Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Current Hot Streak…

What better is there to blog (brag) about than a current hot streak!

I played last night in a four man skins game at my home course, the Par-3 nine-hole Green Caye. I was playing bogey golf and the money pushed to the fifth hole, where I chip in for birdie. Then I go back to bogey golf and the money pushes again to the tenth. Martin had a tap in for par and was ready to get the skunk out of his bag until I sank a thirty footer to push the hole. Then I birdie the eleventh after my tee shot settles four feet from the pin. I then play par, par, bogey, bogey (the three-putt kind), par and again the money is pushed to the seventeenth. I roll in a twenty footer for birdie and I’m at even par on the back nine (with a pocket full of change). I get caught up in the moment, top my tee shot, and it settles on the down slope of the forward tee box. I hit a beautiful recovery shot off of that awful lie and I’m looking at a fifteen foot putt for even par on the back. I three putt for a double and card a 29 (+2) on the back (Martin got the final skin with an up and down par).

I have now shot 27 (E), 28 (+1), and 29 (+2) for my three top scores at Green Caye. Last night was also the first time I made three birdies in 18 holes. This is my best score since I got the Bridgestone J33s.

This morning I played Bay Forest (70.4/125) and the hot streak continues through the front nine where I card a 36 (+1) with one birdie, and two bogies (one was a 3-putt too). Then I fall apart on the back, 3-putting five times and hitting three balls in the water. In spite of the 48 (+11) on the back, I come away with my second best (by differential - 12.29) round of my short golfing career.

Here’s the quick recap:

NOTE: For those paying attention, I know I said I was going to sell my driver. I will, I just haven’t got around to listing it.

  1. Par 4, 389 yds. Driver finds fwy. 8i from 145 finds green pin high on the left. 2-putt par.
  2. Par 4, 368 yds. 3W finds fwy (water at 250). 8i from 150 finds trap pin high on the right. Chip out of the bunker and into the hole – BIRDIE!!
  3. Par 3, 158 yds. 8i to fringe pin high. Nice chip, tap in par.
  4. Par 5, 459 yds. Solid drive misses fwy by two feet. Topped a 3W from a bad lie. 3W approach short and right. 8i chip to 7 feet. Missed the putt, bogey.
  5. Par 4, 390 yds. Push fade into the trees 20 yds off the fairway on the right. I’m left with 180 into the wind but I have a small gap in the trees. Solid 5W pushed slightly right clips a branch and it’s flight path is righted, landing just over that trap on the right fringe pin high. Delicate 60* flop flies six feet in the air but travels only two feet and lands on the slope and rolls right toward the cup, missing by a hair. Tap in par.
  6. Par 3, 151 yds. Downwind to a back pin. I hammer a 9i and manage only the front of the green. I miss a short putt and 3-putt bogey.
  7. Par 5, 480 yds. Tricky hole, I stray from my game plan (4i, 5i, 6i) and hit driver right down the middle. 3W from 230 trying to carry the water is short, but a lucky skip keeps my dry. 7i punch under trees fails miserably. 60* chip to five feet. Putt drops for par.
  8. Par 3, 161 yds. 7i finds the green, 2-putt par.
  9. Par 4, 353 yds. Driver pushed slightly (narrow landing area) lands just in front of a grove of trees. I feel an 8i will not clear trees but 9i won’t reach back pin. 9i finds the front of the green. 2-putt par.
  10. Par 5, 461 yds. Solid drive slightly pulled lands in grove of trees 10 feet off the fairway on the left. 5i punch snags branches but has enough energy to get me about 40 yds out. 7i chip pushed right rolls up onto green. Missed a 2-footer to take a 3-putt bogey.
  11. Par 5, 482 yds. Push fade lands on bare dirt in trees 30 yds off fwy on the right. No shot toward the pin. Nice strong fading 3i looks like it’s going across the fwy at 45* makes a sweeping right turn and settles 30 yds in front of the green. 8i bump and run to 12 feet… and I 3-putt again for bogey.
  12. Par 4, 396 yds. Push fade 10 yds off the fairway. Mishit 5i from 185 stays in the trees. GW from a mud hole with my feet sunk four inches in the mire clears trees and finds the green. 2-putt bogey.
  13. Par 3, 148 yds. Into the wind to a back pin, I choose to fade a 7i because the green is long and narrow and runs back and to the right with a bunker guarding the front. Perfect shot finds green leaving about 15 feet - 2-putt par.
  14. Par 5, 503 yds. This hole is the killer. The wind is blowing from behind and to the right (not good should I push-fade again). I choose 3i and top it into the water. I drop and hit 5i and it fades right, looks like it’ll be safe but it rolls and rolls and rolls and plops into the water. 3W to pin high on the left. I’m sitting on a soft, wet, bare dirt lie and I need flop over a bunker to a pin tucked close. I dig in and land just short of the bunker. From a better lie the next flop settles a few feet from the pin and I sink the putt for TRIPLE!!
  15. Par 4, 420 yds. Dogleg left with a tricky water hazard carry to cut the corner. Perfect execution with a laser straight drive lands in the center of a very narrow fairway just 90 yards out. SW slightly topped hits the back fringe and hops off, rolling down the slope of the elevated green. Poor flop lands just short of the fringe. A putt off the fringe rolls 3 feet by. I make the comebacker for bogey.
  16. Par 4, 360 yds. Pull draw lands in exposed roots of a big oak. I take an unplayable lie and drop with a risky line to the pin. A perfect PW almost goes in the cup – inches!!! Tap in for par.
  17. Par 3, 155 yds. Downwind, I try to hammer a 9i to a back pin and dig a hole you could bury a dog in. The ball finds a small channel of water in front of the green. I walk up to 130, drop, PW finds the green. 3 putts later (missed another short putt) the ball finds the cup.
  18. Par 4, 415 yds. No. 1 hcp hole with water in front of the green. Into the wind, solid drive is pushed left by the wind (water on the right). Risky approach requires a fade into the wind to get around trees. From 155 I hit 6i and pull the shot off but face a 40 foot putt. Putt to 6 feet, and miss the par for another 3-putt bogey.

