Saturday, February 7, 2015

Tournament Review - 2/7/2015 - Carolina Lakes Golf Club (Indian Land, SC)

So... I forgot about the 'competitive' part of my return to competitive golf.  I showed up to the course WAY early to spend some time on the range and practice green.  I felt good heading to my first hole, which was the 15th on this course.  I started out okay.  Then I fell apart.  

Along the way... I at least had fun, but... it was ugly.  I finished in a tie for 20th out of 21 spots in the C Flight... a full 18 strokes behind the winner.  

I was NOT prepared for a 6 hour round... but that's what it took.  The details, as ugly as they may be, are listed below.

Hole #15 - Par 4 - 373 Yards

I actually didn't start too poorly.  I hit a good hybrid up the left side, but nobody saw it come down... so I hit a provisional.  When we got up there, my ball was in the rough and I had about 120 left to the pin.  My 9 iron faded perfectly and ended up just off the green.  I two-putted from there to start with a par.  So... I was off and running, and feeling pretty good.

Hole #16 - Par 3 - 158 Yards

The wind was into us, so I decided to take a little more club than I normally would.  I went with a 7 iron that flew directly over the flag, but ended up on the fringe at the back of the green.  Starting on this hole, a common theme would be poor lag putts going well beyond the hole.  Here, I went 12 feet bye and ended up missing that for par... so I made a bogey.

Hole #17 - Par 5 - 472 Yards

Before the week, I 'mapped' out the course and decided what I wanted to hit off each tee and where the trouble was around each green.  I played this hole almost exactly as I had mapped it.  I hit a good hybrid off the tee... a 6 iron lay up (which was hit poorly)... then a gap wedge to about 15 feet.  I then took 2 putts for par.

Hole #18 - Par 4 - 387 Yards

My 3 wood off this tee went left, but we never heard it hit anything.  To be safe, I hit a provisional, which split the fairway.  When we got up there, the ball was resting on a sidewalk to the left of the trees.  I took relief from there and hit a 7 iron up over the trees to the green, leaving myself 16 feet from the hole.  I ran that a good 10 feet by the hole and needed 2 more putts to make a bogey.

Hole #1 - Par 4 - 370 Yards

Here is where my real trouble started.  When I was on the range, I had a nice little 3-5 yard fade with my driver.  I felt good with that shot.  Here... I aimed at a fairway bunker up the left side and it went straight to where I aimed.  It hit the back lip of the bunker and rolled back down to a flat area.  I didn't have far to the green, but I hit my 7 iron fat out of there.  My gap wedge was deep onto the green and I three-putted from 30 feet for a double bogey.

Hole #2 - Par 4 - 368 Yards

My tee shot here was hooked into the hazard up the left side... my provisional was hooked equally as bad.  We actually ended up finding my ball in the hazard, so I dropped way back where it crossed.  I kind of hacked a 5 iron down the left side beneath some trees and it ran up the right side of the fairway.  I hit my sand wedge from there to 16 feet and two-putted for another double.  

Hole #3 - Par 5 - 563 Yards

Here, I did the same exact thing as I did on the last hole and I hooked my drive well into a hazard.  I took a drop up where the ball crossed and tried to hit a 5 iron, but it clipped a tree on the left and dropped down into a rocky, muddy lie.  My 4 iron from there was about as ugly as it could be and ran at about a 45 degree angle across the fairway.  I flared my 8 iron way right... chipped to the opposite fringe... putted from there to about 3 feet and closed out with a triple bogey.

Hole #4 - Par 3 - 150 Yards

By the time we reached this hole, the wind was pretty strong, and directly into our face.  I hit a 6 iron about as hard as I could, and it still floated up in the air and well short.  An ugly pitch from there to 27 feet and 2 putts later, I made a bogey.

