February 7, 2014

We’re five months away from the 24th annual Goodboys Invitational in July (say, I wonder what plans will be made to celebrate our 25th??) and here are the handicaps as they currently stand:

“Vegas” Clark…………….. 6.7
“Killer” Kowalski…………. 6.9
“2 Times” Proctor………… 13.7
“The Funny Guy” Andrusaitis.. 13.8
“Deuce” Doucette…………. 15.4
“Hulkigan” Tripp…………. 18.7
“Skipper” Bornemann………. 20.2
“Goose” Dwyer……………. 21.6
“Doggy Duval” McLaughlin….. 23.0
“Possum” Shepter…………. 25.3
“The Great White Shank” Richard.. 25.9
“Cubby” Myerow…………… 35.8

Slowly but surely I’m making my way down the handicap index (if not yet up the leaderboard). Today’s 100 at Lone Tree Golf Club (under, by the way, the coolest conditions I’ve ever played in Arizona – it never got out of the 50s and the gray skies reminded me of an early New England spring day) was full of signs of good progress with the usual array of mistakes that really cost me.

As with all my rounds of late it’s hard to separate the good news from the bad. Once again I hit a ton of fairways (11) but hit only three greens in regulation. While I hit my hybrids as good as I’ve ever hit them, my 5-wood continues to be a problem child. While the new move with my irons showed great improvement over last time, I still ended up playing the par 3s at +9 which is really killing me at the box office. While my chipping continues to shine around the greens, today I couldn’t hit my lob(ster) wedge to save my life, and it cost me a minimum of five strokes. While my putting continues to improve (only 32 putts and four one putts) I three-putted a couple of greens where I could have saved bogey or better.

Like Dr. Jim Suttie tells his student Tom Coyne in Paper Tiger, golf is hard. There’s always something creeping into your game, like that unwanted guest that shows up at your house party at 11 PM and won’t go home. The past two times out (both at Lone Tree) it’s been my play on 18 that has absolutely destroyed a good round. Now maybe 18 (a par generous 5 with lots of water right, then left) is just a hole that gets in my head, but still. Last time out I hit a decent drive, then dropped two successive 5-woods into the water leading to a double-par 10. Today, my first attempt at driver was a shank that almost decapitated an electric-blue Corvette as it buzzed by us. My second attempt hit a palm tree to our left dead on and almost decapitated a playing partner. By this time we were laughing so hard it was virtually impossible for me to hit anything straight. So I didn’t. While my eighth shot (a 3 hybrid from 190) was pure, almost hitting the stick, the damage had been done, and another double par turned what could have been a rocking-chair 47 or 48 back nine ended up as an ugly 52.

The fact I can call a 52 ugly shows you just how far I have come. And even though I shot 100, my handicap index still dropped below 26 for the first time. I’m now a mere 7/10 of a point from passing “Possum” Shepter, and I’ve already got my eyes on seeing how close I can get to “Doggy Duval” McLaughlin before this years Goodboys Invitational.

So I’m making progress. Like the saying goes, I wish just once I could play my usual game. 🙂 Next week it will be back to Kokopelli Golf Club for a full afternoon of ball-striking and short game work, followed by an afternoon of intense short game work at Superstition Springs. As far as I’ve come there is still a long way to go. I can’t wait.

Filed in: Goodboys by The Great White Shank at 00:39 | Comments (0)
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