I’m a just little upset that I’m three-putting all over the place now. That’s really unlike me, but in my defense, the greens were smokin' fast. I balanced it out pretty good though with the chip in and several one-putts for a total of 33 putts (13 on the front!!). While I hit only four fairways many of my misses were not too bad and I made good use of my ball mark repair tool with 8 GIRs.

Three balls in the water and five 3-putts but you know what, I’m still smiling!!!

I feel like I can play golf,



At 11:14 AM, Blogger Alexis G said...

Hi Greg,

Sounds like you're having a good time! Enjoy the streak, and keep it going ; satisfaction is the first enemy, so be hungry.

I saw you are using J33s... What drove the change to J33s? These seem like hard-to-hit clubs... Have you observed any change in accuracy / distance, etc.?


At 8:16 AM, Blogger Greg said...

Thanks for reading Alexis! You're right, I am having a great time and I expect great things once the courses dry up and the bermuda comes out of dormancy.

Yes, I am using Bridgestone J33 Combos. These clubs are targeted for professionals and low handicap amateurs (what was I thinking!?!?). They are a little harder to hit because they have a smaller sweet spot and are less forgiving than "game improvement" clubs.

I purchased them because I wanted a set I could call my own and I found a set for a very low price. The set I started out with was my Father-in-law's old set (Top Flite Tour Oversize irons). I actually started out looking at Mizuno MP33 blades because I have a friend with those and I hit them pretty good. In the end, I decided I wasn't ready for blades and started to look into "combo" sets. I looked at all the available combos, hit most of them, and liked the Bridgestones the best.

It's hard to determine difference in accuracy. From reading, I should find improved accuracy just by going to stiff shafts. I have however noticed a big drop in distance. I was hitting the Top Flite 9 iron 155 yards and initially I fould the J33s 15 to 20 yards shorter. I am regaining some of that distance now that I am getting used to the Bridgestones and making more consistant on the sweet spot.

The real benefit of the J33s is that I can shape my shots with much more suttle changes to stance and club face setup compared to the Top Flites.

I am happy with my purchase today, though I have had some second thoughts. If I lived where I could not play all year I would probably spend each entire season getting used to them over and over again. Since I live in Houston, I feel I'll be okay as long as I keep playing regularily.


At 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good article...infomational for sure...looking forward to reading some more posts placed on this topic...will be checking this page again..have saved in favorites and bookmarked...thanks

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At 6:43 PM, Blogger Wes from Portland said...

Hey Greg, I just found your blog and have enjoyed reading your views about golf. I used to live in that area and played the Galveston course and Battleground quite a bit. I was interested in your posts on your new clubs. My first set of irons was a set of Hogan Apex II forged blades. I played better golf with them than I have with either set of game improvement clubs I have had since the Hogans.

Keep Golfing


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