Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Overdue Update...

First off, my first tournament was cancelled because of rain. I called before I left and I was told the tourney was on. I encountered fairly heavy rain on the way there and by the time I arrived (25 min trip), they had pulled the plug. The temps were in the upper 30s and the wind was howling at 20+, so it really wasn't the best day for a tourney.

That didn't stop me though. I came to play and play I did. I shot 104, hit 10 fairways and lost 4 balls in the water. I nailed my nemesis hole again almost making the green in two.

I played The Battleground on the Friday before the tournament and shot 107 after starting with a pair of nines (OUCH!!). I had completely lost touch with my driver. That was really only part of the story though...

Since I have been playing Green Caye nearly every night for over two weeks, I have learned to draw the ball with my irons. I literally learned to draw consistently the Wednesday before playing The Battleground. Prior to that I would try a little here and there with varying results. As of about halfway through my 9-hole round Wednesday night, I began hitting nothing but draws (or consciously trying to hit nothing but draws). The next night I played the entire round hitting nice draws, and the same goes for the round at Battleground last Friday. I'm also hitting the ball farther yet softer. Of course all of this hitting with just my irons wreaked havoc with my driver which I normally fade. I hit only 4 fairways that Friday and some of the misses were in the next county.

You can imagine how I felt about this the night before my first tournament. I felt pretty good about the irons. It seems that it's harder to turn a draw into a hook than it is to turn a fade into a slice. Often times, a poor draw is just a straight shot. I was completely lost on the driver though. I decided to look for the cure in a bottomless bucket at Green Caye.

I arrived at Green Caye with about two hours till closing time. After attempting several fades that sliced, I decided to try the draw. Now the draw that I've developed with my irons is a very natural draw that's more a result of a flatter swing and better weight transfer. There is no intentional "steering" like I've mentioned in past posts. I applied that same swing to the driver and WAMMO, I hit a nice straight ball. I worked on this for awhile and in just a dozen or so I was hitting I high soft draw. I then went back to the fade and worked the kinks out of that shot. Then I started alternating... draw, fade, draw, fade. While I hit a slice once in awhile, I was (and still am!!!) amazed at how well I was able to work the ball. I played an imaginary round and chose the appropriate shot type for each hole at Bayou before calling it a night.

Another shot I've learned is the flop shot. I learned this shot by trying to hit the ball into a small waste basket in our living room. I tried it outside a few times with a full swing and felt pretty comfortable with trying it on the course. I tried it several times at Green Caye with pretty good results. I have since made two great saves on the course with this shot.

So, looking at the numbers, my progress has slowed. I expect that to change drastically when I start playing regulation courses again.

I need to work on fading my irons again. I tried some last time I played and I just seem to push it. I now wish I would have done the same thing I did with the driver and keep hitting both shot types. I need to keep the fade in my bag because a draw when the wind is blowing right to left (for right-handers) is hard to manage.

I should get out to Green Caye tomorrow and I'm hoping to get a round in at a regulation course on Sunday. Next week I have a sim, so I should be have plenty of hours to sneak in a weekday round.

The next BGA tournament will be March 18th and the format will be all par threes. My understanding is that they will mark off tee areas on all holes (except the natural par threes which will remain the same) to make the entire course par threes. Guess I picked the right month to sign up at a par three course :^)

Sorry for the delayed post.
Happy that golfing was the reason for the drought.
Don't worry, if I'm not golfin' I'll be bloggin'!



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