Posts Tagged ‘round’

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Played at Oaks North on Monday, the executive course that plays at a Par 6…shot a 63 (+3) with 2 penalties off the tee.  Like I stated in my previous post, I have been spending this week focusing on my swing plane and trying to get it into the correct position to help produce more consistent shots.  I really feel like I am starting to figure it out, I hit 13 of 18 greens.  On Wednesday, played over at the Vineyard and shot a disappointing 79 (+9).  I actually continued to strike the ball very well and accurate, I only hit 7 greens, but had about 5 that were just on the fringes.  I shot a 79 because of my short game, missed 4 putts from 3 feet and did not make a single birdie.  Putting continues to be my achilles heel, just don’t feel confident.  My lag putting is improving, but the shorter putts I’m just not hitting them with the confidence needed to make them right now.

Went to the range last night to keep working on my swing plane and I hit the ball great, I’m starting to get to that point that I have been working towards where I can just swing confidently and not have to think about my mechanics.  I finally found the correct feeling you need to have to get the club coming down on the correct plane and not too steep and I’m starting to groove the ball.  I hope to play again on Saturday or Sunday, trying to get that set up right now, but if not, then I’ll just keep practicing my short game for my upcoming rounds on Monday and Wednesday.  2 weeks until the Palm Springs Tournament, I’m so happy that I’m starting to get my game in order to compete there, if I can find my putting, watch out.

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This years British Open has been really fun to watch, there is the possibility of a 3 or even 4 putt on any given hole which makes for some exciting golf to watch….no lead is safe.  I love watching the US and British Opens because they are always the toughest tests in golf, where par is an amazing score.  Tiger is just 1 shot back going into the weekend and I must say that I am pulling for Tiger to win his 15th major and 1st since doing it here in my home town of San Diego at the US Open in ’08 at Torrey Pines.  It seems that every major over the past couple of years, Tiger has found himself at this exact same spot, in the lead or 1 or 2 shots off the lead heading into Saturday.  Saturday is “moving day” as Tiger likes to say, but lately he’s played his worst rounds on Saturday and instead of moving up, he’s moved way down and has dropped out of the competition heading into Sunday.  I’m hoping he can reverse his trend tomorrow, he’s hitting a ton of FW’s right now, if he can continue that and keeps making those clutch 10ft putts for par, I think he will easily be in or close to the lead by days end.  Honestly with how tough this course is playing, you could potentially be 6 or 7 shots back heading into the final round and still win…..can’t wait to watch the conclusion of this awesome weekend of golf!

I did end up playing a golf round on Wednesday, but we were not able to get onto Riverwalk.  We ended up having to emergency drive up to Vineyard and luckily we were able to get a golf round in.  I did not play very well and ended up shooting a very disappointing 80.  I’m not going to do a golf recap of my round, I’ve been obsessed with watching every second of the British Open and it’s on very early in the morning in the US.  I will give a quick over view of my round however, just could not get up and down all day long.  Ended my round 2 for 7 on up and down chances, not that I was hitting bad chips, just couldn’t make a putt.  Still getting used to not lining up my ball on putts inside 10feet and I’m just struggling with confidence right now.  My lag putting is improving nicely though, I did have two 3 putts, but they were not because I left my first putt 6-8ft short like I have been….this round they were just missing the short 2nd putt.  Frustrating, but I feel like it is just a confidence thing, I finally found a set up and stroke that is making consistent contact in the center of the putter face and thanks to my lesson last week, I now have a better ability to self diagnose and understand the feelings I have when I have a miss hit.  With more putting practice, my kinks should start to iron themselves out and help me gain more confidence.  My driving took a slight step backwards during this past round, just couldn’t find the center of the club face and as a result I hit a few very poor drives.  One of them cost me big time and I made a triple bogey after hitting a tree just in front of the tee box on #8.  The tees were extremely far back and tucked to the left, forcing me to try to hit a big cut shot as I’m lefty.  I’m not comfortable with that shot at all yet, and I pushed it left into the trees.  Also had a double on #3 as I hit my tee shot in the water on the par 3 and was unable to get up and down from the drop zone.  Back 9, I started off par, par, but then went on a bogey streak that lasted the next 5 holes, until paring 17 and 18 to end.  It’s tough to go from 71, 72 on the exact same course to 80 just a few days later……but that is golf, the true definition of a love/hate relationship.  I’m going to take the weekend off from golf and just relax, clear my head again and watch the British Open.  Will be playing again on Monday and Wednesday next week, so fully back to the grind on Monday….will continue to hit up the range if I can after the work for the next few days.

Final Stats for round:  Fairways Hit (FW) 7/14 50% Green in Regulation (GIR) 9/18 50% Up/Downs 2/7 28%. Sand Saves 0/2 0% Penalties: 2 Putts: 33

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My buddy had to cancel on me today a few hours before our round.  I debated not going up to play now that I did not have a partner, but you guys are keeping me motivated and accountable to keep putting out content, so I decided to just go up and try to play by myself.  I was hoping that this blog would help push me forward, that I would gain some accountability from my followers and it would give me that motivation to keep practicing and playing.  Over these past 7 weeks, I have gained more support from you guys than I could have ever imagined.  Your positively supportive letters and notes from all over the world have given me great motivation to see this journey out to the end….I will accomplish my dreams and when I do, a big part of that success  is going to be because of you guys, thanks!

When I got up to the course, it worked out exactly how I imagined and I was able to head out immediately upon arriving and got to play by myself the entire round!  No warm up probably cost me the first hole, but it’s no big deal.  Because I was by myself with nobody in front or behind for most of the round, I played my first ball for score and hit a 2nd ball occasionally for practice.  Love being able to have the time for some true course practice, it is almost impossible to replicate it on a practice chipping green at a driving range.  Had a lot of fun out there and even though I did not feel like my ball striking was as great as last week, was still able to put together my 2nd +2 round of my life.  So I tied my 2nd lowest round ever, so happy I decided to come out and play today, enjoy!

The Vineyard Golf Course 6,531 Yards Par 70

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Front 9

Hole 1: 420 Par 4

No warm up and I kind of rushed my first swing, hooked it pretty badly, really lucky that it stayed inbounds just outside the hazard.  Was able to advance it to just in front of the green, where I had a pretty simple chip, but I over cooked it and had about a 12 footer left for par.  Missed the putt to start my round with a bogey.  Bogey

Round (+1)  

Hole 2: 351 Par 4

Short dogleg left with water surrounding the left side and green.  Hit a 4iron today and drew it perfectly back into the middle of the fairway.  Only had 112 to the center and just 123 to the back, a very thin green where the pin was located on the far right side.  Took a SW that I hit solid, but blocked it out left and it finished middle of the green about 20+ feet away.  Made a real solid lag putt to a tap in par.  Par

Round (+1)

Hole 3: 125 Par3

Pin was middle back today, but tees were up and was playing a total of about 108 and downwind.  I took a lob wedge and hit a very solid shot just right of the flag about 10ft.  Had a slight right to left breaking putt, that I thought I had made, but it burned the edge. Par

Round (+1)

Hole 4: 404 Par 4

Took driver today, but blocked it left and it was heading right for a water hazard on the left side.  I thought it was probably in from the tee, but when I got up there it was still inbounds.  Had about 80 yards to a front pin location, blind shot, but hit it just past the hole about 8ft!  Unfortunately ball finished on top of a ridge just above the hole, so I had a VERY quick birdie putt.  Played it off the toe to kill the speed and left it just inches from the cup, tap in par. Par

Round (+1)

Hole 5: 401 Par 4

Went with driver again today and bombed it down the middle to the end of the fairway.  Just a short pitch left with my 60 degree lob wedge, hit it over the flag about 15ft.  Should have been better from there, but I’ll take it. 2 putted for a quick par. Par

Round (+1)

Hole 6: 152 Par 3

Was playing about 138 today, hit a PW to this back right pin location, thought it was perfect, but it took a hard bounce and it got caught up in the rough before it could spin back.  Was left with little green to work with and a slight downhill slope.  Landed my chip a little further than I had pictured and as a result it ran past and was left with an 8ft par saving putt….failed to make the save. Bogey

