Posts Tagged ‘vineyard’

fotolia_2005754_XS3Was not able to play again since my last post, but I have been practicing each day.  Went putting and chipping before work for a couple hours each day and to the range at night, mostly working on driver to try and figure that out.  I am pleased with my progress and last night I hit the driver very well…my buddy and I found I was setting up with the club face slightly open at address.  I squared it up and it made a big difference, hopefully I can translate that to the course this next week, but I’m feeling better about that club now so we’ll see.

As for my putting, I’ve been practicing using a new grip, a slight split grip and really feeling like I’m lagging the putter head through impact.  I have putted great with that over these past few days and the ball is rolling off the face more like it should and as a result my distance control is much improved.  I was playing a 9 holes game with myself on the putting green where I hit 9 putts all from over 30ft and the goal was to not 3 putt.  I completed the 9 holes with no 3 putts and I actually drained one of the putts from long distance.

So those are the two areas I’ll be looking to improve this coming week; Driver and Putting (mainly lag putting).  Should be playing Monday and Wednesday next week so I’ll update after…below is the stat recap for this week 3, I guess I’ll just add in the executive course numbers into the running tally, so if the FW totals look off in comparisons to the total number of greens, that is why.

Hope everyone has a great Easter Sunday!

060513204404The Vineyard Escondido Par 70 Blue 71.0/126 6,531 Yards

Score: 79 (+9) FW: 2/14 GIR: 9/18 Putts: 34 Up/Down: 3/5 Sand Save: 0/2 Penalties: 2

 

 

20140420_145346Oaks North Executive Par 60 South/North 56.8/89 3,608 Yards

Score: 64 (+4) FW: 4/6 GIR: 13/18 Putts: 34 Up/Down: 3/6 Sand Saves: 0/0 Penalties: 0

 

 

 

Total Stats for Week of 4/14/14-4/20/14: (Red = Below PGA Tour Avg, Green = Above PGA Tour Avg)

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

FW: 6/20: 30% GIR: 22/36: 61% Up/Down%: 6/11 55% Sand Saves: 0/2 0% Total Putts/18: 34

Overall Stats, Weeks: 3

Total Rounds: 5 (Regulation: 4/Executive: 1)

FW: 22/62: 35% GIR: 53/90: 58% Up/Down%: 13/27 48% Sand Saves: 2/7 29% Total Putts/18: 32.8

Current PGA Tour Averages – FW: 60.82% GIR: 65.36% Up/Down: 57.34%

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

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

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

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

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

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

fotolia_2005754_XS3Something I’m going to start doing now is each week I’ll be posting my total weekly stats so we can start to gauge my progress and see how I’m playing in terms of the numbers.  I’ll update at the end of each week and continue to keep a running tally of my total overall stats starting this week (Week 1).  My goal is to be able to get my numbers up to the PGA Tour averages for the three stats of Fairways hit (FW), Greens in regulation (GIR) and Up and down percentage (U/D%)

3/31/14

Carmel Mountain Ranch Par 72 Tees: Black 73.2/133 6599 Yards

Score: 78 (+6) FW: 4/14 GIR: 9/18 Putts: 33 Up/Down: 2/7 Sand Save: 1/2 Penalties: 1

 

 

4/2/14

060513204404The Vineyard Escondido Par 70 Tees: Blue 71.0/126 6531 Yards

Score: 75 (+5) FW: 6/14 GIR: 11/18 Putts: 31 Up/Down: 2/3 Sand Save: 1/2 Penalties: 2

 

 

Total Stats for Week of 3/31/14 to 4/6/14  (Red = Below PGA Tour Avg, Green = Above PGA Tour Avg)

Number of Rounds: 2

FW: 10/28 35.7GIR:  20/36 55.5Up/Down %: 4/10 40% Sand Saves: 2/4 50% Total Putts/18: 32

Overall Stats, Weeks: 1

FW: 10/28 35.7% GIR:  20/36 55.5% Up/Down: 4/10 40% Sand Saves: 2/4 50% Total Putts/18: 32

