Saturday, November 18, 2006

Mini Report...

Golf game is hot and cold. Here's some of the hot:

I played a new course (Newport Golf Course) for free as a regular customer of (and I was able to bring three friends for free too but I only found two who could ply that day). It featured very narrow fairways lined with very tall trees and dense woods, many doglegs, and very fast, small greens. It snaked through the woods and a neighborhood so errant shots would be goners. I shot 89 which was the first time I broke 90 on a course with slope over 120. Should have done a bit better than that because the 18th has an island green that I decided to layup on (from the rough about 165 out) and I choked on a 50 yard pitch - right into the water! I came away with

7 pars
6 bogeys
4 doubles
1 triple (18th)

My plan was course management and I played safe where I needed to (3i drawing/fading nicely); sometimes at a cost of an additional stroke, but the alternative would have been much worse.

I took both kids to Green Caye last night and we played two loops. They behaved very well, taking turns hitting and putting. I shot 33 and 34 with a triple on the second loop. The best shot was on #1. It's 185 yards but we were off the back of the box and the pin was back right making the hole play about 190 - 200. I pushed my first shot OB (long and right with a cart path bounce), but my second (third w/penalty) found the green and rolled to within a few feet - I made the bogey putt to win the hole. I hit the 5i on that one. We were playing with my friend Martin and we play 0.25 per hole with greenies and birdies. We pushed the last five holes on the first loop so the hole was worth $1.25. Not the $1.25 will have any financial effect, but mentally, winning a five hole push (or losing one) is huge. That hole is the toughest on the course with water left and OB right and long. It sure would have been awesome to have birdied it. Oh well, I know I have it in me.

I played Wednesday in howling winds 25+ gusting to 40+. I clubbed up four clubs on shorter shots and three clubs on longer shots. Two loops for 36/36 - bogey golf. The thing that works well for me in the wind is working the ball. I'm more aggressive when trying to draw/fade a shot. In calm conditions, I try little draws/fades that are harder to hit and the results are less likely to be what I had in mind. I need to learn the knockdown, lower trajectory shot for windy conditions. My ball flight is very high and that puts me at a disadvantage. Martin took me for $3.75 with his natural low ball flight that gave him a pair of birdies on the second loop.

I continue to struggle on occasion with the irons. It's the same stuff all the time - looking up, swinging too hard, hitting it fat, controlling tempo. My best shots come when I slow down the takeaway and smoothly accelerate through the ball and continue to a full finish. I have to force myself to step back when I don't feel right at address. I know that will help.

My putting has been very good lately. I rerely miss inside six feet and I've been rolling in a few long ones. My distance control is generally pretty good, but once in a while I'm way off speed.

I played absolute rubbish on Thursday. Four balls in the water, several triples, I was just disgusted and thought I was burning out. The feeling went away after playing with the kids last night.

Why is it that like sex, too much golf seems to be just enough!!!


Monday, November 06, 2006

Hitting the New Sticks...

It's been a bumpy ride...

The first thing I did was take them to the range. My shots were all to the right and well short of where I expected to hit them. I had similar results the next range session. Both of these sessions were hitting off the mats due to major rain in the area.

I continued to play the Top Flite clubs out on the course because I had no confidence in the Bridgestones. Then one afternoon I was swinging the 7 iron in the living room and I realized my problem. It was that I was adressing the ball with the club face even with my hands. When I moved my hands forward to impact position, the face rotated to slightly open. If I closed the club face and moved my hands forward a bit (impact position) the club face was square. I took this to the range and I was hitting the ball straight. I could close up the face a bit and produce a draw, and I could open it a bit and get the fade.

I began making loops at Green Caye and while I seemed to have lost a club or more in distance, I has hitting the ball very well. Playing in very windy conditions over several outings I posted scores of 33, 35, 32, 35, and 33. I was calling my shots (draw, fade, straight) and hitting greens 50% or better.

Then I took the new sticks out to a regulation course and everything fell apart. It seemed that I made very few solid iron shots over a couple of rounds. Luckily my driving and short game were pretty good and I managed some okay scores (93 at Pasadena and 95 at Eagle Pointe).

My problem was that I was teeing the ball up at Green Caye for all my tee shots. The result was poor performance off the turf. So, I'm now hitting off the turf at Green Caye and struggling. Last two loops produced a 41 and a 36 (remember Green Caye is a par-three course; par = 27 for a loop). Yeah, ouch!!

Well, if I've learned anything it's that I can always find the answers somewhere in a bottomless bucket.

After hitting the range a couple of times I played Bayou yesterday and had much better results with the irons on a very windy day. Too bad my driving decided to let me down though - I posted a 98 with four snowmen. Two were triples where I hit water or OB and the other two featured a shank off the toe that flies 45 degrees right of my target line. My main problem with the irons was drawing them too much. I hit several long as well so I think the distance is coming back. Rotating the club face through impact produces more draw and distance so I think I'm settling into these clubs nicely.

The J33 Combos are definately a tougher to hit when compared to the Top Flite Tour Oversize irons I started with. They have a smaller sweet spot and off center hits can get pretty ugly. The good news is that I'm hitting them pretty well. I know I'll continue to improve with them and hopefully gain some more of the distance back.

I'm hoping to play in a scramble Thursday - I'll post a report if I do.