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Fairway_CY

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Posts posted by Fairway_CY

  1. I don't have one currently.  I don't get to play or practice as much as I'd like to.  

    If I was going to pick a number, right now, it would probably be 90 yards with a 3/4 approach wedge.  I'm going to be inside a reasonable putt length with that shot the majority of the time.  

    It used to be 60 yards with a 3/4 lob wedge.  Right now, I just don't feel comfortable with either of my Vokey wedges in hand.  

    CY

  2. Wow... so tempting!  

    I don't think I could take the bet, though.  I'm good with my 8 iron, and I'm certain with that number of shots... I'd come very close, but... if I didn't make one early on, the pressure would mount and it would become near impossible.  

    I play golf for fun and to relieve stress.  Bringing stress into the equation with the threat of prison hanging over my head would completely destroy that for me!

    CY

  3. On Saturday, February 16th... we played our second event of the 2019 season at Edgewater Golf Club in Lancaster, SC.  Below is the recap.
     

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    Game Golf Link

    Scorecard Link


    I did pretty much everything I could to prepare myself for the next tournament of the 2019 season.  Despite being a pretty busy period at work, I found time to hit some balls and even played a round at another course on a Thursday afternoon when I had a chance.  Unfortunately, none of that had prepared me for the weather we ultimately experienced the day of the tournament.

    Leading up to the tournament, the forecast was good... then bad... then awful... then bad... then awful... then bad again.  I made sure to get my rain gear ready for the day, grabbed some extra towels... and did all I could to prepare myself to get wet.

    When I arrived at the course... the rain had stopped.  The warm-up period was fairly dry, but it was clear that the course was going to be wet.  Very, very wet, as it turned out.  Just as we were getting set to head out to our holes... it started to rain, and as it began raining again, the temperature dropped... the wind kicked up... and it got pretty ugly.  Luckily, the rain got very light as we were ready to tee off and had all but stopped by the time we hit our third hole.  Still... the course was a marsh and it made it play much longer.

    I believe we had about 100 players total (24 in B Flight)... so I planned for a long, damp day.  I set my pre-round goal at 82... but that was before seeing the condition of the course.  Once our there, I figured something in the mid-80's would be a great score for me.  Beginning an easy hole... I was all set to go and at 11:10, we finally hit our first tee shots.

    Hole 14 - Par 4 - 384 Yards


    I had drawn a good starting hole again.  This is a pretty wide-open tee shot and there is not much trouble in the way.  With all that said... I still managed to find the woods up the left side.  I had changed my grip to be a little stronger leading up to this event and it resulted in a bit of a pull-draw off this tee.

    With the course as damp as it was... lift, clean and place was the only option to get the round in.  I found myself taking advantage of that as often as possible.  In this particular instance, it was huge.  I was pretty dead where my ball had ended up, but I was able to use that one club-length advantage here to give myself a punch-out.  I found the fairway with a 6 iron through low gap in the trees and left myself 127 yards to the flag.  My 9 iron from that point was dead at the stick but hit the green and came back a few feet.

    My par attempt from 13 feet dove low at the last second and I was left with a simple tap in for bogey to start my day.

     

     ~ +1 Through 1 ~

    Hole 15 - Par 3 - 231 Yards

    Having played here several times before, there were a trio of holes I had pegged as 'make-or-break' holes for my round.  This was one of them (the others were #10 and #18).  Even though it is very much downhill... it was dead into the wind and the pin was pushed all the way to the back of the green.  I didn't feel comfortable hitting my 3 wood from where I was so I decided to baby a driver.  I think it may be the first time in my life that I've hit a driver from a par 3 tee box, but I can't say for certain.  The swing was okay, but I pushed it a little right and it moved that way.  We all saw the ball hit the hill to the right and figured it would have stuck there.

    When we got up to where the ball should have been... there was nothing to be found.  Luckily, one of my playing competitors walked down behind the green where the cartpath runs and found it sitting back there.  Again, I used the lift, clean and place option and gave myself a decent lie in the rough.  I was still 10-15 feet below the level of the green, so I just played to the right of the stick and was making sure I got the ball on the green.

    The ball had landed about 10 feet short of the pin and ran out to 19 feet.  It was a fairly straight putt with a little left-to-right break at the cup.  I hit it with the perfect speed & line and watched as it dropped for an extremely unlikely par.

      ~ +1 Through 2 ~

    Hole 16 - Par 4 - 411 Yards

    At this tee box is where I encountered exactly how wet the course was.  As I stepped out of the cart and grabbed my driver, I turned to get on the tee box.  My first step from there, I sank ankle-deep in mud.  I was now going to be uncomfortable with muddy, wet feet the rest of the round.  I used a towel to clean off as much mud as I could before hitting my tee shot, but it was pretty pointless.

    The tee shot was solid, but not very long.  I believe they had the tees moved up a bit, so that helped, but I still had 170 or so yards to the flag.  My 6 iron from the middle of the fairway was mushy and fat so the ball came up well short and right of the green.

    My pitch from the rough at that point barely managed to sneak onto the green and left me almost 20 feet for par.  My putt from there was a little left of the hole and ran about 3 feet past but I was able to make that coming back for another bogey.

      ~ +2 Through 3 ~

    Hole 17 - Par 5 - 429 Yards

    The yardage on this hole is deceiving.  Even thought it's only 429 yards on the card... it plays longer due to being uphill.  The tee shot, for where I typically hit my shots, is daunting.  There is a bunker on the left, inside corner of the dogleg... and another on the right, outside corner.  From the tee, it looks like there is nowhere to hit the ball.  I did manage to find the fairway here though, and actually left myself only 191 yards to the flag.

    The ground was exceptionally wet, and the shot was going to play uphill... but I made the decision that I'd rather be a little short than long.  With 191 being the number, it was playing more like 205.  That would be a good hybrid number for me if I caught it clean.  I pushed it a little and it never got more than hip-high, but it left me on the right side with a good angle to the pin.

    From there, I was at about 47 yards.  I hit a nice, high 58 degree wedge that settled about 6 feet from the hole.  I couldn't decide whether to hit the putt soft or firm... so I compromised and ended up missing just on the low side.  It left me a 3 footer for par which I made, but I was a little disappointed in that result.

      ~ +2 Through 4 ~

    Hole 18 - Par 4 - 409 Yards

    Coming into this tournament, I figured this would likely be the toughest hole of the day.  It's not listed overly long, but it's uphill after the tee shot... the fairway was going to be one of the wettest out there... and it was playing into the wind.

    On the tee, I took aim at the fairway bunker up the left side.  I figured I'd probably get a little fade off of that and, as long as I found the fairway, I could guarantee nothing worse than bogey.  I hit my ball on that line, but I had more fade than I wanted and the wind made it worse.  I heard it clip a tree but never saw it come down.

    When we got up there, my ball was right at the base of the tree it had clipped.  Even with the lift, clean and place rule... I had no real shot to do anything but chip it out of the trees, so I did so with an 8 iron.

    I was left with about 170 yards, up the hill and into the wind.  The pin was at the back-right corner of the green, so... I just wanted to cover the bunker.  I attempted to hit a 5 iron but practically whiffed.  The ball was pushed right and trickled into the weeds up the right side of the hole.  From there... I was able to get a 9 iron onto the back portion of the green.

    When I FINALLY got up to the green, I saw my ball was about 20 feet away.  It was a fairly flat putt, and I really wanted to make it for my bogey but it ran over the right edge of the cup and stayed out.  That left me a tap-in for double.


      ~ +4 Through 5 ~

    Hole 14 - Par 4 - 373 Yards

    This is typically the most difficult hole on the course.  It's 373 yards... but it plays like 420 because of how uphill it is.  It's also usually into the wind.  On this day, it was moved way up... so, it was only playing about 335 yards.  It was also downwind.  My target line from the tee was a dark patch near the left edge of the fairway.  I hit it solid and the ball tailed a bit and finished in the middle of the fairway.  I was left with 105 yards, but it was more than a club uphill.  The wind helped so I played it just a single club uphill.  I hit a smooth pitching wedge that pitched about 10 feet shy of the flag and settled just 4 feet left of the hole.

    It's always nice when you've left yourself a straight, 4 footer for birdie.  I made it with no issues and tallied my first tournament birdie of 2019!


      ~ +5 Through 6 ~

    Hole 15 - Par 4 - 341 Yards

    Another slight dogleg to the right but instead of trees on the corner, there's a pond that runs the entire length of the fairway along the right side and then beyond the green.  As with the previous holes that moved to the right... I was pretty comfortable with this tee shot.  There's a fairway bunker up the left side, so my target was the right side of that bunker.  I was playing for the fade and if I hit it straight, I was going to be fine.  I did hit the cut, though... and I found myself in the center of the fairway with about 90 yards to play.

    The pin was in a good position toward the front-left portion of the green which meant that the water was out of play unless you hit a very poor shot.  I elected to play a low, flighted gap wedge.  As had been my tendency with these shots so far on the day, I pulled it just slightly.  It was fine though and caught the back of the green leaving me 33 feet for birdie.

    My birdie attempt was pretty awful.  It was downhill and towards the water, so I really expected it to be fast.  Instead... I left my putt 5 feet short which meant a quick, ticklish putt for par.  I was able to make it and pick up a little momentum.


