Saturday, March 28, 2015

Tournament Review - 3/28/2015 - Country Club of Salisbury (Salisbury, NC)

Tournament number 4 with the Golfweek Amateur Tour in Charlotte was Saturday.  I was concerned because, since the last tournament two weeks prior, I hadn't had an opportunity to even go to the range, let alone get on a course.  Work sorta took over and kept me busy.  I returned home from Dallas late Wednesday night and had every intention of going to the course on Thursday, but the weather said otherwise... so I went into the tournament kind of blind.  

I did have an opportunity to hit a few balls on the range at the course, but with the wind whipping around... I honestly wasn't overly sure of what my ball flight was like.  It appeared to be that I was going to be playing a fairly strong fade throughout the day, so... I headed into my round with that.

Once again, for the third straight tournament, I started on the 16th hole.  Details are below.

Scorecard Link

Game Golf Link - Country Club of Salisbury - 3/28/15



Hole #16 - Par 4 - 358 Yards

As far as opening holes in a shotgun format go... this one appeared to be fairly easy to start with.  The wind was behind us a little, so I aimed up the left side of the fairway and got the ball WAY up in the air with my driver.  It started well left and finished off the right of the fairway in the rough with the ball below my feet.  I somehow managed to hit my 9 iron approach fat, even with the ball below my feet.  I came up 25 yards short of the pin.  I had problems with pitch shots and half wedge shots all day, and this set the tone.  I had a great lie in the fairway short of the green with nothing between me and the pin.  I sh*nked my sand wedge 60 degrees to the right into the greenside trap.  No idea how I managed that, but... from there, I put the ball to about 14 feet and made that putt for an opening bogey.

Hole #17 - Par 3 - 172 Yards

Another thing I noticed was that I was hitting the ball off the heel on a lot of shots.  I'm 95% sure it's because I've moved closer to the ball, and I didn't have much practice since the last round with my 'new' stance.  I'm lucky I didn't break my club with how close to the hosel I hit the ball with my hybrid off this tee.  It dribbled up into the rough and left me 75+ yards to the hole.  My wedge from there stuck short of the green.  I attempted to putt on from there, but the false front on the green funneled the ball back off to the fringe.  I again used my putter from the fringe and got the ball to about 3 feet.  I made that for a double bogey.  Meh...

Hole #18 - Par 4 - 383 Yards

Everybody walked up to this tee with irons, but the hole was playing into the wind... so I grabbed my driver.  I managed to hit my best drive of the day.  It was a bullet through the wind that hit at the top of a hill and fed down closer to the green.  I had about 105 yards to the hole, I hit it heavy and it ended up going about 85 yards and left me a bad fried-egg lie in the bunker.  I hacked that out but it ran all the way across the green.  I putted from the fringe to about 6 feet, but I missed the bogey putt and tapped in for a double.  Not the best of starts for me... +5 over the first 3 holes.

Hole #1 - Par 4 - 348 Yards

It didn't get much better here.  Another shot that I'm lucky didn't break a club... I managed the squirt the ball at a 50 degree angle to the left with my driver.  It hit a cart path and bounced along that for a few yards and settled 64 yards away.  I had a small opening between trees that I tried to fit a punch 4 iron through, but of course I hit a tree in the center and it advanced only about 25 yards.  I then punched through the trees and left myself about 160 yards to the pin.  I hit what I thought was a good 6 iron, but it came up short.  I chipped on to 13 feet and needed 2 putts from there for a triple bogey.  I started bogey - double - double - triple.  Things weren't looking great.

Hole #2 - Par 4 - 374 Yards

I played this hole fairly well.  My drive was straight into the wind and short (219 yards), but it hit the fairway.  My 6 iron found the green, but I was 38 feet away.  My lag putt left me about 5 feet, but I managed to make that for a par.

Hole #3 - Par 5 - 520 Yards

There are only 3 Par 5 holes on the course.  2 of the 3 were playing dead into the wind.  My drive didn't crack 200 yards on this hole.  I hit what I thought was a good lay up with a 4 iron.  It left me about 180 to the hole.  My hybrid from there immediately started slicing but clipped a tree branch and knocked it down.  If it didn't hit that tree, it very likely would have gone OB on me.  My pitching wedge was well short and I then bladed a chip over the green into a bunker.  I got it out to about 7 feet and played ping-pong with the hole acting as the net.  I made a 9, which was adjusted down to an 8.  Another triple bogey.  I was now sitting at +11 after only 6 holes of play.

Hole #4 - Par 4 - 386 Yards

I was angry at myself while standing on this tee.  I took a big swing with my driver, but again, the ball got WAY up in the air and kind of floated in the wind.  It ended up in the fairway, but it only traveled 196 yards.  I was left with about 200 yards to the hole, but I was afraid of hitting my hybrid because the last 2 times I'd swung that club, it didn't turn out very well.  Instead, I opted for a 4 iron which rode the wind beautifully and landed on the green.  I was 50+ feet away and lagged it up to inside 3 feet, so I tapped in for a par.

On a side note, I was told by one of the guys I was playing with that I needed to get fit for my driver because my shaft was too whippy for me and I was getting too much spin with my driver, which was costing me distance.  I'd never been fitted for a driver before, but it's something I may need to look into.

Hole #5 - Par 4 - 358 Yards

On this tee, I hit what felt like a solid drive, but I was far and away the shortest in the group.  It measured out at only 187 yards.  My 6 iron approach came up short of the green but I was able to chip to about 6 feet and make that for another par.

Hole #6 - Par 3 - 165 Yards

While standing on the tee, we watched the group ahead of us make an absolute mess of this hole.  Our group managed to play it in birdie - par - par - bogey.  I hit a solid 6 iron that funneled towards the hole and left me about 12 feet away.  I missed the birdie putt low and it ran away about 5 feet.  I was able to make the putt for par... my third consecutive.

