Saturday, March 25, 2006

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!



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