So i finished stroke play at stonewall and unfortunately, i didn't make the cut. I usually go through my rounds to see what my mistakes were to find out what i need to improve on. Someone on the forum said he/she was interested in my experience so i thought i'd share it here.
First a little background about my game. I played junior golf competitively from about 10-16. And then i stopped playing for about 10 years. A couple years ago, i decided that i wanted to see if i could play professionally, and in these past two years, ive practiced and improved quite a bit.
This year, i qualified for both the am and the mid-am. Both awesome experiences. I shot 74-79 at the am and missed match play by 11. I didnt play well, but in order to make the cut, i would've needed to post two solid rounds. Ive played with maybe a dozen pros (mainly web and mini tour players) and i saw no difference between them and the top ams. Some of those kids are the real deal.
At the am, we'd finish a practice round or tournament round, and the kids would go beat balls on the range and putt for a few hours. At the mid-am, most players would go grab a beer after the round. It was a much more chill atmosphere at the mid-am and players were much cooler to talk to as most of these guys have non golf related jobs and families of their own. As you can expect, the quality of player was noticeably less at the mid-am.
The course was definitely set up easier for the mid-am. My longest club into a par 4 was a punch 5 into the wind whereas for the am, i had 4 par 4s in my second round alone where i had 4 iron or hybrid in my hand. I would put myself at slightly below tour average in distance, but i was definitely one of the longer players in the field. I was probably averaging 30-35 yards farther than my two playing partners off the tee. The greens were probably rollin around 11, so not too fast. One factor that i had issues with was the firmness of the greens. Some i would stick and hold while others would bounce hard and release.
onto my bogeys! First bogey was a par 3 playing 215-220. I hit a pretty good 4 iron to the front tier of the green, but was about 40 ft from the hole, which was on a pretty sloped part of the green. Didnt play enough break and left myself about 6-7 ft for par. 3 putt bogey.
next bogey was a 450 yard par 4 playing shorter because of a slight dogleg right and a little bit downhill. Had a punch 9i from the middle of the fairway and tugged it about 30 ft left just onto the fringe. Again i had to navigate a difficult slope coming down a tier and misjudged the break. Left myself another 6-7 ft for par. Technically a two putt, but in my mind a 3 putt bogey.
Next bogey was a shorter par 4. I think 410ish? I blocked my drive a bit and had to punch a 9i out of the rough. I hit it thin and went over the green. Hit a really good chip to about three feet and missed the putt. ?
My first double of the tournament and my first mental error. Had 118 yards from the middle of the fairway to an easy par 4 and i shouldve hit a punch 50 degree wedge, but instead i tried to blast my 55 degree because i was worried about the firmness of the greens. I normally play at elevation, and i was still adjusting to the distances at sea level. I hit it off the toe and left it short in the bunker. I underestimated the amount of sand in the bunker and caught it a bit heavy, barely getting out and leaving myself an awkward chip. I had to put the ball way back in my stance with no green to work with. Hit it 10 feet past and two putt for double.
my last bogey of the day was also with a wedge from the middle of the fairway. I had about 135 and mishit my pitching wedge just a tad. Landed about 3 ft short of pin high, and it caught a big slope/false front and zipped 50 ft off the green. Had a difficult chip left in which i had to negotiate that big slope, and hit it about 15 ft past. Two putt bogey.
2nd round. Scores were higher as the wind picked up.
first bogey of the day was an easy par 4. Planned on hitting a 3 wood, because in my practice round, this carried the last fairway bunker. However there was a bit of wind. I didnt want to hit driver as i thought it would leave me too short of a yardage in to a front pin. I heel sliced my 3 wood and it caught the last fairway bunker. There was more wind up there than i had thought, and i would've been fine hitting the driver. I had a little clump of sand behind the ball, and proceeded to chunk it about 25 yards short of the green. I didnt have much green to work with so i tried to flop it off a slightly downhill and tight lie. I caught it thin and it bounced over the green. My next chip was to about a foot. Not a bad bogey given that i hit 3 terrible shots.
I dont remember this next bogey for some reason. It was either i missed another 3 footer or i didnt hit a good chip and two putted.
Third bogey in a row. Another birdie hole. Tugged my drive left, but hit a good lob wedge from the fescue to about 15 ft. Hit the first putt 3 ft by and missed the 3 footer. 3 putt from 15 feet. ?
I finished 27 holes at +8 and i thought the cut would be +7 so i started pressing. (Turns out +8 would've gotten me in without having to go to a playoff)
my 10th hole. Par 5, i hit a pretty good drive and had 239 left into the wind. Water all down the right side. I knew if hit a decent 3 wood, id get there. Gave it the anti right swing and it ended up 30 yards left of the green. Green sloped severely left to right. Hit a good lob wedge from fescue just over the green and got up and down for par. The reason im talking about this par is that i made a mistake. Thinking about the shot in retrospect, the green was about 8 yards wide with water just off the right. Any miss left would leave a difficult up and down for birdie. I like to approach my strategy with probabilities. I think in that situation, i would've hit my 3 wood on the green or in a favorable position around the green probably 2/10 times. Maybe 1/20 times in the water. And Probably 7/10 times somewhere left. Whereas i probably wouldve been able to lay up in a good position in the fairway 9/10 times and from there have a makeable birdie chance 7/10 times. Thinking about it like this, i know i made the wrong choice. If it was the 18th hole and i needed eagle, theres no choice but to go for it. But it was only the 10th hole. Of course, hindsight is 20/20.
next hole. Blocked my drive a bit into the water. Dropped it in the rough and hit a good iron just past the green. Thought i made my chip but it hit the pin a bit too hard and ended up less than a foot from the hole. Tap in bogey.
next hole. Best drive of the tournament. Lost ball if you hit it left, water right. I piped one in the middle about 50 yards past my playing partners. I had about 235 to the pin. I hit a good hybrid, but i pulled it about 10 yards. It hit a big bank and kicked hard left just into the hazard. I played it out of the hazard and hit it over the green and into the bunker. poor bunker shot to about 9 feet. Missed the putt. Bogey.
Last bad hole. Just an absolute brain fart. Easy par 4. Miles of room left. Hazard right. I blocked my drive again and although it landed in the fairway, it took a hard bounce into the hazard. Dropped one and had a little lob wedge from 97 yards. It landed just past pin high, and bounced and released over the green. Not a very good chip to a sloped pin, about 10 ft. Two putt double.
Shot 75-77 and missed a playoff by 3. I would like to think if it werent for my mental errors (wrong club selections), not including my 3 missed 3 footers, i wouldve made it. But..... Shoulda coulda woulda. I didnt get it done. I however left the tournament with a lot of confidence. I know i can compete with the best mid ams. Ive got a ways to go before i can compete with the best ams. And a longg way to go before i decide to try my luck at mini tours and local pro events. Im giving myself another 6 years before i give up the dream and just remain an amateur until i can play in senior stuff.
i definitely need to work on my accuracy from 150 and in, dialing in my distances so i give myself good birdie chances the majority of the time from the fairway. Also, i can always work on my short game! I need to get better at all aspects of putting. Lagging 35+ footers closer, making more 10-15 footers, and making a higher percentage of 6 ft and in. Even though my scores don't reflect it, i feel like im pretty close to breaking through. I'm excited for this offseason and next tournament season! Lots of work to do.
anyways, thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed it or at least gained some insight into the mid-am. If you have any questions let me know!