Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Green Tees at Green Caye...

As mentioned in a previous post, and in light of GolfChick's latest blog entry, I'm going to post a previously unpublished entry. I had intended to publish this entry, but with golfing nearly every night, I've had little time to blog and this entry was left unpublished because I had signed up for my first tournament.

This entry was written on Saturday, March 18th...

Disappointed and with no solid plans for golf this weekend, I decided to head down to Green Caye and sign up for another month. I didn't get down there until about 8:00. The range was empty but there were a few people out on the course.

Since it felt like I was running a little late (they close at 10:00), I decided to warm up on the first tee. I did a few stretches and made a few swings with two irons together. There was no one in sight, so I decided to hit a couple shag bag balls to loosen up. Fat, thin, pushed... Stupid 5i. I don't know what it is with this club. I walked out to retrieve those balls with my 60* wedge and as I passed the green tees, I decided I would play this loop from the greens and left my bag there. I found two of my shag bag balls and chipped them back at my bag.

As fate would have it, a group was pulling up just as I was putting the shag bag balls away and taking out a couple Nike Long and Softs. Great, here I am on the green tees and I've been spotted... Actually, I didn't feel funny at all. I knew I'd be working my full swing wedges and that's an area I need to work on from a place where I can get good yardage estimates.

The problem with the green tees at Green Caye is that they are not adequately lighted. The lights are more focused on the yellow tees. I guess that's good and bad. Bad because well, it's dark; good because you need to "focus" on your ball and "feel" your swing more.

I have a yardage book I've made for Green Caye, but it was too dark to read it. However, I recalled it being about 125 yards when I hit an 8i into the wind with my daughter. The wind was light, blowing mostly left to right, and slightly into my face. I hit a PW and I was surprised to see the ball drop short.

I wasn't sure how much better I should expect to score. This is a par 3 course, so it's nothing like hitting from shorter tees at a regulation course. I guess I could expect to hit more greens so perhaps a few strokes better? I don't know.

The results of the loop were pretty good. I hit 5 greens (I've hit 5 from the yellows), made 4 pars, one up and down, and had 2 three-putts. The final score was 32 and that's not bad considering the greens are recovering from aeration and are still quite sandy. From that you can tell that I had 2 three-putts after hitting the green from the tee. I'm hoping I'll see fewer and fewer three-putts as the greens recover.

So, where does this leave me as far as hitting from the greens goes...

Would I hit from the green tees again at Green Caye? Sure, but probably not at night.

Would I hit from tees shorter than "men's tees" when playing a regulation round? I'd like to think I would be open to that but the circumstances would have to be such that the course was either particularly difficult, or too long. Even then, I would have to try from the men's tees once or twice before considering it.

I good friend of mine was having a bad day and he decided to play the back nine from the senior tees. We were paired with two other guys and I had no problem with him stepping up. I thought it took some guts on his part as well. Then he hammered a solid drive right into the water that he felt he had no chance of reaching.

In any case, I think playing from the senior tees or ladies tees offers another way to play a course and allows for different strategies using different clubs. It also adds a twist to the mental side of the game.

For example, say you have resolved to play from the senior tees for the above reasons. Now, after your group has teed off, you are nearly always the closest to the hole. Even though you're playing your own game, there are going to be some thoughts going on in the heads of everyone in the group.

You also have to consider the results of the round. You expect to score better and build confidence if you're shortening the course. You do however run the risk of having a bad day. What could be worse that having a bad round from the senior tees? How is that going to affect your next round, when you play from the men's tees?

I have only touched on some of the things that this topic has caused me to think about. There is plenty of room for discussion if anyone is willing to take a second and actually consider playing from a shorter tee set. I just don't think there are many average golfers who would even consider it.

Am I right?

Monday, March 27, 2006

My 1st Tourney Report...

I'll just cut to the chase for the skimmers (and we know who you are ;^)... I finished my first tournament in 5th place along with two other guys who were in my foursome.

The tournament was at Green Caye (the par 3 course) and it was an individual stroke play event with no handicapping. The weather was sunny and windy as the weather forecast in the previous post suggested. There was a twist where after nine holes, the groups drew the 10th hole from a hat and reshot that hole. The score on the 10th hole would replace the previous score shot there.

