Thursday, January 29, 2015

Round Reviews - 1/27/2015 & 1/29/2015 - Tega Cay Golf Club - Cove Course (Fort Mill, SC)

So, as I mentioned in my initial post... I relocated for work from New Jersey to the Charlotte area.  One of the obvious perks is the ability to play golf almost year-round.  

My birthday is in January and I almost always get some kind of golf-related gift from my wife.  In previous years, this would obviously mean that I could not use those gifts until the beginning of April, and sometimes even later.  

This year, my wife, knowing how much of a stats geek I am, got me Game Golf for my birthday.  Of course, this meant that I HAD to get out as soon as possible to try it out.  Luckily, there was only a 5 day wait to be able to get out and use it.  I played on January 27th at the Cove Course at Tega Cay.  I enjoy this course because it's cheap, it's never crowded, it's not in overly bad shape (although it's not in overly good shape either), and it's inexpensive... plus it offers me a decent test from the black tees.  

Well... as nice as it is to be able to play golf in January... it's still January.  This means it's cold and windy and the courses aren't in the best of shape.  Specifically, the greens are like rocks and putting, which is already a weak part of my game, becomes even more difficult for me.  

I played okay, posting a 54 which included an 8th hole that saw me need 6 putts from 24 feet due to a pin position on a slope that meant that, if you didn't make the putt... it was rolling back off the front of the green.  I felt good about some of the shots I had hit and, really... it was just an excuse to get out and test out the Game Golf system.  

I wasn't dissatisfied with how I played... but I knew that, if I was going to be competitive come February 7th when I play my first tournament with the Golfweek Amateur Tour, I'd have to get out and practice.  A lot.

This led me to sneak out after work today.  I went back to the Cove Course at Tega Cay to play 9 holes.  Unfortunately, things did not go well right from the start.  I got to the course and realized that I had only 2 balls in my bag.  I knew that this wasn't going to be a good thing since my swing was so off and I'd lost 2 balls in my previous round.  So... when I checked in at the pro shop, I purchased a sleeve of Srixon Z Star balls.  

As with the previous round... I was able to go right to the first tee and start when I was ready.  After a few warmup swings and stretches... I felt I was ready, so I grabbed my 4 iron, teed up a ball and hit a shot that went about 20 yards off the tee on an 80 degree angle to the right.  I had ALMOST completely whiffed... but the toe of the club clipped the ball and sent it off.  I knew then that it was going to be a long day.  I hadn't made a swing like that in probably 11 years.  

To cut down on the details (because there are a lot of them)... I had lost 4 of the 5 balls I had by the time I reached the 5th tee.  On the 6th tee, I flew another one into the woods.  Luckily while I was stomping around in there, I found a few others that would act as 'reserves' for the remainder of the round.  

To say I played bad golf would be an injustice to the game of golf.  I didn't play golf today.  I don't know what to call it, really.  I didn't hit a single shot that I can say made me feel even remotely like I was swinging the club well.  When all the strokes were added up... I shot a putrid 66.  Honestly, thinking back to when I first started playing golf back in 1994... I don't know if I've EVER shot a 66 on any course for 9 holes.

I sincerely considered leaving the course after the 4th hole because I felt that I was doing more harm than good at that point.  The only good thing that came from sticking around was that I was able to talk to the course about using their practice facilities over the coming months.  

I've got just over a week to get in some practice before February 7th.  I'd like to think that I'll be able to practice enough to at least help a little... but it's going to take a lot of work in the next 8 days.  Here's to hoping that the time I do get to practice is productive.

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