Monday, January 09, 2006

Big wind at Bayou...

I played Bayou on Thursday last week. The winds were forcast to be 10-20 and out of the north. The weatherman did not disappoint. This is a shot of the flag pole by the clubhouse just after I arrived:
I can tell you that it takes a 15+ knot wind to straighten a flag like that. Bayou is a course built on a wetland with little protection from the wind, so I was in for an interesting day. I wasn't too worried since I played my best game ever at Bayou and finished in strong winds.

Though there were several groups on the course, I only saw them as I drove in. During play, I only saw a couple of groups but my pace of play was not affected. On this day, since I was walking and playing alone, I was equiped with my Olympus W-10 digital voice recorder. I have decided to bring this great tool regardless. It's so easy to take detailed notes during a round that writing down the score on the card is no longer adequate. Being an engineer, I'm just too hungry for data and the digital voice recorder is simply the most efficient way to record it.

Speaking of data...

Fairways hit... 7
GIRs........... 0
Birdies........ 0
Pars........... 3
Putts......... 39
Bogeys......... 3
Doubles........ 8
Triples........ 3
Bad holes...... 1
Balls lost .... 3 (3 water)

I missed a five foot putt for birdie on the 10th where my 315 yard drive left me 121 yards from the pin on this short 436 yard par 5. Granted, there was a downwind component to that drive :^) That missed putt was trivial compared to missing the green from 121 and having a shot at putting for eagle. My approach shot was long and to the right. I was just too psyched by the huge drive and the prospect of eagle.

The GIRs tell the same story for the entire round and show that driving remains the centerpiece of my game. My putting was very poor with five 3-putts and only two 1-putts. I missed several from less than six feet. I think part of that was the blazing fast greens of Eagle Pointe from the prior Sunday still rolling around in my head (and rolling, and rolling...).

My drives were spectacular on this day. I had been struggling to keep a fade/slice in check like so many other beginners. Then I read an article about how to fix it. I'm sorry I don't have a link, I searched and searched, but could not find it :( The artlcle said the way to fix a slice is to hit a draw (wow, who'da thunk it?). The article discussed how (for right-handed golfers) your right forearm must roll on top of your left forearm to some degree at the point of impact. It went on to describe this to feel similar to "steering" or "veering" your car to the left. I immediately related to this. I had been trying to develop a draw by hitting the wiffle balls in my back yard and I have been able to do it with a 3i, 4i and 5i with the exact motion thay the article described. Further, the article stated that dropping the right shoulder and swinging with the arms was a cause of a slice (which I had identified as one of my problems).

I had only made a few swings with the driver in the back yard and felt confident that I would be able to draw the ball.
The result.?.? Well, since it was soooo windy it's hard to say but, I'm pretty sure that I hit a draw on nearly every shot. Normally I would not try a swing change on the course without some range work, but this day demanded that I give it a shot.

The first hole (a slight dogleg left) was into a quatering headwind that blew left to right. The shot needed to straight or drawn left. Even a straight shot would need to be aimed left and blown onto the fairway after the turn. I lined up along the left, slightly over the water. The shot went left of my aim point, with a lower than normal trajectory, and didn't come back. There was a shot that if it were long enough, I would make the fairway... and it looked long. The shot was obviously a draw with just enough to counter the wind. I found that ball (along with sixteen others) just in the marshy thicket tens yards past the 250 marker. The drive went 250 yards into a quatering headwind.

The rest of my drives were similar and effective in this wind, but the very low trajectory is a concern.

Time to bring this long-winded post to its conclusion,


At 11:16 PM, Blogger Golfchick said...

Wow, you're as information hungry as I am. I haven't resorted to the voice recorder yet, though. It's a good idea. That might be a good tool for me for practice rounds for tournaments.

I really need to analyze my data now to narrow down my strengths and weaknesses. I've got to develop a better training plan for practice unless I'm going to get a teacher to do it for me. I need work on everything, so that's kind of difficult, but at least it will be easier than when I first started and was all over the place. I'm thinking about videotaping my swing so I can see what I'm doing.

It's funny... your stories sound so familiar... from my very recent past! :)

At 7:14 AM, Blogger Greg said...

Thanks for reading GC :) If you like gathering data and analysis, I think you would enjoy "Dave Pelz's Short Game Bible"

Dave takes a very analytical approach to the game.

Video taping my swing is something I have considered as well. I'm not sure what the quality would be from a run-of-the-mill camcorder though. I suspect something with a high shutter speed and/or frame rate is required to realy see what's going on. If you try it out, be sure to blog it down.

Oh yeah, the voice recorder is the shizzle :)


At 8:43 AM, Blogger Golfchick said...

Oh yeah, that guy teaches at Lost Canyons, the course up the street. I'll look into it, especially since it focuses on short game. A good tee shot is a good start, but the short game holds the key to the scoring opportunities.

As for the video - don't worry, whatever I try, you'll be among the first to know. :)



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