Monday, January 23, 2006

Breaking 90...

Progress, Progress, Progress…

After three weeks of windy golfing, it looked like my break would come in the form of rain. I knew all week that it would likely rain on Sunday and day-to-day checks only confirmed it. I managed to get out on Wednesday since it looked like the rain would have me spending Sunday doing something other than golf. My focus was to practice my tight lie pitches.

I made two loops of the 9-hole course at San Jac both from the front (white) tees. I struggled on the first nine and carded a 47. The chipping came through beautifully and my new shot gave me a chip-in par on the 518-yard par 5 fifth. Not too bad considering I started out with a triple on the first. I really pulled it together on the second loop with 4 pars, 3 bogeys, and one double for a 43. So there we have it, my lowest score to date, a 90 on the whites at San Jac.

I got out of bed Sunday morning hoping for the best but the forecast called for a constant light rain throughout the day building to thunderstorms in the evening. It was not yet raining but the visibility was so low in the early morning fog that it looked like the rain could start at any moment.

After letting the weather mock me for an hour and a half I made the decision to go for it. I chose San Jac since it’s cheap, it’s close, and the nine-hole layout means I won’t find myself too far from shelter.

I was surprised to find more than a few cars in the lot as I pulled in. I made my way to the first tee as a couple of guys were on the blues. They had just finished the whites (so finishing the round from the blues) and allowed me to join in. I shot par, bogey, bogey, bogey, bogey, double, par, par, double for a 44. The weather held for the most part with only a few minutes of short rain.

When I came to the 10th there was a single that was just starting but playing the blues. One of the guys decided to play one more nine, and the other went home. So, I shot my second nine from the blues which is kinda fitting since I shot my last 18 from the whites. I started out on fire hitting fairways and greens and made par on the first three holes.

With thoughts of smashing through 90, I stepped up on the number four tee box. This is the hardest hole on the course with a ninety-degree dogleg left at about 210 yards and a ditch on the right after the turn. Almost everyone tries to cut the corner and most folks play on even if they did not clear the out-of-bounds stakes. There is some room on the tee box side of the fairway, but hit it long and you’re in the ditch. Hit it too short and you’re out of bounds.

The pressure was just too much and I topped the ball with the heel of the club and it dribbled 20 yards to the left of the white tee box. The guys wanted me to hit another ball, but I pulled my tee and stepped off. I took a double on that hole.

I followed that with bogey, triple, par, bogey, double and penciled in a 45 on the scorecard, breaking 90 by one stroke.

As I passed the clubhouse I just had to stop in to ask if the course was rated. I asked and the attendant pointed to a large chart on the wall that was the USGA rating results from 2002. I marched over with pencil in hand and jotted down the slope and rating for each tee box:

Whites – 65.2/98 (2666 yds)
Blues – 67.2/111 (2954 yds)

There you have it, after 32 rounds (eight at San Jac) and in about 7 months, I broke 90 and set three new records:

Best score = 89
Fewest Putts = 30
Most Pars = 7

After spending way too much time revising my records (adding 4 San Jac rounds and adjusting for ESC) I have recalculated my handicap to be 27.0 (I only gained a tenth by adjusting for ESC).

Other stuff…

I have a couple other things to blog about. After walking a few rounds in my new golf shoes, I can give them an official thumbs up.

I purchased a brand new set of Ray Cook Wedges on eBay for 46.99 shipped. I’ll post more about these beauties at a later date.

Grinnin’ Big,
-Greg

8 Comments:

At 6:26 PM, Blogger David Meyers said...

Hey Greg,
I just wanted to give you congrats on breaking 90 for the first time. Feels good don't it? Hope I didn't sound too whiney on my blog that you left a comment on. I really want the PGA to become more important in the world of sports. The only way I see this happening is if they condense the season, making each tournament more important.

Keep on swinging,
David

 
At 6:28 PM, Blogger David Meyers said...

In case you checked out several different blogs this is the one I am refering to:
http://worldgolf.com/blogs/david.meyers

 
At 7:29 PM, Blogger Golfchick said...

Great job, Greg. Congratulations! I think you're gonna lap me.
One day we should get together for the newbie challenge. :)

 
At 8:36 PM, Anonymous Cal said...

Well done on breaking 90, and for not re-taking the shot.

Keep up the good work.

 
At 4:14 PM, Blogger Greg said...

Dave:

Thanks, and it feels kinda good... I had always felt that this particular course was not rated because it's a 9-hole course. Now that I find out it is rated, I kinda feel like I broke 90 but "on that course". It's all good though. I have a feeling I'll be progressing right along and breaking 90 at more formidable courses before I know it.

You did sound a little whiney and thats why I left the comment. I think only low handicappers who hate being paired with newbies are the ones who only want to watch the top talent at a PGA event. I think most golfers would rather watch Bill Murry shank one into the pond than see Tiger rip one down the middle (again and again). But what do I know? Hey, I'm new 2 golf!

GC:

Thanks! You know I'm gonna give it my best shot!! I'm curious about how much golf you played during the first half of last year? Newbie Challenge... bring it on!!! hehe ;) Just give me a hollar when you're in Houston I'd be happy to hit the links with ya.

Cal:

Thanks! To be honest, I said I'd hit another tee shot if I flubbed my next shot. I had no chance of cutting the corner at that point and hit a 4i that faded just off the fairway right at the turn. That was good enough for me, so I pressed on.

Thanks to all for reading,
-Greg

 
At 8:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work! Always good entertainment.

I found this site that offers free shipping on all orders. I called and got a better deal than what's on the internet. www.ewinnergolf.com

 
At 12:56 PM, Blogger Luke Swilor said...

Good work, Greg. Keep climbin' the ladder.

 
At 11:41 AM, Blogger Golfchick said...

I only played a few (maybe 5) rounds in the first few months because of all the rain and damage and closures. I played nearly 20 rounds from April to June and then close to 50 from July to December.

 

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