      ~ +5 Through 7 ~

    Hole 16 - Par 3 - 158 Yards

    This is a pretty intimidating hole.  There's a massive, deep bunker that fronts the green... and short of that is a pond.  The shot is all carry, but not very long.  Still... if you let it get to you, you can easily put up a big number on this hole.  The green is essentially split in half by a huge ridge.  The right side is raised up while the left side drops off a good 7+ feet or so below the level of the upper tier.  The pin was kind of on the ridge.  From the tee, there appeared to be not way to get it close.

    The play for me was to aim at the center part of the lower (left) tier and hope I hit a bit of a fade.  Unfortunately, we had a 15 minute wait at this tee.  When we arrived, the group in front of us was waiting on the tee for the group in front of them to putt out.  By the time we got to play the hole... I stiffened up a little bit and never committed to my shot selection.  This meant a low, bladed 7 iron that skipped off the bank of the pond and into the bunker.

    Luckily, my bunker game has been getting better and better.  I blasted out of there and to about 15 feet.  I was very pleased when I finally climbed out of the bunker and saw where my ball finished up.  I don't really think I could have come much closer than that.  To cap it off... I drained the 15 footer for a sand save par.


      ~ +5 Through 8 ~

    Hole 17 - Par 5 - 472 Yards

    If you take the aggressive line up the left side of the hole off the tee, you can easily reach this green in 2 shots.  It's uphill from the fairway to the green, but... it's a reachable hole.  I did NOT take the aggressive line, however.  In fact, I did the exact opposite and bailed out WAY right.  My ball finished just in the rough with a tough ball-above-my-feet lie.

    Instead of just punching a 5 iron up the fairway 175 yards or so... I tried to bite off a big chunk of the hole with a 3 wood from a tough lie.  It did not work out very well for me.  I kinda topped and pulled my shot and it trickled up the left side into the rough and left me 145 yards or so up the hill to the flag which was tucked up on a tiny tier at the back-left side of the green.

    I elected for more club because of how uphill the shot was and I ended up drawing it a bit with my 7 iron.  This put me in a little bowl long and left of the green.  I had truly short-sided myself.  The only play I had was to try and bump the ball into the slope shy of the green and hope it trickled down towards the hole.  I probably landed the ball a foot short of where I needed it to and the ball stuck on the fringe.  I was probably 20-25 feet from the hole at that point with a super fast, downhill putt.  I just got the ball started and let it get onto the green and watched as it stopped about a half-rotation short of dropping for par.  I settled for my tap-in bogey and moved to the 18th tee.


      ~ +6 Through 9 ~

    Hole 18 - Par 4 - 387 Yards

    Once more, they moved our tees up quite a bit.  I believe we were playing from about 340 yards.  This took driver out of my hand since that would have brought some OB into play for me.  There's a fairway bunker at the corner of the right-to-left dogleg which was my target.  I should have been easily able to carry that and it would have left me a 9 iron or less into the green.  I just put another horrible swing on my 3 wood and topped the ball.  It trickled out short of that fairway bunker and left me no shot at the hole.

    From about 210 yards out, I just played a 5 iron out to the right of the green to give myself a good angle to the back-left pin position.  I was left with around 60 yards or so to the hole from there and the green was wide open.  Another 'three-quarter' wedge from there was tugged just slightly and grabbed immediately, leaving me just off the green.

    The only play I had was a low, running chip which I executed pretty well from the fringe of the green.  The ball took a peek at the cup but just missed the lip for par and ran out to about 5 feet.  I was able to make that coming back for a bogey.  It could have been way worse, so... I wasn't too upset by that score.


      ~ +7 Through 10 ~

    Hole 1 - Par 4 - 370 Yards

    This is never a tough hole but they made it even easier on us by moving the tees up to about 340 yards away.  There's a fairway bunker up the right side that's not in play from where the tees were and another bunker up the left side that was absolutely in play.  I decided to aim off the right corner of the left bunker.  I didn't catch the tee shot very solid, but it faded over the right fairway bunker and finished in the rough up the right side leaving me about 125, slightly uphill to the hole.

    Even though it was uphill... it was downwind, so it offset.  This meant I could give it a solid go with a full 9 iron.  A slight pull from that position hit the green and I was positive it was going to trickle off the left side of the green and into the fairly deep hollow leaving a next-to-impossible up and down attempt.  Instead, when I arrived... the ball had spun enough that it stayed on the green and left me a fairly easy two-putt for par.  


      ~ +7 Through 11 ~

    Hole 2 - Par 4 - 368 Yards

    I would say this is one of the more intimidating tee shots on the course.  Along the right side is OB and houses.  The left side is trees and a deep set of fairway bunkers.  A little too far past that on the right side is another fairway bunker.  You have very little to aim at.  Short hitters like me don't really have the option of hitting a 3 wood or something because then you leave too much into a difficult green.

    I elected to hit driver and start it at the right edge of the left bunker.  I knew that unless I absolutely mashed one, I wasn't going to reach the right bunker.  I hit a very solid drive that landed perfectly in the fairway and left me about 120 or so to a front-right pin.

    My right hand was hurting at that time and I had just put some pain relief cream on it... so my grip was a little tentative on the club.  Instead of going after a pitching wedge, I chose to hit a smooth 9 iron.  It was a little too much club, but I still hit the green.  I left a tough, 42 footer for birdie though.

    My birdie putt was quick and had a bit of left-to-right break to it.  When I first hit it... I thought it was going in.  The ball funneled toward the hole and at the last second, it moved back to the left and just missed.  An easy little tap in for par.


      ~ +7 Through 12 ~

    Hole 3 - Par 5 - 563 Yards

    I don't think this hole played the full yardage.  I believe we were moved up to about 530 yards or so instead.  I hit one of my weaker tee shots of the day here.  Very high off the toe.  Luckily, it hung enough that it didn't feed into the fairway bunker up the right.  It kicked off the slope of that bunker and into the fairway.  Even though I had little confidence in my 3 wood at that time... I knew I needed to hit it to give myself any shot at making birdie or better here.  I hit it solid, but the fade was way more than I wanted to see on it.  Luckily, it again caught the slope up the right side and trickled down into a flat lie and left me about 130 to the hole.

    The hole was a little downwind and the green was slightly raised.  With the ball just slightly above my feet... I aimed to the right of the pin expecting a little draw.  Instead... I pulled it again.  This time... it was a massive pull that resulted in the ball going 15 yards past the flag, way down below the back of the green.

    My only play from this position was to try and hit a high pitch that carried just onto the green.  I knew once it got on, it was going to release hard.  I committed to the shot and executed to perfection.  The ball landed just on the green.  From there, I could not see it but my playing competitors were yelling for it to slow down.  When I got up to the green... the ball was on the front portion about 18 feet away.

    Similar to the 15 footer I had drained on #16, this putt was uphill and I knew I could be aggressive with it.  From 18 feet, I played it like it was 25 feet and the ball never had a chance to miss.  I drained it for an unlikely par to keep my momentum going.


      ~ +7 Through 13 ~

    Hole 4 - Par 3 - 150 Yards

    This is a pretty hole and has long been one of my favorite par 3's that we play on the Golfweek Amateur Tour.  There's trouble short and left in the form of a creek.  Bailing out right is not really an option because of a steep slope that would leave an awkward stance to chip from.  This hole is pretty much hit the green... or else.

    On this day, the pin was in the back-left portion of the green.  From the tee, it was 152 yards to the hole.  With the downhill slope, I would say it was playing more like 142 yards.  For me, this meant a solid 8 iron.  My aiming point on this hole was just to the right of the flag.  I'd been hitting a consistent fade for most of the day and I figured a tiny pull would have given me enough room to stay alive... a straight shot would be perfect... and a fade would find the right side of the green.

    My swing off this tee was one of my best of the day.  The contact was crisp and the flight of the ball was gorgeous.  It was high and straight.  I was worried initially that I took too much off my swing so I watched intently... but the ball landed a few feet to the right of the flag, hopped once and spun back a bit.  When we got up there, the closest-to-the-pin marker listed 9 feet.  We measured mine out at 7 feet and 1/2 an inch.  As this was towards the end of the day... I was pretty confident it would hold.  It did... and I won $120 for that shot!

    One of my playing competitors was about 3 feet outside of my ball on a very similar line.  His putt drifted very little right-to-left and he sank his 10 footer for birdie.  I had the line... I just needed to make a solid stroke on the ball.  I did... and watched as it took a hard turn just at the hole to the left and lipped out!  I tapped in for what was a disappointing par.

    My misfortune turned out very well for my playing competitor though as he won 1 of 3 skins on the day that paid him $190+ for his birdie!

    I now had only 4 holes left to play and I was sitting inside the money spots on the leaderboard.  The B Flight was paying out the top 5 spots and I was now in 4th place.


      ~ +7 Through 14 ~

    Hole 5 - Par 4 - 389 Yards

    Number 5 is the toughest rated hole on the course.  The tee shot is tough because if you hit it too far and up the left side, it can run down into a creek at the end of the fairway.  If your ball sticks up in the rough up the left, you can be blocked out.  The right side brings a lost ball into play.  On a calm day, I'd hit 3 wood here every time.  It was just a little breezy at this point though... and it was cooling off, so I went with my driver.  I picked a spot on the slope up the left side and let the ball peel off of that.

