the final putt on 18, which is something I love doing.  It’s not always the easiest thing to achieve, but I’ve been able to do it a lot in recent rounds, it really keeps you focused when you get in that zone.  My chipping and putting surprisingly were solid despite the couple week break, zero 3 putts and had a lot of close chips, even chipped in for birdie on the 5th hole.  Will most likely have to wait till next Monday to play again, but in the next few days I’ll be practicing short and long game.

Total stats for the round were as follows:

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

Score: 74 (+4) FW: 9/14 GIR: 12/18 Putts: 32 Up/Down: 2/6 Sand Save: 0/0 Penalties: 1

Just a quick update for you guys…I haven’t been playing much golf in these past two weeks following my tournament win.  I felt it necessary to take a week or two off after I got home from Palm Springs because I’ve been so intensely focused on playing well in the tournament for many months now that I felt I needed to take some time to just enjoy the win.  I also needed to clear my mind and reset before going full speed again with playing and practice.  Also, they haven’t posted many of the pictures from the tournament still, only ones I can find are from day 1 at the Norman course and the final day banquet. So the couple pictures you see are of our day 1 group at the Norman course and the one of me being announced as champion.

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I haven’t completely left golf alone over these past 2 week(I’m too obsessed for that), I have been to the range a couple times and did play once this past Tuesday.  I actually played real solid, played at the Vineyard with a couple friends and shot a 74(+4).  My putting, as usual is what cost me, definitely a little rusty after not putting for a week and a half…I had three 3 putts and missed a birdie putt inside of 3ft…so that’s is 4 strokes right there that I gave away.  My tee to green game was fantastic and I’m excited that I can take a week or 2 off and still have my ball striking remain solid.  For the round I hit 10/14 FW’s and 15/18 greens, but had 37 freaking putts!!  Anyway, like I said, I’m not focused on anything these past 2 weeks, still a solid score and I know what I need to work on heading back into full time practice and playing mode here again next week.

I have the idea of playing in some Golf Channel Am Tour events here in San Diego starting next year, so over the next few months I’ll be working hard to improve with that goal of playing well in those events in mind.  Have any of you guys ever played in a Golf Channel Am tour even before?? I’m curious to know what your experiences were with them, please let me know in the comments!