Saturday, June 6, 2015

Tournament Review - 6/6/2015 - Charlotte National Golf Club (Indian Trail, NC)

"Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated."  - Arnold Palmer

For those of you following along... a few weeks ago, I suddenly developed a massive hook after playing a fade for almost all of my golfing life.  It's been maddening and yet a little exciting at the same time because a draw (should I be able to control the hook) will produce more yardage for me than my fade has.  Still... over the last 2 rounds I've played, it's put me in a lot of trouble and my scores have suffered as a result.

On this day, I arrived about 90 minutes early and spent a good 45 minutes on the range.  Somewhere along the way, it started to click and shots with my driver were either straight or slight draws.  Every so often, I'd catch one off the toe and it'd turn into a big slice, but... for the most part, I had it under control.  Of course, when you focus so much attention on one part of your game... other parts are going to suffer, and that's exactly what happened for me.  I struck the ball decently off the tee, but I managed to hit a bunch of very loose shots everywhere else... and my putting was atrocious.

Anyway... the recap is below.

Game Golf Link


Hole #14 - Par 4 - 370 Yards

Prior to the round, I wasn't really paying too much attention to where I was starting... but when I briefly looked at the scorecard, I thought that I was starting on a par 5.  When I got to the tee... I noticed it was a slight dogleg right, and I didn't see the green anywhere... so I pulled out my driver.  Turns out that I was actually starting on a fairly short par 4... but luckily, it didn't hurt me.  My first swing of the day was decent, producing a straight shot that found the right side of the fairway.  The pin was tucked into the front-right corner of the green, just behind a bunker, but I had a clear shot at it.  Unfortunately, my pitching wedge was a little right to start, caught a tree branch and fell short of that bunker.  My pitch from there caught the rough and settled on the fringe, so I putted on to about 6 feet and then made that to open with a bogey.

Hole #15 - Par 5 - 564 Yards

As far as par 5 holes go... this one was fairly long compared to most I play.  While standing on the tee, someone mentioned a hazard that was at the end of the fairway.  I thought they said it was 240 to reach it, but when I looked... the sign at the start of the hole said it was 280 to get there.  Still... I got in my own head about it and made a half-ass swing that started right and went further right.  It stayed in play, but left me a LONG way to go.  I hadn't tried to hit my hybrid on the range, so I wasn't sure whether to expect a hook, straight shot or fade.  I lined up for a straight shot, but it started right again and hammered a tree.  Luckily, it kicked to the left and short of the hazard.  I hit a fat 4 iron that ran almost the entire way into the fairway, hit a very poor gap wedge and then pitched to about 12 feet left of the hole.  My putt from there never had a chance and I tapped in for a double bogey.

Hole #16 - Par 3 - 184 Yards

Because of my double on the previous hole, I was the last to tee off here.  I watched all 3 guys before me come up short... and all 3 guys said that the wind was stronger than they thought.  Of course, I clubbed up from a 5 iron to a 4 iron.  I struck the ball well and it ended up taking off on me.  I finished up long and right... beneath a tree.  My pitch from there caught the bank in front of the green and killed the ball... so I putted on from there to about 15 feet beyond the hole.  I needed 2 more putts from there for a second straight double bogey.

Hole #17 - Par 4 - 424 Yards

There was a water hazard running the entire length of the left side of this hole.  Standing on the tee, all I could think was to NOT hook the ball.  I ended up hitting a very good drive that turned slightly from right to left and left me about 120 to the pin.  My pitching wedge carried just beyond the hole and spun back to about 18 feet.  I pulled my birdie attempt well left and tapped in for a par.

Hole #18 - Par 4 - 447 Yards

Another visually intimidating hole for me as this was a long par 4 that played right to left around a pond.  I liked the way it looked because it reminded me of a hole I used to play on my home course in New Jersey... but it was still a hole that didn't 'fit my eye'.  Again... I made a good swing and the ball stayed right where I aimed it, up the right side of the fairway.  I was a long way away at almost 190 yards to the hole, and I completely sliced my hybrid.  Fortunately, it was in a clearing up the right side and I was able to stick my sand wedge from 50 yards to about 13 feet.  My putt burned the right edge, so I tapped in for a bogey.