    I found a flat-ish lie on this hole which is tough to find.  It was still a little below my feet and sloping downhill, but... all-in-all, it wasn't awful.  I had 135 yards to the pin which sat on the front-middle portion of the green.  9 iron would have been short and would have brought all kinds of trouble into play.  8 iron was a little too much but was the safer option... so I went with that club.  I pured the shot and watched as it went directly at the flag.  The ball landed at probably 155 yards or so and spun back about 20 feet towards the hole.  Still... I was left with about 30 feet for birdie.

    Again, I had the fortune of having a playing competitor on a very similar line to me.  Even though the putt looked like it was going to break right-to-left... his putt never really took the break and stayed out to the right of the hole.  I decided to play to the right edge of the cup and hit it exactly where I wanted.  I was positive the ball was going to drop for birdie, but with about 18 inches to left, the ball trailed a little further left than I thought and just missed what would have been a massive birdie (and would have paid a skin too).  I tapped in for my 5th consecutive par.

    I believe at this point I had moved up into 3rd place with just 3 holes to go and I was just 2 strokes off the lead with 3 holes to play.


      ~ +7 Through 15 ~

    Hole 6 - Par 5 - 512 Yards

    I have never, ever been a fan of this hole.  There's a creek at 250 yards from the tee.  Basically, if you carry the ball 225 up the left side over the fairway bunker... your ball will find the hazard.  This meant I had to hit my 3 wood, which I was struggling with on the day.  I took aim at the right edge of that left bunker and peeled my 3 wood off of that and into the center of the fairway.

    From here, it should have been an easy hole.  I had about 315 yards left to the hole... up the hill.  For some reason, I had convinced myself that the best play was to try and hit my 3 wood again and get up to within 120 yards or so of the green.  Well... I topped the 3 wood and watched as it trickled into the creek.  I then dropped from the penalty area and hit a 5 iron to about 80 yards.

    I made a mess of the hole and ultimately recorded a triple bogey.  Looking back... the play on my 2nd shot should have been a 4 iron up the right side that would have left me about 145 yards to the hole.

    I was dejected by my poor shot selection and suddenly knocked myself completely off the leaderboard with just 2 holes left.


      ~ +10 Through 16 ~

    Hole 7 - Par 3 - 154 Yards

    Things simply went from bad to worse at this point.  Although there is water on this hole... it shouldn't come into play if you hit a decent shot.  I believe the hole was playing 145 yards with where the pin was located, so it was a perfect 8 iron for me.  I got up on the tee still thinking about the previous hole and made probably my worst swing of the day.  I swiped at the ball and pulled my head up way too quickly.  This resulted in a thin, ugly shot that had zero chance of clearing the water.

    SPLASH!  That was my tournament right there.  I hit another from the tee (we weren't using drop zones) and pulled it just a little left.  I failed to get up and down a recorded a 2nd consecutive triple bogey.


      ~ +13 Through 17 ~

    Hole 8 - Par 4 - 363 Yards

    Now I was just angry.  I had a side bet going with my buddy and needed a birdie to break the number we had set (85).  I absolutely annihilated the ball from the tee here.  The fairway on this hole was wide open so, I knew taking a hard swing wouldn't hurt me unless I sliced it wildly.  Game Golf measured it at 280 yards and I was left with 84 yards to the back pin location.

    I hit my 54 degree wedge with a pretty close to full swing... but I purposely drove it in low.  It landed about 20 feet left of the flag and spun to the right a bit leaving me around 12 feet for my birdie.  The left-to-right swinger just barely missed on the high side and I was left with a tap-in for par to close out my round.


      ~ +13 Through 18 ~

     

    ---------------------------

     

    There really wasn't much to be said at that point.  I came into the round having played 5 rounds in 2019.  They were all over the map (101, 94, 106, 98 and 86).  I had new irons in the bag that I had hit literally the night before at Topgolf and then that morning on the range.  I had very low expectations for the day.

    To shoot an 85 with a trio of triple bogeys on the day was actually pretty damn impressive.  I won't forgive myself anytime soon for the mental error on my 16th hole but... it will be a learning experience.

    I finished in a tie for 10th place out of 30 entrants to B Flight.  I was 2 shots out of the money.  Ultimately, the winner shot an impressive 76.  I didn't have a shot to win, but... if I had held my ground on those 2 holes... I would have finished in solo 2nd on the day.

    Lessons Learned

    1. Hitting the safe shot is ALWAYS going to be better than hitting the aggressive shot unless the situation absolutely calls for aggressive play.  I really hurt myself on 3 of the par 5's by trying to bite off more than I needed to.  Those 3 holes accounted for being +7 of my +13 score.

    2. I need to work on putts inside 8 feet.  I missed 4 putts from 5-7 feet on the day.  I was too tentative on those strokes.  If I had played all of them firm and to the back of the cup... I would have made each of them.

    3. My game, despite some pretty awful scoring lately, is still there.  I need to make it a focus to get out and practice more often.  Work has been busy but I can always find an hour here and there for some practice.

    The next tournament is on February 16th.  I'm still undecided on if I'm going to play it or not.  Until that point, I've got 2 nights of Topgolf League play and hopefully at least 1 round on a course somewhere to prepare.  In between... I'll be doing some putting and short game work.

    'til the next one... 

     

    2.2.2019%2B-%2BCarolina%2BLakes%2BScorecard.png

     

  4. On 2/9/2019 at 10:50 AM, ElWagonne said:

    Very interesting update.  I'm about to start year 2 on the Golfweek Tour out here in Dallas.  Real cool bunch of guys and way less pretentious compared to the Golf Channel tour.  I will say your B flight is HUGE.  The 4-5 events I played last year, we normally hovered around 18-20 guys.  Good luck the rest of the way.

    I've played on a few different 'tours' in the past.  None had been as involved as this one, but... they were still fun.  The problem was that the level of activity really died down at certain points.  Guys would join and have all intentions of playing out the season, then they'd struggle and give up.  We'd have some tournaments where total fields were less than 12 players.  It put a damper on things.

    With the Golfweek Tour, it's year-round participation.  The best part is the National Championship in Hilton Head.  800+ players every year and it's a GREAT time to be on the island.  My family has built one of our vacations around it for the last 4 years.

    Good luck out there in Dallas!  Keep me posted as to how it's going!

    On 2/13/2019 at 4:04 PM, bkuehn1952 said:

    I hope you have time to add to your TST Blog, too.

    Hmmm... I actually forgot about that.  Maybe I can add some thoughts to that about the tournaments and my preparation!

    CY

  5. 56 minutes ago, klineka said:

    Nice recap! 

    I have a question about the "scorecard link", did you have to enter all of that information in manually about your round or is there some way it syncs up automatically with GameGolf?

    Looks cool but not sure I'd want to enter all my stats into another website when GameGolf already has it.

    Thanks!  I have to enter all the information manually but it's pretty simple for me since I write all the information on my scorecard.  It takes me maybe 75 seconds to enter my scores.
     

    31 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

    I see in your achievements you have read LSW yet your "lessons learned" do not seem to show a realistic ability to analyze your game.

    Hmmmm... I guess I can see what you're saying based on what I posted.  That said... I disagree.  Even though I posted a detailed recap, I didn't post my thought process for each swing or any of the actual details of my practice (or rather lack of practice) leading up to the event. 
     

    32 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

    This screams that there is an issue with your ball striking. The safe shot seems to be safe because you are having difficulty hitting certain clubs. If you have to club down because you are topping your 3 wood the issue is not hitting the safe shot it's working on hitting the correct shot. Remember the closer you can get the the green the better off you are, all things considered.

    100% there's an issue with my ball striking.  I completely lost the feeling of hitting solid shots.  Unfortunately for me... the company I was working for let go of the entire unit I was working with in September.  This resulted in taking a new job with new responsibilities and new times.  That meant less time for golf.  It's all kind of added up to where I am now with my game.  No time on the course.  No time to practice.  No ability to regain that feel I had in August and September.  

    Yes... LSW says the closer I am to the green, the better off I am.  The problem was that, due to the factors listed above and the lack of practice, I wasn't capable of getting the ball as close to the green as I'd have liked.  In that situation on the 6th hole... with being in contention and knowing I was NOT hitting my 3 wood well at all... the play should have been a 4 iron to ensure I got over the creek.  It was a poor club choice.  Period.
     

    43 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

    Again, you have to realize it's highly unlikely you will make all those putts. PGA Tour average is a hair over 60% putts 4-8'. 

    Making all of the putts is not the goal.  Making 50% of them is.  That was 2 strokes on Saturday if I made 50% of those putts.  Now, I can say it was offset by making a 15 footer and an 18 footer, but... still.  Making a bomb is unexpected.  Missing a pair of 7 footers for birdie is disappointing and frustrating.  
     

    46 minutes ago, NM Golf said:

    I think you are wrong, after reading your rather detailed recap I think your long game and ball striking costs you way more strokes than your short game and putting. 

    Again, I agree 100% with you.  The problem is that I do not have the ability to practice my ball striking in between emails and calls and texts and request and more emails and everything else that goes on in my day.  I DO have the ability to practice putting in my office on the putting mat I've got... and I've also got the ability to practice landing pitches and chips at certain distances downstairs or outside in my back yard.  

    I've got to work on what I have the ability to work on.  I get out to hit full shots at Topgolf on Tuesday nights... then I try to get to the range that 45 minutes away once a week during an extended lunch break... and then the rest of my practice is prior to any rounds I get to play.