Round (+2)

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.  Last week I hit a 5 wood to just 15 or so feet for eagle, but today I even beat that!  Hit a great 5 wood, exactly how I pictured it and when I got to the green, saw the ball just 7ft for eagle!  Couldn’t see the flag on my tee shot, so got lucky that it was right at it, a perfect shot….but my putting is still a struggle to get comfortable and I pulled the pretty much straight putt.  A great opportunity for eagle missed, but I’ll keep taking birdies all day long. Birdie

Round (+1)

Hole 8: 419 Par 4

Tees were way back today and the hole was playing into the wind, good thing too because I hit a great drive that was hitting toward the fairway bunkers, but the wind stopped it just short.  I was in the fairway about 145 out, took a 9 iron and hit it just to the back of the green.  A 25 ft downhill, right to left breaking putt that I lagged perfectly and made a nice par. Par

Round (+1)

Hole 9: 503 Par 5

Very reachable par 5, hit a weak 3 wood down the left side.  It stayed just short of a bunker, but I had an awkward stance where my right foot was just on the lip.  249 left to green, was feeling good so I tried to hit a 5 wood from the lie.  Probably not the smartest idea and I didn’t really get good contact because of my stance and it just squibbed forward.  Had 180 in now with the wind, took an 8 iron that landed on the left side of green.  A 20 ft putt for birdie, just burned the edge of the cup and made the 3 ft comebacker for par. Par

Round (+1)

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A solid opening 9 of 36 (+1) on this Par 35 Front 9…2 putted every green and unfortunately missed a 7 ft eagle putt, but I’m really pleased with my score, lots of greens in regulation and kept the ball in play.  Fairways Hit (FW): 4/7 44% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 7/9 77% Up/Downs: 0/2 0% Sand Saves: 0/0 0% Putts: 18 Penalties: 0

Back 9

Hole 10: 389 Par 4

Hit a bad drive that sliced left and found the hazard out.  Was able to hit my next shot just to the back of the green about 30 ft from flag, almost drained the long par, but it just missed for a bogey caused by a penalty.  Bogey

Round (+2)

Hole 11: 457 Par 4

A very tight driving hole, hit one of my best drives ever on this hole, fed the small fairway gap and finished just 124 out, 333 yard drive.  Was on a slight down slope on the fairway, clipped a SW a little thin and got barely any spin on it, it ran by about 25ft.  A slight right to left breaker…..drained it! Huge putt for me, stole a birdie on this very difficult hole.  After that bogie on 10, I needed this!  Birdie

Round (+1)

Hole 12: 154 Par 3

Another par 3 over water.  Hit a solid 9iron that drew and finished about 15 ft right of pin.  Quick 2 putt for par.  Par

Round (+1)

Hole 13: 477 Par 4

Downhill long par 4.  Blocked my driver to the left and I was left with a blind 2nd shot.  Was about 150 to the front, hole is downhill so I took a PW and tried to smash it, started it on my intended line so I was hoping it was close to green.  Ended up just short, but was on a perfect line to the pin.  Made a nice chip with my lob wedge to about a ft and tapped in for par. Par

Round (+1)

Hole 14: 412 Par 4

Water on the left and out of bounds on the right; hit a 5 iron today that I hooked.  Luckily it caught the fairway bunker or it would have hit off the hill hard and most likely out of bounds.  Had a real awkward stance, ball severely below my feet and my whole body outside of the bunker as my ball was just on the right edge.  Actually made pretty good contact and was able to advance a 9 iron up just short of the green in the fairway.  Decided to putt the ball as I was probably about 40 ft away from hole….hit another great lag putt through the fringe to about 3 ft and made the par save. Par

(Round +1)

Hole 15: 551 Par 5

Hit a weak drive down the left side and it finished in the rough on a side hill, uphill lie.  Tried to advance a 6 iron up, but hooked it badly into the rough.  Still 145 out for my 3rd into the wind….went with my 9, right at it, but wind knocked it down and it finished in the front portion of green.  Pin was in the very back on a little ridge, so I had about a 45ft putt for birdie.  Hit another great lag putt to about 3 ft and made my par putt.  Par

(Round +1)

Hole 16: 453 Par 4

The most difficult hole on the course according to the handicap on the scorecard.  Decided on 3 wood today and found the fairway.  Flag was in the very front of the green, hit a PW right at the flag, begged for it to be the right club, but it came up just short.  Should have been a fairly easy chip, but was debating whether to chip it low or high.  Choose to play it back in my stance and go low….mistake…. I ran it a good 9 ft by.  High was the way to go on that shot, missed the par putt for a disappointing bogey from what should have been a quite easy up and down spot.  Bogey.

Round (+2)

Hole 17: 157 Par 3

Hit a 9 iron off the toe and it just missed the green on the left side on the fringe.  Took out my trusty PW and played a great bump and run that took the slope left to right and finished just inches from the hole, tap in par. Par

Round (+2)

Hole 18: 411 Par 4

Very scenic 18th hole heading back down the hill to the clubhouse.  Went with driver again today, crushed it over the sand traps and it finished perfectly in the fairway just 70 yards out.  Ball on a down slope in the fairway, pin was on the back of this back to front sloping green.  Hit a great punch lob wedge, that flew all the way to the flag and stopped about 8 ft right of the hole.  A pretty straight putt, couldn’t have asked for a better spot to putt from, but I pulled it and missed right. Par

(Round +2)

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Another solid 9 of 36 (+1) on the Par 35 Back 9….had a great birdie look on 18 for back to back career low rounds of +1, but slightly pulled it.  Fairways Hit (FW) 3/7 43% Green in Regulation (GIR) 4/9 44% Up/Downs 3/4 75% Sand Saves 0/0 0% Putts: 14 Penalties: 1

Final Score: 72 (+2) Fairways Hit (FW) 7/14 50% Green in Regulation (GIR) 11/18 61% Up/Downs 3/6 50%. Sand Saves 0/0 0% Penalties: 1 Putts: 32

I found a putting routine on the back 9 that really helped me to get consistent solid strikes in the center of the club face.  Still getting used to not lining up the lines on my ball with where I want to start my putts, it’s a little weird right now, but I putted fairly well all day.  Had zero 3 putts today so I’m really proud of that, something I’ve been working hard to correct.  I started to set up with my feet slightly open on the back 9 and it was allowing me to strike the putts in the center and start rolling more down my intended line.  I’m really excited that I was able to continue my low scoring and I’m hoping that if I continue to play confidently and believe in myself that these low 70 rounds are going to occur consistently.  Will be playing on Wednesday again, most likely at Riverwalk.

 

Shot my lowest round ever a (+1) 71 at the Par 70 Vineyard Course today!  A dramatic change and a full 10 shots better than my previous round here of 81, I guess keeping the ball in bounces actually helps.  I’m so happy right now; my hard work over these past 7 weeks is really starting to pay off, especially with my driver.  This round could have been the under par one I have been dreaming of…in fact I think you can say it SHOULD have been, you’ll have to read on to find out why it fell just short. Enjoy!