Current PGA Tour Averages – FW: 60.56% GIR: 65.62% Up/Down: 57.65%

20-for-40-worth-of-driving-range-balls-at-robin-nigro-golf-academy-in-martin-city-sports-complex-1332221836_fixedheight_display_image1I’ve played two rounds so far this week, Monday and Wednesday and shot +6 and +5 respectively.  Monday we played over at Carmel Mountain Ranch again where we played from the tip black tees.  I did not drive the ball as well as I did the week before, but was still able to shoot a very solid score.  Only hitting 4 out of 14 FWs compared to the 9 of 14 the week before, my total score was only 1 shot worse, which means my short game continues to be solid.

Also, I almost had my first albatross on the Par 5 554 yard 10th hole!  Hit a great drive and had only 196 to the front of the green and the flag was only a few paces on at about 208.  The fairway slopes down toward the green so I had a pretty significant downhill lie, I took my 6iron and hit it flush…a nice little draw that worked back right at the flag.  It landed just on the front and started rolling like a putt right at the flag.  It looked like it was going in and my buddy and I were screaming “get in the hole” “one time please” as we watched the ball slowly creep toward the flag.  Although we were over 200 yards out, since we are elevated from the fairway you can see the green perfectly, (The picture below and to the right is a view from this Par 5 10th hole) and I’m telling you that ball missed the hole by an INCH and finished about 6 ft above the hole.  adm-114310159269806Unfortunately, the green slopes back to front so my eagle putt was a slick 6 ft downhill putt with some break.  Of course I botched the putt and missed the eagle!!  So I went from what looked like an amazing 3-under albatross to a tap in 1-under birdie…but hey, I’ll never be disappointed in a birdie!  I started and finished this round poorly, started off giving myself no shot to get GIR’s because of poor tee shots and I started 4 over after 4 holes.  I finished the round with 3 straight bogeys on 16, 17 and 18 and still only shot +6.  It was windy too, so I’m overall pleased with this round, I kept my focus even after I started off poor and strung together a lot of solid holes, shooting 1-under over the 11 holes stretch of #5 through #15.

Yesterday, Wednesday April 2nd, we played a round over at the par 70 Vineyard, one of my favorite courses and it had been a while since I played this track.  Another cold, windy day, with gusts of 15 or more for most of the round, but I played solid and finished at 75 (+5).  Started off +4 after 5 with 2 double bogeys that were a result of poor tee shots that found the out of bounds.  One was just a 4 iron that I nicely hit off the hosel and watched as the shank flew out of bounds.  On that shot I was trying to hit a punch off the short 2nd hole tee box.  I have been experimenting on the range with my long irons setting up for a cut with my feet wide open, but my club square to the target and cutting across it.  I’m not trying to hit a cut though because if I time it just right, I have found it actually results in a dead straight solid shot that can pierce the wind.  That’s what I was going with on that shot, I still need to put more time into it to be able to use it confidently on the course, but when I’m hitting that shot well, it opens me up to a lot more options on the course and I’m able to confidently use my long irons without the fear of it over drawing to the right.

So again another poor start, followed by a long string of solid holes, +1 over my last 13 holes.  This seems to be the theme for my golf game at the moment.  Over my last 4 or 5 rounds, I have either started or ended badly and had a solid streak or 8-15 holes where I’m shooting around scratch level.  I am still not making a lot of birdies, only 1 in this round, but could have easily had a few more if I just would have put a few more revolutions on the ball.  My putting has been solid lately, zero 3-putts in my last 2 rounds and just two 3-putts over my last 5 rounds.  The birdies will come soon; my reads have been really good it is just my speed and my proximity to the hole with my wedges.  I’m not giving myself very high percentage looks at birdie, so I need to start sticking it in closer to the flag when I have a wedge in my hand.