    At the end of the day... I've got to work with the game I've got.  Especially in a tournament situation.  If that means I shouldn't be hitting a 3 wood because I've been struggling with hitting it solidly or controlling it... that's what I've got to do.  That 3 wood was the wrong play for many reasons.  The biggest reason was because of the actual result, but... there was trouble left and trouble right as well.  I attempted it because I had the same shot on Monday during my practice round and I pulled it off.  

    I should certainly read LSW again.  It can only help!

    CY

  6. I used to recap all of my rounds on here.  It was easy when I played 20 - 30 rounds a year.  Then I joined a club and played a bunch.  At that point, it became too much to recap them all.  Well... I left my club in September and I play a lot less now.  That gives me a little more time to recap the rounds I do play.  I'm going to limit the recaps to my tournament play.  I'm now entering my 5th season playing on the Golfweek Amateur Tour in Charlotte.  I've yet to find anything that comes close to rivaling it for both the competition and the camaraderie.  You see many of the same faces year-after-year and many of my closest friends have been made as a result of playing with the tour.  The last event I played was the National Championship in Hilton Head last October.  I started out in great position, posting an 83 on the 1st day to put myself in a tie for 5th place out of 228 players.  I then completely lost my game over the next 2 days and posted 97 and 109 to finish in a tie for 174th.  I was angry with myself and disgusted with my game.  I touched my clubs only 3 times over the next 2+ months to end the year because I just needed to get away.  Well... it's February which means the kickoff of the new season.  

    On Saturday, February 2nd... we played our first event of the 2019 season at Carolina Lakes Golf Club in Indian Land, SC.  Below is the recap.

     

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    Game Golf Link

    Scorecard Link


    It had definitely been way too long since the final tournament of the 2018 season and, to be honest, I was beginning to itch for some competitive golf.  I'd played so poorly leading up to this event that I had no clue what to expect.  Luckily, I had come out a few days prior to play a practice round so I had a pretty good idea of how the course was going to play. 

    The big concern I had was that I just purchased a new set of irons.  I picked up a set of TaylorMade M5's with Fujikura Atmos Orange graphite shafts in them in hopes that it would help my hands since I've been dealing with some pain in a few knuckles on my right hand... and also hoping it would increase my launch angle a little bit. 

    I couldn't have asked for a more ideal day to play my first round with those clubs.  February 2nd... and it was in the mid-60's with little-to-no wind.  Pretty much perfect.

    So, with 114 players (30 in B Flight) on the course... I decided to arrive early for some practice time.  The first few swings were... well... they weren't good.  I slowed my tempo down and started hitting some better shots.  I hit about 50 balls on the range and then went to do some short game practice for a bit.  Following that, I spent about 15 minutes on the practice green and then relaxed a bit before we were set to go. 

    My goal was an 85.  I figured that would be a good score to post for the opening round of the year... especially with new clubs and having played as poorly as I was leading up to the tournament. 

    At 11:00, we were sent off to our tees.  My group started on hole 9.  Not much difficulty in that one, so... I drew a good starting tee. 


    Hole 9 - Par 4 - 392 Yards

    Even though the card says 392 yards, it was really only playing about 365 with the tees moved up a bit.  I've been playing a fade recently that I can't seem to get away from, so with the hole moving to the right, this really set up well for me.  I picked a target over the left edge of one of the fairway bunkers figuring if I hit the fade, I'd be in perfect position and if I hit a straight shot, I'd still be just fine.  

    The ball came off with a nice fade and I carried the bunkers with no problem.  I was left with about 53 yards to the hole.  That was a perfect 'three-quarter' lob wedge for me.  I tugged it a little bit so it flew just a little longer than expected, but left me about 24 feet for birdie.  

    My birdie attempt was a left-to-right curler down a slope.  The line looked good until about 5 feet from the cup then it broke off hard and ran out to about 4 feet from the hole.  I was able to make the putt coming back to open with a par.  


      ~ Even Through 1 ~


    Hole 10 - Par 4 - 396 Yards

    This was another hole they moved up a significant amount.  This time, the hole was playing only about 330 yards or so.  Just like the previous hole, it played a little to the right so my fade would have been perfect.  To prevent any issues with going through the fairway, I decided to hit a 3 wood off the tee.  This turned out to be a reoccurring issue for me throughout the day, but... I hit that club very poorly.  I popped it up to the right and it landed in one of the fairway bunkers on the corner of the dogleg. 

    From there, I was blocked out by the corner so my only goal was to try and advance it about 150 yards or so into the fairway short of the green.  My 7 iron was just a bit thin, caught the lip and hopped forward into the next bunker.  At this point, I at least had a view of the green.  I caught my 8 iron well, but slightly heavy.  The ball ended up about 10 yards shy of the green. 

    The chip I had left was not an easy one.  The pin was cut on the left side just off a slope.  I tried to bump a wedge into the slope but the ball checked up immediately and I was left with a 19 footer for bogey.  I gave it a good run... it looked good... and then it didn't.  I missed low and made the 3 footer for double.


      ~ +2 Through 2 ~


    Hole 11 - Par 4 - 290 Yards

    For the third straight hole, we were playing a dogleg right.  This one was not severe but you absolutely had to avoid the trouble up the right side.  A waste area well below the fairway was the only 'protection' from a hazard that ran the entire length of the hole.  The play was to bail out way left.  If you went too far left, there was a large retaining wall to help keep your ball in play... otherwise, there was no trouble over there. 

    My target from the tee was the tree furthest left of the fairway.  I figured a nice fade would put me in the center of the fairway and a straight shot would funnel off the slope into the fairway.  I hit the fade and I was right in the middle.  With 64 yards to go and the pin way in the back with a hazard just beyond the green... my only thought was to play short of the hole and take a run at birdie from there.  I did not want to risk going long. 

    I played a 54 degree wedge back in my stance and took another 'three-quarter' swing.  Just like on my first hole, I tugged it just slightly but because of where I was intending to hit the ball... it didn't put me in any trouble.  I was just off the left side of the green and about 12 feet shy of pin-high.  I putted from there and the ball trickled out to about 5 feet.  It was a tricky putt though, still going down the slope and I never committed to my line.  I tugged the putt just slightly and it lipped out leaving me a tap-in for bogey.


      ~ +3 Through 3 ~


    Hole 12 - Par 3 - 145 Yards

    Sucker pin alert!!!  This hole is always interesting because if you find yourself in the massive bunker that fronts the green and runs along the right side... you could be looking at double in a hurry.  The pin was tucked way back in the back-right corner of the green.  Going at the pin would be foolish.

    Because I wasn't really warmed up yet and I didn't want to risk being short, I elected to hit a soft 7 iron instead of the normal 8 iron I'd hit from this distance.  I picked a target just left of the center of the green knowing that right was death.  I'm very glad I did because I did not give it a thorough swing which meant the ball leaked right.  It leaked so far right that I finished just 7 feet right of the pin.  That was only 1 foot outside the eventual closest-to-the-pin winner on that hole. 

    There was no excuse for me to miss the birdie putt but... I did.  There was a bit of right-to-left break to the putt (or so I thought) so I played it just off the right edge.  It stayed there so I tapped in for my par.


      ~ +3 Through 4 ~


    Hole 13 - Par 5 - 498 Yards

    Nothing fancy here.  This hole is pretty much one of those holes that you see in front of you the whole time.  The only real trouble is the pond up the left side that begins at about 200 yards from the green.  If you hit a good drive and you're feeling it... you can get there.  Otherwise... be smart, play out to the right and take your shot at getting up & down for birdie. 

    I made things difficult.  My drive was okay.  It went pretty much nowhere into the little bit of wind we did have.  I had zero shot at getting even close to the green.  Still... I was trying to get inside of wedge range so I decided to hit my 4 iron.  The trouble was, I almost missed the ball.  I topped it... and tugged it... so it trickled just inside the hazard line.

    I had no real stance.  I put one foot on the only solid ground I could find in the hazard... the other was outside the hazard.  I attempted to hack a 9 iron over the corner of the pond back into the fairway... but instead, I knocked it 15 yards into the water. 

    The rest of the hole was played out just to get it over with.  Drop into the rough... 5 iron out to the right of the green... pitch to 18 feet... 2 putts for triple.  


      ~ +6 Through 5 ~


    Hole 14 - Par 4 - 373 Yards

    This is typically the most difficult hole on the course.  It's 373 yards... but it plays like 420 because of how uphill it is.  It's also usually into the wind.  On this day, it was moved way up... so, it was only playing about 335 yards.  It was also downwind.  My target line from the tee was a dark patch near the left edge of the fairway.  I hit it solid and the ball tailed a bit and finished in the middle of the fairway.  I was left with 105 yards, but it was more than a club uphill.  The wind helped so I played it just a single club uphill.  I hit a smooth pitching wedge that pitched about 10 feet shy of the flag and settled just 4 feet left of the hole. 

    It's always nice when you've left yourself a straight, 4 footer for birdie.  I made it with no issues and tallied my first tournament birdie of 2019!


