Back to my home course today, and today’s round was just as crazy, maybe even more so, than my tournament Thursday. Again I started poorly, +7 through four. I lost two balls in those four holes due to pulled shots. Just like Thursday, I managed to find my game starting on the fifth hole, and chipped to three feet but missed the par putt. Same deal on the sixth hole.
I hit one of my best shots on the seventh, an 8I to about six feet. The birdie putt lipped out, and I tapped in for par. I tried to putt from the fringe on the next hole, but misjudged it and came up short and made bogey. On the par-5 ninth, I hit my drive into a fairway bunker, but my second shot from about 190 finished on the green, about fifteen feet out. Two-putt for birdie to finish the front with 45.
On to the par-5 tenth, where I hit my drive left into some brush. I tried a punch shot for my second, but it came off awkwardly and caught a wicked bounce left. It aligned itself in such a way that a log was sitting right on top of it. I tried to move the log, but the ball moved, so I gave myself the penalty, therefore laying three. My fourth ended up just short, and I chipped up and two-putted for double. I got a huge bounce off the path with my drive on the next hole and ended up about 105 out, twenty yards past where my normal drive would end up. Hit my second just short, and I had about a 25-foot chip. The chip was mediocre at best, stopping eight feet short. I rolled in the par putt.
I missed a two-footer for par on the twelfth after I missed the green and then hit a great chip to the aforementioned distance. Bogey. On the long par-4 13th, I hit driver right of the fairway and was blocked off. Two shots later, I was on the green, 40 feet out. I hit a poor first putt six feet short, then rolled in that putt for five. My drive hit the trees and came out on the 14th, and I had just under 200 into an elevated green. I hit a solid shot to about thirty feet, another poor first putt, another 6-footer for par.
My 3W tee shot on the 15th was so pure it ran through the fairway, 240 yards out. I hit an 8I for the second shot to about 12ft, leaving me a ticklish downhill birdie putt. I misread the break but got the speed perfect, and I had to make another three-footer to get my par. On the long 16th, I hit a solid drive, then a wood that started drawing into some mulch. I managed to hit a punch shot just short, but couldn’t get up-and-down and settled for bogey.
At this point, I was +14. I figured, given the way I was playing, that I would either go par-bogey, bogey-par, par-par, or bogey-bogey. I’d be content with any of those.
I hit another solid drive on the par-4 17th hole and had about 100 in on a sidehill lie, but my second game up short. Unlike the 16th, I made the up-and-down for par. The cinematic par-3 18th yielded to me a green hit in regulation, albeit 45 feet out, slightly downhill. I didn’t see the downhill part, and ran my first putt six feet past the hole. Missed that six-footer too, and tapped in for bogey, a 42 on the back, 87 total.
Funny thing is, I only hit one fairway on the back nine, five total. Today’s round was a grind, just like Thursday, and it felt great to grind out a solid score after a poor start. It occurred to me after the round that I could’ve easily broken 85. Bogey golf on the first four would’ve done that. I also could’ve shot 91 or 92 given how many ‘money’ putts I made. But I’m very satisfied with today’s round, and I feel that I’ll be shooting 82-85 consistently before long. Then it’ll be time to break 80.
Our club had a similar tournament today, except ours alternated between blue, white and red, in that order, starting with blue on the first hole. It was a 4-man scramble, shotgun start.
Day 5: Did a good bit of the Rory split handed pump drill. I like this drill a lot because it is really reinforcing how important it is to accelerate HARD early on in the downswing.
I watched a slightly older AMG video that opened my eyes to quite a few things when it comes to increasing club head speed. I had no idea that great players reached max hand speed so early compared to higher handicaps. This drill is really helping me feel how hard I need to work through and right after my transition.
Day 18. About a half hour ago, I wrapped up a practice session. Indoors, off a mat, real balls into a net. Full swings with my 8-iron, 6-iron, and a few with the PW. Usual setup.
I think I need to not hit my PW indoors -- if I get the ball up just a bit higher, I'll go over the net... which defeats the point. Or I will use foam balls with that club. It's good to practice the motion with different clubs, and the half swing is still good (which seems weird, since I'd expect that to get nearly as high).
I'm about to go see if a putting green I like is open, but for purposes of this challenge, I have done today's practice.