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Ben

Mini Tour play.

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Great feedback Ben.  Your points regarding finding time to play and practice are good ones and I pretty much fully agree with all that you said.

I look forward to hearing about your next journey whatever it may be.

Cheers

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Hi Ben,

I stumbled upon your thread as I was looking up information on how to get on the mini tour myself. Good luck with things, looking forward to seeing how you do! Hopefully it's not long before I join you! :D

Nathan

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Well, I got my 2012 season off to a start. Being talked into plaving the course I swore off for a while. Brookside in Pasadena. Its a beast and can be very unfair. But, it had been a while since I'd played, my buddy Sam wanted to play an event together before he left for a trip, so what the heck. Gotta get started sometime.

This time I thought I'd share something a little different. After every round, I like to look book and review each hole, writing my good shots down in an ongoing spreadsheet, named "Good Shots". The adjectives get a little wild, and there is some code.

1 Solid Driver, baby fade tee shot, perfect viz

dialed in distance 58* from 47y?

Super awesome birdie putt from 9' slick big breaking right to left side hill.

2 Solid Driver, baby fade tee shot, perfect viz

dialed in distance with 7i from 164y

great 2-putt from 35' slippery fast greens. Right to left uphill then slide at the end, had a chance…

3 Solid Driver, baby fade tee shot, perfect viz

solid 5 iron approach from 187y to front. Baby fade off left of green. Super viz

4 Solid Driver, baby fade tee shot, perfect viz

Super awesome excellent flop shot from right bottom of slop to middle left pin. To 3.5'

Super solid 3.5' par putt. Center cup

5 Solid Driver, baby fade tee shot, perfect viz

perfect 54* from 96Y to 3.5 feet. Direct line, just short. GREAT viz.

Super solid 3.5' birdie putt. Center Cup.

6 Decent driver fade tee shot. Found the fairway

Cranked 3 wood second from 290y. Didn’t adjust for ball above feet, so went left. But hit nicely, good tempo swing

7 Decent driver tee shot. Found and stayed on my line.

Decent 6iron approach from 175y, Found and stayed on my line.

Super PW bump and run, center of the falgstick. Chip In!

8 Great stroke on par putt from 7', just misread…

9 Crazy punch shot in tiny opening in trees. Chipped a 4iron 150y to decent spot to chip at flag. Great Viz, Great ded.

Super UAD, great flop chip to 5'

Super 5' uphill par putt. Held the line and dropped in the cup.

11 Cranked driver tee shot, perfect cut off left trees to fwy

well struck 3W

Sweet UAD from 58Y, perfect viz with 58* Solid 3' birdie putt, center cup

12 Well struck drive. Found and stayed on line. Good Viz

Nice 4iron punch draw to 15y short

Super Awesome floppy to small landing area. One hop and in chip with 58* Best bogey save EVER!

13 Bitchin 4' tee shot from 206y to pinhigh

Awesome 12' birdie putt, perfect read, center cup

14 Super punch escape with 6iron over from 138Y

Totally awesome UAD with super mini 58* bump chip, down super slippery slope to 2.5'

Great 2.5' putt. Believe and in

15 Solid Driver, baby fade tee shot, perfect viz

Super struck 2h from 224 to pin high

16 Solid Driver, baby fade tee shot, perfect viz

Butter smooth PW approach from 123y

17 Solid 7i tee shot from 164y. Hit pin high. Ended 3y past pin high

Solid 3' par putt, Believe and in

Unfortunately there was also some bad stuff, but we only use that to focus on what needs work rather then dwell on how bad it was...

I ended up in the money, although not enough to break even for the day... Sam bought me KBBQ dinner though. Can't beat that.

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Northern Trust pre-qualifying was today. I played the South Course at Los Serranos in Chino Hills. I wild, wild round of golf. Here's my card: http://scpga.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/scpga12/event/scpga1222/contest/1/contestant/2826/scorecard.htm

I teed off on the back first, and as you can see, not the hottest of starts. Bogey, bogey, bogey. Stopped the bleeding with a nice birdie on 13 though. Then I was on the par train for the rest of the "first nine." Finished at +2.

To the "second nine" A par-5. 3w, 3w, PW and I was left with 9' for birdie. Up until this point I was making practically ever putt I was looking at, unfortunately most being for par, but they were still going in. And that was the case on "10". Alright! back to +1. Then stinkin 11. Total brainfart. I pump a drive to 157y, then thin an 8i into a bunker. 3-on, 3-putt, double, Great! 12, pumped drive again, nice little pitch 8i up the hill from 140y to 15', draino, nice birdie. "13," Nice drive, overcooked 9i approach, no up and down, bogey, yay! "14" Decent tee shot, solid cut-off 7i approach from 158y, 20' birdie putt, in the hole, of course...

Nothing to write home about from there. Solid tee shots, some solid approach shots, some pars and some bogeys. Well, I know what I have to work on...Everything! HA!

I'm pretty much in the middle of the pack amongst the guys I know. Just Itzen and Chris Gilman really rock the Golden State Tour.