The Vineyard Golf Course 6,531 Yards Par 70

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Front 9

Hole 1: 420 Par 4

Hit a solid drive down the left side, the wind was hard into our face so it didn’t travel very far, but I was still left with only 140 into the green from the left side rough.  Got unlucky in that my ball was just in a dirt patch.  Tried to just trap it, but it came off as a big draw, bounced right and missed the green.  Was short sided and had to hit a high flop, hit a great shot actually to only 7ft, but my putting continues to let me down, missed the par putt. Bogey

Round (+1)  

Hole 2: 351 Par 4

Short dogleg left with water surrounding the left side and green.  Hit a 4iron today and stripped it perfectly down the middle.  Only had 114 to the flag, but into the wind….this is a very thin green and going long is dead and short is water, so I tried to muscle a SW and hope to keep it below the hole.  It landed on center of the green, but had a lot of spin and ended just on the front edge.  A 25 ft putt uphill that I left about 3ft short, but made the par putt. Par

Round (+1)

Hole 3: 125 Par3

The pin was in its usual Monday pin location on the very front left really tough.  The tees were back today and it only played a total of about 103, these past weeks it was only playing 65-75 with the same pin location.  This is a more comfortable distance with my lob wedge, hit a full one and stuck it to about 4 ft!  Rolled it in for a nice birdie on a hole that always seems to have my number, but not today! Birdie

Round (E)

The Tricky Par 3 3rd Hole at Vineyard

hole 3 at Vineyard

Hole 4: 404 Par 4

This hole should show you how confidently I’m hitting my driver right now, I NEVER take a driver on this hole as it brings in the lake on the left side into play if I push it.  Been pushing my 3 wood over there the past couple weeks and it comes up just short of the water, but today I decided in my mind I’m hitting driver.  Just focused on the right side, believed in myself and hit a great drive that finished on the left side, but barely in the rough, a great tee shot.  Only left me with 80 yards to center of green, I hit a punch lob wedge that ended about 12 ft left of hole.  Hit a solid putt, but just missed. Par

Round (E)

Hole 5: 401 Par 4

Used the driver again today into the wind and hit another great one, only 98 left from the left side of fairway.  Pin was in the back of this 3 tiered green and I hit a really bad wedge, left it out left and it missed the green.  Hit a bump and run with my PW and left myself an 8ft uphill, slight right to left breaking putt for par….drained it! Par

Round (E)

Hole 6: 152 Par 3

Hit the 9 iron over last round, so I took out the PW today.  Pictured hitting a high draw that started at center and finished around this right side pin location, but I overcooked it too much….got lucky here as it hit the cart path, but stayed inbounds.  I had a horrible lie however, in a small swell just off the green and ball was laying in dirt.  I took my lob wedge, put the toe down and just tried to clip the ball with the toe of the club to get it up over the hill with some spin.  Came off exactly how I imagined and was left with a tap in par from a ft. Par

Round (E)

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.  Hit a perfect draw with my 5wood today and when we got up to the green it was only about 16 ft away for eagle!  Missed the eagle, but I’ll take a tap in birdie every day. Birdie

Round (-1)

Hole 8: 419 Par 4

There is a bunker that protrudes out from the left side of the fairway, I hit what I thought was a perfect drive, but it ended up hitting the very top of this bunker and rolling down the lip….literally 3 inches farther and it’s in the middle of the fairway, bad break.  Hit a good shot out from the lip of bunker with my gap wedge, but it spun off the right side of green.  It was a few feet in the fringe so I decided just to putt it.  Left it a good 7 ft short and missed the par putt.  Technically since I was in the fringe it doesn’t count as a 3 putt, but it definitely was in my book, should have been an easy 2 putt par….bad, bad, bad. Bogey

Round (E)

Hole 9: 503 Par 5

Very reachable par 5,  hit my 3 wood today down the 8th fairway on the left.  It actually worked out perfect because I hit it far enough that I took out a set of trees that would have been in my line.  Had a straight shot at the green, only 190 out.  Wind was helping and pin was in front so I hit a 7 iron that came up just short of the green.  Pin was only about 5 paces on from the front today, so I had a delicate little chip….I tried to get too fancy and hit an amazing flop shot to stop it instead of just getting it on so I had a birdie putt (pretty flat around the hole).  Had to land it just in the front and I left it short, chipped the next one on and made par, but gave up a prime opportunity for a solid birdie try.  Par

Round (E)

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A great score of 35 (E) on this Par 35 Front 9.  Drove the ball well and had 2 birdies which made me really happy, but did have a couple short putts missed and a 3 putt.  Fairways Hit (FW): 3/7 43% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 4/9 44% Up/Downs: 3/5 60% Sand Saves: 0/0 0% Penalties: 0 Putts: 14

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 just in the rough.  Hit a 3 quarter lob wedge up the hill from about 80 yards out, pin high about 12ft left.  Hit a great putt, but it was a big left to right breaker that looked in, but died just in front of the cup.  Par

Round (E)

Hole 11: 457 Par 4

A very tight driving hole, hit my worst drive of the day here today, way left in a group of trees.  It worked out alright as I actually had a decent lie and it went far enough through the trees that I was left with nothing in front of me.  I did have to hit a cut, which I executed fairly nicely and landed a 9iron on the front right portion of green….pin was in back left.  Tried not to leave my long 45ft putt short and hit it a good 6ft by and missed the comebacker for another 3 putt today, killing me! Bogey

Round (+1)

Hole 12: 154 Par 3

Another par 3 over water.  We got rushed here as the old person group in front of us, one of which was walking was nice enough to have us play up as they were on the green.  I rushed it and pushed my 9iron left and missed the green.  Quickly I hit my PW pitch a little too far past the hole and just putted quickly for a 2 putt bogey.  I should have calmed myself down and took my time, but we wanted to pass them quickly as there was nobody for miles ahead of them. Bogey

Round (+2)

Hole 13: 477 Par 4

Downhill long par 4….absolutely crushed my driver here today down the middle.  This is a downhill hole and the ball ended in middle of fairway only 103 to center….374 yard drive!  Finally hit a great wedge just passed the hole about 8 ft.  A quick downhill putt, but it looked pretty straight, I played it in the center and rolled it in for birdie….feels nice to get a shot back here this green is very tough. Birdie

Round (+1)

Hole 14: 412 Par 4

Water on the left and out of bounds on the right; took a 5iron today because last week I hit a 4iron too well and it ran through into the water.  Worked out perfectly today as I hit it down the middle only 150 out.  Pin was tucked in the back right where you can’t see the putting surface.  Tried to muscle a PW up there as it was with the wind, but I blocked it out left and it finished on the front left side of green.  A long putt of about 50ft and I didn’t trust my original line.  Left it out left about 7ft left of hole where I missed again for another disastrous 3putt, got to fix this! Bogey

(Round +2)

Hole 15: 551 Par 5

Hit a great drive down the left side that finished just a few feet in the rough.  Was 250 out today into the wind, so I tried to crush a 5wood up to the front of green.  Drew it in nicely and was left with only about 30yards to green.  Hit a pitch that looked like it was in the hole for eagle, but it just missed for a tap in birdie. Birdie

(Round +1)

Hole 16: 453 Par 4

The #1 handicapped hole on the scorecard.  Tight driving hole, but I decided to take my driver out today.  I blocked it left…..looked like it was going out, but got a great bounce off the hill and came to rest almost in the fairway….a good break.  Took a PW and landed it about a foot from the flag, but it rolled to just 3ft!  Unfortunately the putt was in that Bermuda triangle zone, one where you don’t want to mark it, you’d rather just walk up and hit it in without thinking, but it’s just a little too far to that.  I marked it and even though it was a pretty straight putt, I freaking pulled it and missed, come on!! Killer, could have stolen a birdie from the hardest hole on the course and gotten back to even with only 2 holes to go.  My under par round of golf was a real possibility if could have made that!  Par.