      ~ +5 Through 6 ~


    Hole 15 - Par 4 - 341 Yards

    Another slight dogleg to the right but instead of trees on the corner, there's a pond that runs the entire length of the fairway along the right side and then beyond the green.  As with the previous holes that moved to the right... I was pretty comfortable with this tee shot.  There's a fairway bunker up the left side, so my target was the right side of that bunker.  I was playing for the fade and if I hit it straight, I was going to be fine.  I did hit the cut, though... and I found myself in the center of the fairway with about 90 yards to play. 

    The pin was in a good position toward the front-left portion of the green which meant that the water was out of play unless you hit a very poor shot.  I elected to play a low, flighted gap wedge.  As had been my tendency with these shots so far on the day, I pulled it just slightly.  It was fine though and caught the back of the green leaving me 33 feet for birdie. 

    My birdie attempt was pretty awful.  It was downhill and towards the water, so I really expected it to be fast.  Instead... I left my putt 5 feet short which meant a quick, ticklish putt for par.  I was able to make it and pick up a little momentum.


      ~ +5 Through 7 ~


    Hole 16 - Par 3 - 158 Yards

    This is a pretty intimidating hole.  There's a massive, deep bunker that fronts the green... and short of that is a pond.  The shot is all carry, but not very long.  Still... if you let it get to you, you can easily put up a big number on this hole.  The green is essentially split in half by a huge ridge.  The right side is raised up while the left side drops off a good 7+ feet or so below the level of the upper tier.  The pin was kind of on the ridge.  From the tee, there appeared to be not way to get it close. 

    The play for me was to aim at the center part of the lower (left) tier and hope I hit a bit of a fade.  Unfortunately, we had a 15 minute wait at this tee.  When we arrived, the group in front of us was waiting on the tee for the group in front of them to putt out.  By the time we got to play the hole... I stiffened up a little bit and never committed to my shot selection.  This meant a low, bladed 7 iron that skipped off the bank of the pond and into the bunker. 

    Luckily, my bunker game has been getting better and better.  I blasted out of there and to about 15 feet.  I was very pleased when I finally climbed out of the bunker and saw where my ball finished up.  I don't really think I could have come much closer than that.  To cap it off... I drained the 15 footer for a sand save par.


      ~ +5 Through 8 ~


    Hole 17 - Par 5 - 472 Yards

    If you take the aggressive line up the left side of the hole off the tee, you can easily reach this green in 2 shots.  It's uphill from the fairway to the green, but... it's a reachable hole.  I did NOT take the aggressive line, however.  In fact, I did the exact opposite and bailed out WAY right.  My ball finished just in the rough with a tough ball-above-my-feet lie.  

    Instead of just punching a 5 iron up the fairway 175 yards or so... I tried to bite off a big chunk of the hole with a 3 wood from a tough lie.  It did not work out very well for me.  I kinda topped and pulled my shot and it trickled up the left side into the rough and left me 145 yards or so up the hill to the flag which was tucked up on a tiny tier at the back-left side of the green. 

    I elected for more club because of how uphill the shot was and I ended up drawing it a bit with my 7 iron.  This put me in a little bowl long and left of the green.  I had truly short-sided myself.  The only play I had was to try and bump the ball into the slope shy of the green and hope it trickled down towards the hole.  I probably landed the ball a foot short of where I needed it to and the ball stuck on the fringe.  I was probably 20-25 feet from the hole at that point with a super fast, downhill putt.  I just got the ball started and let it get onto the green and watched as it stopped about a half-rotation short of dropping for par.  I settled for my tap-in bogey and moved to the 18th tee.


      ~ +6 Through 9 ~


    Hole 18 - Par 4 - 387 Yards

    Once more, they moved our tees up quite a bit.  I believe we were playing from about 340 yards.  This took driver out of my hand since that would have brought some OB into play for me.  There's a fairway bunker at the corner of the right-to-left dogleg which was my target.  I should have been easily able to carry that and it would have left me a 9 iron or less into the green.  I just put another horrible swing on my 3 wood and topped the ball.  It trickled out short of that fairway bunker and left me no shot at the hole.

    From about 210 yards out, I just played a 5 iron out to the right of the green to give myself a good angle to the back-left pin position.  I was left with around 60 yards or so to the hole from there and the green was wide open.  Another 'three-quarter' wedge from there was tugged just slightly and grabbed immediately, leaving me just off the green. 

    The only play I had was a low, running chip which I executed pretty well from the fringe of the green.  The ball took a peek at the cup but just missed the lip for par and ran out to about 5 feet.  I was able to make that coming back for a bogey.  It could have been way worse, so... I wasn't too upset by that score.


      ~ +7 Through 10 ~


    Hole 1 - Par 4 - 370 Yards

    This is never a tough hole but they made it even easier on us by moving the tees up to about 340 yards away.  There's a fairway bunker up the right side that's not in play from where the tees were and another bunker up the left side that was absolutely in play.  I decided to aim off the right corner of the left bunker.  I didn't catch the tee shot very solid, but it faded over the right fairway bunker and finished in the rough up the right side leaving me about 125, slightly uphill to the hole. 

    Even though it was uphill... it was downwind, so it offset.  This meant I could give it a solid go with a full 9 iron.  A slight pull from that position hit the green and I was positive it was going to trickle off the left side of the green and into the fairly deep hollow leaving a next-to-impossible up and down attempt.  Instead, when I arrived... the ball had spun enough that it stayed on the green and left me a fairly easy two-putt for par.  


      ~ +7 Through 11 ~


    Hole 2 - Par 4 - 368 Yards

    I would say this is one of the more intimidating tee shots on the course.  Along the right side is OB and houses.  The left side is trees and a deep set of fairway bunkers.  A little too far past that on the right side is another fairway bunker.  You have very little to aim at.  Short hitters like me don't really have the option of hitting a 3 wood or something because then you leave too much into a difficult green. 

    I elected to hit driver and start it at the right edge of the left bunker.  I knew that unless I absolutely mashed one, I wasn't going to reach the right bunker.  I hit a very solid drive that landed perfectly in the fairway and left me about 120 or so to a front-right pin. 

    My right hand was hurting at that time and I had just put some pain relief cream on it... so my grip was a little tentative on the club.  Instead of going after a pitching wedge, I chose to hit a smooth 9 iron.  It was a little too much club, but I still hit the green.  I left a tough, 42 footer for birdie though. 

    My birdie putt was quick and had a bit of left-to-right break to it.  When I first hit it... I thought it was going in.  The ball funneled toward the hole and at the last second, it moved back to the left and just missed.  An easy little tap in for par.


      ~ +7 Through 12 ~


    Hole 3 - Par 5 - 563 Yards

    I don't think this hole played the full yardage.  I believe we were moved up to about 530 yards or so instead.  I hit one of my weaker tee shots of the day here.  Very high off the toe.  Luckily, it hung enough that it didn't feed into the fairway bunker up the right.  It kicked off the slope of that bunker and into the fairway.  Even though I had little confidence in my 3 wood at that time... I knew I needed to hit it to give myself any shot at making birdie or better here.  I hit it solid, but the fade was way more than I wanted to see on it.  Luckily, it again caught the slope up the right side and trickled down into a flat lie and left me about 130 to the hole. 

    The hole was a little downwind and the green was slightly raised.  With the ball just slightly above my feet... I aimed to the right of the pin expecting a little draw.  Instead... I pulled it again.  This time... it was a massive pull that resulted in the ball going 15 yards past the flag, way down below the back of the green. 

    My only play from this position was to try and hit a high pitch that carried just onto the green.  I knew once it got on, it was going to release hard.  I committed to the shot and executed to perfection.  The ball landed just on the green.  From there, I could not see it but my playing competitors were yelling for it to slow down.  When I got up to the green... the ball was on the front portion about 18 feet away. 

    Similar to the 15 footer I had drained on #16, this putt was uphill and I knew I could be aggressive with it.  From 18 feet, I played it like it was 25 feet and the ball never had a chance to miss.  I drained it for an unlikely par to keep my momentum going.


      ~ +7 Through 13 ~


    Hole 4 - Par 3 - 150 Yards

    This is a pretty hole and has long been one of my favorite par 3's that we play on the Golfweek Amateur Tour.  There's trouble short and left in the form of a creek.  Bailing out right is not really an option because of a steep slope that would leave an awkward stance to chip from.  This hole is pretty much hit the green... or else.

    On this day, the pin was in the back-left portion of the green.  From the tee, it was 152 yards to the hole.  With the downhill slope, I would say it was playing more like 142 yards.  For me, this meant a solid 8 iron.  My aiming point on this hole was just to the right of the flag.  I'd been hitting a consistent fade for most of the day and I figured a tiny pull would have given me enough room to stay alive... a straight shot would be perfect... and a fade would find the right side of the green. 

    My swing off this tee was one of my best of the day.  The contact was crisp and the flight of the ball was gorgeous.  It was high and straight.  I was worried initially that I took too much off my swing so I watched intently... but the ball landed a few feet to the right of the flag, hopped once and spun back a bit.  When we got up there, the closest-to-the-pin marker listed 9 feet.  We measured mine out at 7 feet and 1/2 an inch.  As this was towards the end of the day... I was pretty confident it would hold.  It did... and I won $120 for that shot!

    One of my playing competitors was about 3 feet outside of my ball on a very similar line.  His putt drifted very little right-to-left and he sank his 10 footer for birdie.  I had the line... I just needed to make a solid stroke on the ball.  I did... and watched as it took a hard turn just at the hole to the left and lipped out!  I tapped in for what was a disappointing par. 

