November 25, 2017

Days until the 2018 Goodboys Invitational: 239
Handicap: 27.0 / Change: (-0.3)
Location: Trilogy Golf Club at Power Ranch
Score: 50 / 51 = 101

Pars – 6
Bogeys – 3

I know what you’re thinking: how is it someone who shoots +3 over nine holes – +3! – can’t break 100 for eighteen? Well, it’s easy:

Triples – 3
Quads – 3

When you shoot +21 over the span of six holes it’s pretty easy. Which pretty much explains the strangest round I think I’ve ever played. I’d been doing some quality work on my game since my return from Massachusetts a few weeks ago. Tried to focus more on staying on top of the ball in my take-away (i.e., no swaying) and staying behind the ball in my downswing (keeping my upper body quiet). I’d also changed my set-up at address and my ball position when chipping around the green, going to a slightly-more open stance and moving the ball from just off my back foot to the middle position. In both cases I think it showed in parts of my performance today, though most certainly not all. Notably, I did have four one-putts, which showed the improvement in my short game even though there were some hiccups along the way.

To say today’s performance was erratic is an understatement. With just a few exceptions I don’t feel I hit the ball particularly well all day, and a lack of focus and commitment to shots absolutely killed me. On the par 4 #2 after a solid drive left me only 110 yards to the pin I shanked a 9-iron into an adjoining back yard. On the next hole, the par 5 #3, after a solid drive and a halfway-decent 5-wood left me 150 yards to the pin, I chunked my 5-iron into a fairway bunker, yanked a pitching wedge way right, then took four strokes to get it in the hole for a rocking-chair nine. On the par 3 #4, a slightly-pulled 6-iron dribbled into the greenside bunker. My attempt at getting out caught all ball and sailed off to nowheresville (we never found it), then a crappy chip and two putts left steam coming out of my ears. On the par 4 #16 I hit my worst drive of the day OB, then hit my recovery 5-iron OB across the other side. I then chunked my 7-iron approach…well, you get the picture. And don’t get me started on what happened on #18 after a decent drive. Let’s just say I lost two more balls from 170 out.

But there was some pretty damned fine gold played as well. My drive on the par 4 #5 left me 160 yards to the pin with all kinds of trouble in front of me. I tattooed a 5-iron to sixteen feet and two-putted for par. I followed that up with a par on the next hole, the par 3 #6, smartly (for once!) hitting a 4-hybrid just short of the green then chipping to within a foot. After a triple-bogey on the par 5 #7 (bad drive OB, my only three-putt of the day) I hit a 3-hybrid just left of the par 3 #8 and chipped to less than a foot (short game!!). And then my best set of holes for the day: making pars on the par 5 #14 (solid drive, solid 5-wood, 8-iron from 120 out to ten feet), the par 3 #15 (a thinned 6-iron to ten feet), and the par 4 #16 (270-yard drive – yes, we measured it!), a pushed 9-iron left of the green but another nice chip to two feet). Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep the string going and sandwiched two double-pars on #s 16 and #18 around a solid bogey on the par 5 #17.

Even with those ghastly triples and quads there’s a lot I can take from today’s round. For one thing, my MyScorecard.com handicap is back to going in the right direction. I also hit four greens in regulation (a personal high). I guarantee I’ve never had a round with six pars, like, ever, and it doesn’t matter where you’re playing – Pebble Beach, Trilogy at Power Ranch, or Mrs. Cogswell’s “Executive Pitch n’ Putt” – you make that many pars, you’re doing something right. It’s funny, then, that during all of this, while there were some well-executed shots made along the way, I never felt as if I was striking the ball particularly well. The one thing I did feel today that was different was confidence in my short game and (even if they didn’t all pan out) confidence with my 5-wood and 3- and 4- hybrids. And all of this without much – if any – measure of focus.

The focus thing remains a concern and I don’t know why that is. I’d hit the ball beautifully (at least for me) at the range a couple of days ago and felt really good warming up. But once the round began I had a hard time focusing on making good decisions. Perhaps that’s something I’m never going to change – I’d just like to know why that is. At any rate, I’ll take the round for what it is and be glad for it. I’m clearly making strides, and it’s good to se my short game coming back. That can only help take pressure off of my approach shot and feeling the need to be perfect.

Filed in: Golf Quest by The Great White Shank at 01:26 | Comments (0)
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