A frustrating 49 this morning

I got in 9 holes this morning with one of my friends before he had to be at the dentist and I had to be at a meeting at Sony-Ericsson at 10 AM.  We played in about 90 minutes which is great but we were dancing with the maintenance crew almost the entire way.  It is hard to get in a rhythm when you are playing with people on the green or in the bunkers.  It was frustrating.

I shot 49 which really isn’t very good.  I was however, decent, although shorter than usual, off the tee with only one really bad drive (#9).  My wedge play was weak today and cost me quite a few strokes (at least 5).  Putted pretty well and left two right on the lip.  I’d like to play 18 tomorrow but I don’t think that is going to happen.

Tracking my progress

This morning I played 18 by myself and decided to track some stats after seeing another friend of mine do it recently.  It was interesting to see where I gave a lot of strokes away.  I played pretty well, better than I have the last couple times out.  I shot 92, 45/47.

Other than #10 and #11, particularly #10, I was pretty happy with my round.  I feel like I am getting closer.  I only 2 real bad wedge shots and I putted reasonably well.
As you can see below, I am not hitting many greens in regulation which means I don’t give myself a lot of chances at par or better.  If I could get off the tee a little farther I think having shorter irons into the green would help improve my GIR.

2008-07-17 Score Card

2008-07-17 Score Card

Tee'd it up to today

I got out for 18 for the first time in about three weeks.  Hard to believe it has been that long but it has.  I was in Europe for a week for work then came back and went to the beach for a week on vacation so when I got back to the office, I had two weeks of crap piled up.

I played pretty well today, shot 92 (45-47) which is the best round I have had in a while.  My short game was better than usual and I was reasonable off the tee.  I have tried choking up about an inch on my driver and I seem to hit it much more consistently and don’t really lose any distance.  I noticed Anthony Kim doing this when I was at the Wachovia Championship back in May.  Of course, he still hits it 300+ yards.  I hit a couple today which were about 250-260 out which is about as good as I can hit it.

I still left some strokes out there but not as many as I have lately.  I three putted a couple times and hit two balls in the water (#1 and #4).  I broke 95 which I have struggled to do lately.  I really want to get a few rounds in the 80’s – I think I can do it.  I am going to play on Saturday with two of my girls in the parent-child event.  Should be fun.

Got in a late 9

After dinner last night I went out an got in a late 9.  It was going to be tight so I didn’t even hit anything before I teed off on #1.  I paid for it too – a triple bogey on #1.  Tee shot on #2 wasn’t very good either but my second shot was excellent and after two putts I had a par.  For the most part I played decent, putted well, no 3 putts at all.  I had two crappy wedge shots and made a couple poor club choices, particularly on the two par 5s which I played in a total of +5.

MDCC is rebuilding the blue tees on a couple holes so some the blue tee markers are relocated.  On #7 the hole plays about 40 yards shorter but #9 plays about 40 yards longer.  #9 was playing 575 yards from the blues yesterday!  It is already a long hole for me, when you add 40 yards to it, it makes it really long!  I had a good drive (240-250) but a terrible second shot.  A nice third shot left me with a 40 yard wedge to the green.  These are the shots I struggle with.  I really tried to accelerate through the ball and I hit is pretty well.  Too well – it landed near the flag which was on the back, and rolled over the green and down the hill into the pine straw!  Another tough wedge back to the green, a two putt for a 7.

I finished with a 48.  I need to eliminate the triple bogyes (I had two plus one double).  I’ll chalk one of them up to not warming up on #1 but there was no excuse for a +3 on #5 though.  Especially since I was on the green in 3 the day before when I played with the girls in the MDCC parent child tournament.

I am hoping to get out again tonight for another late twilight round.  Except for the tough sun on a couple holes, particularly #2, I love playing at that time of the day.  The course is quiet and you can play quickly (I played in an hour and a half last night), it is a nice end ot the day.

Missed tee time at TPC Wakefield and MDCC parent-child tournament

Because I got stuck in Dallas on my way home from Denver on Thursday, I wasn’t home in time to play on Friday with one of my co-workers who is a member at TPC Wakefield.  I haven’t played there in a while so I was looking forward to it.