Hole #5 - Par 4 - 389 Yards

Another tee shot... another hook.  My ball stayed in play, but I had no real swing at it so I kind of had to wrist it out of the rocks and leaves... but it never got out of the mess.  It went from one bad position to another.  I had no shot at the green from where I was, and there was a creek running across the fairway that I didn't want to put my ball in... so I punched it out into the fairway.  My gap wedge from there was over the green and my chip shot from there settled 2 feet away.  I tapped in for another double.

Hole #6 - Par 5 - 512 Yards

When I had played a practice round here, my driver ran through the end of the fairway into a creek... so I had planned to hit my 3 wood.  Unfortunately, I did something that I haven't done in a LONG time... and I got WAY under the ball and popped it up.  I only tee the ball up so that it is just BARELY above the level of the ground... so to get under the ball like I did means I made a REALLY bad swing.  It ended up in the right rough with the ball well above my feet.  I did the same exact thing, popping the ball up and advancing it about 125 yards.  I hit a hybrid from there that got no higher than 2 feet off the ground and came up well short of my intended target.  A 6 iron to 12 feet and a two-putt for a bogey closed out that hole.

Hole #7 - Par 3 - 154 Yards

Another par 3 that was playing directly into the wind.  The worst part about this hole was that we had about a 15 minute wait on the tee.  The group ahead of us pulled out a ball retriever and went fishing in the hazard short of the green for a good 5 minutes.  We're not really sure why because they all then went and putted without a shot being played from off the green.  Anyway... by the time we got to play the hole, it was probably 145 yards from the tee to the flag, but the wind was really strong... so I hit a 4 iron.  I struck it solidly, but I pulled it.  The wind held it up and it finished well left of the green... but safe.  I chipped down from there to 10 feet and needed 2 putts from there for a bogey.

Hole #8 - Par 4 -363 Yards

After making back-to-back bogeys... I didn't feel too bad considering how badly I had messed up the tee shots over the few holes prior to that.  I FINALLY made a good swing with my driver and it carried over the fairway bunker up the right side... caught a hill and ran out to about 260 yards.  I was set up perfectly... and then I thinned a gap wedge well over the green.  We struggled to find my ball, but we did... in some leaves 25 yards behind the green.  I popped it out of there and it ran all the way to the front of the green.  My putting woes continued as I needed 4 putts from there to card a triple bogey.

Hole #9 - Par 4 - 392 Yards

Again, my tee shot put me in trouble.  I intended to hit a fade with my driver, but I instead pulled it left and straight.  It landed on a finger of a fairway bunker and left me an awkward stance.  My wedge from there was tugged left and landed in a greenside trap.  I hacked out of there to 23 feet and two-putted for a bogey.

Hole #10 - Par 4 - 396 Yards

By the time we reached the 10th tee... we were all feeling a little exhausted.  The first 14 holes had taken us 5 hours already and none of us were playing overly well.  My drive was hooked and we never found the ball.  My provisional, which I thought was perfect, somehow managed to find its way into deep a fairway bunker on the right.  My 7 iron from there felt good, but came up short.  My pitch was thin and over the green.  2 more shots from behind the green and 2 putts from 20 feet to card a 9 (which was dropped to a 7 due to club rules).

Hole #11 - Par 4 - 290 Yards

Again... we had a wait on the tee as the group ahead of us was poking around in the hazard on the right.  When we teed off... that's where my ball ended up.  I finally hit a fade... but it was unintentional... and with a hybrid, so it landed in that mess.  I dropped where it crossed and hit a decent wedge to 15 feet... but needed 3 putts from there for a double bogey.

Hole #12 - Par 3 - 145 Yards

More waiting.  An ugly... no... disgusting swing with an 8 iron that I topped into a hazard.  I then hit a 7 iron from the tee that was on line, but dropped into a bunker and gave me a bad lie.  I hit the ball from there... it hit the lip and clipped my club before falling back into the bunker... so, a penalty on top of that.  I then hit out and watched as the ball lipped out and settled at an inch away.  A tap in for a 7, which was again dropped to a 6 due to club rules.

