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kpaulhus

I am playing in the US Mid-AM qualifier, but I need your help.

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On 7/6/2016 at 7:30 PM, kpaulhus said:

No, I'm a very aggressive player. There no shot I won't try if I have any confidence in it. 

I'll jump on the wagon of saying you should at least consider playing not afraid but maybe a tad more cautiously than you might on a random fun round.  My mental game has dramatically improved to where I'm much better than I used to be thinking of only the current shot, not being as phased by bad shots or getting too high about great ones (after a little fist pump or cheer for myself of course!).

But in the tournaments I've played I find it exponentially harder not to at least let a bad score or two creep into my approach and get me pressing a little.  So I bogey a hole and it's not bothering me at all, then on the next one go for what I think is the smart aggressive shot off the tee (i.e. I estimate it gives some more risk of a bad result – penalty, OB, jail – but is a high enough percentage and gives me a big enough advantage for the next shot over the conservative play that it's worth it in terms of expected score), hit a really bad shot, end up hitting it OB, end up with a triple on a hole where my honest expected score is +0.5 anyway, and suddenly I've gone +4 over two holes and the "I've blown it, gotta hit some birdies" thoughts start creeping in, I get a little tighter, play some over aggressive, not smart shots, and things go downhill.

Just something to think about.  Like maybe consider playing the more conservative shot when the choice is on the border but in a fun round you'd go for the aggressive one. 

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1 hour ago, mdl said:

Like maybe consider playing the more conservative shot when the choice is on the border but in a fun round you'd go for the aggressive one. 

Everyone that has ever played the Blessings that is not a pro, has told me it can cause a dozen lost balls very easily. 

Ive played a combined 3.5 rounds on this course. One practice round, and 5 9 hole matches in the Member Guest tournament this year. 

" From the back tees, its rating is 79.1 and its slope is 153, making it one of the toughest golf courses in the U.S. Its routing is a true "out-in" design, in that the 9th hole does not end at the clubhouse. Blessings features three par-5 holes on the "out" nine and three par-3 holes on the "in" nine, for a par of 37-35-72. Its topography is characterized by hilly terrain creating numerous sidehill lies, dramatic elevation changes, forced carries over ravines and valleys, and large, undulating greens, with Clear Creek in play on several holes. Accuracy off the tee is a must."

A lot of the holes you must be as far as possible off the tee, without incurring a penalty stroke because I cannot score with a 4-5 iron in my hand every par 4. The Par 5's are mostly reachable without too much risk. Knowing where to put the ball on these greens is critical because you can hit a wrong quadrant and end up 60-70ft from the pin. 

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8 minutes ago, kpaulhus said:

A lot of the holes you must be as far as possible off the tee, without incurring a penalty stroke because I cannot score with a 4-5 iron in my hand every par 4.

I think what @mdl is saying is to recognize that it's OK not to "score" on a lot of the holes.  It's OK to grind out tough pars on the long, tight holes with 3 wood, 4 iron and a chip and a putt, and it's also OK to bogey a few of those holes.  Resigning yourself to doing what you think "has to" be done can lead to the big numbers.

Unlike Newport Cup, it's not match play, nor do you have a partner to pick you up when you fail.  And unlike casual rounds, you can't just go "meh, whatever, it's a double bogey regardless."

You're not careful and all of a sudden you're writing 8, 9 or higher on your card before you know what hit you.  At least I think that's what he was getting at. :-P

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25 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

I think what @mdl is saying is to recognize that it's OK not to "score" on a lot of the holes.  It's OK to grind out tough pars on the long, tight holes with 3 wood, 4 iron and a chip and a putt, and it's also OK to bogey a few of those holes.  Resigning yourself to doing what you think "has to" be done can lead to the big numbers.

Unlike Newport Cup, it's not match play, nor do you have a partner to pick you up when you fail.  And unlike casual rounds, you can't just go "meh, whatever, it's a double bogey regardless."

You're not careful and all of a sudden you're writing 8, 9 or higher on your card before you know what hit you.  At least I think that's what he was getting at. :-P

That said, @kpaulhus, what are your goals?

Blunt speak, with two questions:

  1. What do you think are the odds of qualifying?
  2. How much do you care about shooting a good score regardless of the above?

Because if your answers are "very small" and "don't care much at all" then you should probably play aggressively. If only a one-in-ten-thousand type round (for you, with your game right now) will qualify, go for it. If you don't care if you shoot 85, try to shoot 68. You won't shoot 68 hitting 3W and 4I to the holes and trying to get up and down.

If the answers are "good" and "a bit" then just follow The Rule. Consider your Shot Zones. Do the "tournament prep" stuff in LSW which is mostly:

  • Find your go-to tee shot shape.
  • Find your swing thought that gives you a predictable iron shape.
  • Work on your short game and putting.

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41 minutes ago, kpaulhus said:

Everyone that has ever played the Blessings that is not a pro, has told me it can cause a dozen lost balls very easily. 

Ive played a combined 3.5 rounds on this course. One practice round, and 5 9 hole matches in the Member Guest tournament this year. 