Round (+1)

Hole 17: 157 Par 3

Hit a solid 7iron on the back left of the green.  Had about a 25ft putt that I lagged up well and tapped in for par. Par

Round (+1)

Hole 18: 411 Par 4

Very scenic 18th hole heading back down the hill to the clubhouse.  Confidently stood up there and crushed a driver down the middle, finished just 75 yards to center, 336 yard drive.  Ball was on a downhill slope in the fairway and the pin was located just 6 paces on from the front, only about 66 yards away.  Clipped it perfectly and it landed just on the front, but for some reason didn’t have the spin I thought it would and it finished about 12ft above the hole.  A quick downhill right to left breaking putt for an even round of 70….knocked it up to about a foot and tapped in for my lowest round of my life, +1 71! Par

(Round +1)

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Two 3 putts and a 3 ft birdie missed on 16 killed me as this should have been an under par back 9.  2 solid birdies though and I end it was a solid 36 (+1) Par 35 Back 9.  Hit 8 out of 9 greens on this 9, just could not putt. Fairways Hit (FW) 3/7 43% Green in Regulation (GIR) 8/9 88% Up/Downs 1/2 50% Sand Saves 0/0 0% Penalties: 0 Putts: 18

Final Score: 71 (+1) Fairways Hit (FW) 6/14 43% Green in Regulation (GIR) 12/18 66% Up/Downs 4/7 57%. Sand Saves 0/0 0% Penalties: 0 Putts: 32

Wow, this round could have been that under par round that I have been chasing, but basically three 3 putts and a birdie missed from 3 ft cost me, but I’m not going to dwell on that, I’m going to enjoy my lowest round ever.  I hope that I can continue shooting in the low 70’s and that this round is just the first of many to come in upcoming months.  This round was my first negative CDF handicap rating as this course plays from the backs at a 74.1 rating.  As a result, this round lowered my CDF Handicap down to a 2.8, lowest of my life. If you are not familiar with what a CDF Handicap is, look over on the left side of my blog and that will give you the definition.  I will continue to work hard and keep improving, my under par round of golf is hopefully close, I can really taste it now…..keep working hard, I believe!

Played at the Riverwalk today and we played the hardest of the three 9 hole combinations.  I will actually be playing the exact same 9’s tomorrow as I was able to book a July 4th tee time with my buddy.  I’m excited about being able to play on back to back days and today I wanted to come out to the Riverwalk so that I could play the same course two days in a row.  We played the Friars/Presidio combination today that plays at a rating of 71.7/129, but is much tougher than that.  If you click on the scorecard picture you’ll find at the end of each 9 recap, you can actually see the hole layouts on the scorecard.  Gives you a good visual to go along with my descriptions….enjoy!

Riverwalk: Friars/Presidio 6,627 Yards Par 72

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Front 9 Friars 3,230 Yards Par 36

Hole 1: 384 Par 4

Straight away par 4, hooked my drive into the opposite fairway to the right.  2nd shot was about 160 into the wind, took an 8 because I didn’t want to go over and it finished on the very front portion of the green.  Had a long 70ft putt up the slope, hit a nice lag putt to about 4 ft and made the par. Par

Round (E)

Hole 2: 509 Par 5

Dog leg left par 5, hit my drive down the left side.  Had a small tree in front of me so I couldn’t go for the green, just hit a 7iron over the tree, but pulled it slightly.  My 3rd shot was about 125, but had to keep it under another tree.  Wanted to just hit a low punch cut shot, took a 9iron thinking it wouldn’t go that far.  Hit it perfect and that was WAY too much club and it ended in the rough over the green.  A huge downhill slope to the flag located at the very front, hit an amazing PW chip to about 5ft and left myself an uphill putt.  Drained it, for a great up and down, par. Par

Round (E)

Hole 3: 342 Par 4

Dog leg right hole, where a lake runs down the right side. Our GPS wasn’t working so I didn’t know how much it was to carry the lake to the fairway on the other side, so I just hit a hybrid down the left side.  Turns out it wasn’t that far over the lake and I could have cut the hole off a lot if I hit driver.  Will probably go for that tomorrow depending on the wind.  Had about 128 left and hit a gap wedge.  Hit a bad shot that I layed off and it leaked to the left rough.  Had to flop it over a bunker onto a downhill slope, ball landed just a ft too short and stayed up on the collar.  Very delicate, difficult chip now left for my par down the slope…..knocked it in, boom!! Par

Round (E)

Hole 4: 171 Par 3

Hardest hole on this side, lake on the left and right of this narrow green.  Hit a 6iron, but it just came up short in the bunker.  When I got up to the green, found the ball plugged badly in the bunker….with water on the other side of the green, I was really scared of this next shot.  Tried to put the negative chatter in my mind away and I hit a great shot up to about 10ft…phew!  Missed the par putt, but that hole could have been a lot worse with the plugged lie I had in the bunker. Bogey

Round (+1)

Hole 5: 395 Par 4

Straight away par 4 that you can let the driver eat.  Hit a perfect drive, solid and down the middle, it ended in the fairway only 78 yards from hole, a nice 317yard drive.  Wedge game is killing me right now, hit a lob wedge that came up short.  Should be putting those on the green within 12 ft 80-90%% of the time, got to fix that.  Continued my great touch around the greens though with this chip that looked in, but hit the stick and stayed out.  1inch par tap in.  Par

Round (+1)

Hole 6: 175 Par 3

Wind was helping today and hit a 7iron that finished about 8ft above the hole.  A quick downhill putt that I played off the toe of the putter to try and kill some speed….birdie putt just burned the right edge of the hole, 2 putt par. Par

Round (+1)

Hole 7: 507 Par 5

Out of bounds to the left, so I made sure I went right.  Pulled my drive onto the fairway on the right, but only had 220 into the par 5.  Blind shot, so I hit a 5 iron that actually ended up just short of the green about 15 yards.  Made a good PW pitch to about 8ft below the hole…..rolled in the straight putt for my first birdie of the day, back to even! Birdie

Round (E)

Hole 8: 403 Par 4

Slight dog leg right hole, took aim over a set of bunkers on the right side and crushed it.  One of the best feeling and looking drives of my life, just perfectly in the center of the club face and ended only 73yards from the green in the fairway, 330yards!  Hit a lob wedge, to the elevated green and it ended about 15ft above hole.  2 putted for a par. Par

Round (E)

Hole 9: 344 Par 4

Took a 3 wood and hit a solid drive down the middle.  Only had 106 yards, but it was severally into the wind.  I tried to trap a lob wedge and flight it under the wind, but caught it fat and it fell way short of the green.  Had to hit a giant flop to the green and almost holed it, but it finished about 6ft away.  A little right to left breaking putt, but I missed it on the low side to make a disappointing bogey to finish this solid 9 from only 100 yards out. Bogey

Round (+1)

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A great 37 (+1) on this Par 36 Friars Front 9.  Hit a few really great drives and kept the ball in bounds.  My wedge game really killed me this 9, but my chipping was on fire.  Fairways Hit (FW): 3/7 43% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 4/9 44% Up/Downs: 3/4 75% Sand Saves: 0/1 0% Penalties: 0 Putts: 13

Back 9 Presidio:3,397 Yards Par 36

Hole 10: 398 Par 4

Hit my drive solid, but left into the opposite fairway. Had about 150 into the wind, hit a great 8iron right at the flag, but it finished just on the front of the green.  Had about a 20ft birdie putt that I misjudged the speed on and left it a good 8ft short, missed the next putt for a bad 3putt start to the back 9. Bogey

Round (+2)

Hole 11: 178 Par 3

Over a lake and had a steady cross wind left to right.  Hit a 7iron and played the wind, landed on the green and rolled down the slope to about 15ft above the hole.  Another horrible lag putt as I left this putt also about 6-7ft short.  Back to back 3 putts as I missed my par putt……putting is going to be the death of me this back 9. Bogey

Round (+3)

Hole 12: 511 Par 5

Dog leg right Par 5, reachable in 2 if you hit a deep drive, but I hit mine left again into a parallel fairway.  Took a 5wood and crushed up about 60 yards from the green.  Hit an ok wedge shot this time, but it was still 15ft right of the hole.  Leaving my last two lag putts short, I was going to make sure I got it to the hole this time…..a little too much and I ran it 5 ft by.  What do you know…lipped out that putt for my 3rd consecutive 3 putt….you have got to be kidding me right now!?!?  Bogey on this par 5 from 60 yards out….unacceptable.  Bogey

 Round (+4)

Hole 13: 440 Par 4

Hit another really good drive that finished just in the rough, but was only 116 to middle of the green.  Missed another green with a wedge in my hand as I left this one out to the left again.  Continued my solid chipping as I chipped a PW to about 2ft, tap in par to stop the bogey train. Par

Round (+4)

Hole 14: 393 Par 4

Straightway par 4, but the fairway is separated by a river in the middle, so you are forced to lay up to about 220 from the tee.  Hit a 4iron today that stayed down the left side in the rough.  Had a terrible lie, basically dirty and in a depression.  Tried to advance a 6iron, but hit it fat and it came up about 90yards short of green.  Hit a good wedge to the center of the green, but missed my par putt.  Bogey