Hole #13 - Par 5 - 498 Yards

I was done by this point.  Mentally... I was just angry at myself.  Physically... I could barely swing the club anymore.  I hadn't played 18 holes in quite awhile and it was obvious by how poorly I played over my last 9 holes.  My tee shot was how I envisioned it, but again... it kicked into a fairway bunker.  A 5 iron from there caught the lip and went about 10 yards.  Another 5 iron was thin and ugly leaving me a 9 iron to the green which I flared short and right.  My pitch from there was nice and settled to 5 feet.  I sank that for a bogey.

Hole #14 - Par 4 - 373 Yards

We finally reached our final hole.  I took an angry swing at the ball and hit my best drive of the day.  I then proceeded to waste it with an ugly wedge... 2 ugly chips and a three-putt from 18 feet for a closing triple bogey.

Round Stats

  • Score - 105 (Club Adjusted to 102)
  • Penalty Strokes - 7
  • Putts - 37
  • Fairways - 3 of 14
  • Greens in Regulation - 2 of 18
  • Up and Downs - 1 of 10
  • Sand Saves - 0 of 2

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Round Review - 2/4/2015 - Tega Cay Golf Club - Cove Course (Fort Mill, SC)

I got back out on the course today, after sneaking in a few minutes of range time.  Today was a much more relaxed day for me.  I have the day off, so I knew I'd be without distractions from my boss or any of the stores I visit.  It was supposed to be warmer today, but... because I got out early in the morning, it was still quite chilly.  Still... I got to play without a jacket, so... that felt nice.  

I went back to the Cove Course at Tega Cay, primarily because it's so close to me... but also because the course I wanted to play didn't have any availability until after 3pm... and that wouldn't have worked.  So... I packed my clubs up and headed out.  Once there, I made sure to hit a few balls before going to the first tee.  It was nice to have a warmup session... even if it was brief.  

I wanted to work on a few things today.  Number one on my mind was playing for my misses.  I tried to account for my misses on every approach shot by figuring out where the most trouble was around the greens.  For the most part, it worked well for me.  Below is a hole-by-hole recap.

Hole #1 - Par 3 - 186 Yards

As I mentioned, I tried to avoid 'big' trouble on shots to the green... and with this being a par 3... the trouble was short and right.  With that in mind, I aimed left and took what I thought was an extra club.  I pulled the ball a little and I ended up a little short... but, I wasn't in trouble.  I hit a good chip from the rough and left myself 2 feet for par.  I tapped in and I was off to a good start. 

Hole #2 - Par 5 - 448 Yards

This is a dogleg right, which usually plays to my favored shot shape, but it seems like EVERY time I stand on this tee... I hit a straight shot that ends up in a backyard.  I debated between my hybrid and a 4 iron... but I ultimately decided on the hybrid.  It was the wrong choice.  I again hit a straight shot... and it ended up lost in a back yard.  My next swing was a little better, but still not what I was hoping for.  I was rushing on this hole because there were workers on the course cleaning up leaves.  I made a back swing... a really bad swing, and my ball went way right and out of bounds.  I dropped and the next swing wasn't much better... but it stayed in bounds.  I had to punch the ball under some trees, and it rolled up into a greenside bunker.  My shot out ended up about 10 feet above the pin.  I pushed the putt a little and then tapped in for a 10.  So much for the good start.

Hole #3 - Par 4 - 428 Yards

This hole is always either a great hole for me... or a complete bust.  I don't like the way the tee shot sets up, so I'm always uncomfortable on the tee.  I didn't want to fly one out of bounds, so I took an easier swing, and the ball kind of floated on me as it got caught up in the breeze.  It was short (190 yards) but it was in the fairway.  Going back to avoiding trouble... there's a trap in front of the green on the right side.  I knew I'd rather be long and a little left, but I ended up pulling my hybrid further left than I planned and it left me in a spot behind the green, about 20 feet below the level of the green.  I punched a wedge into the bank, but it still ran a little off the green.  From there, I putted to about 9 feet and then made that for a bogey.