Hole #7 - Par 4 - 405 Yards

This was the longest par 4 on the course but we had wind helping us.  I managed to hit a drive that didn't float, but I pulled it a little left.  It ended up about 247 yards out, but in the left rough.  My 7 iron approach was weak and well short.  I chipped from there to about 9 feet but I wasn't able to convert that for par.  Instead, I had to settle for a tap-in bogey, ending my streak of pars at three.

Hole #8 - Par 4 - 341 Yards

Another strong swing with my driver, this time into the wind, but another slight pull.  I was just off the left side of the fairway with about 120 to the pin.  There was an overhanging tree between the green and I, but I didn't think it was going to be a problem.  I thought I'd be able to stay to the right of it.  My 9 iron got up quickly and JUST clipped a tree branch.  I hit the front of the green and the ball spun well back off the green due to the false front.  I absolutely bladed my chip and it screamed off the back of the green.  I rolled it from there with the putter to about 6 feet and made that for another bogey.

Hole #9 - Par 3 - 156 Yards

This was playing much longer than the card distance, especially with the wind in our faces.  My 5 iron was a flat-out slice.  Luckily, the green was surrounded by an amphitheater style hill, so the ball hit off that and stayed in play.  I had a fairly simple pitch down the hill to the green, but again... I hit it off the hosel and it went straight right.  In fact, I almost hit 2 of my playing partners.  They jumped out of the way, though... so no damage done.  I putted from the fringe at the back of the green, but the ball ran out on me more than I thought.  I was 6 feet by the hole and I was unable to make that, so I closed out my front nine with a double bogey.

** NOTE - Despite making 2 triple bogeys and a double bogey, I managed to post a 46 (dropped to a 45) for my front nine.  I was certainly not 'happy' about my score.  I felt like it could (and should) have been 3-5 strokes lower.  That said... I also know it could have been far worse.

Hole #10 - Par 4 - 375 Yards

This began a stretch of 3 straight holes that played into a stiff wind.  My drive off this tee was off the fairway on the left side a little bit.  I had tree trouble again, but my 9 iron managed to make it through the tree and ended up just off the green in the fairway.  I tried to putt from there, but there was a bit of sticky grass that caught the ball and I barely made it on to the green.  I left myself 24 feet and needed 3 putts to close out the hole.  Another double... this time after having no trouble off the tee.

Hole #11 - Par 4 - 387 Yards

I flat-out pulled my drive here.  It ended up beneath a set of trees.  There was an opening there, but I was about 190 yards from the hole.  I would have to keep the ball low for the first 30+ yards.  I decided my hybrid was the only play.  I hit it well and it stayed low, but at the last instant, it clipped some of the pine needles hanging down.  This took just enough off of the ball to keep it from reaching the green.  I pitched over the bunker, onto the green.  It left me 8 feet and I was able to make that for my par.

Hole #12 - Par 4 - 377 Yards

I was tired of the wind by the time we got to this tee.  My drive again floated in the wind and only went 188 yards.  My hybrid from the fairway was low, but got blown slightly offline and finished pin-high just off the left side of the green.  I tried to bump my chip into the hill between me and the hole, but I didn't do a very good job.  I barely trundled onto the green and left myself a 12 footer.  I missed that just a bit low and tapped in for a bogey.

Hole #13 - Par 5 - 523 Yards

We finally had a reprieve from the wind here.  Even still, I hit my drive off the heel again and it floated out to the right on me.  I had no shot at going for the green, so I laid back and hit a 4 iron.  It left me about 50 yards to the hole.  I sh*nked that one too... but it left me just off the front-right side of the green.  I chipped on to 5 feet and made that for my par.

Hole #14 - Par 3 - 154 Yards

This was the final par 3 of the day for our group.  I went first here and hit another good 6 iron on a par 3.  It started at the left edge of the green and the wind carried it back.  It finished up 14 feet from the hole.  My birdie putt did NOT break and I STILL don't see how that's possible.  But, I tapped in from 2 feet for my par and headed to our final tee of the day.

Hole #15 - Par 5 - 476 Yards

I think all of us were kind of licking our chops on this tee.  It could have been reachable with a good drive.  I thought I hit a good drive, but all of us kind of made the same sound when the ball dropped out of the sky.  It literally looked like it hit a wall and just fell straight down.  I don't know if the ball was just dead at that point (I had been using the same ball the entire round)... if my driver has something wrong with it... I just don't know.  I DO know that my drives weren't traveling at all for me.  This one went all of 200 yards.  It left me too far to give it a try, obviously, so I hit to a comfortable spot with my 4 iron, leaving me about 105 again.  My wedge from there found the green, but rolled back some, leaving me a 27 foot attempt for birdie.  I hit an extremely poor putt from there and still had 7 feet.  I managed to make that fall for a par to close out the round.

** NOTE - The final 6 holes of the round were played in +3 and I posted a 44 on the back nine and an overall score of 90 (adjusted to 89).  I dropped off the scorecard, put my clubs in my trunk and headed back to the scoring area.  I watched as scores were posted.  For awhile, I was 1 back of 2 others who posted 88's.  The final group had someone come in and post an 85, so I finished 4 strokes back and in 4th place for the second consecutive week.  Another $50 Edwin Watts Gift Card goes into my drawer.

I will not be playing again on tour for 4 weeks.  The next tournament is this coming Saturday, but it is our wedding anniversary and I made a church commitment awhile back to help out that day as well.  The weekend of April 25th and April 26th is a 2 day major.  I will be taking this week off because the kids are home from school... but I will be getting in some quality practice time between now and then.  

I will be missing 2 of the next 3 tournaments (we'll be on a cruise for the other)... so I'm hoping it doesn't have a major impact on my place in the standings.