The rest of the leaderboard: http://scpga.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/scpga12/event/scpga1222/contest/1/leaderboard.htm

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Hey Ben,

Great to hear that your working at it and things are coming along. So when are you gonna hop a plan and come play a few events on the VGT up in Vancouver. Let me know and we can get a few rounds in. Good luck and keep at it.

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Originally Posted by Canuck

Hey Ben,

Great to hear that your working at it and things are coming along. So when are you gonna hop a plan and come play a few events on the VGT up in Vancouver. Let me know and we can get a few rounds in. Good luck and keep at it.



Thanks dude! This is my year, I can feel it. You have a website to this VGT? I don't have much planned in the way of travel, but, who knows?

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http://vancouvergolftour.com/  Lots of the Canadian Tour guys play here as well. Lots of good competition, not a ton of money to go around but still a good time.

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Ben, I can't tell you how inspiring your story is. I was reading the first few pages of the thread from back in 2007 when you were playing in mini tours, even considering going back to amateur status. Then I skipped ahead to page 32, not totally sure what to expect, and you're still at it and it sounds like you're doing great, almost qualifying for a PGA event!?!. Congrats! I aspire to do the same one day. Pretty amazing thread.

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Originally Posted by Taylor Johnson

Ben, I can't tell you how inspiring your story is. I was reading the first few pages of the thread from back in 2007 when you were playing in mini tours, even considering going back to amateur status. Then I skipped ahead to page 32, not totally sure what to expect, and you're still at it and it sounds like you're doing great, almost qualifying for a PGA event!?!. Congrats! I aspire to do the same one day. Pretty amazing thread.



Awesome, thanks buddy! I've thought about giving this thread up, but I keep reading replies like this and it gets my fire going. So, I appreciate the feedback. From you and everyone else that have made an effort to respond like that!

Wow, 2007 huh?! Time flies. Still on the mini-tour scene, but I've gained TONS of experience out here. Although I've been playing most of my life, I got a really late start to playing competitive, compared to the guys I play against out here at least. Kinda blows that this thread has been going five years, and I'm still just slowly scratching ahead. But, to put things in perspective, I think I'm in a great spot and looking forward to what I make of 2012. I've dedicated this year to HARD work, and am excited to see what it brings. I see everyone around me moving up. Now, its my time.

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The biggest trouble is you need to play well under the gun in the qualifiers. Whether its Canadian Tour, Nationwide, Sunshine Tour or any Euro or American Tour, they are all tough and there is a lot of talent out there. I know up here we get guys shooting 65 and 66 to make $900, when it can cost $2,000+ to enter any decent Q school where the money will be better. Honestly if it were me I would look at what option are available over sea's in Euro or Asia and try and get onto one of the tours their. That or shoot the lights out in a few Monday qualifiers :-)

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Originally Posted by Canuck

The biggest trouble is you need to play well under the gun in the qualifiers. Whether its Canadian Tour, Nationwide, Sunshine Tour or any Euro or American Tour, they are all tough and there is a lot of talent out there. I know up here we get guys shooting 65 and 66 to make $900, when it can cost $2,000+ to enter any decent Q school where the money will be better. Honestly if it were me I would look at what option are available over sea's in Euro or Asia and try and get onto one of the tours their. That or shoot the lights out in a few Monday qualifiers :-)



Yeah, I'm going light on my mini-tour schedule this season and concentrating on practice and Monday qualifiers. problem is the PGA Tour is just about to finish the West-Coast Swing. I know Nationwide Tour will be out here in April. And there is US open qualifying in May. Although I am going light on the mini-tours, I feel that they are necessary in keeping a competitve edge. The money:return-on-investment ration isn't the greatest, but as long as I can stay in the money, I'll play. Mini-tours aren't 100% about making a living anyhow but a stepping stone to bigger and better. I've seen a number of the fellows I know from the Golden State Tour advancing on. I will be following their lead.

I have tried going overseas a few times actually. Made it to final stage in Asian Tour QSchool in 2010. Tried Korean Tour Qschool in 2010, 2011 and will try again for 2012... I've looked into Japan, but their QSchool is crazy expensive. I think Korea is a good fit for me. Its relatively inexpensive, I've got experience playing the courses, I am familiar and comfortable with the culture. Plus, this year the Korean Tour players receive world ranking points. So, the tour is moving up.

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Step one of my biggest golf goal of 2012 has been accomplished. Just signed up for US Open qualifying. May 14th at Oakmont CC in Glendale CA is my local site. This is a course I am quite familiar with. I have friends in the golf shop, so I should be able to get plenty of practice rounds in as well. Lake Merced in Daly City is my Sectional choice. I have never been there...

Anyone interested in giving it a shot for themselves, here's the link: https://champs.usga.org/

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Ahh, it feels good to get out of a slump. Played the weekly Pepsi Tour game at Brookside in Pasadena today. Large field was out with some good names, my name included I might add. I shot -1under which was good enough for a tie for First! There were four of us tied, we had daylight for only one playoff hole, noone birdied so we split the money evenly.