Round (+5)

Hole 15: 538 Par 5

A nice par 5 to try and get a shot back….hit my drive over to the left and then hit a nice 5wood up to about 30yards.  Had a really bad angle to the pin as it was tucked just over a bunker and I had to hit a long flop shot.  Came off perfectly and finished just 6ft from hole for birdie….pulled the putt and let a great birdie opportunity slip by. Par

Round (+5)

Hole 16: 374 Par 4

Pushed my drive left and had to hit another punch cut shot to keep it under a branch.  Only problem is this ball didn’t cut and came up short right.  Hit a real nice chip to 4ft and made a nice up and down par. Par

Round (+5) 

Hole 17: 148 Par 3

Someone in our group had a range finder and they said the pin was only 140.  I hit a solid PW thinking that it was perfect, but it came up short.  Thought it was in the hazard, but we found it almost imbedded on the edge in some long grass.  Decided to play it and I had to chock down my wedge all the way to the metal and took a hack…popped out, but only a few ft.  An unlucky break as that ball then rolled into a random pitch mark and I proceeded to leave that chip short as well.  Kind of throwing my real solid round away here on 17….ended up making a double bogey 5.  Double Bogey.

Round (+7)

Hole 18: 417 Par 4

Straight away par 4 that has out of bounds on the right side.  Hit a real solid drive down the left side, ended up getting some nice roll on the cart path and finished only 80 yards away, 337 yard drive.  Finally hit a solid wedge shot to about 8ft below the hole.  Made the left to right breaking putt and finished my round off nicely with a much needed birdie on 18 after the disaster on 17.  Birdie

Round (+6)

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Started off this 9 with 3 consecutive 3 putt bogeys and a disastrous 5 on the par 3 17th, but ended with a nice birdie on 18.  Although my stats will say I hit 0 FW’s on the back 9, I did hit a lot of solid drives that just finished outside the fairways….putting is what killed me on this 9, 41 (+5). Fairways Hit (FW): 0/7 0% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 5/9 55% Up/Downs: 2/4 50% Sand Saves: 0/0 0% Penalties: 0 Putts: 18

Final Stats: Fairways Hit (FW): 3/14 22% (Drove the ball great today, many solid long drives and kept the ball in bounds all day, win for me)  Greens in Regulation (GIR): 9/18 50% Up/Downs: 5/8 63% Sand Saves: 0/1 0% Penalties: 0 Putts: 32

Overall I’m pleased with this round, I feel like I’m starting to hit the ball better after a horrible last few weeks.  My back 9 was extremely disappointing, but it was not my driving that killed me like previous weeks, it was my putting.  I’m playing the same 9’s tomorrow so I should improve my speed.  My chipping and up and down game is staying really solid…I have proven that I can get up and down over 50% of the time on a consistent basis now and that feels really really good.  Still need to work on my 120 and in wedge game, can’t continue to miss greens from that distance or put it on, but 20+ft away from hole.  That should be my scoring clubs and I need to be making birdies or pars from that distance automatically, not bogeys.  That will come with more playing and consistent practice, but I feel good heading into my round tomorrow.  Will be playing the same two 9’s so I hope that I can improve on my +6 score today.  Played well enough today to shoot about 2-4 over, but I won’t complain about a round in the 70’s after the disappointing past couple weeks.

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.

The Riverwalk course features 3 different 9 hole courses named Presidio, Mission and Friars.  I love this course, it is in great condition from tee to green and a really fun play.  Today we played the Presidio/Mission combination from the tips for a combined slope and rating of 71.9/126.  Enjoy!

Riverwalk Golf Club: Presidio/Mission 6,550 Yards Par 72

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Front 9 Presidio: 3,397 Yards Par 36

Hole 1: 398 Par 4

A short opening hole, slightly moves right to left, hit my tee shot left in the rough.  Had a great lie and angle to hole, knocked a wedge to about 25 ft above the hole.  Real quick putt and knocked it a good 10ft by….but made the comebacker par putt to save an opening hole 3 putt disaster. Par

Round (E)

Hole 2: 178 Par 3

Over a lake and into the wind to a back right pin location.  This type of shot sets up nice for my little draw and I tried to muscle a 7iron to flag.  Right at it, but about 15 ft short and it settled below the ridge in the middle of the green.  So an uphill right to left breaking putt for birdie.  Still not figuring out the greens yet as I left this a good 7ft short.  Clutched up again and made my 7ft par putt. Par

Round (E)

Hole 3: 511 Par 5

Dog leg right Par 5, reachable in 2 if you hit a deep drive, but I kind of hit mine off the heel and it squirted out low and left.  Still got good distance however, but had a bad lie in the rough.  Layed up with a 7iron to the middle of the fairway about 80yards away.  This part of my game, my 100 yards and in game would haunt me today and cost me an great score….hit this shot about 30ft over the flag and had a long putt for birdie.  Left this putt WAY short also, but made another 7-10ft putt for par (feeling really confident from that length right now). Par

 Round (E)

Hole 4: 440 Par 4

Crushed my drive and only had about 120 left in, ran slightly through the fairway into the rough.  Into the wind so I hit a gap wedge, stuck it to about 8ft.  Slight left to right breaker for birdie, felt confident and knocked it in for an early birdie! Birdie

Round (-1)

Hole 5: 393 Par 4

Straightway par 4, but the fairway is separated by a river in the middle, so you are forced to lay up to about 220 from the tee.  Just tried to hit a 5iron into the fairway, but blocked it WAY left.  Landed on the fringe of an adjacent green with a bridge right in front of my line to the green about 165yards away.  This is where I need to work on course management and take my medicine and just hit a Pw over the bridge and play for no worse than 5, but I thought I could get it over and went for it with a 7iron.  Hit a great shot, looked like it was going to make it through the bridge, but caught one of the top beams at the very last moment and it shot the ball who knows where.  Couldn’t find the ball and was forced to drop, hit my next on, but 2 putted for a double bogey 6.  Bad play by me. Double Bogey

Round (+1)

Hole 6: 538 Par 5

A nice par 5 to try and get a shot back….bombed my drive down the middle and only had about 220 in.  Took my 21 degree hybrid and hit a low shot just right of the hole…it landed just short and rolled up onto the green, but ended about 60ft away at the back of the green.  Hit another long putt extremely short and left myself another good 9-12ft putt….this one I missed however, letting a great opportunity to get another birdie slip away with this 3 putt for par.  Par

Round (+1)

Hole 7: 374 Par 4

Pushed my drive left into the other fairway, but had a great angle and lie about 116 to hole….left it horrible short as I didn’t play enough club for the wind.  Had to chip up to a pin in the middle of the green, anything short is flat and perfect, but past hole is a big slope….hit my chip too hard and left myself about 7 ft above the hole, big right to left breaking putt for par.  Really bad chip, no excuse to go above the hole at all and it cost me par as I hit a great putt that lipped out and I made a bad bogey on this hole. Bogey

Round (+2) 

Hole 8: 148 Par 3

Was playing about 158 today, with the wind into the face to a right pin location.  Over drew an 8iron a little too much and it landed short sided pin high.  Not much green to work with, but I made an excellent chip to about 3 ft and made a nice up and down par.  Par

Round (+2)

Hole 9: 417 Par 4

Straight away par 4 that has out of bounds on the right side.  Aimed it down the left side and hit a great drive, only left with 80 yards in.  Hit another horrible wedge, pin high left into the green side bunker.  Flag was only about 5 paces on from left so I had to try and get my shot up quickly and land it into the rough and let it just feed on….hit an perfect shot that rolled to about 4ft…..made a very difficult sand save to finish this 9 off with a par. Par

Round (+2)

Was able to get away with bad lag putting and that stupid double bogey on 5 to only shoot a (+2) 38 on this Par 36 Presidio Front 9.  Fairways Hit (FW): 1/7 14% (Wasn’t missing FW’s by much) Greens in Regulation (GIR): 5/9 55% Up/Downs: 1/2 50% Sand Saves: 1/1 100% Penalties: 1