Round Stats

  • Score - 90 (Club Adjusted to 89)
  • Penalty Strokes - 0
  • Putts - 32
  • Fairways - 6 of 14
  • Greens in Regulation - 5 of 18
  • Up and Downs - 3 of 6
  • Sand Saves - 1 of 3






Saturday, March 14, 2015

Tournament Review - 3/14/2015 - Cowan's Ford Golf Club at Lake Norman (Stanley, NC)

I spent all week looking at weather reports for Saturday.  One minute it would say no rain, the next minute, they were saying an inch per hour of rain.  In the end, I woke up Saturday morning to an absolute downpour.  I figured there was no way we'd be playing, but I checked the website anyway... and it was posted that the rain was going to clear out just prior to our 1:30 shotgun start... so I got myself ready.  I prepared rain gear... rain gloves, extra socks, extra towels, water resistant jacket, rain pants... I was set.  

As I left my house for the 50 minute drive north, it was still pouring.  A local amusement park was covered in fog and I could only see the bottom-third of roller coasters.  The further north I drove, however, the more it cleared up.  By the time I arrived to the course, about 90 minutes before our tee time, it had slowed to barely a drizzle.  I checked in, grabbed a bag of balls and headed to the range.

Last week, I posted the video above.  I noticed that I tend to stand REALLY far away from the ball.  I started taking some swings in my living room, starting with the 'ball' closer to me.  It felt much better... so when I got to the range that afternoon... I hit balls like that, and it made a world of difference.  My slice was now a nice little fade.  I also gained about 5 yards with each of my irons... and some shots were even more than that.  

After I was warmed up, I practiced some chipping and then headed to the putting green.  The one thing I didn't practice was my bunker shots.  I don't typically have too many issues in bunkers.  That said, I haven't really played in rain-packed bunkers, so I should have spent a FEW minutes in the practice bunker.  All-in-all, I spent about 60 minutes warming up... and then I had about a 20 minute wait until we teed off.  Just before, we were told it was lift, clean and place through the green (except bunkers, which had drained just fine).  I don't tend to take advantage of those situations, but looking at the course... it seemed like I was going to have no option but to find a 'dry' spot on the course to place my ball after each shot.

I started on the 16th hole.  My recap is below.

Scorecard Link

Game Golf Link - Cowan's Ford - 3/14/2015



Hole #16 - Par 4 - 370 Yards

This hole is a bit of a dogleg to the right.  Seeing as how it was so wet out, I abandoned my plan to hit my hybrid off that tee, figuring I'd need a driver to get me in a decent spot.  Unfortunately, I didn't hit my driver at the range because only the range mats were available.  I topped my drive... badly.  It dribbled out to about 75 yards, but it was in a good spot and I was able to advance my hybrid about 190 yards up into the fairway.  This left me about 120 to the hole.  My 9 iron was hit well and flew to the back of the green and bounced off (if you're looking at my Game Golf recap, I didn't fix the position.  It flew directly over the pin and off the back of the green.)  As I said, I was hitting the ball slightly further than I had been.  My chip was woefully short and I needed 2 putts from 27 feet to open with a double bogey.  

Hole #17 - Par 3 - 166 Yards

I caught the ball a little thin off this tee and it moved right of my target.  I was able to putt from the fringe, however, and I got the ball within 6 feet.  There was a line on the green from the rain that pretty much showed me my exact line to the hole.  I hit the ball on that line, but at the last second, it dipped below the hole and stopped a foot away.  I tapped in for my bogey.

Hole #18 - Par 5 - 529 Yards

This was a severe dogleg right and I knew I'd put my driver through the fairway, so I laid back with my hybrid.  I split the fairway and left myself a clear shot to my layup spot.  I was trying to get to about 150 yards with my layup, and my 4 iron was hit perfectly.  It left me about 145 to the hole with the breeze at my back.  I figured my 8 iron, with the breeze, would be perfect.  Again, I hit the ball right on line... but it went long.  I ended up about 20 yards long, off the back of the green.  Again, I was able to putt from there and again, I got myself to about 6 feet with the lag.  I just made a bad putt and missed it low, so I tapped in for another bogey.  

Hole #1 - Par 5 - 475 Yards

This hole was playing into a stiff breeze of about 8 MPH... but they moved the tees up a ridiculous amount.  According to my GPS, it was about 403 yards from the tee to the middle of the green.  I hit a drive that I thought was crushed.  It was a center-of-the-face shot... but it got up high in the air and just floated there.  All 4 of our drives in the group finished within a 4 yard circle of each other.  When I got up there, the ball went nowhere.  Game Golf measured it at 183, but it also had me teeing off from a tree (and I didn't see it until after I signed the round).  It was actually about a 200 yard drive, but still... it was short.  I had over 200 to the green and I hit a hybrid on a rope.  It landed just short of the green and stuck there.  I putted from there to about 8 feet.  My birdie putt was smashed and never had a shot.  I made the 6 footer coming back down the hill for par.

Hole #2 - Par 4 - 358 Yards

This was listed as the #1 handicap hole on the card.  We had the wind at our backs so my drive had some help.  I ended up splitting the fairway and plugging at 248 yards out.  My 9 iron from there was fat and came up short, off the front of the green.  I had an opening to putt, but I completely botched that and barely got the ball onto the green.  I left myself 25 feet for a par attempt and missed that low.  My 3 footer from there dropped and I carded a bogey.

Hole #3 - Par 3 - 168 Yards

I had been playing decent up to this hole.  It is a fairly easy hole... the pin was cut up front and it was playing about 162 yards with a wind helping and from the right.  I hit a poor 6 iron that started right and hung out there.  It landed in the bunker on that side of the green.  What shouldn't have been too tough of a shot turned into a huge mess.  My first swing had me blade the ball into the lip of the trap, and it rolled back down.  My next swing, I hit it really thin and it flew about 60 yards out of there and well over the green.  I hit a flop shot from there to about 37 feet and then three-putted to post a 7.  With the triple-bogey max club rule, it was dropped to a 6.  Still... all-around ugly.

Hole #4 - Par 4 - 320 Yards

This was one of the easier holes on the course.  It was short... and wide open.  I decided to get aggressive and try to leave myself a 50-60 yarder for my approach.  I swung way too hard and pulled my driver well left.  Luckily, it was wide open over there.  I had about 110 to the hole but my swing from the rough was heavy and it came up short of the green.  My chip up was chunked and left off the green.  I was able to putt from there to 7 feet and I made that for a bogey.