I think there were 18 players. The entry fee was $10.00 for members, and $25.00 for non-members. I know there were some non-members there and I know that the prize money was $180.00. So from that, I figure the club only made money on the non-members entry fees.

To my surprise, shock and horror, they trimmed the greens down extra tight for the event. I tend to get a little gun shy on fast greens, but I tried not to let it bother me. They don’t have a practice green per se; they have a 9-hole putting course. This was no help though since these greens did not receive the fresh cut.

The start was shotgun and my group started on the 2nd hole. I started out on fire hitting the green and making a par. I followed that with a bogey after missing the green. Then I hit the next three greens but managed to three-putt one of them. So, here I am two over with four holes to go.

3 4 3 4 3

The toughest holes on the course are 1, 7, and 9. We’re on the 7th and I’m up first on the box. Here’s a look at number seven.

This is a short hole of 113 yards. The water on the left wraps slightly around the front of the green and the surface of the water is about 6 feet below the fairway. The area adjacent to the water is a severe slope down into the drink. To say this green is tough is really an understatement. The narrowest part of the green is only about 10 feet. It’s an elevated green that slopes down along the black line. There are large mounds on the back and right (pink circles). Out of bounds is shown in dark blue. Pin placement for the tourney was the yellow “X. The tee box is elevated and the contrast between the elevated green and the sunken water hazard makes the hole somewhat scary looking. Some people think this is the toughest hole on the course (I think #1 is the toughest). We were playing from the gold tees, which were in a pretty good spot. Pretty good since it's usually extreme left of the box making the water more of a factor. I also showed the white and green tees for no apparent reason.

The best miss here is short and right. This miss would leave an uphill chip keeping the water out of play. Until today, the pin placement had been on the front and I was playing the safe shot with my GW. Today, with the pin up on the back area, I decided to try an easy PW. I made good contact but I was a bit too far right (the shot started well left heading toward the water) and the wind brought it back about 4 feet too much. I landed on the backside of the biggest mound and got a big kick out into the rough (second shot was from red “X”). I missed (missed short, long would be wet) the chip over the mound, but my second one was very nice and the ball came to rest leaving a 5-foot downhill putt. I failed to make the bogey putt and took a double.

3 4 3 4 3 5

I did a similar thing on number eight. 139 yards, wind right to left, water on right, mounds and out of bounds on the left. My 8i landed on the backside of a mound on the left and kicked out of bounds. I took a triple there.

3 4 3 4 3 5 6

The ninth hole is the longest hole at 216 yards. Wind right to left with a slight downwind component. I hit a 3W past pin high on the left. I was between the cart path and the OOB fence and I got free relief from the fence and the cart path, but now I was well past pin high. I totally flubbed with the wedge and took a 1-putt double.

3 4 3 4 3 5 6 5

Our final hole was #1 since we started on #2. This hole has water all along the left and OOB along most of the right. Larger mounds on the back of the green and smaller mounds on the right. The green is elevated with a shallow, playable ditch that runs in front. The best miss here is short (even with the ditch), but right is not bad if you stay in bounds and the pin is not too far right. The length is 180 yards. Here's a look at #1 with the same marking scheme.

I hit a 5i and made good contact but did not aim enough left. I landed long on the right just missing the OOB (red shows landing spot and second shot position). Again, I completely choked with my chipping and took a 2-putt triple.

3 4 3 4 3 5 6 5 6

So, I’m sitting on a 39. We return to draw our 10th hole and lucky for me, we draw #8. This time I hit a 9i well out over the water on the left and the wind just pushes the shot enough to land on the right fringe. I had a long putt that I left six feet short. I ended with a two-putt bogey and 37 for the tournament.

3 4 3 4 3 5 4 5 6

I didn’t think I had any chance, but I hung around to hear the results. Third place was announced as a three-way tie between me and two others (both in my group) and we were each awarded a Hamilton (“It’s all about the Hamiltons baby!” right GC?). Second was a 35, and first was a 33.

Then two bozos decided to turn in their cards and they both had 33s. So we gave our money back and they decided to have a playoff.

Since the tournament started late, I took a pass on watching the playoff.

Next time I’ll post some thoughts on the event in general and the difference between how we play in a tournament vs. how we play day-to-day.

For those who made it this far, thanks for hangin’ in there,


Saturday, March 25, 2006

Midnight weather update...

Yahoo Waether:

Local Forecast - (How to Read This)

Today: Plenty of sunshine. High around 70F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.