At the end of the week now I think I’ll posts my total stats for the week, so we can gauge my progress and how my numbers compare to those PGA Tour averages we talked about last week.

Golf-Photo-19f881bQuick update since it has been about a week…I played a couple rounds since last post with some mixed results.  Played on the 8th at Vineyard and shot a solid 77 (+7) with three 3-putts.  My last round on the 15th, I played at Vineyard again, but I shot my highest round in a long time with a very bad 86 (+16).  Funny thing is I actually feel really positive about my game right now and I feel like the score of 86 is just an outlier.  My short game is costing me so many strokes I can’t even count, Four 3-putts in this round and only 4/14 on up and downs attempts as I only hit 2 GIR’s all day.  That was mostly due to the high winds and semi erratic driving that left me with basically no chance to hit a lot of greens.

I’m playing tomorrow and I’ll probably update on Sunday about how I played, but I’m actually super confident going into tomorrow even after coming off my worst scoring round in a long time.  The stats might look terrible, but I actually hit a lot of solid shots and my work at the range since has been real solid.  It’s hard to explain I guess, but I really feel like my game is improving.  I’m starting to ingrain a consistent pre shot routine and now that I’m playing more often, I’m starting to understand my golf swing and the feelings associated with good and bad strikes.  I’m honestly not too concerned with scores right now, just as long as I’m continuing to improve certain aspects of my game, the low scores will come and take care of themselves.  I’ve dedicated a lot more time to practicing my short game the past few days and will continue going forward as that will be what lowers my scores the quickest.  I’ll update again on Sunday and let you know how I played tomorrow.

UPDATE 1/20/14: Unfortunately my plans to play Saturday fell through late Friday night and was unable to get out and play.  Will be going to the PGA Tour Farmers Insurance Open here at Torrey Pines this week and I’ll take some pictures and video from Wednesdays practice rounds for you all to enjoy, so stay tuned!

l_drivingrange

It has almost been a month since I have updated this blog, I apologize for lack of content, but I haven’t been able to actually play many golf rounds in these past few weeks.  I have been going to the range a few times a week, but that is about all I have been doing, no real short game practice.  I have however, in the past week, had a serious breakthrough with my full swing.  I have talked about in previous posts that my miss in my golf swing tends to be that I become too “stuck” from the inside.  Getting stuck on the downswing produces inconsistent contact, mostly off the toe or thin and produces a block or pull ball flight.  I have known that this is my problem for a few months now and I have been working intently to correct it, but was not able to find a consistent fix.  I would analyze pro golfer swings on TV and the internet and then cross reference it with my own swing in the mirror and video.  I looked up numerous videos on how to fix getting too steep on the downswing, but nothing seemed to work.  It became a constant game of trial and error at the driving range…continually trying one fix and if it did not work, finding a new one in a few days and repeat.  Some would work for a few days or a week, hell I even won a large field tournament doing this a few months ago, but I knew that I was not comfortable with my swing.  I knew my mechanics were not sound and that I was relying solely on timing alone and that was not going to help me produce the consistent results I wanted.   If my timing was on for that day, I could hit the ball great, but ultimately my bad mechanics would catch up with me, cause inconsistent contact and then before you know it frustration sets in and I lose my swing all over again and feel lost.