Hole #5 - Par 5 - 502 Yards

This was another par 5 that played straight into the wind.  Unfortunately, they didn't help us out at all here.  In fact, they moved the tees back about 20 yards, so it was playing more like 525 yards... and that's not accounting for the wind.  My drive was hit well again, but came up short of where I was hoping to be.  It was measured at 200 yards.  I hit a fat 4 iron that I advanced just about 110 yards and left me around 220 yards to the pin.  I hit a low (very low) hybrid that ran all the way up just short of the green, and then I had my worst putting issues of the round.  I putted from off the green between 2 sprinkler heads.  I was more concerned with getting it between those than I was with the distance of the putt, so I got it onto the green, but about 23 feet short.  I made a mess of it from there.  I went about 8 feet by with my first attempt, and then I missed it low from there, finally tapping in for a double bogey.

Hole #6 - Par 4 - 353 Yards

More sand trouble on this hole, which ultimately probably cost me a shot at winning the C Flight.  I hit a solid drive on a line just over some trees on the left.  It got caught up in the rough over there, but I had an open swing to the green from there.  I hit my approach wedge a little thin and it went long.  That's typically a 100 yard club for me, but because I caught it so thin, it went deep and landed in a bunker.  My first attempt out hit the lip again.  My second attempt was thin and flew over the green into the trap on the opposite side.  I was finally able to get onto the green from there, but I left myself 24 feet and I two-putted from there for a triple-bogey.

Hole #7 - Par 3 - 141 Yards

This was playing slightly longer than the distance on the card... about 160 yards or so.  I got steep with my 6 iron here and it was fat and well short.  I played a nice little pitch from around 50 yards that got to within 6 feet and I was able to make that for a par.

Hole #8 - Par 4 - 377 Yards

I hit the purest drive of my day on this hole, but I pulled it slightly.  It settled into the rough 261 yards from the tee, and there was a stand of trees in front of me that I couldn't play over.  I decided to try and punch a 6 iron under those trees and run it up just short of the green.  I gave it too much and the ball ran up into a bunker.  From the back of the bunker, bladed into the lip and it stayed in the bunker.  I got out from there to about 15 feet short of the hole.  I was angry at that point and I didn't give the putt my full attention, missing short.  I made the 2 foot putt for double bogey.

Hole #9 - Par 4 -367 Yards

I made an extremely angry swing on the tee here and hooked the ball.  I never saw it off the tee, but everybody else did and we were able to find it beneath some trees up on the left side.  I had a tree between me and the green, but it wasn't a problem.  It was a full 8 iron from where I was, but I didn't bring that club with me when I walked across the hole from the cart.  I thought it was further back, so I had a 6 iron or a 7 iron with me.  I opened up my 7 iron a little bit and choked down... but I didn't catch the ball properly and I flipped it weakly into the fairway well short of the green.  Another fat chip from short of the green left me with a putter from the fringe that I got to about 5 feet of the hole.  I just missed that and tapped in for a double bogey.

** NOTE - I was able to post a 51 (dropped to a 50) for my front nine.  That included 3 doubles and 2 triples.  I felt like I had played better than that, but when it was all added up... there I was.  I had 6 holes to play and I was just hoping to post a score under 100.  

Hole #10 - Par 4 - 407 Yards

This hole played uphill for the tee shot, and from there, it went back downhill.  It was playing directly into the wind and the sun and I never saw the ball after it left the club face.  I was told it was down the middle, and when we got up to the top of the hill, it was in the fairway.  I was left with about 160 to the pin.  I hit a 6 iron down the hill and it LOOKED like it hit short of the green, but when we got up there, my ball was 18 feet short of the hole on the green.  My putt was pure, but despite peeking into the cup, it didn't drop.  It ran about 2 feet by and I made that for my par.  

Hole #11 - Par 3 - 189 Yards

There was quite a wait on this tee.  When we reached the tee, the group in front of us hadn't teed off yet.  About 15 minutes later, we were set to go.  It was playing about 200 yards with the pin in the back of the green and I hit a low hybrid that was RIGHT on line with the pin.  It hit the green and ran all the way to the back.  I was about 6 feet from the closest-to-the-pin marker on that hole, but I still had about 24 feet down the hill from the back of the green.  My putt settled on the lip of the hole but would NOT drop.  I tapped that in for another par.

11th Hole

Hole #12 - Par 4 - 356 Yards

The last of my sand troubles came on this hole.  I hit a solid drive up the right side of the fairway, leaving me a perfect angle to the pin on the front-left side of the green.  I had about 105 to the hole, but my approach wedge was flared right.  I thought it was deep and over the bunker at the front of the green, but I couldn't find the ball.  When I finally decided to look in the bunker, it was there.  Crap!  Of course, I had troubles.  I bladed it long out of there over the green beneath a tree.  I played a nearly-perfect flop from there that rolled down towards the pin and stopped 5 feet away.  I made that for a 'good' bogey.

Hole #13 - Par 4 - 325 Yards

This hole had a creek running down the left side and across the fairway, so playing a driver was out of the question.  I hit a hybrid a little thin and left, but it found the fairway and left me about 150 to the hole.  I had hit my 7 iron poorly earlier in the round, so I didn't have much confidence in it, but I decided to play well towards the left side of the green because there was a drop off from the right side of the green into a pond.  Of course, I hit another poor 7 iron that sliced wildly on me.  It hit the front of the green and bounced to the right and rolled off the green, over the wall and into the hazard below that wall.  I dropped and hit manageable pitch to about 12 feet.  I sank that right-to-left putt for another 'good' bogey save.