Tonight: Generally clear. Low 47F. Winds light and variable.

Tomorrow: Windy with a few clouds from time to time. High 74F. Winds SE at 20 to 30 mph.


Should be a fun tournament tomorrow ;^)


Pre-Tournament Update...

With June quickly approaching (My one-year anniversary with golf and my Father'in-law's next visit), I'm golfing as much as I possibly can.

I signed up at Green Caye for the third time on March 17th. I have looped the short par three course thirteen times in five trips. On most of those visits the wind has been really howling, yet I've managed to maintain my averages to some extent. I even shot a 31 with the winds blowing 13-22 and gusting to 28. I only hit two greens that day (got one birdie), so my chipping is coming along nicely. My putting seems to run hot and cold. Overall, it seems like I'm 3-putting more. I think it's because I've been hitting more greens though.

Prior to signing up I received a great chipping tip. It's a simple tip and easy to apply and master. I'm sure most of you know it.

The tip is to use a putting stroke (no wrist action) when chipping near the green.

I have put this into practice and have been using it with my 60* wedge with great success. There is a limit to the range I can use this shot with the 60*, but when I reach it, I just club up to a SW, GW, PW, 9i or whatever. The putting stroke when chipping ensures solid ball contact and consistently repeatable results. I'm learning to love my 60* around the green.

That brings me to a new personal record: I finished 9 holes at Green Caye with just twelve putts. Too bad I only managed to hit one green on that windy day and finished with a 33.

I'll be playing in a 10-hole tournament this Sunday at Green Caye. No handicaps, just gross score. It's only $10.00 for members, so I figured what the hey.

I played Pasadena yesterday. It was my 38 regulation round. I felt I did horrible, though when I filled out the scorecard (from the recorded notes on my Olympus W-10), I was surprised to have shot a 98 (73 net) - it felt more like a 108.

Here's the stats:

Fairways hit... 7
GIRs........... 2
Birdies........ 1 (on #1)
Pars........... 3 (2 up and downs)
Putts......... 30 <---- Solid!!!
Bogeys......... 6
Doubles........ 5
Triples........ 1
Snowmen........ 3 Arrgh!!
Balls lost .... 4 (3 water, 1 OOB)

This was a morning round and the conditions were pretty good, not wet, cool, but sunny. The wind was blowing a bit out of the north at 10 mph or so and picked up as I finished the back nine. The pin placement on every hole was about 5 feet from the front of the green on every hole. I'm guessing they did this because they had just airiated the greens (not yet sanded). That had me aiming short since most of these greens are elevated and slope toward the fairway and some of the slopes are pretty severe especially right at the front of the green. I'm getting pretty good at putting on those airiated greens ;^)

I really felt like I struggled the whole round as my shots refused to go where I wanted them to. It was a game of recovery shots.

My driving was terrible. Most of the shots flew pretty straight, but to the right of my target line. Today, I managed a few hooks (of course when aiming to the left as well). I rarely hook a drive.

I did manage one real beaut though on the 14th. The greenskeeper was mowing the tee box as I walked up and when he finished, he pulled up to the womens tee box, then off the fairway to the left and shut the mower off to wait for me to hit. I had the wind at my back, and with my audience, I just wanted to hit it straight (no hook, please - dude, you're in a danger zone). I made a smooth swing that had a nice smooth accelleration through the ball. The shot flew high down the right side of the fairway and very subtly drew back in. I lost sight of the ball as it started back in, so I was hoping it would hold the right side of the fairway. As I walked by the greenskeeper, he tipped his hat and said, "Now that's how ya do it.", before starting the mower back up. I nodded and walked toward my ball. I found it about 10 yards out from the 150 marker in the middle of the fairway on this 465 yard par 5 hole.

A solid 315 yard drive.

I took my son down to Green Caye one evening. They let me take a cart for free. This is one family friendly facility, and I'll continue to support them with my patronage. I played two loops. One behind a family foursome. He had to wait quite a bit, but we kept ourselves busy. I tossed him the ball often as he broought his new baseball glove and ball, and he smashed several golf shots off the tee box. I'm telling you, this kid has potential with a golf club. The junior set is waaaayyy to big for him yet he can hit to two to three times as far as his older sister.