 Back 9 Mission: 3,153 Yards Par 36

Hole 10: 388 Par 4

With a river running right in front of the tee box, I hit a 3 wood right into the center of the fairway. Had only about 90 yards in, but again missed the green, long left.  Made a nice chip to about 9ft, but lipped this one out for a bogey. Bogey

Round (+3)

Hole 11: 293 Par 4

Short dog leg left hole, layed up with just a 5iron into the fairway.  Only 88yards in and AGAIN I failed to get it close, ran just pasted the hole into the fringe about 12ft above the hole.  Hit a great putt that looked in until the very last second and it turned left and made a par.  Par

Round (+3)

Hole 12: 304 Par 4

The signature hole here at Riverwalk, (The picture at top of post is of this green) a dog leg right with a giant lake down the right side and in front of this semi island green.  Crushed a hybrid straight, but it ran just through the fairway.  Hit 85 yards again and hit a horrible short shot that just barely stayed up from rolling back into the river.  Was almost standing in the water as I hit a great flop shot to 6ft, but lipped out again, would have been a great par save. Bogey

Round (+4)

Hole 13: 526 Par 5

Hit a solid drive to the right that hit above a bunker and ALMOST rolled into the water on the other side.  It was so close against the edge that I had to hit it right handed!  Decided against taking an unplayable and wanted to give it a try righty (always wanted to try this).  Took a PW and actually advanced it up about 25yards!  Took a 5wood from the rough about 235out and hit a great low shot that ran up onto the green, 2 putted for a par.  Par

Round (+4)

Hole 14: 178 Par 3

Tough long par 3, into the wind today, hit a 6iron solid, but missed the green right.  Had to hit a flop shot, that I over cooked slightly and it just rolled off the back, 2 putted from there for a bogey. Bogey

Round (+5)

Hole 15: 354 Par 4

Dogleg right, crushed a 5wood with a nice draw into the fairway, only 80yards in.  Same type of shot I’ve been struggling with all day and no different here, I hit it over and missed green….horrible!  Hit another great chip to 6ft, but lipped out again! Bogey

Round (+6)

Hole 16: 190 Par 3

Hit a 5iron pin high, but missed left.  Flopped it to about 2 ft and tapped in for a quick par.  Par

Round (+6)

Hole 17: 378 Par 4

Hit my driver and had another 80 yard shot to flag from middle of the fairway.  Came up way short of where I wanted and had a 50 ft putt for birdie.  Crushed my putt 10ft by, but again clutched up and made the long par save, wow. Par

Round (+6)

Hole 18: 542 Par 5

Hit my drive down the left side, but just finished in the rough. Had only about 230 to carry the river in front of the green, last hole, might as well go for it right??  Hit a hybrid, pushed it a little left which meant I needed to carry more river than I had factored in.  Looked like it got over from our view point, but when we got up there it had not, found it barely in the hazard.  Had to drop and chipped up to about 5ft and still had a par saving putt.  Been making these all day long, but just miss hit this one and it missed top side.  Bogey to finish my round out. Bogey

Round (+7)

Bad back 9 score of (+5) 41, just couldn’t get my 80-100yard shots on or close to flag. Wedge game cost me on this 9.  Fairways Hit (FW): 4/7 57% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 2/9 22% Up/Downs: 2/7 29% Sand Saves: 0/0 0% Penalties: 1

Final Stats:

 Fairways Hit (FW):  5/14 36% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 7/18 38% Up/Downs: 3/9 33% Sand Saves: 1/1 100% Putts: 32 Penalties: 2

Overall I’m disappointed in my score because I finally drove the ball well…even though my stats show only 5 fairways hit, probably had about 5 more that were barely off the fairway.  My weak point today was my wedge game; 6 times I had about 100 yards in or less from fairways and could not put it close or even on the green.  It’s disappointing because that has been strength of mine these past few weeks, so it’s just one of those off days.  I need to practice a lot on getting my exact distances down with those wedges.  For example I need to know how far a chock down lob wedge goes, compared to a full grip lob wedge, 3quarter choke down lob wedge and half shot lob wedge.  If I can find out the exact distances my 60, 56 and 52 degree wedges go when I’m at full, half or low grip and at full, 3quarter and half swing lengths that will help me score better.  Right now I’m going off of feel and I need exact distances so I don’t have to second guess what to do.  Overall though, I keep saying it, but I am definitely improving.  I feel really confident out there with my swing, from tee to green.  It’s starting to come together and I cannot wait until the day that it all just clicks!

Will probably be playing again on Saturday if everything goes according to plan.  I think today I’m going to go get my putter head re-glued and get a new grip put on. (Right now I have a slightly fatter grip)  I have been putting really well, but I think my putter head is sitting closed and the grip has bothered me every since I bought it, I need something slightly smaller.  It’s time for a change and if I get it done, I’ll post a before and after picture of my putter for reference.

I hit up the driving range on Wednesday night like usual to work on my long game, really hitting the ball well and am excited about the progress I am making.  Thursday was the start of the US Open, probably my favorite golf tournament to watch other than the Masters so I decided to take the day off and watch the first round.  I had set up a golf round on Friday, so I just enjoyed a nice quiet day off from practice and watched some spectacular golf from my countries open championship.

Friday I played my 3rd golf round since starting this blog.  We played at Carmel Highlands Golf Course, a course that we seem to play quite often because of the cheap rates we can find online.  It is in fair condition, some of the rough and fairways are in terrible condition right now, but the greens are in fine shape.  This is a course you will probably see me playing at a lot, as it is really close to home, cheap rate, good condition and challenging.  Although it isn’t too long, it is a really good test of driving skills as it has many tree lined fairways that require an accurate tee shot or you will have no shot at the greens.  It plays at a rating and slope of 71.4/129 from the Blue tips.

Carmel Highland Golf Course 6,428 Yards Par 72

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Hole 1: 340 Par 4

A blind tee shot up a hill, but a straight away hole.  Took my usual 5 wood off this tee and hit a great shot down the middle, only about 90yards left.  Hit a lob wedge that landed about a foot away from flag, but skipped and stopped about 10 ft above the cup.  Had a makeable birdie, but just can’t seem to drop them right now, 2 putted for par. Par

Round (E)

Hole 2: 442 Par 4

A long straight away par 4, I consider this and the 12th to be the hardest holes on the course.  The 2nd is a tight tee shot, out of bounds left and lined with trees on the right.  Hooked my driver into the trees on the right.  Tried to make a hero shot and play a big hook and try to run it up in front of the green.  Was about 150 out and took the wrong club.  I decided to hit an 8 and hook it, but it just went straight and landed out of bounds.  Really poor decision and shot, I’m really confident hitting the big hooks, but this time it went straight somehow and the 8iron was way too much club, wasn’t thinking it would go straight.  Ended up dropping and knocking my 4th on the green, then 2 putting for double bogey. Double Bogey

Round (+2)

Hole 3: 316 Par 4

A short par 4 with out of bounds left.  I normally hit my 21 degree hybrid here and draw it off the left side into the right side.  Hit a solid shot, but it stayed down the left side about 5 ft too far left and stayed out of bounds.  Back to back bad shots gives me 2 penalties in the first 3 holes.  Hit my drop onto the green and 2 putted for a bogey. Bogey

Round (+3)

Hole 4: 217 Par 3

Slight uphill par 3, the tees were way up today and only played about 155.  Hit a 9iron to about 12 ft left of the flag, nice uphill look at birdie, but left another good birdie look slip by. Par

Round (+3)

Hole 5: 502 Par 5

A reachable par 5 if you hit a good tee shot, but I hooked mine to the right and could only layup.  Hit my 2nd over some trees to about 100yards in the fairway.  Hit a poor wedge that I blocked and it was pin high, but just left of the green.  Hit a nice chip to about 4 ft and made the par save. Par

Round (+3)