    My misfortune turned out very well for my playing competitor though as he won 1 of 3 skins on the day that paid him $190+ for his birdie!


    I now had only 4 holes left to play and I was sitting inside the money spots on the leaderboard.  The B Flight was paying out the top 5 spots and I was now in 4th place.


      ~ +7 Through 14 ~


    Hole 5 - Par 4 - 389 Yards

    Number 5 is the toughest rated hole on the course.  The tee shot is tough because if you hit it too far and up the left side, it can run down into a creek at the end of the fairway.  If your ball sticks up in the rough up the left, you can be blocked out.  The right side brings a lost ball into play.  On a calm day, I'd hit 3 wood here every time.  It was just a little breezy at this point though... and it was cooling off, so I went with my driver.  I picked a spot on the slope up the left side and let the ball peel off of that. 

    I found a flat-ish lie on this hole which is tough to find.  It was still a little below my feet and sloping downhill, but... all-in-all, it wasn't awful.  I had 135 yards to the pin which sat on the front-middle portion of the green.  9 iron would have been short and would have brought all kinds of trouble into play.  8 iron was a little too much but was the safer option... so I went with that club.  I pured the shot and watched as it went directly at the flag.  The ball landed at probably 155 yards or so and spun back about 20 feet towards the hole.  Still... I was left with about 30 feet for birdie.

    Again, I had the fortune of having a playing competitor on a very similar line to me.  Even though the putt looked like it was going to break right-to-left... his putt never really took the break and stayed out to the right of the hole.  I decided to play to the right edge of the cup and hit it exactly where I wanted.  I was positive the ball was going to drop for birdie, but with about 18 inches to left, the ball trailed a little further left than I thought and just missed what would have been a massive birdie (and would have paid a skin too).  I tapped in for my 5th consecutive par.

    I believe at this point I had moved up into 3rd place with just 3 holes to go and I was just 2 strokes off the lead with 3 holes to play.


      ~ +7 Through 15 ~


    Hole 6 - Par 5 - 512 Yards

    I have never, ever been a fan of this hole.  There's a creek at 250 yards from the tee.  Basically, if you carry the ball 225 up the left side over the fairway bunker... your ball will find the hazard.  This meant I had to hit my 3 wood, which I was struggling with on the day.  I took aim at the right edge of that left bunker and peeled my 3 wood off of that and into the center of the fairway. 

    From here, it should have been an easy hole.  I had about 315 yards left to the hole... up the hill.  For some reason, I had convinced myself that the best play was to try and hit my 3 wood again and get up to within 120 yards or so of the green.  Well... I topped the 3 wood and watched as it trickled into the creek.  I then dropped from the penalty area and hit a 5 iron to about 80 yards.

    I made a mess of the hole and ultimately recorded a triple bogey.  Looking back... the play on my 2nd shot should have been a 4 iron up the right side that would have left me about 145 yards to the hole. 

    I was dejected by my poor shot selection and suddenly knocked myself completely off the leaderboard with just 2 holes left.


      ~ +10 Through 16 ~


    Hole 7 - Par 3 - 154 Yards

    Things simply went from bad to worse at this point.  Although there is water on this hole... it shouldn't come into play if you hit a decent shot.  I believe the hole was playing 145 yards with where the pin was located, so it was a perfect 8 iron for me.  I got up on the tee still thinking about the previous hole and made probably my worst swing of the day.  I swiped at the ball and pulled my head up way too quickly.  This resulted in a thin, ugly shot that had zero chance of clearing the water. 

    SPLASH!  That was my tournament right there.  I hit another from the tee (we weren't using drop zones) and pulled it just a little left.  I failed to get up and down a recorded a 2nd consecutive triple bogey.


      ~ +13 Through 17 ~


    Hole 8 - Par 4 - 363 Yards

    Now I was just angry.  I had a side bet going with my buddy and needed a birdie to break the number we had set (85).  I absolutely annihilated the ball from the tee here.  The fairway on this hole was wide open so, I knew taking a hard swing wouldn't hurt me unless I sliced it wildly.  Game Golf measured it at 280 yards and I was left with 84 yards to the back pin location. 

    I hit my 54 degree wedge with a pretty close to full swing... but I purposely drove it in low.  It landed about 20 feet left of the flag and spun to the right a bit leaving me around 12 feet for my birdie.  The left-to-right swinger just barely missed on the high side and I was left with a tap-in for par to close out my round.


      ~ +13 Through 18 ~
     

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    There really wasn't much to be said at that point.  I came into the round having played 5 rounds in 2019.  They were all over the map (101, 94, 106, 98 and 86).  I had new irons in the bag that I had hit literally the night before at Topgolf and then that morning on the range.  I had very low expectations for the day. 

    To shoot an 85 with a trio of triple bogeys on the day was actually pretty damn impressive.  I won't forgive myself anytime soon for the mental error on my 16th hole but... it will be a learning experience. 

    I finished in a tie for 10th place out of 30 entrants to B Flight.  I was 2 shots out of the money.  Ultimately, the winner shot an impressive 76.  I didn't have a shot to win, but... if I had held my ground on those 2 holes... I would have finished in solo 2nd on the day. 



    Lessons Learned

    1. Hitting the safe shot is ALWAYS going to be better than hitting the aggressive shot unless the situation absolutely calls for aggressive play.  I really hurt myself on 3 of the par 5's by trying to bite off more than I needed to.  Those 3 holes accounted for being +7 of my +13 score. 

    2. I need to work on putts inside 8 feet.  I missed 4 putts from 5-7 feet on the day.  I was too tentative on those strokes.  If I had played all of them firm and to the back of the cup... I would have made each of them. 

    3. My game, despite some pretty awful scoring lately, is still there.  I need to make it a focus to get out and practice more often.  Work has been busy but I can always find an hour here and there for some practice. 

    The next tournament is on February 16th.  I'm still undecided on if I'm going to play it or not.  Until that point, I've got 2 nights of Topgolf League play and hopefully at least 1 round on a course somewhere to prepare.  In between... I'll be doing some putting and short game work. 

    'til the next one... 

    • Thanks 1
    • Upvote 1
  7. The guy's swing didn't look like he was capable of intentionally performing that, to be honest.  It's certainly something I could see someone fairly new to golf doing... especially if it's their first time at a range with such a setup.  

    That said... society today dictates that such foolishness rewards, so... who knows?

    CY

  8. On 1/12/2018 at 2:00 PM, Fairway_CY said:

    This is always one of my favorite threads each year.  It gives me a chance to get really specific with my goals and then I get to look back on them at the end of the year.  

    Anyway... my 2018 goals are below.

    1. Reduce penalties to fewer than 1 per round.  Last season was my best in this category, but I still averaged 1.39 penalties per round (for almost 2 strokes per round).  I'd like to reduce those numbers to less than 1 penalty and less than 1.5 strokes per round.  A large number of my penalties last year came on the approach shot of the 10th hole of my home course.  The lie is almost always downhill... plus there's a hazard fronting the green and OB very tight to the right side of the green.  I need to work on that shot so that it's no longer in my head.

    2. Increase GIR percentage to greater than 40%.  My ball striking was better last year than ever before, but I still battled some pretty bad misses with clubs longer than my 8 iron.  I finished 2017 hitting 36.28% of my greens in regulation.  To get there, I'm going to have to spend some time with my 5 iron, 6 iron and 7 iron.  A majority of the par 3 holes that I play require the use of those clubs.  Although I don't have a number in my spreadsheet for par 3 GIR percentage, I'd be willing to bet it's lower than what my overall number is.  If I can fix that... I can score better.

    3. Hit greater than 50% of fairways.  I came pretty close last year, hitting 46.64% but I'd like to eclipse the 50% mark this year.  Achieving this goal will make achieving the one above much easier as well.  I've been enamored with increasing my distance, but it hasn't really happened.  I've been right around 235 yards off the tee for the last 3 years.  I need to stop worrying about hitting it further and start worrying more about hitting it where I need to.

    4. Putt better.  This is not a specific target.  It's very broad, but it's a part of my game that confidence is very fleeting.  The average distance of all putts I made last year was only 2.96 feet.  I also had an extremely high number of three-putts.  Finally, I averaged over 35 putts per round.  I would like to get that number below 34 putts per round this season.  It's going to take me spending some time on the practice green at my course, but I'm determined to make this a stronger part of my game in 2018.

    5. Get back to the tournament winner's circle.  In 2016, out of 19 tournaments I played in, I won 2 and placed in the top 4 another 5 times.  In 2017, I played in 15 tournaments overall.  The first 4 were in C Flight where I finished T-10th, 2nd, 1st and 3rd... but then got moved into a more competitive flight due to my index dropping.  In the higher flight, I played 11 tournaments and failed to place in the top 4 in any of them.  I came close a few times but couldn't crack the barrier.  I'd like to get back into the money spots in 2018, so... this is the goal I want to reach the most.

    That's it.  They're all there.  Tomorrow begins my 2018 season.  Time to get cracking on reaching at least a few of these.  

    CY

    1. Not even close.  I've played 87.5 rounds (maybe another 3 or 4 before the year is totally over) and I've had 156 penalties.  It seemed that when things went bad... they went really bad.  I struggled with my driver a lot this year and that led to a large majority of these penalties.