Today I pulled a muscle in my right arm/chest. I hope I'll be okay for tomorrow's tourney. My wife and I are going to a friends for a BBQ party tonight and I'll be trying to pace myself there as well.

Next post - tournament results!


Sunday, March 12, 2006

I Can Play Golf...

The plan today was to play Glenbrook because my playing partner had never played that course before and wanted to try something new. I scared him off by making some comments about the course conditions. It's not that I didn't want to play there, I love that course. I just think the that for the price, the conditions suck and I'd prefer to take him there when the turf awakens.

So we decided to play Evergreen Point. I played there once back when I first started, it was June 28th, and I had a coupon for a free birthday round. Evergreen Point was the third regulation course I played and I scored well with a 116. Not bad for my third round especially considering it's rating and slope of 70.0/124 are similar to The Battleground (70.8/125).

For me, I think Evergreen Point is a bit hoidy-toidy. I mean, you don't get a bucket of balls, you get a little sack. And the guy that took my money spent several silent minutes looking at my Golf18Houston discount rate printout (I paid $35.00 where the regular rate is $44.00) and accepted it with his nose so high in the air I thought we were experiencing an eclipse. What... Ever... I guess I'm just a muni-boy at heart and the whole atmosphere of the place had me a little nervous through the first few holes. I started pretty good though, with a bogey and a par. Then I dropped a triple on number three (well, it was the #1 handicap hole on the course).

Then, I just played solid golf making 11 straight bogies.

E L E V E N straight bogies.

Eleven straight bogies!

Then I made a PAR!!

That was one nice stretch of solid play - for me anyway :^)

Then I hit 4 balls into the water on #16. One off the tee that I bombed 270 into the wind where I needed about 290 to carry the water. I wasn't trying to carry the water, I just hit my shot a little bit to much to the left. Crap! I was lying three where I took the drop and I still had to carry about 110 yards of water and beyond that was a maze of fancy bunkers that lined the left side of the fairway leading up to the green. So I had about 185 into the wind and uphill to reach the green. Up until that tee shot, I was playing the same ball I started with. I was hitting very solid shots and I was confident I could reach the green, or at least find the sand (which I have no problems hitting out of). I decided to hit a 5i instead of the 4i because I felt more confident about hitting it straight (I still tend to fade the 4i) and I felt I could at least get to the front of the green (or thereabouts). Yes, I hit the next three into the water. At this point, I was on ESC cruise control (not going to score less than 9) but I needed to make this shot. It had become personal. I landed my 9th shot with an easy swing onto the back of the green where it rolled off by about 5 feet. I had made 12 strokes (including penalties) before I finally pulled the ball out of the hole.

So, what happened? Well, the shot was 185 yards, uphill, and fraught with danger. I really didn't feel (consciously anyway) intimidated with the look of the shot, I was more concerned with putting a little extra swing speed since with the wind, and it being uphill, 185 was pushing it a bit for me with the 5i. Now the problem with swinging harder is that it just plain gets exponentially harder to keep your eye on the ball unless you can keep the swing smooth. So, I figure I was a little jerky and just shanked three consecutive shots into the drink. I slowed down on the fourth one and nearly flew the green. Yeah, I need to read my own blog once in awhile and realize (again) that a 100% swing produces crap pretty much 100% of the time.

OK, where were we... Blow up hole, scoring a 9 with ESC.

Wait, the story doesn't end there. The next hole was also slightly into the wind, but more left to right; a par three. I tried a little too hard to draw the ball into the wind, and I made a sort of low hook shot into the water! What the... I never hook with my irons!!! Well, I took a triple on that one.

I pulled it together in the end finishing with a bogey on the long par 4 that is the number 2 handicap hole on the course. Final score - 96!!! Very disappointing since I was well on my way to breaking 90 on a tough course, but still a NET -6!!!

Here's the stats:

Fairways hit... 5 (3 just missed)
GIRs........... 5 (3 just missed)
Birdies........ 0
Pars........... 3 (1 up and down)
Putts......... 37
Bogeys........ 13 <---- Wohoo!!!
Doubles........ 0
Triples........ 2
Balls lost .... 5 (5 water)

While I can kick myself for blowing what could easily have been my best round ever, I'm very happy with that score. It was only me second time out there, and the one time I was out there, I didn't know what the heck I was doing. My playing at Green Caye has really brought my game up a notch. My driving was very straight and long (measured one to 290). I made solid contact with my approach shots. I could have done better with my short game though, I left many chips short (only one 1-putt). My putting could have been better, I 3-putted three holes and they were all GIRs - yeah, I admit that's pretty bad (and those were my only 3-putts).