I'll start the review by saying this. Brookside is a major pain in the balls! Bad lies and bad breaks are the norm around here. On top of that I had a terrible practice session yesterday, and, of the three events I've played so far this year, I haven't sniffed the money. I didn't even plan on playing today, but, did some yoga this morning and was overcome with the urge to play. I had just enough time to hop in my car and speed off to the course. Rolled some putts, hit maybe ten 7irons and I was out.

Birdied the first hole, its a short par-4 of 304y so its pretty necessary to get that one down. Hole 2, I ripped a solid drive down the middle, and played a smart shot long to a pin that was just barely on the top tier. Hole 3 was fun. Ripped another driver but got a little too cute with my approach. It was down wind so I took a little too much off my 6iron and hit my standard miss, a skanky bleeding push-fade. It left me short-sided to an elevated green. I hit the perfect flop shot and chipped it in. No problem. Hole 4, another solid driver and another skanky iron shot. This time I didn't chip in, nor get up and down, nor make the bogey putt. Double freakin' bogey. From the penthouse to the outhouse just like that. Oh well, being only the fourth hole, I shrugged it off. Whatever par on 5 and a nice three on one putt for birdie on the par-5 6th. 7 is a tough hole. A long par-4 with bunkerrs in play left and right off the tee, and a sliver of a green. Par is a great score, hit my approach just short, and almost holed my chip for birdie. 8, ahhh 8. Lets just say, I was happy to make bogey. Hole 9, solid par. had a real long birdie putt and judged the speed perfectly. I had really good feel with my long putts today. So, my goal is to be -1 for each nine holes of golf I play. After this nine, I was at even. I'll take that. To the back

Again, ripped driver. This RazrFit is awesome! anyway, skanky push-fade to the right fringe, pin is on the left of the green. slippery chip that I managed to get hole high, but 5 slippery feet away. Snuck the par putt in the right side though... that was a whew moment. Hole 11 is a tight par-5, a take aim at the trees on the left, and crank another driver out there, 3 wood to short of the green, pitch to 8', drain the putt, solid birdie! 12 and 13 are kinda the "Bear Trap" or "Amen Corner" of the course. 12 being a 506y par-4 and 13 a 202y par 3. 12 was playing up a bit, solid drive, decent approach, solid two-putt for par. 13 I handled with a little more authority hitting a 4iron to about 12' little bit of a misread, but got through the two toughies at even par. no complaints at all. Hole 15, I crank yet another drive to the middle of the fairway, 100y out, in a deep divot! Great! I proceed to scull that over the green and can only manage to get my chip to 15'. I keep my cool and drain the putt! Another whew moment and solid par on the back nine. That one even drew a little fist pump. 15 is the other par-5 on the back, and like 11, its super tight. My fade and my driver is on point big time today, so, aimed at the trees left and smashed a fade into the middle of the fairway. Came out of my 3-wood a bit but left myself just short of pin high on the right and with almost the same scenario as my chip on 3. I didn't hole it out, but I got it to 5' Don't know what I was thinking on this putt, but it wasn't my greatest effort, I ended up missing it... 16 was a standard par. 17 is a par-3, I hit a nice 7iron to about 20' but pulled my putt just a hair. And, the beast. Hole 18, the dream crusher. Huge trees left, the Rose Bowl parking lot and OB right. ugh, I just pull my tee shot a tiny bit, fading, but not enough to avoid the left side. I get to my ball to find that I actually have a good look going under then over the trees in front of me. I don't play a draw so I forget I lined up to the pin instead of right of the pin and ended up hitting a solid shot, but it ended up in the left bunker which was pin high to the pin, which was also on the left. I knew I was at -1 at this point, and I knew I wanted to par. But, bunker shots haven't really been my friend lately, and this was the first one I'd been in today, on the last hole of the day. Thankfully I have been working my butt of practicing bunker shots lately. So I go through my routine, step up and play the sweetest bunker shot ever. Buttery flopper that lands so soft and rolls out to 1'. OH YEAH! Shot of the day, right there!!

I get to the scoring table and see another 71 already, and my friend that was in my group also shot 71. With four groups still out on the course I feel like its not going to hold, especially with some of the players behind me. One other guy comes in at 71, I knew he would be up there, sure enough he was.

So, that's that. My chicken burrito tasted SO much better and my shower is about to kick butt! Back to work tomorrow.

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Great! Keep it up

Can you give us some driving stats for that round? It seems like you were on fire

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Originally Posted by Zwick

Great! Keep it up

Can you give us some driving stats for that round? It seems like you were on fire

Thanks!

Sheesh, I hit 14 of 15 Fairways! And was 2 for 3 on Par-3 greens in reg.

But, only 11 GIRs overall, I'll be working on iron shots today.

I had a great swing thought yesterday, but clearly only had it focused on my tee shots and not my approach shots.

27 putts for the round. There were two, maybe three that I know I could have shaved. But, that's not the way to think. I did make a ton of other great putts.

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Note: This thread is 789 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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