Hole 6: 522 Par 5

Another par 5, hit a good driver to the right side that just ran off the fairway.  Had about 215 in, but my ball was in a depression, with a small hill right in front of the ball.  No way could I have gotten a hybrid up enough to carry the water in front of the green.  Just tried to lay it up to a wedge shot, but the lie caused me to pull it slightly in between some trees.  Had about 120 from the rough, but had a good angle between two small trees, knocked it about 30 ft.  I was never able to really get the speed of these greens today and I left my birdie putt about 10ft short.  Lipped out the par putt for a bad 3 putt bogey on a par 5. Bogey

Round (+4)

Hole 7: 428 Par 4

Frustrated with myself for this horrible start, I pulled another drive to the right.  Had a blind shot to the green that I pulled again.  Had a quick chip that almost hit flag stick, but rolled through green just on fringe.  Made another good chip and tapped it in for another bogey.  Bogey

Round (+5)

Hole 8: 420 Par 4

I had to start to stop the bleeding somehow, but was facing this difficult uphill par 4. I realized that I was setting my club down closed off the tee in the set up.  This was why I was hooking my tee shots up to that point.  Fixed it and crushed a 3 wood down the center and then hit a wedge just underneath the hole about a 12 ft putt uphill.  Another great birdie look that I missed (Birdies are just NOT falling for me right now, frustrating) Par

Round (+5)

Hole 9: 162 Par 3

Short downhill par 3, where the green slops hard back to front with out of bounds long.  Hit a 9iron on the front, but it spun back off the slope just onto the fringe.  Felt like I killed my putt uphill, but it still ended up about 6 ft short.  Made the tough par putt though to save my 3. Par

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A disappointing score of 41 (+5) on the Par 36 Front 9. Fairways Hit (FW): 2/7 29% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 4/9 44% Up/Downs: 2/3 66% Sand Saves: 0/0 0% Penalties: 2

Hole 10: 304 Par 4

A short par 4 with a large bunker in front of the green.  I have driven this hole before as I hoisted a driver that went about 300 in the air and stopped on the green.  Today though, I wasn’t feeling confident enough to go for that, so I just crushed a 3 wood to about 40yards in front of green.  Made a solid chip to about 8 ft and had a nice look to get a shot back, but missed AGAIN a great birdie look and made par.  Par

Round (+5)

Hole 11: 309 Par 4

Hard sloping hole right to left, did my usual and tried to hit a 5 wood down the left side and let the slope take it down in front of green, but hit a block to the left that went into a hazard.  My 3rd penalty of the day, 2 on short easy par 4s.  Hit my 3rd right at flag, but clipped a green side tree on its way down and settled in a bunker.  Hit a great bunker shot to about 5 ft, but lipped it out for another 6. Double bogey

Round (+7)

Hole 12: 460 Par 4

Crushed a drive that had some draw on it.  It took a big hop in the fairway and hopped down the slop on the right side in the rough.  Had only about 145 in, but had to hook it drastically to get it on green.  A very similar shot to the one I had on 2, but this time I did what I pictured and hit a nice high hook that landed just over the green.  Looked like a perfect shot when I hit it, but just too much club.  Made a great chip to 2ft and tapped it in for a nice solid par on this #2 handicap hole. Par

Round (+7)

Hole 13: 388 Par 4

Straight tee shot, and then the hole turns to the left with a back to front sloping difficult green.  Hit a great 3 wood down the center, but hit a wedge just on the front of the green.  Hit a great 20ft uphill putt that stayed on the LIP of the hole….I really can’t find a birdie!  Waited for a few seconds to see if it would drop in, but it wasn’t so tapped in for a par. Par

Round (+7)

Hole 14: 315 Par 4

Straight par 4, hit another solid 3 wood down the middle to about 40 yards.  Pin was in the front and to an uphill green where you can’t see the putting surface.  Landed it a little too far and it ran about 15ft by.  2 putted for par. Par

Round (+7)

Hole 15: 495 Par 5

Straight par 5 that has a sharp uphill for the 2nd.  Boomed my driver down the middle and had about 170 left in.  Hit a nice 5iron just to the left of the green.  Took my bread and butter PW and just tried to run it up onto the green.  I love that shot and it’s one of my most confident I have, but on this particular shot I chunked it.  I can’t even remember the last time I chucked that type of shot; in fact it’s the reason I play that shot to avoid that type of thing.  Frustrated, I left the 40ft birdie putt 12ft short and missed again to 3 putt again on the par 5 for a bogey.  Horrible bogey when I was just about pin high in 2 with a great lie….disappointing. Bogey

Round (+8)

Hole 16: 123 Par 3

Uphill par 3 that always plays a club more.  Played here enough to know my perfect club for this hole is a solid PW, pulled it a bit though and it was pin high just off the green.  Used my PW again to hit the chip and run, (this time I didn’t chunk it) and it ran about 5 ft past.  Missed the straight putt comebacker for another bad bogey. Bogey

Round (+9)

Hole 17: 314 Par 4

Straight par 4 that is narrow by the green so difficult to try and drive it.  Just hit a 3 wood that I pushed down to the left side.  Had to hit a big fop shot about 40 yards over some trees.  Hit a great shot, but it was just a little right and stayed on the fringe.  Hit a nice chip to about a ft and made a par. Par

Round (+9)

 

Hole 18: 361 Par 4

Yet another straight par 4, that you can make birdie at if you hit a good drive.  Crushed my drive down the middle for about 40yards in.  Pitched it just to the back of the green about 10 ft from pin that was in the back.  FINALLY made a putt and ended the round on a solid note, making my only birdie of the day. Birdie

Round (+8)

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A 39 (+3) on the Par 36 Back 9. A good ball striking back 9, lots of fairways and greens hit.  Fairways Hit (FW): 5/8 63% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 5/9 55% Up/Downs: 2/3 66% Sand Saves: 0/0 0% Penalties: 1

Overall score 80 (+8) Fairways Hit (FW): 7/15 47% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 9/18 50% Putts: 33 Up/Downs: 4/6 67% Sand Saves: 0/0 0% Penalties: 3

This is my 3rd round since starting the blog and it’s weird because although my scores have increased each time, (+4 to +6 to +8) I have hit the ball progressively better each round.  Today I hit the ball better than my previous two rounds, but made some silly mistakes.  I had 3 penalty from shots that just went out of bounds, had two 3 putts on par 5’s that I was on the green in regulation, and missed countless makeable birdies.  If you just take away the 3 penalties and the 3 putts that’s 5 strokes for a 75, not even counting if I had made a few birdies.  So overall I’m pleased with my progress, I hit the ball well enough today to shoot mid to low 70’s and I’m happy with that, just one of those days.  My driving is improving, my up and down game is improving and those are the things I have really been working hard on.  My putting within 6 ft has really been solid over my last 6 rounds, making most of those must need par saves.  I have the correct lines on my longer putts, but am just leaving too many birdie putts short.  Once I start rolling those birdies in, watch out.  I can smell that under par round cooking, I’m starting to gather all the ingredients needed to make it happen and one day soon they are all going to come together to create that under par round….I can taste it!!!