" From the back tees, its rating is 79.1 and its slope is 153, making it one of the toughest golf courses in the U.S. Its routing is a true "out-in" design, in that the 9th hole does not end at the clubhouse. Blessings features three par-5 holes on the "out" nine and three par-3 holes on the "in" nine, for a par of 37-35-72. Its topography is characterized by hilly terrain creating numerous sidehill lies, dramatic elevation changes, forced carries over ravines and valleys, and large, undulating greens, with Clear Creek in play on several holes. Accuracy off the tee is a must."

A lot of the holes you must be as far as possible off the tee, without incurring a penalty stroke because I cannot score with a 4-5 iron in my hand every par 4. The Par 5's are mostly reachable without too much risk. Knowing where to put the ball on these greens is critical because you can hit a wrong quadrant and end up 60-70ft from the pin. 

Consider the features of the green side complexes as well. Are they really penal or manageable? Will missing a green = death? Or are you confident enough in your short game where you can take some aggressive shots and recover. 

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2 minutes ago, iacas said:

That said, @kpaulhus, what are your goals?

Blunt speak, with two questions:

  1. What do you think are the odds of qualifying?
  2. How much do you care about shooting a good score regardless of the above?

Because if your answers are "very small" and "don't care much at all" then you should probably play aggressively. If only a one-in-ten-thousand type round (for you, with your game right now) will qualify, go for it. If you don't care if you shoot 85, try to shoot 68. You won't shoot 68 hitting 3W and 4I to the holes and trying to get up and down.

If the answers are "good" and "a bit" then just follow The Rule. Consider your Shot Zones. Do the "tournament prep" stuff in LSW which is mostly:

  • Find your go-to tee shot shape.
  • Find your swing thought that gives you a predictable iron shape.
  • Work on your short game and putting.

My 2016 goal was just to get here, not qualify. 

My odds of qualifying are very small. However, based on my current game and the hype I have put into this, I want to make a very good showing. Breaking 80 is now my goal. This is actually a great course for shot zones because it is black and white. Hardly any grey areas. Its hit this spot, or you're dead. Short game and putting will be crucial and for the next 3 weeks will probably the higher percentage of my practice. 

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I'd recommend you not try to steer your drive, but use your driver. It's more forgiving than your 3W. Just swing aggressively through the shot, but play your stock shot at about what feels like 80% for better control. You're at a point now where there is no time to fix anything. You go with the swing you have. It's now just tweaking everything. And don't overpractice to where you tire out yourself.

DO NOT do a leg workout less than 4 days before your tournament.

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13 hours ago, DrvFrShow said:

DO NOT do a leg workout less than 4 days before your tournament.

This was my issue with playing after work this week. I did a full body circuit on Tuesday and ran/walked a few miles. It showed on Wed/Thurs when I didnt play well. 

Today we had a ton of rain in the morning, so they put everyone out for a 12pm shotgun. I decided to carry my bag since cart path only usually means just as much walking. I told my buddies I was going to be as serious as possible to get in a "prep" round. (They all know what I'm trying to do). I played pretty well other than a few poor shots. I got tired going into 15 walking in soggy fairways and it was 88* and very humid. Ended up doubling 2 of the last 4 holes for a 79, though I did have 3 birdies. (One was a lip out hole in one). One double was so dumb that actually made me pretty mad because I zipped a 9 iron from hole high center of the green back off the front into a pond. Oh well that can be avoided with a bit more club and less aggressive swing. 

I'm pretty happy with how I played today. Hoping as the course dries out over the next few days the ball will roll a bit further and I can have shorter clubs going into the green. 

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Yesterday I was at my country club and ran into our former club champion. He mentioned that he saw my US Mid Am posts on Facebook and decided to sign up as well. 

Now my goal is to play a round or two with him from the back tees at my course before the Mid AM qualifier. He is a 1.1 index. I know going into this qualifier I have to shoot a 1 in 100 round, but either way its going to be fun and a great learning experience. 

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20 minutes ago, kpaulhus said:

Yesterday I was at my country club and ran into our former club champion. He mentioned that he saw my US Mid Am posts on Facebook and decided to sign up as well. 

Now my goal is to play a round or two with him from the back tees at my course before the Mid AM qualifier. He is a 1.1 index. I know going into this qualifier I have to shoot a 1 in 100 round, but either way its going to be fun and a great learning experience. 

Maybe not one in a 100..lol.. More like 1/50 based on what you've shown us. But its going to be fun and exciting. One of the mid-ams i qualified for was almost by accident. I holed out from about 140 for eagle on the 16th hole on a shot i thought i mishit. I parred the final two holes and made it in on the number, which was 70 that day. I don't know how your state golf assioiation will work it, but there are usually alterantes. So you never know. 

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1 hour ago, Groucho Valentine said:

Maybe not one in a 100..lol.. More like 1/50 based on what you've shown us. But its going to be fun and exciting. One of the mid-ams i qualified for was almost by accident. I holed out from about 140 for eagle on the 16th hole on a shot i thought i mishit. I parred the final two holes and made it in on the number, which was 70 that day. I don't know how your state golf assioiation will work it, but there are usually alterantes. So you never know. 