Hole #14 - Par 4 - 331 Yards

Being on the course for close to 6 hours already, I was getting tired.  I just wanted to keep it together for the last 2 holes.  For the first time all day, a hit a drive right.  It started at the right side of the fairway and just faded a little bit.  It carried the fairway bunker and left me a clear shot to the green.  My approach wedge from about 95 yards hit the front of the green and stayed there (first time all day a shot stuck and didn't advance on the green).  I had about 36 feet from there and I two-putted for a par.

Hole #15 - Par 5 - 500 Yards

Last hole... and it was the wettest hole of the day.  Looking down from the elevated tee box, it looked like you were hitting into a lake, pretty much.  I hit another towering drive that didn't go nearly as far as I felt it was going to go.  It hit the ground and plugged immediately.  I had about 250 yards to go and I had no intentions of trying anything stupid.  I hit a 4 iron that left me a perfect distance for a sand wedge from the lake, errr... fairway.  My sand wedge hit the green and backed up (another first for the day) to about 13 feet from the hole.  My putt looked good but ran by the edge and left me 3 feet, which I made to close out the round with a par.

** NOTE - I played my final 6 holes in +2 and I posted a 42 for the back nine overall.  By the time we got to the scoring area, I saw that I was posted in 3rd place.  The last group that came in had someone post a 90 for C Flight, so I finished in 4th place only 2 strokes back.  Thinking back over the round, it was all the swings from the sand that hurt me.  I was extremely happy to have placed a decent score for once and I was ecstatic to walk away with the $50 Edwin Watts Gift Card for my efforts.  There is now a 2 week break until the next tournament and I will be flying to Dallas for work next week... so I probably won't get onto the course until next Thursday or Friday for some practice.  

Round Stats

  • Score - 93 (Club Adjusted to 92)
  • Penalty Strokes - 1
  • Putts - 34
  • Fairways - 8 of 14
  • Greens in Regulation - 5 of 18
  • Up and Downs - 1 of 5
  • Sand Saves - 0 of 4

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Round Review - 3/11/2015 - Tega Cay Golf Club - Cove Course (Fort Mill, SC)

Despite calling for rain earlier in the week, yesterday turned out to be an amazing day.  It was somehwere about 82 degrees and no rain until later in the afternoon.  Of course, I had to run out to play at least nine holes... so I went to my local favorite, Tega Cay and played the nine hole Cove Course.  

I put together a vlog, but I ran out of camera space by the 7th hole... so, I only got part of it.  But, if you prefer to watch that... it's below.




Hole #1 - Par 3 - 186 Yards

There was a little bit of a breeze into me and from the right, but the pin was up front, so I hit a 5 iron.  It started out on a good line and ended up just about pin-high and 7 feet from the hole.  Best shot I've played to this hole so far.  I missed the birdie putt on the low side and cleaned up from 2 feet for an opening par.  

Hole #2 - Par 5 - 448 Yards

I've mentioned in the past that this hole eats me alive.  I know that anything more than a hybrid is going into a back yard out of bounds... and if I catch the hybrid correctly, that's going to be long, too.  So... I hit a 4 iron that I sliced a little bit, but it cleared the corner and found the left side of the fairway.  I still had about 255 to the hole, and no shot of getting there, so I laid back with my 6 iron.  It wasn't the greatest shot and ended up about 110 or so from the hole.  A bad pitching wedge from the fairway floated well right and into a trap.  I got out of there, but spun the ball back off the green.  I putted up to about 7 feet, missed that and settled for a tap-in double bogey.

Hole #3 - Par 4 - 428 Yards

I had been hitting a straight ball with my driver when I played on Saturday, so I set up for the same thing... but I sliced it.  Luckily, it hit up on a hill and stayed in play.  I had about 185 or so to go, but the ball was above my feet.  I hit a 4 iron that cut around some trees... and I lost sight of it.  I thought it was going to be in the right rough.  Luckily, when I got up there, my ball was in the fairway just short of the bunker in front of the green.  I hit a very poor, very thin pitch that scooted through the bunker and onto the green.  2 putts from 12 feet for my bogey.

Hole #4 - Par 4 - 376 Yards

I despise this hole.  For such a short hole, it gives me fits.  Off the tee, I hit a hybrid that found the right side of the fairway.  I then cut a 4 iron around the trees in front of me, but it didn't reach the green.  I pitched on to about 11 feet above the hole.  My putt burned the edge, almost stopped there... and then ran all the way off the front of the green.  I putted from the fairway back to about 2 feet and then tapped in for my double bogey.

Hole #5 - Par 4 - 310 Yards

I tend to find the left side of this fairway a lot... so I aimed down the right side... and promptly hit a fade 4 iron into the fairway bunker.  My 9 iron out of there from about 120 was fat... and then my sand wedge from just about 60 yards was thin and over the green.  The first mistake helped to create the second mistake.  I chipped on, very short of the hole, about 16 feet away.  The bogey putt was low the entire time, but another 2 foot putt gave me a second consecutive double bogey.

Hole #6 - Par 4 - 312 Yards

I got a great break on this hole.  I pulled my tee shot left and it hammered a tree.  I never saw it come down, so I hit a provisional.  It was a BAD provisional.  It ended up in the right rough below a tree, just behind a bunker.  Luckily my original tee shot had kicked directly into the fairway and I had about 68 yards up the hill to the pin.  I pulled it way left... it hit the cart path and ended up on some mud in front of a tree.  My chip was thin and ran off the green.  My next chip got to about 9 feet away, but I missed the putt and ended up making a THIRD straight double bogey.

Hole #7 - Par 3 - 195 Yards

I love playing this hole because it's probably the prettiest on the Cove Course.  The tee is elevated well above the green, so even though it's fairly long... it doesn't play that long.  My 5 iron was pushed right and settled into the rough to the right of the green.  I hit another poor chip shot that ended up 10 feet from the hole and I FINALLY made a putt, giving me another par.

