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Finding the rhythm again

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phillyk

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Played in an event yesterday at Tacoma C&GC.  My overall conclusion on how I played was pretty good, but I still have to work out how to hit tee shots.  Finished with a 77, so moving in the right direction in actual events.  Practice rounds at my home course are still around even par or under.  Not the same I know, but it tells me that I can play.  I just have to get comfortable playing in real events and just play my game.

The course was in great shape even with all the rain we've had this winter.  It's hard to describe how awesome their greens were.  Barely any bumps, true rolls and breaks, fast (maybe around 12 on the meter), but the crazy part was how much the ball backed up on these greens.  With how much slope the greens had, rolling them any quicker might've been a nightmare.  But, I just couldn't get myself to use more club and play for the back spin.  I remember so many approach shots that I landed pin high, and the ball backed up 30ft.  So instead of a nice 10 footer for birdie, I have 30+ft.  (I should've played with prinnacle gold instead of prov1s I guess).  I did not have any 3 putts, though.  I did leave quite a few of those long putts short, like 5-8ft short.  But I made all the 2nd putts.  It was such a nice change to be able to read the putt and have it roll exactly as I saw it.  (Most courses I play, I over-read the putt and leave it high).

I started with a birdie on my first hole, which was #18, a par 5.  So a good start, but then nerves got to me or something.  I bogeyed 1, doubled 2, both of which are easy holes.  The miss was off the tee.  I had a couple other bogeys from me missing the tee shot and one double from chunking and spinning the ball too much on a par 3 into the water from the green.  After that missed tee shot on #2, I remembered the rhythm and pre-shot routine I had been working on.  It basically is me making sure I keep my left arm to wrist angle straight from the top through the downswing and making sure I don't release too early.  From then on, my tee shots got a lot better.  I started hitting most fairways using my 2 iron and 3 wood. But my driver didn't get better.  I have a good idea of how to work on it more, but we'll see.  Funny thing though, I played in my course's How Low Can You Go scramble 3 days ago, and I drove multiple greens by carrying the ball 280-295 off the tee and they all landed on the green.  During yesterdays round, I did have one drive end up in the fairway 310 off the tee, but that was my only good drive of 5 uses.  So I know the swing is in there somewhere, I just have to find the mental note or "feel" that makes it work every time.

Every time I was GIR or nGIR, I made par or better.  I did make one course management mistake that cost me a stroke or two on hole #2.  The initial mistake was putting the tee shot in the trees, but the second mistake was trying to hit through them instead of punching out.  So, I just need to find a way to start with my pre shot routine from the beginning of the round and find a way keep my driver swing for these events.

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That's got to be a great feeling to play at the level you do.

The thing that struck me as I read your blog, is that even though I'll never know what it's like to break 80, there seems to be similarities for any of us trying to get better.

We all (cautiously) recognize the slight upward trend towards improvement, yet there always seems to be some area that sticks out as needing improvement. And this quote about your driver really hit home:

Quote

So I know the swing is in there somewhere, I just have to find the mental note or "feel" that makes it work every time.

I think there's some truth to the notion that we are never really satisfied with out game. Still, it's nice when you feel all the time and dedication does actually make a difference.

Good read.

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A cool part I forgot to add.  Andres Gonzales from the PGA Tour is a member at this club and he was caddying for one of the course's assistant pros.  I thought that that is kind of unfair, but it was cool to see him out there having a good time.

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