Because I was out of town all week I didn’t play any golf until yesterday when I played the Parent/Child tournament at MDCC.  I played with two of my girls and we had a good time.  I hit the ball ok considering I had to keep my 6 year old and 8 year old from picking at each other too much.  There was a larger turn out than expected so play was pretty slow.  Even with a shot gun start it took us 3 hours to complete 9 holes.  We had a couple pars and a birdie and only one double-bogie for a round of 43.  The low score was something rediculous like 32.  There wasn’t any seeding based on age or handicap which they really need to do.  A good golfer playing with a good child would mop up.

Young kids (like mine) play from the “Carolina” tees which are painted blue bricks located at the beginning of the fairway much like courses that have First Tee markers.  On some holes, these tees are 150-180 yards closer so we played a couple of my kids drives when theirs had a better lie than mine.  One of my girls also knocked down some nice putts including our lone birdie.

Better, but still inconsistent

I played 18 with my buddy Ronnie this morning.  My goal was to break 95 today and I got close – shot 98 (47/51).  Other than the last hole (which I will get to), I played decent – better on the front 9 than on the back 9.  I had 5 pars along with a couple of putts which just lipped out but I also had 4 triple bogeys and 2 or 3 double bogeys.

As has been my problem the last couple of weeks, my wedge play just sucks.  I have a couple of Taylor-Made wedges (a 54 degree and a 58 degree) and I think I am going to go back to my stock Sand and Lob wedges and see if they help.  I think the heavier stock clubs would benefit me as it will be tougher to decelerate which is my real my nemsis.  Today on #17, a 500 yard par 5, I am 70 yards from the green in 2 and proceed to just miss my wedge shot leaving me 50 yards from the hole.  So I did it again, leaving it off the green by about 20 yards.  I decide to bump and run a 7 only to leave it on the fringe.  2 putt for a 7 – I effective took 5 shots from 70 yards out which is just abysmal.  I seem to do this on 2-3 holes each round and it just kills my score.  I did something similar on #7 where I was 130 out in the middle of the faiway and blocked it to the right of the green.  Then I bladed the chip shot across the green into the woods.  A punched 7 iron got me back across the green again where I 2 putted.  Triple bogey.  Bleh.

MacGregor Downs 18th HoleI didn’t l lose any balls today until #18 where I dumped it into the water.  #18 is a hole which just gets in my head.  It is long carry over water and if you tend to hit a fade (like me), it makes it even harder.  On the left is a picture of #18 but you can’t see the tee which is off to the left – you hit over the lake to a landing area to the right of bridge or the landing area in the middle of the picture.  From the blue tees, it is a 220+ carry to the landing area in the middle of the picture.  I have made that shot but not very many times.  Today I tried to take the conservative approach and go for the landing area near the bridge and just hooked it bad and it went in the water by the bridge.  So what do I do?  I hit my next shot from the drop area in the water too!  A nice Hybrid 3 got me to just off the green where I hit one of my better wedges of the day and two putter for another triple bogey.

Not sure when I will play next week, maybe Friday afternoon.


Got a few holes in Saturday evening

I like this time of the year when the days are getting longer.  Saturday evening I was able to go out and get a few holes in before it was dark.  I played #6-#9, #1, #5-#7 – 8 holes (#7 is behind my house).  I had planned on just playing #6-#8 and hitting a bunch of balls but of all the nerve, there was a late group coming up #6 when I was teeing off #7 so I just kept going.  Fortunately there is a quick bypass route from #1 to #5 which brings me back toward my house.  If there had been enough light I would have played #2-#4 but it was already questionable and by the time I got back to #7 it was for all practical purposes, already dark.