Hole #8 - Par 3 - 149 Yards

The last time I played this hole, the pin was in the same exact spot.  It didn't bode well for me.  I hit a poor 9 iron that got caught in the wind and bounced off the hill to the right of the green and kicked towards a hazard.  It stayed out, but I didn't have a good swing.  I kind of hacked the ball out of there and it stuck on the green, but 25 feet from the hole... downhill all the way.  If I went even an inch long, it was going off the green.  Of course, I did... and the ball just rolled and rolled.  I chipped back on to about 8 feet... missed the putt and then tapped in from less than a foot for another triple bogey.  4 of the last 5 holes had been triples... mostly due to poor chipping and putting.

Hole #9 - Par 5 - 488 Yards

I hit what felt like one of the purest drives of the year for me.  I didn't feel the ball leave the club.  It was on a line to the right side of the fairway.  I had about 220 up the hill to the green.  My 3 wood was tugged a little left and clipped a tree branch.  That kept it short, but left me with an easy, uphill pitch.  I hit that up to about 13 feet from the hole and burned the edge on my birdie try.  I tapped in to end my round with a par.  

It wasn't bad... but it should have been 3 - 5 shots better.  I like playing this course because it lets me hit a lot of different shots and really isn't as easy as the scorecard would indicate.  I hate playing this course because it messes with my head.  I'll keep playing here every chance I get.  It keeps me ready for the tournaments.

Round Stats

  • Score - 47
  • Penalty Strokes - 0
  • Putts - 19
  • Fairways - 4 of 6
  • Greens in Regulation - 2 of 9
  • Up and Downs - 1 of 4
  • Sand Saves - 0 of 1

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Tournament Review - 3/7/2015 - Edgewater Golf Club (Lancaster, SC)

I don't have much to say about the round.  It was better than I have been playing, but nowhere near where I was when I last played in tournaments.  I finished a full 13 strokes off the winner... posting a T9 out of 17 in C Flight.  I know what I need to work on... and I'll be focusing on it over the new few weeks.  Until I can get back to playing bogey golf, though... I won't have a shot.

Also... this was an even 6 hour round.  Cart path only.  There was not a single shot the entire round that we didn't wait on.  The group in front of us came back no less than 3 times throughout the round.  One guy in particular had to have shot 110 or worse but STILL lined up every putt (including the 2 footers) like his life depended on it.  It was frustrating, to say the least.

The details are all below.



Hole #16 - Par 4 - 370 Yards

Before I got to the course, I had every intention of teeing off with a 4 iron or my hybrid on every par 4 and par 5 except for 2 holes.  When I got there, I hit the range and I was hitting my driver well... so I switched my gameplan.  On this hole, however, I decided to stick with my hybrid off the tee and it didn't work out so well for me.  My tendency when I mishit my hybrid is to top it or pull it.  I did both off the tee here.  It dribbled out to the left about 80 yards.  I then had tough lie in the rough with the ball WAY below my feet.  My 5 iron sliced wildly to the right rough.  My 8 iron was short (which you will see became a common theme throughout my day)... and then I hacked up the turf in front of the green with 3 horrible chips before settling for an opening 8 on my scorecard (which was cut down to a 7 because of a triple-bogey maximum club rule).

Hole #17 - Par 5 - 429 Yards

On the scorecard, this hole looks like a dream.  429 yards... par 5?  I was licking my chops.  Unfortunately, the wind was directly into our faces and I tried to cut the corner of the dogleg and paid for it, landing in the fairway bunker.  I hit my 6 iron out of there very fat, leaving me about 120 away.  This is a 9 iron for me... but, I came up short.  A chip to 10 feet and I sank the putt for par to calm myself down a bit.

Hole #18 - Par 4 - 378 Yards

This was another hole where the wind played into us, but slightly from the right.  On the tee, I aimed at the fairway bunker on the left, figuring I'd be able to fade the ball off of that... but with the wind, it didn't fade as much as I'd hoped, and my drive found a fairway bunker for the second straight hole.  I needed 2 swings from there to escape as my first attempt was just ugly and I hit very far behind the ball.  I had about 110 into the green, and again... I came up short, into a greenside trap.  I blasted out of there to about 9 feet, but missed the putt and settled for a triple bogey.

Hole #1 - Par 4 - 315 Yards

This hole was pretty much straight downhill from tee to green.  I initially pulled a 4 iron from my bag, but when I saw how wide open the hole was... I decided on using my driver.  I hit the ball well and it found the fairway... and was my best drive of the season so far at 267 yards.  This left me a little pitch to the green that checked up quickly on me.  2 putts from 22 feet for my par.

Hole #2 - Par 5 - 509 Yards

I got my driver up in the air a little too high, so my drive didn't get out there very far (219 yards).  I tried to get my 5 iron up to about 120 yards, but hit it a little heavy and left myself about 135 to the hole.  My 8 iron was pin high, but left.  I chipped from there to about 7 feet and sank the par putt.

Hole #3 - Par 4 - 353 Yards

I put myself in a bad position off the tee.  I hit the ball well, but I pulled it left.  This put me beneath some trees.  From where I was, there wasn't very much I could do with the ball.  I had to keep it low, but I had to carry the water directly between the green and myself.  Long would have put it into the water behind the green.  I only had about 115 to the pin... so I punched an 8 iron out of an extremely wet lie.  Luckily, it carried the water, but it scooted right on me, leaving me a 20 yard chip from the fairway.  My chip settled a foot behind the cup and I tapped in for a third consecutive par.

Hole #4 - Par 3 - 173 Yards

That was to be my last par for the entire round, unfortunately.  I hit a fat 6 iron that JUST cleared the hazard.  I found my ball with a huge clump of mud on it.  I was probably 20 feet below the green where I was, and I bumped my shot from there into the hill, but it still carried over the back of the green on me.  I was in the fringe and I putted from there to about 3 feet and dropped that for a bogey.  Not bad considering how poorly I hit my tee shot.