Who knows how it will all play out. Yesterday I hit about 25 balls on the range and had 2-3 thin shots, but most were very solid. I carried my driver to the 245yd green into a 10mph breeze. Then I chipped for 20 mins or so and rolled some putts. Playing tonight with some buddies and am feeling pretty good about everything. 

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1 hour ago, kpaulhus said:

Who knows how it will all play out. Yesterday I hit about 25 balls on the range and had 2-3 thin shots, but most were very solid. I carried my driver to the 245yd green into a 10mph breeze. Then I chipped for 20 mins or so and rolled some putts. Playing tonight with some buddies and am feeling pretty good about everything. 

Excellent. Thats not a bad routine in general. Hit 20 balls or so, focusing on tempo, then do some chipping. Sounds like you're ready to play.

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The deadline to register is tomorrow at 5 pm eastern. I haven't heard anything from the USGA except for my entry receipt. 

I expect to hear something by the end of the week or early next confirming everything for August 8th.

One cool advantage I got today was my caddie won a free round at the qualifying course in an auction during a scramble last week, so he played it today. We talked a lot last night on what to look for and to take lots of notes. I will probably have my qualifying practice round the day before the actual qualifier, since the other two available practice round days are in the middle of the work week before the event. 

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5 hours ago, kpaulhus said:

The deadline to register is tomorrow at 5 pm eastern. I haven't heard anything from the USGA except for my entry receipt. 

I expect to hear something by the end of the week or early next confirming everything for August 8th.

One cool advantage I got today was my caddie won a free round at the qualifying course in an auction during a scramble last week, so he played it today. We talked a lot last night on what to look for and to take lots of notes. I will probably have my qualifying practice round the day before the actual qualifier, since the other two available practice round days are in the middle of the work week before the event. 

That's the best day to do it. There will no doubt be small dots of red paint marking where the pins will be for the tournament day.

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6 hours ago, SavvySwede said:

That's the best day to do it. There will no doubt be small dots of red paint marking where the pins will be for the tournament day.

There are both positive and negative sides to this.  Yes, you get the opportunity to see where the pins will be, assuming they paint it.  Also, if you play well the day before you are in good form.  However, the other side of that is if you exhaust yourself the day before your match and that can have a negative effect.  Secondly, if you happen to have a bad round, there is little time to make minor corrections on the driving range and it can have a negative mental effect.

Anyway, good luck @kpaulhus and hope you are going to qualify

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13 hours ago, kpaulhus said:

The deadline to register is tomorrow at 5 pm eastern. I haven't heard anything from the USGA except for my entry receipt. 

I expect to hear something by the end of the week or early next confirming everything for August 8th.

One cool advantage I got today was my caddie won a free round at the qualifying course in an auction during a scramble last week, so he played it today. We talked a lot last night on what to look for and to take lots of notes. I will probably have my qualifying practice round the day before the actual qualifier, since the other two available practice round days are in the middle of the work week before the event. 

It must be like waiting for college acceptance letters! :-P Is it a thick envelope or thin??

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13 hours ago, SavvySwede said:

That's the best day to do it. There will no doubt be small dots of red paint marking where the pins will be for the tournament day.

I actually remember my partner pointing out that before the member guest tournament. Will plan on making notes about that on our yardage books. Really I plan on going for the middle of the green unless there is an obvious safe bailout next to the green. Unfortunately, there weren't many from what I recall. 

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The countdown is on. 14 days from today I will be teeing it up.

A bit worried as I had an awful weekend on the course. Thursday I played a new course in Tulsa, OK and it was 100* out. We teed off at 2:30. After hitting a 600 yd opening par 5 with Driver, 4 iron, I lipped out my eagle putt and had a tap in birdie. Felt pretty good. Until my hands started to sweat and lost control of my drives. I don't wear a glove and had to put on one for the back 9. I had 4 birdies, but two quads and a quintuple bogie resulted in a 96 for the day. Bad.

Friday played another course in Branson, MO. Same weather, same result. Tee shots were uncontrollable with sweaty hands. 91 from 7100 yards. 

Saturday showed some promise. I only had two tee shots that went OB. I hit 13 greens which is promising, however 39 putts and three triple bogies lead to an 85. I actually took Sunday and today off from golf. I was feeling sore each morning and wasn't sure if my body just hated being outside for 4-5 hours in sweltering heat, or if I had just been playing too much (6 days in a row). Also, I'm used to playing a sub 4 hour round, or at least close to that. Thursday was 4.5 hours and Friday was 5.5 hours. I guess I need to be ready for slow golf since everyone will be grinding. 

The good news out of this weekend was I got to play all 3 rounds with my caddie for the event. He has figure out that I am 3 clubs longer than him on most yardages and knows my shot shapes and how to steer me back into the round from a mental perspective. After opening birdie, bogey, 10, birdie, double on Thursday I was a headcase.  

 

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