    2. Nope.  I'm at 34.8% right now.  Again... a lot of this was struggles off the tee again and not leaving myself an opportunity to hit greens.  The other thing was playing from tees a little further back (6400 yards instead of about 6100 yards) meant hitting slightly longer clubs into certain greens.

    3. Another nope.  I've hit 42.5% of fairways which is lower than it was in 2017.  My game, for awhile, was really strong.  It just took a large step backward over the final 2 months or so.  At one point... I battled a bad fade.  I got it together during the summer.  Towards the end of summer... my miss was a quick hook.  It reverted to a fade again.  I had no confidence standing on the tee throughout most of the year.

    4. I didn't have a specific number goal in mind, but I did mention fewer than 34 putts per round.  I got better than I had been in previous years.  35.1 putts per round in 2017 but 34.6 putts per round in 2018.  Still not great... but a small improvement, so... I'll give myself a 'yes' for this one.

    5. This one, I accomplished.  I played in 15 tournaments this year... all of them in B Flight.  I finished in the top 1/3 of the field in 6 of those including a win and a 2nd place finish.  I was very happy with my tournament play through the middle part of the summer.  Sadly, it abandoned me at the end of the year when it mattered most.  

    All in all... not a great season.  Now I'll be working on things heading into 2019.  My golf is going to be taking a bit of a back seat for awhile due to some professional changes, but... it'll lead to more practice time and less playing, which may help out.  

    CY

  9. <rant>

    About 6 weeks ago... I was playing some of the best golf I had ever played in my life.  Drives were finding the fairway.  Approach shots were on or near the green.  I was able to get up & down if I missed.  Putts were dropping.  Scores were (for me) low.  Golf was FUN.  

    About 5 weeks ago... life got a little busy.  I made a change with what I do for work.  The kids went back to school.  My oldest entered his freshman year at Clemson.  There just wasn't enough time to make golf a focal point.  

    I played 2 rounds in 5 days about 3 weeks ago.  The first was with a golf buddy.  It started out bad and just got worse.  On one of the later holes (15 or 16)... I hit my 6 iron VERY fat to the point where I really hurt my hand.  It didn't really impact my score because I had been playing so poorly anyway.  The second was with my wife at a nice resort course on a late Tuesday afternoon.  We had a great time... but the golf was pretty bad.  In both cases, I shot 7-8 strokes worse than my average for the year.  

    I then put the clubs down because, as I said... life got busy.  I realized that, during that off time, my right hand didn't hurt as much.  On that fat 6 iron... I began to feel a strong pain on the ring finger of my right hand.  Taking some time off... the pain kinda went away.  

    Anyway... this weekend, I finally got back out to the course.  I played in a 2 day event to kind of get myself golf-ready for the end run to my season.  Saturday was the first time I had touched clubs at all in 2 weeks and the first time I had been on a course in nearly 3 weeks.  It kinda showed.  I didn't play awful golf early on... but as the round went on, I played worse.  I shot a 93 going 43 - 50 and struggling with my driver the entire round.  I was 17 strokes behind the leader after the first round.  Late in the round... the pain in my hand returned.  

    I went home that night, soaked my hand in hot water for awhile and took a few acetaminophen before going to sleep.  I woke up the next morning and seriously contemplated not driving the 90 minutes to the course because I was still sore and I was so far out of it.  Ultimately, seeing as how I'd decided to play to prepare and didn't expect to compete anyway... I decided to go and play the round.  

    On the range, I was talking to a pair of guys and we were talking about our rounds the day before.  I'd mentioned the pain I was feeling in my right hand.  Well, the guy I was riding with (who is an ill-tempered habitual complainer and all-around bad guy to play golf with) started in about every pain he's ever felt in his life.  This carried on for almost 5 hours.  His finger... his toe... his neck... his back... his foot... his knees... his eyes.  It was non-stop.  Every shot had a different excuse.  

    After the round, we were inside watching Tiger finish off his 80th win and the announcers were commenting on the pain Tiger had been in over the last few years and this guy started in AGAIN.  It got to the point where I got up and walked away while he was sharing his tales of agony with whoever would listen.  

    We all have bad days on the course and... yes, I've had a shot here and there that was a direct result of some pain I felt, but... when EVERY swing brings you back to the cart complaining about something... either suck it up and move on or stop playing the game!  

    </rant>

    Sorry... I needed to get that out of my system.  I'm likely to see this guy again in a few weeks so, I need to let it go or I may explode on him.  

    CY

  10. On 8/16/2018 at 5:49 PM, iacas said:

    Maybe you had a hell of an arc, because I doubt you're actually SBST. Unless your shoulders are horizontal, virtually nobody actually moves the putter SBST. There's almost always an arc.

    Feel ain't real, though, but I'd record what you're doing now so when the feel changes, you can go back to the video.

    I'd venture to say you're right.  I know it's not actually SBST... there's still a bit of an arc to it, but it's far less of an arc than I'd ever had before.  The feel of it is more like I'm pushing it outside on the way back (which I'm not, it just feels that way right now because it's new to me) with a shut face and then trying to hold it off a little after impact.  

    It's been helpful in getting the ball started on my intended line, which has resulted in a lot more putts dropping and my lag putts being much closer to the hole.  

    Good idea on taking video.  I never really think to do it on the practice green.  I do it frequently on the range and at the short game area just to see if the things I'm working on are actually being put into practice.  I'll have to do it next week at some point.  

    CY

  11. Thanks everyone!  It felt great being out there.  My scores have been dropping pretty consistently, but... last night was just a different type of round.
     

    2 hours ago, rehmwa said:

    seems like weird coaching to me - straight in which dimension - Vertical (cancel the pendulum)?  or down the putting line (less of an orbit around your feet)?

    glad whatever you're doing is working - those rounds make it worthwhile for sure

    Straight as in down the line.  I almost always had a small arc (like the orbit you mentioned).  It wasn't major... but it led to a lot of pushes and pulls at times.  With the straight back - straight through swing... those pushes and pulls have been significantly reduced and I'm starting the ball on my lines more consistently.  I've been using it for about three weeks now and the results (especially from inside 10 feet) have been night and day.  No more terror sweats over 4 footers.
     

    1 hour ago, Club Rat said:

    Great job, keep it up and you'll be playing Ho-Hum pars and guys will start calling you "Boring"  😉

    Haha!  Yeah... I got called "Mr. Two" last night because of all the two point holes I had in the stableford format.  I've certainly been called worse!

    CY

  12. So... things have been coming together for me with my golf game recently.  Something clicked with my full swing about 2-3 months ago and then it got even better when I slowed down a bit.  My tempo has never been better and I'm really starting to strike the ball well.  Even better, though, is the fact that I've begun putting much better.  My daughters were talking to one of the assistants at our club after a junior clinic about 3 weeks ago.  They've struggled with putting... so, they asked about some help with putting.  

    The assistant took them inside the pro shop and set them up on the carpet, which has a pattern with lines in it.  He was trying to get them to putt about 15 feet straight down the lines.  One of the things he showed them just made sense to me.  I had always had kind of an arc when putting.  I don't know why... it just felt natural that way.  He was having them try to keep their putters straight back and straight through.  I started using that motion in practice sessions and, although it felt foreign at first, I started to see MUCH more consistency when it came to distances and lines.

    Last night, I made a last minute decision to play in our weekly dogfight.  It's a nine hole stableford competition.  I posted 8 pars and a single bogey.  The bogey was the result of a poor tee shot forcing me to hit a punch hook 5 iron out of the trees.  It ended up pin high next to the green... but because I was short-sided, I decelerated on the chip and left it in the rough.  Next chip got to 6 feet and I made that for bogey.  

    I hit 8 of 9 greens and posted a 37 (+1) for a stableford score of +4.  My blind-draw partner posted a +1 so we won handily.  

    It felt really nice to play a round that way.  It's certainly not something I'm used to.  The frustrating part was having to stop after just nine holes.  I'd have loved to keep going and see what I could have posted overall, but... darkness (and the 19th hole) meant I had to stop.  

    Oh well.  Just had to type it out.  

    CY

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  13. I started playing in 1993.  I think the first time I broke 100 was in 1996 or 1997.  It took FOREVER for me to crack the 90 mark.  That finally happened in 2010... and then I didn't crack the 80 mark until this year (and I've managed it 3 times in the last 2 months and added a trio of 80's to that as well).

    So... it took me some time for each of those achievements.  None of it came easy and, unfortunately, other than a short game lesson last year... I've done it without the watchful eye of a coach.  I believe I'd have crossed them all off my list FAR quicker if I had been able to afford lessons.  

    CY

  14. 6 hours ago, Aflighter said:

    Bring your A game tomorrow buddy.I think you got a shot especially since I'm not in B anymore haa.Ill be going for the career grand slam.

    Wow... you haven't won this one yet??? 

    I'll be ready tomorrow.  I'm feeling good.  Just gotta keep myself focused.  I'm 0 for 13 in majors at this point.  Something's gotta give!

    CY

  15. 14 hours ago, iacas said:

    How's the practice/play balance this year?

    It's getting better.  I used to be 90% play... 10% practice.  One of my buddies practices like it's his religion.  When he is preparing for a tournament, it's not unusual for him to practice 3+ hours a day.  He's started to rub off on me a bit.  

    I'd say that, so far, it's about 65% play... 35% practice for me.  The difference is really that, when I'm practicing... I'm focused on something specific. 