Well, there you have it. I feel really good about my game. I don't feel like I had a lucky round, I feel like I can play golf. I'm just gonna keep doin' what I'm doin' including signing up for another month at Green Caye (in a week or so? - maybe earlier?). I'm going to work extra hard with my wedges and putter.

Look out Battleground,

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Pasadena Report...

I finally posted a good score at Pasadena today. Previously, Pasadena had this way of beating me up when I knew I was capable of scoring better.

My past scores were:

110 on 10/12/2005
111 on 10/20/2005
113 on 11/23/2005

Not too good, and I'm sure I wrote about some of those rounds just to share the pain. Well today, I gave Pasadena the beating with a solid 95 (68 net, 44 on the front, 51 on the back)! The course was in pretty good shape for this time of year. The greens looked pretty good, but putted pretty slow compared to other courses I've played. I arrived at the course at 7:00 and finished by 9:40. I even let a few single guys riding in carts play through. Normally, I can keep ahead of a cart, but there are several long treks from one green to the next tee at Pasadena and most folks won't walk it.

Here's the stats on the round:

Fairways hit... 8
GIRs........... 3
Birdies........ 0
Pars........... 5
Putts......... 32
Bogeys......... 6
Doubles........ 4
Triples........ 3
Balls lost .... 4 (4 water)

My driving was solid and I barely missed 2 fairways and one I landed in a fairway bunker. That fairway bunker was a first for me. I was near the front of it and I had an uneven stance. I hit a 7i out but missed the green pin high to the right. I measured 11 drives (217,239,202,272,278,214,217,205,224,274,272) and came out with an average of 237.6. The wind was howling as expected but I managed it well, trying to hit lower drives into the wind.

Nearly all of my drives looked like cut shots. My draw was not working at San Jac so I went back to aiming to land on the left of the fairway. Many shots went straight, and some had a little turn right at the end. Very nice looking shots, often landing smack in the middle.

My putting was average today. I missed three birdie attempts and suffered one three-putt. My chipping was hot, giving me 5 one-putts. My irons were off and on. I'd pull shots, push shots, and hit some great shots. This is weird since I just spent a month working my irons at Green Caye. I learned that I do best with a full swing. If I try to take a little off of it I make a poor shot. A few of greens I only missed the GIR because I rolled onto the fringe. I just missed the greens and the par putts on 16, 17, and 18. Each of these three holes I tried to fly the ball from the fringe to the hole with the 60* wedge and came up short by ten or twelve feet each time. I may have done better with the flat stick, but I was feelin' the love comin' from my wedges. I made a nice out of the sand on #7. Now that I've been practicing the flop shot, I no longer fear the sand. I can hit a pretty good line out of the sand, I just need to work on my distance control. I did shank a couple of shots, but overall, I made pretty solid contact today.

Smiling on the happy side of 100,

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

New Personal Record (and more)...

New record at Green Caye...


I played Green Caye last night for my final rounds of this one-month membership period. I played two rounds and shot 31 and 38. 31 on the par 27 course is my new course record beating the 32 I had shot on a couple of occaisions. I managed to shoot 38 on three of the nine rounds where I recorded stats this period. The 31 featured two GIRs that I parred, three up and down pars and four two-putt bogeys. As promised, I updated the stats in my previous post and added some putting stats as a bonus. The real kicker is that the first four holes were peferated for airiation that afternoon and putting was brutal. I parred only one of those three (the third) and only because I hit the green about 10 feet from the pin. They are supposed to airiate the rest of the greens today.

I think I'll give Green Caye a break for a week or so (at least untill the greens recover) before I sign up for another month.

Playing from the Greens...

Green Caye has three tee boxes, Gold, White, and Green. I have played many nine-hole rounds from both the golds and the whites. I've never hit from the green tees though... except when I took my daughter. That day the wind was howling pretty good, probably 20+. I hit an 8i where I would have normally hit a PW. I felt pretty good when it landed in the center of the green. After I got home I thought about it some and decided that hitting from the green tees offers it's own set of challenges. Sure, it's the shortest the course plays. Sure, it'll play a lot easier. Sure, I'll look like a wuss hitting from them. My point here is that these par-three courses offer more that we are sometimes willing to see. All I have to do is have the balls to say, "No, I'm playing from the green tees". On the bright side, I won't have to worry about not hitting past them.