Hole #5 - Par 4 - 381 Yards

I reached this tee feeling pretty confident.  I had been playing pretty well with the exception of a few holes.  This was my 8th hole of the round and I was ready to keep it going.  This hole is a slight dogleg right, and because I hadn't been fading my driver most of the day, I decided to tee off with my 3 wood.  My intended fade became an outright 60 yard slice DEEP into the woods.  My next shot was a snap hook to the left.  Luckily, it hit a tree and dropped down.  Unfortunately, it settled directly against a tree trunk, so I had to take an unplayable drop.  I then punched a 4 iron into the fairway and hit a sand wedge onto the green.  I was flustered and I recorded a three-putt from 23 feet for a 9 (which was again adjusted to a triple bogey 7 based on club rules).  Ugly hole that shouldn't have been so ugly.

Hole #6 - Par 5 - 550 Yards

I didn't hit the worst drive in the world, but it was in the left rough.  I was trying to lay up to about 120 again, but I hit my 4 iron heavy from the rough and ended up in a decent lie short of a fairway bunker.  I had probably 130 to the pin and I hit what I thought was going to be a good shot, but it hit a tree branch and dropped straight down, netting a 30 yard shot.  My gap wedge from there came up just short of the green.  I putted from the fringe to about 4 feet and made that for a bogey.  Better than the last hole, but still disappointing.

Hole #7 - Par 4 - 355 Yards

This hole reminded me of a hole I used to play all the time in New Jersey.  A sharp dogleg left around a water hazard.  I laid back with a 4 iron off the tee to the fairway.  My 6 iron from about 165 was heavy and short (I told you it was a theme for the day).  I putted from there to about 5 feet, but I missed the par putt and settled for a bogey.  

Hole #8 - Par 3 - 144 Yards

This is a downhill par 3 that was playing well short of the 144 listed on the card.  Unfortunately, I hit my 9 iron off the tee VERY fat and well short.  My sand wedge from the rough was tugged a little left.  I chipped to 5 feet and missed ANOTHER short putt and tapped in for a double bogey 5 on what was probably the easiest hole on the entire course.  

Hole #9 - Par 4 - 281 Yards

Looking at the card, this seemed like it could be driveable with a well struck tee shot.  Then I got to the hole and realized it was uphill all the way.  My tee shot squirted a little right on me, but I was in a good position.  My sand wedge stuck on the fringe of the green.  I putted from there, but I ran about 7 feet by the hole.  I missed that putt for par and made the 2 footer coming back for a bogey.  That let me finish the front side with a 47  which was adjusted to a 45.  I was hoping to finish the remaining 6 holes playing bogey golf, which would have allowed me to post at least a semi-decent score.

Hole #10 - Par 4 - 389 Yards

I hadn't hit a proper fade with my driver all day.  This hole called for a draw... so I set up with a closed stance, and I promptly faded the ball off of that target line.  It ended up in an environmental area to the right.  My drop left me about 180 to the hole.  I hit what FELT like a perfect fade 4 iron from there.  It cleared the trees, turned to the right... but hit the lip of the greenside trap and fell in.  It was 2 feet from being perfect.  A heavy shot out of there barely escaped the bunker.  I hacked my chip shot onto the green, but 48 feet away.  I two-putted from there for a triple bogey 7.  Crap!

Hole #11 - Par 3 - 178 Yards

This was another downhill par 3, but not a significant drop.  The wind was straight into our faces here.  I hit a good 4 iron that started to fade, but the wind stopped it.  It ended up on the fringe, a long way away from the hole.  I putted from there to about 7 feet.  I ran the par putt by the hole about 3 feet and made that for bogey.  Another missed up and down opportunity.

Hole #12 - Par 4 - 317 Yards

I was frustrated when I got up to the tee... the wind was into our faces again... so I teed the ball low and took a hard swing at it, trying to drive it through the wind.  I ended up topping it 52 yards into the left rough... with a group behind us watching.  I pushed a hybrid to the right rough from there... hit my sand wedge short (again)... and then finally chipped on to about 18 feet.  2 putts from there for a double bogey on another simple hole.

Hole #13 - Par 5 - 506 Yards

The wind was still in our faces... and I hit what FELT like my best drive all day.  It was low... it was pure... but it was short (217 yards).  I had a long way to go, so I just wanted to put myself in a good spot.  My 4 iron was pushed right and hit a tree and dropped straight down.  It was on a bed of mud and pebbles.  I punched that beneath the trees up into the fairway.  I hit a low gap wedge from about 70 yards that finished up about 18 feet away.  My putt from there burned the edge but settled 1 foot behind the hole... so I tapped in for a bogey.

Hole #14 - Par 4 - 348 Yards

Another drive that I thought I crushed that just didn't go anywhere.  I don't know if it was the wet fairways or if I just wasn't hitting the ball as well as I thought I was, but everything seemed shorter than I thought it was going to be or should have been.  This one went 224 yards, but I was in a perfect position.  I had about 119 to the pin... a perfect pitching wedge distance.  The wind was also helping us.  My wedge, when I hit it, looked like it was going to go into the hole... but I ended up 10 yards short, off the front of the green.  My chip was long, leaving me a 9 foot downhill putt.  I DIDN'T leave that one short... and it resulted in a 3 putt for a double bogey.  I was in perfect position in the fairway with 120 to go... and I carded a triple bogey.  

Hole #15 - Par 3 - 211 Yards

Last hole.  Downhill.  I just wanted to hit a par 3 in regulation.  But I pull-hooked my 4 iron from the tee.  I got a 'members bounce' off the trees back in play.  It wasn't a good lie and I just wanted to get it over the greenside trap.  I did... then putted from the fringe to 1 foot and tapped in for a bogey to close my round.  I posted a back nine score of 53, adjusted down to a 52.

I wasn't pleased with my score because I felt like it could have and SHOULD have been much better... but, it wasn't as bad as I had been playing so... at least there was some improvement.

