Monday, November 14, 2005

Weekend Report...

Playing the Best Percentage Shot...

In my last post I talked about how I had done some range work with my driving. So, I hit a few straight shots (no fade/draw), and I learned that placing the ball further back in my stance seemed to produce a straighter shot that flew somewhat left of the target line. How did this data translate to my round on Sunday you might ask?

Before I answer that, let's review No. 1 at The Battleground:

Par 5, 461 yard dogleg right (at the end) with a lateral water hazard on the right, a ditch on the left, and the fairway slopes towards the water so anything that lands on the right half of the fairway plays a game of chance with the "good bounce" gods and those odds are stacked in favor of the water. Now for those who fade the ball we're talking about a hole that requires landing on about the left third of the fairway. So, if you manage a good drive, you have a good chance at a par. I often visualize No. 1 of The Battleground when I'm hitting the driver at the range.

So, how did I do?

Well, I lined up for slightly left of the center of the fairway with the ball slightly back in my stance... then I adjusted a bit more "for good measure" and hit a nice straight shot that bounced over the cart path and into the ditch on the left. Hind sight being what it is, I should have trusted the data and left the "for good measure" out.

The second hole I did a little better. It's a par 4 dogleg right with similar hazards (water on the right, ditch on the left). I learned from the first tee shot and left the "for good measure" out and hit a straight shot up the left side where it just rolled into the first cut of at the turn.

The third is a straight par 4 over with a narrow tree-lined fairway that widens a bit to the right. Somehow at this point I completely forgot what I needed to do to hit the ball straight. Bring in the baseball swing, drop the right shoulder and swing for the fences with the arms.... Not pretty. It's not like I forgot what I needed to do, I just stopped applying that knowledge.

The rest of the round was average. I managed a few decent drives that fell on or near the fairway, but the strong fade-to-slice trajectory would show up every time I stepped up to bat. Now there's nothing wrong with a fade, you just have to aim enough to the left - which I failed to do most of the time. So in the end I hit my highest percentage shot, I just didn't play it.

Note to self: Take a moment before each swing to focus on what I need to do because my instincts say swing for the fences.

The Rest of the Story...

I shot 110 with 7 penalty strokes (4 or 5 swimmers). I shot two pars on 8 and 9. I ended up with 53 on the front and 57 on the back. Not too bad since my scores there are now 131, 119, 110. I'll take it!!

The greens were like shag carpet so we instituted a no more than 3-putt rule. I think that saved me a couple of strokes, but the conditions also robbed me a couple of strokes, so I'll call it even I guess.

I had a great time playing the game. I played the game more for fun than game improvement and came out with a better score in the end. A couple of things contributed to the fun. First was my friend Todd from my old job. We simply played golf - nary a word about the office. Not that I would have minded office chat, it's just a realization about the game and where it takes you - away from everything else. I look forward to our next round. Another big contributor was the absence of other golfers. We started out with a pair in front and a pair behind, but never had to wait and never felt rushed (we rarely even saw the pair behind us). Of course a beer or two may have contributed as well ;^)

Deals on eBay...

Well, I did it. I got my 5-year-old daughter a set of junior clubs on eBay. I did my homework and got the right lengths. I'm really looking forward to taking her down to Green Caye. I figure I'll let her hit some balls at the range and play around on the putting green. Then after she has some ability, I'll take her out on the par 3 course. Hopefully she'll be able to play from tee to green, but if we get some folks behind us we'll just move right up to the green after her tee shot for a pitch and a putt or two.

I also managed a nice deal on the Olympus W-10 digital voice recorder. I should get it in a few days and I'm excited about using it for scoring, notes and photos of future rounds. Unfortunately, I'm not real sure when I'll be able to play again. My wife's going out of town this weekend, so that means Daddy duty with my little ones. Then it's the Thanksgiving holiday... Maybe I can get a round in while everyone else is kicking off their holiday shopping.


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