Hole #1 - Par 4 - 369 Yards

This is listed as the #17 handicap on the card... but I'm pretty sure it was the easiest hole out there.  Straightforward... very little trouble... and I played it accordingly.  My tee shot was a bit of a bigger draw, but not a hook.  It still ran through the fairway and into the left rough, but as I said... there was very little trouble, so I had about 80 yards to the hole with nothing between my ball and the pin but some rough.  My shot hit the green and stuck like a marshmallow.  I had no problems with the 12 foot right-to-left putt and I drained that for birdie.  This marked the 4th consecutive round for me with at least one birdie or better.  Still... it came on such and easy hole that I walked away without a skin.

Hole #2 - Par 5 - 519 Yards

I managed to find a way to double bogey every par 5 on the course today... and this one was the result of a poor approach shot.  My drive was in the center of the fairway, and I hit it far enough (264 yards) that I felt like I had a shot to reach the front of the green.  Unfortunately, I pulled my 3 wood at a 45 degree angle into a stand of trees.  My ball was beneath a tree, but I had a swing and an opening.  I hit a solid 7 iron, but it was too solid.  It hit the green about 10 feet left of the pin and then shot off the back of the green and into some thick rough.  I pitched up to the green and left myself about 16 feet, but I three-putted from there for a double.

Hole #3 - Par 3 - 149 Yards

This was another easy hole, but I managed to bogey it after tugging a 7 iron that found the left side of the green.  I was about 24 feet away, but I hit a horribly ugly putt that I pulled 8 feet left of the hole and then followed that up by missing my par putt from there, so... I settled for a bogey and a second consecutive three-putt.

Hole #4 - Par 4 - 372 Yards

This dogleg left was set up very odd and almost made it so you had to carry the ball over the road.  I hit an okay tee shot that put me in the right side of the fairway and left me about 90 yards to go.  For some reason, my depth perception on this day was way off.  The 90 yards LOOKED way shorter to me.  Typically, I'd hit a gap wedge from that distance, but... I took my sand wedge and hit it a little left.  It hit the rough off the back of the green, but it had enough spin on it that it spun out of the rough and onto the green, leaving me 45 feet from the hole.  For the third straight hole, I three-putted and settled for a bogey.

On a side note... Game Golf verified that the distances I was getting were correct, I was just hitting the ball a little further that day for some reason.

Hole #5 - Par 4 - 421 Yards

This was the first real 'trouble' I got myself into off the tee.  There was a water hazard on each side of the fairway.  I set up aimed at the fairway bunker that was a 220 yard carry from the tee... but I tugged the ball and, although it hit the fairway, it hit hard and kicked left into the hazard.  My drop from there left me a good lie and about 160 to the hole.  I pulled my 7 iron horribly and it disappeared out of bounds.  I dropped again, hit another 7 iron that was slightly left, but pin high.  I putted from the fringe to 6 feet and made that for my first triple bogey of the day.

Hole #6 - Par 3 - 175 Yards

Like I mentioned above... I was hitting my clubs a little further for some reason.  When I got to this tee, I thought someone in our group said it was 167, plus it was playing uphill and the GPS app I use wasn't updating for me, so... I decided to hit my 6 iron, which is typically a club I use from 160 - 170 yards out.  I absolutely smashed it and completely flew the green.  The ball ended up inches from the pitch mark it left in the fringe.  Game Golf said it was a 180 yard shot.  I was upset because I thought I hit a good shot, but... I left myself a good 15 yards from the hole.  I putted from the fringe to 5 feet and yet, I found a way to miss that putt for par and settled for bogey.