As I was the other day, I was up and down, a few good shots and some really bad ones.  On the positive side, my short game was better than it was the other day but there was no real pressure either.  I was hitting some of so-so balls I find in my yard so if I hit one in the woods, I didn’t even go look for it – just hit another one.  Lazy?  I guess so but the balls aren’t very good and they were in the woods or my yard when I found them.  I left 2 or 3 out on the course somewhere.  I finished with 3 out of 4 good holes (1, 5, and 7) with pars on all three of them.  I was really happy with #1 and #7 – on #1 I hit a wonderful hybrid 4 from about 185 out to about 20 feet from the pin.  On #7 I hit a great tee shot but it was a bit left and just clipped some branches which over hang the fairfay where it doglegs to the left knocking it down.  I was about 170 from the green and hit a beautiful drawing 5 iron to within 10 feet.  Of course I missed the birdie put but was still  happy with the approach.  It flew exactly as I hoped it would.

I am going to play 18 with my buddy Ronnie on Thursday, my goal is to break 95.  I need to hit my 3 wood off the tee more than I usually do – if I can do that I think I can keep it closer to the fairway.

Golfing in the Rain

It was supposed to be nice this morning so I set up a tee time for myself and my friend Ronnie.  With our club now offering 7:30 AM tee times (as opposed to 9:00 AM), it makes it a whole lot easier for me to get out and play on a weekday morning.  Working for a west coast based company means that it is usually pretty quiet until about 11:30 or 12:00 anyway.

We got off right at 7:30 and I started well, bogies on the first 3 holes but hitting the ball pretty well.  At #4 we had to wait for the mowers to cut the greens and this continued on every hole until #9.  This was kind of annoying and it really slowed us down and took me out of my rhythm.  From then on I played pogo golf, up and down, some good holes and some bad holes.  It started raining while we were on the #5 tee even though the weather forecast said no rain until later in the day.  Wow – the forecast was wrong again!  It wasn’t too bad so we continued on playing.  Had an awesome tee shot on the hole behind my house (#7) but missed a short putt for par.  Ended up with a 52 on the front.  Again, my wedge play is my downfall and I continue to compound mistakes with a bad shot usually leading to another one.

On the back 9 it was raining pretty solid for the first 4 holes but after that it wasn’t too bad.  I had even more of a pogo round as I pushed a number of tee shots way to the right but also parred a couple of holes, including a nice par on #17 after an awful second shot.  A great 6-iron to the green from about 170 out allowed me to 2 putt for par.  I dumped two in the water on #18 to finish with another 52 for a total of 104 – same as I shot a Pine Needles last Friday.  Ronnie crushed me, he played well and shot 88.

I was pretty wet by the time I was done but it could have been worse, I could have been at work!  All in all, a good day, it was nice to get out but I really need to work on my chipping.  I am a chronic decelerator!

Nope, my golf game is about the same …

I played at Pine Needles this morning on our way home from Charlotte and the Wachovia Championship.  Pine Needles is a Donald Ross course that is known for hosting the US Women’s Open 3 times since 1996.

I started out ok, with a par, but as in the past, my short game just kills me.  Once I lose my confidence in my chipping I get really tentative and it just goes downhill from there.  I was decent off the tee but horrible around the green.  Had 3 quadruple bogeys on the front 9 for a 53.  I was either good (two pars, three bogies) or awful (3 quads, 1 triple).  The back 9 was similar – I started with 4 bogies then had a couplle of bad holes and had several doubles, and a triple.  51 on the back 9 for a total of 104.  Bleh.  So many shots left out there, particularly on and around the green.

Hopefully I will get out an hit a few balls late tomorrow – I will continue to work on my short game as it is just killing me.

Great time at the Wachovia Championship

Went to the Wachovia Championship down in Charlotte for the day yesterday with a group from work.  Beautiful course, beautiful day – lots of fun.  We spent most of the day around the 17th green which is a tough par 3 over water.  My only other experience at professional gold tournaments has been the two US Open tournaments at Pinehust, the PGA in Atlanta, the PGA at Medinah, and the Women’s Open last year at Pine Needles.  Compared to the Open or the PGA, the crowd was almost tiny.  You could pretty much walk up to any green and watch.  Of course, not having Tiger in the field probably had something to do with it.  I’d love to go again.