Then a few weeks ago I stumbled upon a new video that was recently posted on YouTube called “how to stop getting stuck” I watched it and it all just clicked for me.   I have known the positions I was supposed to get into for months now, but just could not find a way to get the feeling.  This video broke down the downswing in the simplest way possible, basically just talking about feeling as though your back elbow stays in front of your shirt seam on the downswing.  It made a lot of sense to me and I noticed when going back and looking at pro golfers swings they all were doing the same.  I worked on the feeling in the mirror for a bit and then went to test it at the range…..haven’t hit the ball better in my whole life!  I even had groups of people at the range come up and stand behind me to watch.  Not only was my contact more consistent, but more importantly the quality of strikes was drastically better.  My accuracy improved tremendously and my swing felt free flowing and repeatable.  My new swing has held up so far over these past 2 weeks, some of my best range sessions ever and finally got to take my swing to the course yesterday where I shot a 76, hitting 7/14 FW’s (missed 3 by just a yard) and hit 11/18 greens.  My ball striking was great and my confidence is now riding at an all time high.  I should have shot better than 76, but my short game was terrible…haven’t been putting in the time needed on that front recently so that is expected to be a little rusty.  The great thing is that I do not have to worry about getting my elbow in front of my shirt seam or anything mechanical while I’m swinging; it is starting to get ingrained in my swing now from practice, almost second nature already.  It’s a great feeling when you can just go out and truly trust your swing when playing, not having to think about mechanics at all.  I have never really had that feeling of true trust on the course until yesterday and it felt great.

I’m still a long ways out from being scratch and in no way am I saying that I have solved the golf swing, but for me, I feel like I have made a major breakthrough and discovered a key to MY golf swing that I can go back to if needed to get consistent results.  I’m excited to keep fine tuning my swing over the next few months with my teacher, who I plan to see again in the next few weeks, as it’s been a good couple months.  Ultimately, I know that my short game is going to be the key to get me down to scratch and I intend to rededicate myself to more hours of practice on that front.  I’m still hopeful that I can reach my goal of shooting an under par round of golf by the end of this year and I know improving my short game is the only way I’m going to get there.  Also I’ll be updated this blog on a more consistent basis, no more 1 month breaks I promise!

EDIT: 11/11/13 I have been getting multiple requests to post the video where I saw the tip that helped me, so I will post it here, but please note like I said in the previous post and the reason why I really avoided posting it originally is that it helped me in finding a key feeling to MY swing that I had been searching for and it probably won’t apply to everyone.  Obviously there is no one golf swing fix, every swing is different and as others are at different stages of developing there own swings you need to see a PGA Professional to help diagnose the keys to your swing that you are missing.  These videos were free clips posted on a YouTube channel that I stumbled upon from the instructor Clay Ballard over at RotarySwing.com, so if you find it useful go check out his YouTube channel or website.

bench_and_flowers

I decided to take about a week and a half off from playing golf, clear my head and reset before getting back to the grind.  I played a lot of golf gearing up for my tournament in Palm Springs and the hard work certainly paid off with my victory, so I felt like I needed/earned a short break.  I have played 2 rounds now since my 10 days off and I think the reset has really helped me.  I shot a 74 (+4) last week and yesterday I shot a 72 (+2) round with a triple and double bogey!  Both rounds were at the Par 70 Vineyard course. I’m really playing some solid golf right now, but still making too many mistakes that are costing me that under par round of golf.

20130924_12401420130924_124003During my (+4) 74 round, I had 2 penalties and three 3 putts, easily could have been my under par round.  Yesterdays (+2) 72, had 4 penalties, a triple bogey 7 on #2 and a double bogey 5 of #3……the other 16 holes I played in (-3)!  It’s frustrating knowing just how close I am to shooting my first under par round of golf, it’s right there, I can taste it, I just need to eliminate the stupid mistakes.  Of course that’s much easier said than done, golf is one of the hardest sports on earth for a reason, it is so difficult to remain consistent.  However, I am determined to get my under par round of golf, it is crazy to think that according to the USGA less then ½ of 1% of golfers can shoot under par…I want in that elite group so badly and one day I will be.  I’m making a lot of birdies lately which is really encouraging, I have 7 birdies and an eagle over my last 2 rounds.  If I keep the ball in play off the tee, eliminate the occasional 3 putts and maintain my solid up and down game, I should be easily under par.  20130924_12404320130924_124120I’ll be playing a round on Wednesday at Eagle Crest, a very challenging course; have not played there in a while, so I’m hoping for another solid round.  I did shoot (-1) on the back 9 the last time I did play there, about 6 months ago and my game is much better than it was then, so you never know!

                                                               

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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.

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

060513204404

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!