Here's the yardage comparison (I know, funky order - deal with it).

Hole ... Whites ... Golds .... Greens
1 ...... 160 ...... 180 ...... 125
2 ...... 106 ...... 125 ...... 85
3 ...... 143 ...... 161 ...... 113
4 ...... 112 ...... 150 ...... 98
5 ...... 148 ...... 175 ...... 108
6 ...... 146 ...... 167 ...... 109
7 ...... 100 ...... 113 ...... 93
8 ...... 107 ...... 139 ...... 98
9 ...... 197 ...... 216 ...... 165

While I'm on the subject of these par three courses, how's this for an idea:

How about playing your shot from a random side of the tee box such that you have a strange stance (feet above the ball, feet below the ball, on the up-slope, on the down-slope).

Whatcha think?

I think a guy could play the greens in this way and not feel like a wuss. I don't think a guy should feel like a wuss hitting normally from the greens at a course like this, but I know I'll feel a little strange... Maybe this is a good way to prepare for a tournament. Play a round with your beer-drinking-tobacco-chewing buddies razing you the whole time about what a wuss you are. Sure would test your focus :^)

Lessons from San Jac...

The first hole at San Jac is a 229/259 yard (whites/blues) hole that has a nice pond right in front of the green. Most folks don't drive the hole because it's the first hole, there is no room left, little room right, and while there is room long, your chipping back towards the water to an elevated green. I hit an 8i/SW on this hole and often get a fairway, a green, and a 2-putt par. I honestly don't think I could do any better if this were a wide open hole. If it were wide open, I'd likely hit a 3W short, chip on and 2-putt out. Or worse, I'd try to drive it and have to work harder to save par than the previous two options.

So the lesson is when a hole can be reached by 2 mid-iron shots or less, leave the big dog in the bag. What are the odds of making two solid iron shots and how do those odds compare to hitting one solid drive? I guess I'd need to try it a few times. Or not. Driver please... Will I ever learn that lesson?

Putting Technique...

I've fooled around with lining up the text on the ball with your putt line and I've never felt it does that much for me. I saw Tiger's ball had that line and I thought maybe I should give it a go. I see quite a few folks using this technique, there must be something to it.

Another putting technique I'd like to try for a period of time is the "look at the hole" technique. I've done this quite a bit in the house and I've been pretty impressed with the results.

My putting technique is anything but consistent at this stage of my game development, so now's a good time to see if I can find what works well for me.

I suppose I could extend this topic to putters. I use a cheap ($9.99) Dunlop blade type putter. I tried a center-shafted Voodoo mallet type putter that had a nice line on it that seemed to help my aim. There are just too many choices when it comes to putters, I just don't want to open that can of worms.

We're in trouble now...

I recently came across this live audio coverage of PGA events on the web. Please try not to listen while at work.

Golf Outlook...

I may try to sneak in a round at Pasadena tomorrow morning. Pasadena is not a hard course, but I have yet to break 100 there. The weather should assist me in maintaining that statistic (forecast winds: 20-30 mph).


Monday, March 06, 2006

Playing Catch-up...

I've been playing so much golf, I have had little time to blog. That's a good thing. I have a few minutes, so I'm going to post an update.

It's in the Statistics...

Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. 14% of people know that.
- - - Homer Simpson

Ah Homer... Ya got to love him.


Here is a comparison of the stats from my current rounds at Green Caye and those from Last September. I think the improvement shown is a little better than the numbers suggest because this time I played from the tips (hey, it's a par 3 course) and for completeness, I've shown the yardage difference. I recorded 12 9-hole rounds in September and 7 rounds recently. I may play tonight and if I do, I'll update the data in this post. <- Yep, note the big red "UPDATED" above.

