My last entry mentioned the Pro-Assistant, so I will start there. We played Willamette Valley CC in Canby, OR for the two-day Best Ball event. My boss and I played better than last year. We had a couple blemishes, but had several birdies drop to finish T-10th (out of 54 teams) at -8. Winning team was at -16 and won by 4 strokes. I struggled to hit the ball straight Day 1, but once I got my stance aligned correctly, I hit the ball good. My stance had been closed by quite a bit and I was hitting some sweeping draws that got annoying. Once I figured that out and re-aligned myself in the pre-shot routine, the ball started coming out straight. I played much better in Day 2, but approach shots weren't as close as I'd like. Putting was interesting, because my speed all day was really good but the ball kept dying off too much and I didn't play for it. So, I didn't make many birdies which we needed. Highlight of the two-days on my end was on a par 5 during day 2. We both lost our tee shots by trying to cut the corner. My provisional was a nice high cut to the middle of the FW, which left me with 250yds to the pin. There was room to run the ball up a little, but there is lost ball zone left and water right. I hit a 3-iron just about perfect. A lower trajectory draw that rolled up to 5ft from the hole, which I managed to sink to save par!
After adjusting my alignment, the swing felt more upright. (I haven't recorded a video yet of this, I'm working on it) After this adjustment, I also had to remember to keep my weight further right in the stance, at address, and to swing along my chest line. If I let myself think about swinging along my feet line, which felt far left-pointing, I'd swing flatter and start flipping again. Those were my swing thoughts for the WA Assistant's Championship. It was played at Overlake G&CC in Medina, WA. Weather had a big effect on play, as it was in mid 40's with 10-15mph winds and a steady light rain all day. Despite all the rain we had, the greens were still rolling around an 11. With my swing thoughts for the day, I hit the ball of the tee very well! Driver was on fire! Felt good to just aim and swing, trusting the ball would go straight. Course was playing on the shorter end, so I had a lot of wedges into greens. Unfortunately, I overthought how much the wind would influence the distance on those wedges. I hit the greens most of the time, but I left myself outside of reasonable birdie zone way too much which is not good. I think I said it on the last entry too, but I need to work on wedges. Despite leaving the ball far away from being worried about wind, I'm pretty sure I have the distance control part down, but now it's accuracy. I kept leaking it right, and I don't like not knowing how much. I'd prefer it keep fairly straight. Also, I putted well and not well. When I was within a reasonable distance to the hole, I put the 1st putt to within a few feet every time. But, the 3 times I was really far away, I left the 1st putt really short and 3-putted. Super annoying to do that. When the greens are quick, it's tough to judge those super long putts or maybe I was over-thinking again.
Driver was definitely a highlight, chipping and pitching were much better, and irons continued to perform well. So, despite the weather, wedges, and 3 putts, I shot a +3 74, which put me T-4th out of 45. Winner was at even. So, a couple things here and there will hopefully put me in that winner's circle. I had waited for a little while to apply for the US Open regional qualifying this year, but I decided to go for it after that round. I know what I need to practice and what I need to keep doing. My goal is to make it to sectionals. Obviously, I'd love to make it all the way, but I know what my chances are. My next events are at the end of April.