Played a round today with a buddy over at Meadow Lake Golf Club in Escondido, CA, had never played over there before today.  We found a tee time online at Golfnow.com for 42% off, $35 a fairly cheap rate.  We finished the round in only about 4 hours, was able to go just us two and did not have to wait at all until the 17th and 18th.  Really fun round and we took our time to practice chips and putts after finishing our first ball, got in some good course condition practice today.  The greens and the chipping areas surrounding the greens were in excellent condition, the fairways and tee boxes were pretty rough, but overall I really enjoyed the course and will definitely be back to play again.  The course plays at a par 71, with a rating and slop of 72.3/129 and measures 6,524 yards from the tip black tees.   We played today from the tips (black tees) and I shot a very solid round of 77 (+6)

Meadow Lake Golf Club 6,524 Yards Par 71

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Hole 1: 569 Par 5

Blind tee shot first hole, dog leg left.  Wanted to favor the right side and let the fairway slope kick the ball left, hit a solid drive, but a little too far right along the cart path and it settled in the rough.  The dog leg makes it difficult to hit it far enough to have a go for the green in 2, so I just layed up to about 100 yards.  Hit a nice lob wedge to about 8 feet, but missed the birdie putt. Par

Round (Even)

Hole 2: 398 Par 4

Another dogleg hole, but this one to the right.  I tried to cut the corner a bit with a 3 wood, drew it too much and was in the rough about 145 out.  The 2nd shot plays to an elevated green so it’s a blind shot.  Not knowing how the green looks, I just took dead aim and hit a nice 9iron to about 15 ft left of the pin.  Quick downhill putt, but 2 putted for par. Par

Round (Even)

Hole 3: 310 Par 4

A straight away par 4, but up a hill, so another blind tee shot and 2nd shot.  Hit a 3 wood to the left side of the fairway, but it ran through to the rough.  Had about 80 yards in, knocked a lob wedge to about 12ft.  VERY fast putt as the green ended up running back to front (wish I knew that prior!) ran the putt about 6 ft by, but clutched up and made the come backer for par. Par

Round (Even)

Hole 4: 176 Par 3

This is a really neat par 3 that plays straight downhill, wish I would have taken a picture, but it reminds me of #7 on the North Course of Torrey Pines, looks about the same minus the beautiful ocean.  The scorecard says to play 2 clubs down, but I think it was playing even more as I hit a PW over the green.  Normally I hit my PW about 130-140, so it was playing a good 30-40 yards drop.  Left myself with little green to work with and a downhill slope.  Just tried to just chip it up into the fringe and let that kill the speed and trickle onto the green, but it got caught up in the fringe and stayed there.  Chipped my next one to about 3 ft and made the bogey. Bogey

Round (+1)

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Photo I took of Torrey Pines North #7 during this year’s PGA Tournament.  For some perspective, the hole today was severely more downhill than this, but not nearly as scenic

Hole 5: 303 Par 4

At 303yards it was the shortest par 4 on the course and a straight forward hole, with a little uphill toward the green.  Hit a great drive to about 25 yards, pitched it on to about 7 ft, very makeable, but missed another birdie putt. Par

Round (+1)

Hole 6: 367 Par 4

Another straight away hole, striped a drive down the middle and had about 80 yards in.  Flipped a lob wedge to about 15ft, had a great line on the putt, but just didn’t hit it, 2 putt par. Par

Round (+1)

Hole 7: 176 Par 3

A solid par 3, tugged a 7iron to the right of the green.  Had a slight downhill lie with little green to work with, it died on the fringe again and was left with about an 8ft par putt that I missed. Bogey

Round (+2)

Hole 8: 417 Par 4

Downhill par 4 where you can let a drive rip, pulled it though into the right rough.  Had about 133 to a lowered green, ball didn’t fly out of rough like I thought it would and left it short in the trap.  Hit a poor bunker shot to the fringe and then 2 putted for a disappointing bogey.  Bogey

Round (+3)

Hole 9: 497 Par 5

Dog leg right par 5, hit a nice drive down the right side, had about 212 in, but a horrible lie, so I just knocked a 6iron to the middle of fairway about 50 yards from green.  Hit a great pitch to about 6 ft and made the uphill putt for birdie.  Birdie

Round (+2)

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A nice (+2) 38 on the Par 36 Front 9.  Fairways Hit (FW): 3/7 43% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 6/9 66.6% Up/Downs: 0/2 0% Sand Saves: 0/1 0%

 

Hole 10: 161 Par 3

This hole requires a very accurate tee shot, out of bounds to the left and bunkers to the right.  Hit a great 8iron to center of green about 9 ft short of flag.  Had a slight right to left breaker up the hill, a great look at birdie, but couldn’t convert again.  Par

Round (+2)

Hole 11: 383 Par 4

Straight away par 4, but you need to keep it in the right half so you have the best angle to the green, hit a great drive down the center right.  Stuck a lob wedge to about 7 ft, probably the best birdie look I had all day, flat putt, but I missed it.  The birdies are just not falling for me right now. Par

Round (+2)

Hole 12: 405 Par 4

A dog leg right hole where the right is a hazard, a tight driving hole that you must put down the left side.   Tried to just hit a 3 wood and over cooked it to the right and it found the hazard.  Was able to drop it as it was a red stake and hit a wedge to about 8 ft, but of course missed the putt again for par.  Poor tee shot leads to a bogey. Bogey

Round (+3)

Hole 13: 547 Par 5

Another dogleg hole this time to the left where the dog leg starts at about 230.  This is a 3 shot par 5, almost impossible to get there in 2 with the short tee shot you are forced to hit.  I tried to be a hero and hit a cut 5 wood around the corner, but that was a big mistake as I cut it too much and it hopped into another hazard.  Took my drop behind some trees and could only advance it to about 200 yards out.  Hit a 5iron to the severe uphill green and had about a 20ft par putt.  My putter picked a good time to actually make a putt today as I sunk the tough right to left breaking putt for a great par save! Par 

Round (+3)

Hole 14: 219 Par 3

A long par 3 at almost 220 yards, slightly downhill with trouble to the left.  Hit a 5 iron just short of the green, chipped up, but missed the par save for a bogey. Bogey

Round (+4)

Hole 15: 426 Par 4

A long, but wide open par 4 where you can let a drive rip.  Unfortunately I hit a poor shot, pulling it low and to the right.  Ball settled in a dirt hole that was nearly impossible to advance the ball very far.  I took a good whack at it, but could only advance the ball maybe 70yards.  Hit a wedge just onto the back fridge about 15ft away, missed the putt and made another bogey. Bogey

Round (+5)

Hole 16: 159 Par 3

Hit it short of the green just barely on the fringe and was able to 2 putt for much needed par to stop the bleeding. Par

Round (+5)

Hole 17: 450 Par 4

A blind tee shot with just two giant boulders right infront of the tee box as a marker that you have to hit over with a driver.  They tell you to just aim at the right boulder as that should be the angle to the middle of the fairway.  Hit a great drive, 300+ right into the center of the fairway.  Only about 140 in, but pushed a wedge short and left, really a great opportunity blown on this #2 hardest hole on the course according to the scorecard.  Had a trickle chip shot that I debated between flopping it high or chipping it low and spinning it up.  I chose wrong and decided to chip it low and it ran about 12 ft by, 2 putted for bogey. Should of flopped it! Bogey

Round (+6)

Hole 18: 561 Par 5

Another long difficult par 5 with a dog leg right off the tee then to a dog leg left for the 2nd shot.  Hit a good drive down the left side, wasn’t in a very good spot for my 2nd so I just layed it up with a 7 iron.  Got a bad bounce and ended up under a tree about 120 yards out.  Punched a 7iron trying to stay under the tree and run it up onto the green, but it came up about 25yards short.  Made a great pitch to about 5 feet and made a nice par save to end my round. Par

Round (+6)

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Had a bad stretch of golf over my last 7 holes going +4.  Ended the back 9 with a score of 39 on the Par 35.  Fairways Hit (FW): 2/6 33% Greens in Regulation (GIR): 2/9 22% Up/Downs: 3/6 50% Sand Saves: 0/0 0%

** For future reference, the “NC” written on my scorecards under the green section is used to indicate that I had no chance to reach the green in regulation, either from a tee shot out of bounds, a horrible lie, or blocked out by items.**

Overall not a bad round for me, I can definitely tell that my game is improving and that really means a lot to me, knowing that my hard work is starting to pay off slowly but surely.  My driving improved from Wednesdays round and that was something that I was really working hard to fix.  I’m excited to see what I can shoot when that part of my game gets really good.  Playing a new course for the first time can be very difficult, but I think I handled it fairly well, +6 from the tips at a new course is nothing to scoff about and I gained a lot of course knowledge for the next time I play here.  I hope you like my round recaps, it’s a lot of work, but I really enjoy writing them and I hope you enjoy reading it too.  On a side note, great news that this round today lowered my handicap to a new all time low! It dropped from 5.1 to a 4.6, feeling good and ready for more

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.