Hole ... Whites ... Golds
1 ...... 160 ...... 180
2 ...... 106 ...... 125
3 ...... 143 ...... 161
4 ...... 112 ...... 150
5 ...... 148 ...... 175
6 ...... 146 ...... 167
7 ...... 100 ...... 113
8 ...... 107 ...... 139
9 ...... 197 ...... 216

Stats ....... Current .. Sept '05
Greens ...... 1.89 ..... 1.75 . (per 9 holes)
Up and Down . 24 ....... 21 ... (percent parred of greens missed)
Ave Pars .... 3.00 ..... 2.5 .. (per 9 holes)
Ave Score ... 35.33 .... 38.25
3 Putts ..... 0.89 ..... 1.33 . (per 9 holes)
4 Putts ..... 0.22 ..... 0.00 . (per 9 holes)
Ave Putts ... 17 ....... 17 ... (per 9 holes)

Not the improvement I was looking for, but improvement nonetheless.

Daddy's Little Girl...

I took my Daughter to Green Caye last Wednesday. I left work early, picked her up from school, and we zipped down to Green Caye. The range and course were surprisingly busy, but we managed to have a great time on both the course and the range.

We started off with a bucket of balls on the driving range. I figured one bucket would be plenty, and you only have two choices large ($3.50) and bottomless ($7.00). I set us up on the far end and there was one gentlemen a couple of slots in front of us. I showed her how to use a tee thinking that she would have an easier time getting the ball into the air, but she became frustrated knocking the ball off of the tee while addressing the ball. Other than helping her line up her shot, I just let her swing away. She kept running out to get the balls she hit since that's what she does in the backyard. She hit many balls at a considerable pace and emptied the bucket in record time. Since the tee thing didn't work out, she did not hit her driver much, but her 9/P saw a good bit of action.

Next, we tapped a few putts in the putting room. She was having fun putting so we went out to the 9-hole par 18 putting course. She felt that starting at the marked "tees" was too far away. Her technique was to take a drop near the hole and tap in from there. On the few holes where she played from the tees, she had a polo-like technique where she kind of held the putter out and made contact with the ball as she walked past it toward the hole. Most importantly though, she had a great time.

We still had plenty of time left, so I decided to take her on the course. Rather than make her carry her bag, I just put her 9/P and putter in my bag and off we went. As we approached the first tee, there were four girls teeing off. I would estimate their age at about 12 or 13. They all seemed quite focused and it was a great experience for my daughter to see these girls playing. A father/son pulled up to the whites (mid tees, we were playing the green, forward tees)while we were waiting and we let them play ahead of us. Once they were off the tee box, my daughter hit a couple and finally I took a swing. She required several more shots to get on to the green and she used a combination of the polo and drop techniques to hole out. While I was lining up my 40 foot putt she said, "Daddy, I have to pee".

As most parent know, you get your kids to pee prior to anything. Movies, playing outside, dinner, shopping, anything... Have the kids pee first. And I did. The first thing we did when we arrived was pee. I should have had her pee again before we went out on the course.

So we went back to pee and then back to the course. First hole, good. Second hole, good... On the third tee box, "Daddy, I have to pee again". While this time I was a little irritated, it was a good time to head in if we were to stop for something to eat on the way home.

So, Daddy's little girl's first day golfing was a real treat for the both of us. Green Caye has plenty of different stuff to do (range, indoor putting, outdoor putting, chipping area, and golf course), so we get more out of the day. Next time, I'll be taking my son. While my little girl has a smoother swing (and more consistent results), my son is all about swing speed. He hits the ball so hard, we can no longer let him hit those wiffle balls in the house.

Two rounds at San Jac...

I played two rounds at San Jac Yesterday. I shot 97 and 95. I was hoping to break 90 again, but a couple of bad holes, a couple lost in the water, and poor driving kept me from meeting that goal. On a good note, my flatter, slower swing is amazing. I just can't get used to the distance I've gained with my irons. My draw trajectory didn't work out too well, but the result was just a straight shot (often just right of the fairway/green). It seemed that when I tried to draw the ball, to avoid sand or water on the right, I pulled and drew the shot too far left. The right thing would be to aim for the target instead of to the right.

I'm pretty happy with my irons. I need to work more with my driver and I should be in good shape to bust 90 again.

Golf Outlook...

I'm thinking about signing up at Green Caye again.

The next BGA tournament will be March 18th. My wife has to work that afternoon so it's very unlikely that I'll be able to play. I'm not too happy about that because she has to be in around 4:30 and my tee time is 9:30, yet she's insisting I cancel. Why can't women be more logic oriented and less what-if oriented?

I have a few specific lessons learned to post, but this is getting long enough. I'll post them in the coming days.