Played yesterday with a buddy at a course I haven't played in a while. It's under new management and the conditions have improved somewhat, although I could hardly imagine them getting any worse. The last outfit was an absolute disaster! Anyway, I shot 40-42=82 for the round and left the course kind of disappointed.
After the 40 on the front, the way I started the back made me hopeful that I could shoot in the 30's and break 80 for the second time this season. That hasn't happened in a while! That was until I totally butchered the par 5, 17th. Hit a not so good drive in the left rough, but not far enough to reach the lake that runs down most of the left side and wraps around behind the green. Instead of taking my medicine I tried a hero shot and dunked it in the drink! I dropped and then took my medicine. This still left me only a partial wedge to the green, I had the pitch going dead at the flag, but hit it a little too hard and it went over. I was lucky it stopped about a foot from the water or it could have been much worse. I chip on and 2 putt for an 8!
So I'm kicking myself pretty good after the round. This morning, sitting at the kitchen table with my coffee and sports talk on the radio, I started thinking about the round again. And I came to a different conclusion. After that yack job on 17 it would have been easy to give up. But I went to 18 tee and hit one of the better drives I've hit it in a while. According to the GPS it was 257 yards. May not sound like much to some, but I'm 67 now and have been working hard to regain some of my lost distance. I was tired of a "good drive" being 220! 93 yards to the flag and I stick a wedge 10 feet away hole high, graze the left edge of the cup with the birdie putt leaving myself a 6" tap in for par.
I was able to put my blow up hole in the rear view mirror and play the next hole the way I wanted to. That's not always easy to do. My buddy's Son lets a bad hole, or even a bad shot get to him. His attitude and game go right in the crapper!
Golf gives you a chance to do better 18 times a round! Not many games like that. I can't wait to get out again!
The greens at Pinehurst for the 2014 Opens were bent grass, and they did slow them down a foot for the women. I played it the Saturday after the women's open and there were no issues with the turf conditions, you could hardly tell where the crosswalks were. Two days after I played they ripped out the bent and grew in the Bermuda.
On another note. Another type of practice is getting familiar with different shots. Trouble shots, or other wise. The more, different shots a golfer has in their bag, the better player they will be. Better players shoot lower scores.
Shots like hitting from the rough, from under trees, uneven lies, thin lies, hitting out of a fairway divot, and what ever else we golfers can think of.
Got carry a 100 yards over water? Fake the water hazard, while thinking it's actually there.
We all practice the easy shots, but sometimes forget to learn something about the tougher shots we encounter.
Also, and I think it was Mr. Hogan who said that during competition, he rarely, if ever, hit a shot that he had not practiced, or was unfamiliar with.
A guy in Oregon came up with, and marketed a flash card system to use on the driving range. What ever the shot the card listed, that was what you would hit. Found out he started out with blank index cards, and hand wrote the various shot discriptions. I bought a set of them from the Fiddler's Green GC. It was fun using them. Made you think about a few things in between shots. Still have them....some where.
Make practice fun.