Hole #7 - Par 5 - 508 Yards

Another good drive that found the fairway left me with about 220 to the hole, easily within range of my 3 wood.  I made a horrible swing, hitting behind the ball.  Still... I caught enough of the ball to advance it a good distance, but I got a horrible break as the ball hit the left side of a tree and caromed into the hazard that ran down the left side of this hole.  My drop put me in an ugly lie and my shot from there came up about 10 yards short.  I chipped on to about 10 feet... left that putt hanging on the lip and tapped in for a double bogey.

Hole #8 - Par 4 - 404 Yards

It started to get real ugly at this point.  My tee shot was a massive slice way into a hazard.  Where I dropped left me a good 210 yards from the hole.  My 4 iron was decent, but left me about 30 yards short and in the left rough.  I pitched from there to about 9 feet and missed ANOTHER putt by an inch, tapping in for another double.

Hole #9 - Par 4 - 388 Yards

I overcompensated from my poor swing off the last tee and pull-hooked a ball into the left rough on this hole.  It was a decent lie in a bare spot and I hit what I felt was a perfect 8 iron.  The ball tracked right towards the pin, but because of the mound in front of me... I never saw it land.  As we got up to the hole... we found my ball short of the green.  I'm still not quite sure how that ball didn't get to the hole, but... I hit a poor putt from the fairway in front of the green and left myself 9 feet again.  For the third straight hole, a putt burned the edge of the cup but didn't drop, so I tapped in fora bogey.

  ** NOTE - I had played a very up-and-down front nine, posting a 48.  Meanwhile, my playing partners had posted 40, 41 and 42.  I had 4 holes left to play on the back nine and I was discouraged, to say the least.  

Hole #10 - Par 4 - 370 Yards

This was the #18 handicap hole... but I made an absolute mess of it.  My tee shot was a push-slice into the driving range.  My provisional was absolutely perfect and left me about 75 yards to the hole.  My sand wedge from the fairway was thin and slicing and found the bunker to the right of the green.  I managed to get the ball to within 12 feet, but once again... I couldn't make a putt and settled for a triple bogey.  

Hole #11 - Par 4 - 411 Yards

I pushed this drive into the trees on the right... but my ball dropped straight down, staying out of the hazard.  My only play was to punch a 6 iron across the fairway, leaving me about 110 yards from the hole.  My GPS lied to me, saying I had about 90 to go, and my gap wedge came up well short.  I flubbed a pitch from there to the front of the green and three-putted from 55 feet for another triple bogey.

Hole #12 - Par 3 - 160 Yards

This was slightly uphill with the pin in the back of the green, and in normal circumstances, I'd have hit a 6 iron... but because the ball seemed to travel further that day... I hit a 7 iron instead.  I hit it perfectly and it ended up pin-high just to the right of the hole.  The putt from 15 feet was strong, and I ran it 5 feet by the hole, but I made the follow-up for par.

Hole #13 - Par 5 - 516 Yards

I killed my drive, but it was a little left and took a hard kick off a mound in the fairway and ran into a drainage ditch.  I tried to punch a 6 iron out of there, but it ended up on a rock hard lie next to the cart path.  I thinned my shot from there for fear of damaging my club or my hands... that bounced up the cart path and into some twigs and branches.  I hacked a sand wedge out of there to the fringe... putted on to about 10 feet... burned the edge again... tapped in... and promptly tossed my ball into the water hazard to the side of the green, carding a double bogey to close out my day.

  ** NOTE - The total for the back nine was 50, giving me an overall score of 98.  I was not happy... and I now have a 2 week break until the next tournament, which is a 2 day major for us.  I'll be sure to practice all aspects of my game over the next 2 weeks, including spending a good deal of time on the practice greens.

Round Stats

  • Score - 98
  • Penalty Strokes - 5
  • Putts - 37
  • Fairways - 6 of 14
  • Greens in Regulation - 5 of 18
  • Up and Downs - 0 of 4
  • Sand Saves - 0 of 1

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