Hole #4 - Par 4 - 376 Yards

This is another hole that plays against my typical shot shape, but it's short enough that I could get away with playing an iron off the tee.  I did just that and hit a 4 iron that faded a little on me and landed in the right rough.  I had quite a bit to the green still (about 185 yards) and it was uphill, so I decided on my hybrid again, figuring long was better than short.  I hit an okay shot, but it didn't fade like I intended, so I ended up a little left and a little short.  My pitch from there was nothing to write home about, leaving me about 27 feet short.  My putt from there left me about 4 feet... and then I played ping pong and three-putted from there for a triple bogey.

Hole #5 - Par 4 - 310 Yards

Straight and short.  There is OB on both sides of the hole, and typically, I'll try to hit a 3 wood or a hybrid off the tee... and more often than not, I'll end up in trouble.  I decided on my 4 iron and I made a nice swing, putting me in the left side of the fairway with a perfect angle to the pin.  Unfortunately, I didn't trust my GPS.  It was telling me that I had about 110 to the middle of the green, but it LOOKED much shorter to me.  As it turns out, it was about 105.  I made a half-hearted swing with a pitching wedge that came up short and right.  My pitch from there hit and checked immediately and left me a 2 foot tap in for my par.

Hole #6 - Par 4 - 312 Yards

I like this hole a lot.  When I'm swinging well, I'll take my driver off the tee and I give myself a little pitch to the green.  Seeing as how I'm not swinging well at all... I decided on my hybrid.  I cut across the ball horribly and blew it way into the woods (never to be seen again) on the right side.  On the provisional (which I knew was going to be the ball I had to play), I put a really good swing on the ball and split the fairway.  I had about 60 yards to the pin and my sand wedge from the fairway looked perfect.  In fact, when I got up to the green, I didn't see the ball... so I peeked in the cup.  It was not there.  Somehow, it had ended up off the green on the right side.  I putted from that position to about 3 feet and then cleaned up for a double bogey.

Hole #7 - Par 3 - 195 Yards

This plays over a part of Lake Wylie and is downhill all the way.  There was a helping wind from the tee.  The trouble was short... so I played to the back of the green with a 5 iron.  It landed pretty much where I had aimed, but just on the collar of the green.  I used my putter from there and it settled about a foot from the hole, so I tapped in for par there.

Hole #8 - Par 3 - 149 Yards

They had the tees up a little on this hole and it was playing about 138 yards with a wind from behind me and the left.  This also plays over a pond and there is a trap immediately in front of the green.  I bailed right with my 8 iron and the wind pushed it further right.  It kicked off the hill on the side of the green and rolled down to the right, just short of the woods.  When I got up there, I barely had a swing... but my chip ran perfectly from there to about 4 feet.  It was a bit of a tricky downhill putt, but it found the bottom of the cup for another par.

Hole #9 - Par 5 - 488 Yards

This is another hole that is either feast or famine for me.  I've hooked too many shots OB on this hole, but I try to avoid the right side because there is a fairway bunker just shy of my landing area, so if I don't make good contact, I can end up in there.  Still... I bailed out right, but carried the trap and ended up in the rough on the right side.  I had no shot at the green from where I was because of the stance I had, so I just kind of punched a 6 iron from there into the fairway.  I had about 115 to the green with a trap short and right.  I tried to play long and left, but my pitching wedge was weak and faded right.  I ended up just to the right of the trap and pitched to about 9 feet.  I needed 3 putts from there because I ran the ball about 10 feet beyond the hole with my first putt, but I finished up with a double bogey.

Round Stats

  • Score - 48
  • Penalty Strokes - 6
  • Putts - 15
  • Fairways - 2 of 6
  • Greens in Regulation - 0 of 9
  • Up and Downs - 4 of 6
  • Sand Saves - 0 of 1

Overall... I feel a lot better about how I played.  I still have a few days left to hit the practice range and green, and I have a few things to work out with tee shots... but if I can eliminate the penalty strokes from the tee... at least I'll be somewhere around where I want to be for the first tournament of the season.