June 25, 2017

Days until the 2017 Goodboys Invitational: 27
Location: Trilogy Golf at Power Ranch
Score: 44 / 52 = 96
Handicap: 23.7 / Trend: 23.9 (+.02)

Would have been a great day for some David Lee Roth out at Trilogy Golf Club at Power Ranch, because crazy from the heat did we get. It was already 105 at 9:30 AM when we teed off, by the time we finished in a tidy 3:15, it was 115. And not a whiff of a breeze out there to move the air around. Definitely the hottest conditions I’ve ever played in out here, tho’ still not as brutal as that day on Goodboys Friday at The Ledges in York, Maine where it hit 105 degrees with humidity. Comparing today like that day in 2013 is like comparing the steam room and the sauna at the Wynn Las Vegas Spa – different kinds of heat, neither suitable for playing golf.

But with just 27 days remaining until Goodboys Invitational weekend I gotta play, so me and my playing partner for the day, Ryan (a 13-handicap, he) kept pushing the fluids to stay hydrated and got the round in and done without getting hurt or getting heat stroke. But it was hot: so hot, in fact, that beside the par 5 7th, in the shade of a large Palo Verde, a family of thirteen – count ‘em, thirteen – rabbits, everything from adults to young ‘uns, just lay there in the open trying to stay cool, not even moving a muscle when we sauntered up to the tee just yards away from them. Wish I had a pic, but that would have meant walking back to the cart to grab my camera. Believe me, there was no extra walking if we didn’t have to.

On to the golf. Obviously if you make the turn – any turn – in 44 you’ve doing something right, but I was scrambling out there because of my driver. One of my take-aways from today’s round is that I have to do a better job of hitting my driver once I get a few holes in. I can feel it starting to slip away from me: my swing gets a little longer, I start pushing the ball out to the left, and by the tenth hole I’m missing fairways entirely. But for that opening nine, my ball-striking was the best it has been all year (thanks Matthew!), and while I missed two putts less than two feet in length, I also made a magnificent (and lucky!) birdie on the par 3 8th out of the sand – on a downhill lie, no less, that came out silky, hit the stick, and dropped into the cup. The short game giveth, the short game taketh away.

It was on the back nine that I started to get sloppy. Maybe it was the heat, but I didn’t help things with some questionable course management decisions. I gave up the prospect of a certain bogey on #10 by pulling my 3-hybrid from 190 yards away (given the hole and the angle a 3/4 5-iron would have been more than enough), but I wanted to hit my hybrids as much as possible today and it was an opportunity. I caught it good and the last time we saw my orange ball it was rocketing its way over the restrooms well left and beyond. Triple-bogey seven. On #12, knowing I was pushing my driver I should have aimed left of the fairway, but there’s a road on the other side of the fence I didn’t want to take a chance with, so my big push left disappeared into the dirt and brush by an adjoining subdivision. Could we have found it? Probably, but in New England that ball was OB in the woods. A couple of sloppy recovery shots and a two-putt, and that was another triple-bogey seven. Fortunately, the par 3s (bogey, par) and the par 5s (par, bogey) kept my back nine from going completely off the rails. Another big push on the par 4 #16 (#1 handicap hole) and more sloppy play (including a shanked 9-iron) led to a third triple-bogey, and a quad bogey on #18 after finding the fairway (including a whiffed 5-iron) led to a 52 that could have been even worse were it not for my short game.

There’s a lot of good I can take away from today’s round – 12 holes bogey or better, 33 putts, much better ball-striking with my irons. I even hit two really solid 5-woods that helped me par and bogey two of the par 5s (needed to see that, fer shure). But looking ahead to Goodboys weekend I’ve got to tighten my game up once I start getting deeper into the round. By the back nine I was falling back into bad habits: over-swinging, playing the ball too far forward, etc., so my work this coming week and my next planned round at Stonecreek Golf Club will be focused on staying within myself. I need to learn to slow down and take more practice swings until I feel exactly the swing I want to make, then replicate it – especially when I’m on the tee. Stonecreek will pose a sterner test than Trilogy, so reigning my excesses in will definitely be needed.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 02:43 | Comments (0)
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