    When I'm hitting chips, for example... I'm not worried about how close the ball is getting to the target when I start.  I'm more focused on keeping the club moving at a consistent speed and ensuring that the club is brushing the grass in a repeatable spot.  

    It certainly helps that my practice is paying off.  To finally see a couple of scores below 80 is nice.  When I'm on the course, if I have a bad hole, I'm usually able to self-diagnose and get back to something fundamental.  It's helped me to keep a large majority of my scores in a reasonable range.

    CY

  16. Hey all.  I've been away from the forum for a bit.  I began to get frustrated by my play since October.  I struggled, a lot at times, and began to feel like I'd just completely lost my game.  A few months ago, my wife decided to start coming out to the course with me now and again.  We played a few couples events at the club and it really reminded me what I loved about the game.  The frustrations I had started to disappear and I began loving the game again.  

    Anyway... my unofficial handicap (all rounds) ballooned from 9.8 on September 1st of last year all the way to a 15.6 as of May 1st of this year.  I found myself posting a lot of scores in the 94 - 96 range.  Everything that felt right about my game in August and September went away and standing over a golf ball felt foreign to me.  I still loved going out to the course and trying... but my excitement was just gone.  I was just out there... often times going through the motions.  

    Shortly after my wife started playing a bit... I realized that I was missing the point.  She was happy to be out on the course just listening to music... hitting the ball... and sometimes watching nature.  I let go of my frustrations and just focused on having fun.  As our member - guest tournament approached... I played and practiced a bit more.  In early May, I left work early one afternoon and headed to the course.  No warm-up time or anything... I just stepped up to the 1st tee and played.  A little over 3 hours later... I had posted my first ever sub-80 round.  A tidy little 77 on my home track.  

    I followed that with rounds of 81, 80 and 83.  I then posted a 95 in a tournament on a VERY poor weather day... then went on vacation and posted a 79.  My unoffcial index is now trending to 11.1 while my official GHIN index is trending to 11.7 at the moment.  I'm finally feeling it again.  Practice is fun... playing is fun... and overall, I'm back to having a great time on the course.  

    I'll be looking to be more active here going forward too.  

    Just wanted to say hi and drop a note to say what's been going on.  

    CY

  17. I've played with the GWAT now for going on 4 years.  I play on one of the more involved 'chapters', playing out of Charlotte.  The $100 annual membership is not overly expensive... and events range from $85 to $110 per week... with several two-day events running about $195 or so.  There are also some high end events, such as the Southern Regional at Kiawah where you play 2 courses, including the Ocean Course.  

    It's run very well.  Live scoring is a blast.  Optional cash games keep things interesting.  The best part is that the people who play in these events are all just like me.  They're there to have fun but also be competitive.  In 3+ years, I've run into maybe 3 people who I didn't enjoy playing with (club throwers, primarily).  

    My primary group of golf friends have all come from this tour.  We run our own money games each week within the tournaments and keep it fun for all.  

    I also belong to a country club, so I'm not longing for golf... but being able to play tournaments at some nicer, private courses I otherwise wouldn't get on to is ore fun to me than playing in my club tournaments.

    Our tour, the prizes are crystal trophies and Visa Gift Cards ($200 for 1st place and then down the line for other places).  They pay top 3 to 6 places depending on the number of flight entries.  

    I'd say if you're on the fence... reach out to the local tour director (emails are on the site) and see if maybe you can try one out before joining.  I guarantee you'll find it's run well and you'll have fun.  

    CY

  18. I miss football and everything that went along with it.  The summer two-a-days... the tackling drills... the weight room... the feeling and smell of the grass while stretching prior to a game... the sounds.  The day I played my last football game, a little piece of me died.  

    I took up golf my freshman year after my baseball coach passed away.  It was a different game and I enjoyed the serenity of it.  It still didn't compare to football (to me) at that time.  I'd obsess over football.  I'd draw up plays of my own.  I'd put together the neighborhood game and then ruin it because I was trying to run it like an actual game and not a pickup game.  

    As time went on, and as I realized football wasn't in the cards for me beyond high school... I got more into golf and the little things that made it so difficult.  The fact that I could be off by only 5 degrees and it could make such a HUGE difference blew my mind.  

    Once I graduated... I realized that I was going to turn golf into my new obsession.  I think about golf way more than I am capable of playing or practicing.  I'll never be as good at or knowledgeable about golf as I was football... but I love the fact that I can compete.  My wife dislikes my competitive nature.  Golf is my outlet and will be for as long as I'm able to swing those sticks and chase the ball around an immaculately maintained pasture.

    Great post.

    CY

  19. I am a sucker for good, old fashioned course layout.  My home course, although not long, is very tough.  You have to be able to work the ball left-to-right, right-to-left, high, low, spinning or dead.  

    We have a pair of par 5's that are reachable... and a pair that are only reachable for the longer hitters.  We have short par 4's that dogleg severely and require either a perfect driver to get up over some trees or a shorter club that you can work around the corner without going too deep.  Our closing hole is only 312 yards but it's straight uphill... with bunkers in the landing area... a two-tiered green... and a 19th hole with a floor-to-ceiling plexi-glass window only 7 yards from the back of the green. 

    You can look at our course on a scorecard or even on Google Maps and think it looks easy... but once you get out there, it's anything but a simple walk around the park.  

    I've played courses surrounded by sand.  I've played courses where every par 3 is a force carry over water.  I've played courses that are 'proud' of their US Open style rough.  They've all got unique features.  They're all fun in their own rights.  Give me a course that uses the topography of the land it's built on to penalize the players for poorly struck shots, though. 

    CY

  20. My girls (11 and 12) have been struggling with this for the last year, too.  They've basically just been wearing khaki colored shorts (sometimes even jean shorts) with whatever nice top they can find.  

    Both of my girls are small for their ages and take after their mother who is 4' 11".  We managed to find ONE girls polo in their size around Christmas time at a local store, but that's about all we can find.  No cute golf skirts or anything for them in their size.  

    I even asked the pro at my club if he had any ideas and reached out to the local First Tee chapter for advice.  I was essentially told to stalk the racks at Marshall's and (at the time) a Golfsmith that was going out of business.  

    I wish I had advice, but... in over a year, we've found very little.

    CY

  21. Agreed.  I'm living proof.  

    I've hit way more trees that have kicked the ball back into the fairway than I have hit fairways that have taken a bad kick.  Way more.  I'm far from a 'good' golfer.  I have my moments... but they're equally split between good shots and shots that just happened to turn out good.

    CY

  22. I got to play both Friday and Saturday of last week.  

    Friday was at a course one of my golf buddies is a member at.  We played from 6484 yards with a rating/slope of 71.7/136.  I play here about once per month, so I'm familiar with the course.  A quick start was halted in a bunker near the 9th green.  I managed 42 - 44 = 86 for the day with a pair of birdies.  All-in-all... not a bad day.  

    Saturday was at my home course.  Although short at only 6147 yards, it's a tricky little course with the greens being the defense.  The rating/slope here is 69.8/129.  Being my home course, I'm generally out here 5-8 times per month, depending on how busy I am with work.  We played a small, two-man best ball format with a total of 6 teams.  My partner, despite getting 10 strokes from the low index in the tournament, did not fare very well.  This left me to pick up a lot of slack.  I struggled early going double - bogey - triple to start... but settled down and went 45 - 40 = 85 with a single birdie.

    Not horrible for winter golf.  I feel like my short game is coming around, which is going to be nice with the first tournament of 2018 next weekend.  Still a lot of work to do in my game, but... I'm happy with the progress for now.  

    CY

  23. Brutal today.  I played Sunday and felt like things were starting to 'click' again for me.  Today, I went out alone.  Started pretty well... +2 through my first 5 holes.  I made a poor decision on a pitch shot on the 6th hole and ultimately ended up with a triple.  Lipped out a par attempt on the 7th.  Duffed it around on the 8th for another triple.  Ended up with a bogey on the 9th for a +10 front side.  I managed to go +8 over the last 4 holes there.  

    Things didn't get much better on the back.  Poor swings on the 10th, 11th and 12th holes resulted in no pars.  Found a narrow branch on my lay-up on the 13th hole that kicked across the fairway.  Still gave myself a look at par from just in front of the green, but another lip out from 25 feet gave me a bogey.  Played the 14th and 15th like I kinda knew what I was doing.  Finished triple - bogey - triple.  

    Dunno what it is about the closing stretch at my course.  Index holes 18, 16 and 14... respectively.  I just don't play them well.  

    Back to the course tomorrow for some range time and some time spent at the short game area.

    ETA - I forgot my score.  Duh.  46 - 48 = 94.

    CY

  24. On 1/22/2018 at 8:27 AM, Club Rat said:

    Happy B-Day @Fairway_CY

    Your right in the range to shoot your age (39) for nine holes. :beer:

    Thank you, sir!  I hope to do that a few times this season, at least!  I believe I had a 38 for nine holes once last season.  

    :beer:

    On 1/22/2018 at 9:56 AM, iacas said:

    Happy birthday, @Fairway_CY. Gonna practice today? ;-)

    Thank you as well, sir!  

    I did do some putting drills in my house after work that day (focused solely on putter path and starting the ball on my line).  Seemed to pay off a bit on the course this morning.  Still... temporarily patch one thing and another falls apart on me.  Back at it tomorrow on the range and short-game areas!

    CY

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