Round Stats

  • Score - 100 (Club Adjusted to 97)
  • Penalty Strokes - 3
  • Putts - 32
  • Fairways - 5 of 14
  • Greens in Regulation - 1 of 18
  • Up and Downs - 3 of 10
  • Sand Saves - 0 of 2

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Round Review - 3/4/2015 - Tega Cay Golf Club - Cove Course (Fort Mill, SC)

I haven't touched a club since the last round I posted.  First... the weather hasn't played nice.  Second... I'm battling some pretty bad joint issues in my shoulders and right wrist, so I haven't felt good swinging a club.  I figured with the next stop on the Golfweek Amateur Tour in Charlotte coming up this Saturday, I should at least swing a club.  My initial plan was to just go hit some balls at a driving range somewhere... but when I finished up my training event this morning, it had started to clear up and it was exceptionally warm... so I decided to hit up Tega Cay and play 9 holes.  

Perhaps it wasn't the best of ideas.  The rust was extremely evident, and I didn't swing the club pain-free until the last 2 holes.  Anyway... below are all the gory details.



Hole #1 - Par 3 - 186 Yards

There was a decent breeze into my face, and the pin was all the way back... so I decided to take more club.  I chunked my 4 iron all of about 60 yards and then I bladed my wedge well over the green.  Another chunk, this time chipping with a wedge, left me short.  I was finally able to tap it onto the green and needed 2 putts from 18 feet for a triple bogey.

Hole #2 - Par 5 - 448 Yards

I hate this hole.  I don't think I've ever played it well.  This time was no exception.  I flat out topped my hybrid from the tee and it rolled out to about 35 yards.  I was so worried about hurting my wrist that the next few shots were either thin or topped as well.  My 6 iron from the rough in front of the tee was thin and sliced well right... luckily, it was around the dogleg.  Still... I had no shot other than to lay up.  I tried to punch a 6 iron under a tree, but again... I chickened out because of my wrist... so I topped it up the right side a little bit.  My hybrid was topped and pulled across the fairway.  I finally hit a shot that WASN'T thin... but I pushed it well right with my gap wedge onto the green.  From there, 3 putts from 47 feet for another triple bogey.

Hole #3 - Par 4 - 428 Yards

My driver was sliced, badly.  It hit the cart path and bounced up the hill... but the ball ended up rolling back down that hill into the fairway.  Lucky break.  Chunky, ugly 5 iron that rolled out down the left side into a bad lie.  A thin wedge over the green and a chip onto the green were followed by ANOTHER three-putt... this time from 15 feet for my third consecutive triple bogey.  I was getting discouraged...

Hole #4 - Par 4 - 376 Yards

... and then it got worse.  This hole is in my head.  There isn't enough room to hit anything far enough up for me to have a shot at the green because the tee shot would require a draw, which I can't hit purposely right now.  This forces me to play to the right side of the fairway and hope I don't slice the ball or run through.  Well... all that said, there is also a pond that requires MAYBE a 75 yard carry or so.  It shouldn't even be an issue... but I tend to drop balls in there like it's a wishing well.  Today, I made 3 wishes... topped shots that just dropped straight into the hazard.  I finally got out to the right rough, then I hooked a hybrid into the trees.  My wedge from there went long.  My chip ran like it was in a marathon, all the way off the green.  A putt from off the green to 9 feet and I made that for a solid 12.  Not a triple bogey... a triple par.  

Hole #5 - Par 4 - 310 Yards

Like I said on the last hole... I can't purposely hit a draw... but I can accidentally do it!  I did that with a 4 iron off the tee here.  It splattered into a muddy mess off the left side of the fairway.  I dropped the ball into a normal lie, but the ball was well above my feet... so, naturally, my 7 iron was fat and short.  Another bladed pitch shot over the green, and 3 shots from there JUST to get on the green.  I tapped in from a foot for ANOTHER triple bogey.

Hole #6 - Par 4 - 312 Yards

Although I didn't hit a GOOD tee shot... I didn't hit a BAD tee shot here either.  My 3 wood was tugged a little left, but it faded back into the fairway.  It was short (only 223 yards)... but it was safe.  I then decided to video my swing from the fairway with a wedge.  I wish I didn't.  I came down on TOP of the ball, drove it into the ground which then popped it up a few yards up the fairway.  My next swing was a little heavy, but it found the green.  That left me 47 feet for par... but I needed 3 putts and posted a double bogey.  Successful sarcasm!

Hole #7 - Par 3 - 195 Yards

The wind was fairly strong behind me, and this plays downhill... so I took a 6 iron.  It was an ugly slice, but it carried the lake and left me an uphill pitch from a lie in the leaves just outside of the hazard.  It didn't get close to the green.  My chip from the hill got on, but again... a three putt from 27 feet to get back on the triple bogey train.

Hole #8 - Par 3 - 149 Yards

I don't know what happened on this hole.  I hit what I THOUGHT was a good tee shot with an 8 iron... but it just kept floating right.  It hit the bank to the right of the green and funneled down below the green.  The pin was in a bad spot... and my chip hit the green and rolled off.  I then attempted to putt and leave the ball below the hole, but it got below the hole and just continued to run off the green.  2 chips got to within 7 feet of the pin, and then rolled back to my feet.  I putted from there to about 4 feet and made that for a quadruple bogey.  At least it wasn't a triple... right?

Hole #9 - Par 5 - 488 Yards

Another hole that requires a draw.  My tee shot, which I TRIED to draw, started out at my target... and stayed there.  It landed in the fairway bunker.  I had a good lie and I was able to hit my 6 iron out to a decent spot in the fairway.  I had about 130 to the green with the wind at my back... but I had a wet lie and my 9 iron just wasn't enough and I barely caught it fat, but it was fat enough to not get there.  My chip ended up about 18 feet away and I needed 2 putts for a bogey.  My best hole of the day was a bogey.  That about sums it up.

Anyway... it was ugly, but I got some swings in.  I'll try to get to the range on Friday at some point, and then I'll arrive early Saturday for some (much needed) practice time.

Round Stats

  • Score - 65
  • Penalty Strokes - 3
  • Putts - 19
  • Fairways - 2 of 6
  • Greens in Regulation - 0 of 9
  • Up and Downs - 0 of 2
  • Sand Saves - 0 of 0